Cost of living in Iceland

people thinking moving to iceland ,,,ohh just forget it...people here is moving out,,te expenses is higher than income so no question to ask,,,,,its simple its not balance anymore


I'd like to get some information about apartment and school.

I'd like to check the cost to rent an unfurnished apartment in Reykjavik. What is the average monthly leasing cost for 3 bed room unfurnished apartment? is it common to have unfurnished apartment there? I guess it is always cheaper to rent an unfurnished apartment if someone plans to stay there for long term, right? do we also need to pay deposit money? perhaps equal to 1 - 2 monthly cost?

For compulsory school, do we have international school which uses English? how much is the annual cost in average? for local compulsory schools, I assume they use Icelandic language? are these local schools free?


90,000ISK per month for food?  How many people are you feeding?  That seems awfully high. Though I realize that is an old post, it doesn't seem like prices have gone down on anything.  Can anyone update for me?  Thanks.

Yeah 90,000ISK is pretty high I think.  My Dad told me that he and his wife never spend more than 60,000ISK a month on food, but he is on a specific diet at the moment so their food is slightly more expensive than average.

90.000 ISK seems a little high to me, but not outrageously so. I spent about 80.000 last month. I buy lunch at the cafeteria at the university where I work every day, which costs about 800 ISK per day. I suppose one could prepare lunches at home for a little cheaper than that. I prepare all my meals at home (I didn't eat out in a restaurant at all last month), and I don't have terribly expensive food tastes either. I do buy a lot of stuff at my neighborhood grocery store, which is a bit more expensive than say, Bonus. And that 80.000 total does include some beer and wine, which is of course very expensive, so if you don't drink at all, you could maybe reduce that by another 10.000 or so.

So yeah, I think if you're really careful with your budget and don't take on any unnecessary expenses (no eating out, no alcohol, etc.), you could probably get by on 50-60.000 ISK per month, but it's hard for me to see feeding yourself on much less than that.

I posted that when I was dining out a lot and since I didn't have any other life expenses besides rent, it was doable for me.

I spend about 2000 to 5000 isk per grocery trip (usually 2x per week). That includes household goods and some toiletries.

I then eat out for lunch several days a week during workdays. Unless you want to eat the same subway bargain-of-the-month sandwiches (399 isk) every day it's going to cost you at least 1000 isk per lunch. That'll pay for a salad bar, a sushi box, a burrito, or the like.

Then on the weekends when I meet friends for dinner that's usually about 5000 isk for my own meal at the places we go. That's for food and a beverage or two. Going out for coffee and a cake will be about 1000

Add in the occasional bottle of wine from the alcohol monopoly (at least 1200 but generally more) and a drink out (at least 800 isk) and it adds up pretty quickly.

I'm not extremely thrifty with my food purchases though, because I like whole grains (mostly imported and at 600-100 isk for a small bag), imported products (olive oil, some canned/jarred goods), and a variety of fresh veggies that aren't grown here. As deong points out, you can eat for less if you want/need to.

OK, perhaps this is a silly question, but what's the price of fish out there?

How much will a nice salmon fillet for one set you back, for instance?

I actually picked up a smoked salmon fillet sized for one person (about 0.2kg) this evening...looks like I paid 632 ISK. That was at one of the more expensive grocery stores, but you get the idea.

Hi everyone,

I have read a lot about the cost of living in Iceland and I must say over the few days that I have been following everyone's post it's been quite interesting, for me I have few questions, I am a Nigerian who has applied to study English 180 ECTS at the University of Iceland for fall 2011, I have noticed that there are loads of foreigners living, studying and working in Iceland, but I am yet to meet any Nigerian, Do we have association of Nigerian students in Iceland, or lets say places where Nigerians resides the most, I am interested in moving to Iceland this Fall and I had love to meet with my fellow country men as well as foreigners and Icelanders too, I see basically that the currency of Icelander is the Kronar (ISK) Iceland as a Schengen state, Don't they spend Euro's? because everything I see on here talks about only Kronars and this suprises me a lot.

