Planning a film-inspired trip to Iceland? Here is all you need to know to get the most out of your time and budget…
What to watch for inspiration
21 films and series that have been shot or set in Iceland!
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
James Bond: Die Another Day (2002)
Batman Begins (2005)
The Girl in the Café (2005)
Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)
The Tree of Life (2011)
TV series Game of Thrones (2011-ongoing)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
The Fifth Estate (2013)
Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
TV series Fortitude (2014–2015)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Fast & Furious 8 (2017)
When to go
Iceland is a destination to visit all year round. Thanks to the gulf stream, Iceland doesn't get too cold in the winter, too. With Iceland becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination, however, the summers might get crowded, so avoid mid-June to late August if possible
The best times to go are off-season in spring such as April, May and early June. The days are pretty long already, yet the prices have not yet reached their summer-high. September should be pretty, too.
If you're planning on seeing the Northern Lights, make sure you visit Iceland between December-April. And for the longest days, come between May and August. Midsummer (the time when the sun sets doesn't really set and it stays light as day all night long) happens in June.
Where to go
If it's your first time in Iceland, start by staying in the capital Reykjavik. From here, you can easily get to most places around the island.
Reykjavik itself, Europe's northernmost capital, has lots to offer, too. So it's worthwhile to spend a few days here. If you are visiting Reykjavik on a budget, check out Reykjavik On A Budget: The Ultimate Survival Guide
From Reykjavik, you can either rent a car or hop on of the many tour busses, which conveniently pick you up from your hotel or hostel. The South Coast, the West Coast and the so-called Golden Circle route are all within easy reach for a day trip. If you want to do "the full Walter Mitty", you could even go to Greenland and back to Reykjavik within a day (that one has to be done by plane of course).
The East and North Coast are probably a little too far for a day trip. So rent a car or get a flexible bus pass to explore these regions over several days.
How to get around
Most visitors in Iceland either rent a car and then explore on their own or they stay in the capital Reykjavik and book guided day tours by bus. The town centre of Reykjavik is not very big. Basically, there is just one main street called Laugavegur. On this street, and the smaller streets around, you will find most of Reykjavík's shops and restaurants. Thus, you can easily walk almost anywhere in central Reykjavik.
The bus system is very good, too. So for attractions and sights that are a little bit further out, such as Reykjavik's Open Air Museum Árbær, get yourself a bus pass or the Reykjavik City Card. You can then use it for unlimited travel on all of Reykjavik's busses.
What to do:
All Iceland Posts at a glance
For further inspiration for what to do in Iceland, check out my Iceland Posts Category or see them all here:
Good to know before you go
7 Travel Tips for Iceland
1. Credit cars are accepted everywhere, so there is usually no need to get cash
2. Tipping, on the other hand, is not expected anywhere. The only exception are the "free" walking tours in Reykjavík, for which you should of course tip your tour guide at the end.
3. Plugs the same as in continental Europe (except for the UK and Ireland, which have different plugs)
4. Because there is no chlorine in the water, naked showering is required before entering a public thermal bath
5. The official currency in Iceland is the Icelandic Krona (ISK)
7. The smell of the tap water in Iceland may seem a bit strange at first. But, as every Icelander will tell you, it's way better for you than to drink water from a bottle because the smell is actually due to all the sulphur, lava and minerals in the ground. Thus, drinking tap water in Iceland is a good way to save money AND stay healthy!
Unless otherwise credited, all photos by © Sonja Irani | filmfantravel.com
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