Cost of living in Iceland for international students

Cost of living in Iceland for international students

If you are thinking of studying in Iceland there is a variety of housing options for international students to apply for
. You have the option of applying for rental housing for families or for individual students, for different sizes of apartments or a beautifully furnished room with a bathroom, in an apartment that has fully furnished shared facilities (kitchen, living room, dining room).

Student housing in Iceland is usually cheaper than on the free market, whereas all related costs to housing are included, like heat, electricity, cleaning of common areas, internet (for University of Iceland students) and in many cases furniture and household items.

Iceland standard of living

In general the standard of living in Iceland is quite high. Iceland has an egalitarian society with strong trade unions, very low inequality and high gender balance. There is a strong sense of community in Iceland and the country ranks well in many measures of well-being, e.g. with regards to environmental quality and social connections, in income and wealth, subjective well-being, health status, life expectancy, personal security, and education to name some So it doesn’t come as a surprise that most of the time, we are actually quite happy :). 

Cost of living in Reykjavík

So how much money would you need to be able to sustain yourself in Iceland? When estimating the average cost of living it is important to take into account
basic expenses such as housing, food, taxes, and healthcare. Iceland is considered quite expensive in terms of cost of living compared to its neighbouring countries, please check or to get an overview of what you could be looking at on average.

Prices in Iceland 

Even though they say that Iceland is one of the most expensive countries in the world, the supermarkets are actually quite affordable. For example one liter of milk will cost around 2$, a loaf of bread 3$ and a frozen pizza 4-5$ . There are many different supermarkets to shop from and their prices vary as you might expect. Bónus (very recognizable for its bright yellow sign with a pink pig on it) has usually been the most low cost one, but then there are Krónan, Hagkaup and Nettó as well. 

Cost of beer in Reykjavík

To the very important part - how much is a beer? A glass of wine? If you go to regular pubs prices may vary, but a pint can easily range from $8-12. A glass of wine is a little bit more expensive (we recommend Happy Hour..). 

Best prices for students are of course found at Stúdentakjallarinn (Student Cellar), a very cozy restaurant situated on Campus, offering drinks and food at prices that are unmatchable by other restaurants in the city. You can feed the whole family there at reasonable prices and also enjoy some entertainment like concerts and stand-ups. Liquor stores in Iceland are state-owned and you can easily find them around Reykjavik under the name Vínbúðin

How much does it cost to buy a car in Iceland

You shouldn’t need a car in Reykjavik and especially not if you are living on Campus or downtown. There are no railways or trams in Iceland so public transport is run by Strætó bus company that goes in all directions in Reykjavik as well around the country. Using a bicycle is certainly a great option too for Reykjavik as there are many great pathways intended for sustainable travel. 

However, if you are considering buying a car you can start by checking out bílasö or 100bílar and look up all kinds of models and prices.