Are they handfull numbers of Nigerian students studying at the University of Iceland? I would love to meet them here or if anyone has their contacts, I would love to ask more questions from them.

Finally @jrbowe,@ECS I see that you guys are regular commentators to post on here, since @jrbowe studied and graduated from U of I, I would like to know the chance that I stand to study English 180ECTS, I see that on their website, they have little updates, but as you have once been a study you know a lot as I assume, What are my chances? As a Nigerian, I am 25 years old and I have completed my Secondary school + 1 year of a university or college that is required. I hope they are not biased on their eligibility from African students.

I hope to read from you soon, God bless you all.

bplenty: I recommend starting a new thread with all the questions you're posting here that don't pertain to cost of living.

I can assure you that being part of Schengen has nothing to do with the Eurozone, and Iceland is not the only Schengen country to use a different currency. Iceland does have some places that accept euros, but it's mostly in the tourist industry. Why does it surprise you that people posting about cost of living in a country describe the costs in the local currency?


Does anyone know what is monthly costs for home/apartment security services??

Thanks in advance!

securitas is one of the largest companies here and the cost most likely depends on the size of the place and the service level. Their home security service site is here, and they say at the bottom to call them for more info:

Hello all,
a couple of days ago i got a job offer for around 358000 kr (after taxes). Is that a good amount of money to live decently in Reykjavik? By "decently" i mean by paying a rent in a small apartment, buying food and what's necessary for daily life and still save some money at the end of the month. Thanks!

if that's your after-tax salary per month, you'll have no trouble at all. Rent on a decent one-bedroom apartment is about 120000-140000, and utilities (heat, hot water, electricity) doesn't add much.

if you're not planning on owning a car and don't dine out regularly, you'll have plenty to save IMO. It depends on your lifestyle though :) I've got friends earning slightly more than that before taxes (so after tax it's quite a bit less) and they live quite well.

Thanks a lot, i was hoping on your reply :)

What if i got with me my girlfriend (so not legally married), you think in two it will be hard to live normally? Again of course i cannot expect you to give me accurate estimates but i think a "decent life" is a concept that everyone can agree on: having a couple of dinners out, going to the movies once or twice, etc

Also i found this apartment here:
this is in 101 and if i understand correctly it's almost all included, but the price seems very cheap to me :| where's the catch? :D

thanks a lot again

the catch is that it's tiny (40 square meters) and a studio so probably not good for renting with your girlfriend unless you have no need for any private space ever.

also, it's only available until May 2013 so is probably intended as a student apartment. Given how many people are looking for apartments right now, I'd actually be surprised that listing is truly still available. That kind of apartment is hard to find in Reykjavík, especially at this time of year when all the new students are arriving, so my hunch is that if you call/email you'll either not hear back or find that it's been taken. Decent apartments go VERY quickly when they're advertised on the popular rental listing sites.

Eating for 2 isn't much more expensive than eating for one so I think you'd be fine as long as you don't have expensive hobbies.

You've been really helpful and i can't thank you enough :)

Hi all,
We are a family of four, planning to move from South  Africa to Iceland. We wonder what would be the monthly living cost (including rent, food ,utilities...)would be. Any ideas would be appreciated.

The post of Auron is a bit old though but want to check if that earning (358000 isk) per month can be earned by those people who are with Student visa status?

Thanks a lot!

fembulusan :

The post of Auron is a bit old though but want to check if that earning (358000 isk) per month can be earned by those people who are with Student visa status?

Thanks a lot!

a student visa limits you to working 15 hours so I'd say you would have to be working a VERY highly paid job to earn that kind of after tax income.

"Students can apply for a work permit for employment of up to 15 hours a week (40%) unless the work is during breaks or for internship, but cannot work until the work permit has been approved."


Thanks for this info.

I am an American pharmacist, too.  Did you make the move?  Any advice you can offer?

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