It’s one of Iceland’s greatest paradoxes: how can a country that charges some of the highest prices for alcohol in Europe also support such an eclectic scene of bars and clubs? Put simply, spending vast amounts of money on everyday items is a fact of life in Iceland, a country where import taxes and inflation have caused prices to soar; and even though alcohol prices in real terms have fallen in recent years, a half-litre of beer in Reykjavík will still cost at least double what you’re used to paying at home. Icelanders get round the astronomical cost of booze by drinking at home before hitting the town. Buying beer and wine in the state-run alcohol store, the vínbúð, is the home-grown way of cutting costs.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Iceland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Iceland: top 10 hot pools to take a dip

Iceland: top 10 hot pools to take a dip

An outdoor soak is an essential part of the Icelandic experience – a surreal way to spend a dark winter's day, or to unkink those muscles after a long day's h…

26 Sep 2017 • David Leffman insert_drive_file Article
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
The best places to visit in Iceland this summer

The best places to visit in Iceland this summer

Iceland is famous for majestic glaciers and snow-covered houses, for the Northern Lights and blue-lit ice caves. But visit in summer and it can feel like a tot…

20 Jun 2017 • Rebecca Hallett insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook