Information & Facts
Most business in Iceland tends to take place in the capital,
Reykjavik. Business meetings tend to be formal, with smart dress
essential. It is worth handing out business cards, and initial
greetings are usually accompanied by a handshake. Punctuality
should be respected. Meetings are usually conducted in English when
dealing with foreigners. It is worth noting that Icelanders
generally go by their first name, and telephone directory listings
are alphabetical by first name. Business hours are usually from 8am
to 4pm (summer) and 9am to 5pm (winter). Most offices are closed on
As its name suggests, Iceland's climate is cold, but not as cold
as might be expected because of the passing warm waters of the Gulf
Stream, which regulate the climate. The summer temperatures in
Reykjavík range from 41°F (5°C) at night to as high as 77°F (25°C)
during the day. The average January temperature is 31°F (-0.5°C).
The south is the wettest part of the country, but snow is rare.
Coastal areas tend to experience winter gales and are generally
windy. During the summer months there is almost continuous
daylight; early spring and late autumn feature long twilights. From
mid-November until the end of January, in the darkness of winter,
the opposite is true, with the country only experiencing a few
hours of daylight each day. The Northern Lights are often visible
in autumn and early winter.
The international country code for Iceland is +354. The outgoing
code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g., 0027 for
South Africa). City/area codes are not in use. Note that Icelanders
are listed by their first name in the telephone directory, not the
last. Iceland has the highest per capital mobile phone use in the
world with GSM networks and there are roaming agreements with most
international mobile phone companies. Iceland Telecom rents mobile
phones to visitors. There are numerous Internet cafes around the
Smoking in bars, restaurants and on public transport in Iceland
Travellers to Iceland over 18 years do not have to pay duty on
200 cigarettes or 250g of other tobacco products. Travellers over
20 years are also allowed 1 litre spirits and 1 litre wine, or 1
litre spirits and 6 litres beer; or 1 litre wine and 6 litres beer;
or 2.25 litres wine; and food items up to 3kg not exceeding
kr13,000. Permits from Post & Telecom Authorities are required
for cordless phones, remote controls or radio transmitters, but not
for a GSM mobile phone. Prohibited items include narcotics and
drugs, meat products, weapons and powdered or moist snuff.
Iceland's electricity supply is 220 volts, 50Hz, as it
is in most European countries. Plugs and sockets are of the two-pin
type as in Continental Europe.
There are no specific health risks associated with travel to
Iceland, and no vaccinations are necessary for entry. Medical care
in the country is of high quality. Payment is usually expected in
cash from visitors. Travel health insurance is highly recommended.
A reciprocal agreement exists whereby British citizens are entitled
to free emergency medical treatment provided they possess a
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Icelandic, but English is widely spoken.
The unit of currency is the Icelandic króna (ISK), plural
krónur, divided into 100 aurar. Iceland's three banks,
Íslandsbanki, Landsbanki Ísland and Búnaðarbanki, all offer foreign
exchange facilities and can be found in even the tiniest villages.
Most have ATMs on their premises, available after banking hours,
which are usually Monday to Friday from 9.15am to 4pm. Credit cards
are widely used in Iceland for purchases and cash advances, and
travellers cheques are accepted by all banks and most hotels.
Travellers cheques in US Dollars get the best exchange rate
The borderless region known as the Schengen Area includes the
following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy,
Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway,
Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and
Switzerland. All these countries issue a standard Schengen visa
that has a multiple entry option, and which allows the holder to
travel freely within the borders of all the aforementioned
countries. Additionally, foreign passengers to Iceland must hold
return or onward tickets, the necessary travel documentation for
their next destination, and sufficient funds to cover their stay in
Iceland. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at
least six months validity remaining after your intended date of
departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often
apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official
Iceland is an extremely safe country to visit, the only threats
being a low level of petty crime and rapidly changing weather
conditions, which necessitate keeping a check if you are on the
Service charges are included in bills and tipping is not
expected in Iceland.