Iceland Travel Notes

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Australian Embassy in Denmark

Australia does not have government representation in Iceland, all consular assistance is provided by the Embassy in Denmark

Dampfaergevej 26, 2nd floor
2100 Copenhagen
Tel.: + 45 70 26 36 76
Fax: + 45 70 26 36 86

Email genenq.cpgn@dfat.gov.au
www.denmark.embassy.gov.au

Smartraveller

The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers.
www.smartraveller.gov.au

Time Zones

Iceland is on Greenwich Mean Time time, however do not move to  day light savings time in summer (-1 GMT).  In the european summer Iceland would be 10 hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time.  To obtain the current local time and date in cities and countries in all time zones.
www.worldtimeserver.com

Voltages and Plugs

Iceland uses 220-240 volts. Plugs are of the two-round-pronged European type.
www.korjo.com/Adaptor-Guide

Currency

To obtain the most up-to-date exchange rate you may wish to visit
www.xe.com/currencyconverter

Iceland’s monetary unit is the krona (sometimes abbreviated as “ISK,” but written as “kr”), plural kronur.
Coins come in 1, 10, 50, and 100 kronur denominations. Bank notes are in denominations of 500kr, 1,000kr, 2,000kr, and 5,000kr.

 

Credit Cards and ATM machines

ATMs are the easiest way to access your money. They are common in all tourist towns and villages. Most accept Visa, MasterCard, Electron, Cirrus, Maestro and InterBank cards. ATMs sometimes run dry on weekends in smaller locations.

Please note that using a credit card in a growing number of foreign countries usually requires a new “chip-and-pin” credit card with an embedded microchip and an associated PIN number (the PIN is specific to each credit card). If you have questions about using your credit card in a foreign country, please contact your bank prior to departure from Australia. Check with your credit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Cash

Currency can be exchanged at banks and hotels, though you may get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Keflavík International Airport, Reykjavik has ATMs and a currency exchange desk
Travelers Cheques are NO longer accepted.

Telephone & Communication

Mobile telephones
Most mobile telephones work in Iceland and coverage is excellent. Check with your local provider that your phone can switch on ‘Global Roaming’ and that your provider has coverage in the places you are visiting. Mobile phones can be very useful for SMSing  (especially if you get lost!). International calls are often expensive, as is checking your message bank as calls have to be routed through Australia.

Internet
Internet access is widespread and available throughout Iceland. Many hotels and cafes now offer access, some you need to pay while others have free Wi-fi zones.

If you have Web access while traveling, you might consider a broadband-based telephone service (in technical terms, Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP) such as Skype or Vonage, which allows you to make free international calls between online computers and phones, and cheap international calls if you’re calling a normal phone number. Most cybercafes throughout the country will be using these programs already, complete with headset, microphone, and webcam.
www.skype.com    www.vonage.com

Business Hours in Iceland

Banks  09.15 –  16.00 Monday to Friday
Shops   09.00/ 10.00 – 18.00 Monday to Friday and 10.00 – early afternoon on Saturday. Shopping hours are generally Monday through Friday from 9 or 10am to 6pm, and Saturday from 10am to early afternoon. Supermarkets and gas station convenience stores are open longer. Reykjavík and Akureyri have 24-hour markets.

Personal Safety
  • We strongly recommend the use of a money belt to keep your cash, cards and travel documents safe. This should be kept under your clothes at all times. This is a precaution that should be taken anywhere due to the difficulties that can be experienced in trying to replace stolen items.
  • Take photocopies of all important documents (passport, credit cards, airline tickets, insurance) and keep one copy securely in your luggage and leave another copy at home.
What to Pack

Clothing (general)
The time of the year you visit this destination will dictate the type of clothing it is appropriate to bring. It would always be advisable to take a rain coat or a water proof windbreaker. For daytime activities, we suggest a wardrobe that is versatile, casual and comfortable. It is recommended that “layered” clothing might offer the best comfort in a variety of conditions. Always expect the weather to be changeable.

Beyond the normal wardrobe we suggest

  • comfortable walking shoes (very important)
  • sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat
  • folding umbrella and/or light raincoat
  • ladies should have a scarf with them at all times in case it is required to cover shoulders or head when entering religious sites
  • extra prescription eyeglasses (if required)

Travelling with Medication

  • Talk to your doctor or a travel medicine specialist and discuss both the prescription and over the counter medicines that you will need to take with you; take only those for personal use.
  • Contact the embassy of the country you are visiting to ensure the medicine is legal there.
  • Carry a letter from your doctor with your prescription medicines. The letter should include the name of the medicine, how much you are taking or sending, and state that the medicine is for your personal use.
  • All medicines should be kept in their original container displaying your name and dosage requirements, and carried in hand luggage to prevent their loss.

Because a prescription from your doctor here cannot be filled overseas, and familiar over the counter medicines may not be available in foreign countries, it is also important to carry an adequate supply for the entire trip plus some extra in case of travel disruption or delay. Some medications, such as those containing Codeine 30mg or strong painkillers, even when obtained on a legal prescription in Australia, should not be transported across international boundaries unless they are accompanied by a customs clearance from the country concerned. You must apply to the appropriate Consulate or Embassy for this.

Etiquette

Smoking — Smoking is prohibited by law in all restaurants, cafes, bars, and accommodation.
Tipping — Icelanders don’t tip, not even in restaurants or taxis. Tipping is never expected from foreigners, but if you do tip, you are unlikely to offend anyone; it would be graciously accepted or politely refused. The practice is becoming a little more common in Reykjavík bars and nightclubs.

General

Water — Iceland has some of the world’s best drinking water, and all tap water is safe to drink.
Taxes — Iceland’s 25.5% VAT (sales tax) is included in prices, but tourists can get most of that back on qualified purchases.

Useful websites

Visit Iceland   www.visiticeland.com
Official Gateway to Iceland   www.iceland.is
Nordic Visit   iceland.nordicvisitor.com
World Airport Guide www.worldairportguides.com
Guide for world airports by car, bus, train and other forms  www.toandfromtheairport.com

Climate

We suggest that prior to departure you check the weather forecast for the most up-to-date information.
www.worldweatheronline.com

Average minimum/ maximum Temperature (°C).

City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Reykjavik -1/1 -2/1 1/4 3/6 5/10 9/12 10/14 10/13 7/10 7/11 3/5 -1/2
Akureyri -13/-10 -14/-10 -8/-4 -6/0 -1/5 9/15 7/12 5/11 3/7 1-4 -5/-3 -6/-3