Posted by: neilh10 | March 5, 2011

Five things to do in Reykjavik for under $5

I’ve just spotted (thanks to twitter) a page setting out five things you can do for under $5 in Reykjavik.

I fully agree with these recommendations, most of which I have tried out myself on my visits to the city. I disagree, however, with the premise on which the article is based – that Iceland is an expensive place to visit.

Ok, so Iceland isn’t really cheap enough to be done on a backpackers budget. The reason for this is that food and beer is expensive, and the public transport (outside of Reykjavik and Akureyri), is nowhere near up to the standards of the rest of Europe, so the best way of getting around inexpensively is by hiring a car (from £25 per day), ideally with a group of people. But the idea that Iceland is expensive is, I would argue, a consequence of people failing to see past the tourist shops and services concentrated in the centre of Reykjavik.

If you do happen to find yourself trapped in the world of puffin shops, hotels, and expensive day tours that characterise the centre of Reykjavik, I would simply say that it is your own fault. There is a whole country out there beyond Mt Esja and the bay. It is almost completely unexplored, and most of it is still untouched by the tourist industry (though this might not be the case forever – see my earlier post “Iceland off season”). It might be a bit more expensive than home, but you probably headed to Iceland in the first place to check out the amazing nature, and this is absolutely free.

But if you do find yourself stuck in Reykjavik with little money, the advice given on <a href="“>beersandbeans.com could prove very useful. Check it out.

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