Iceland is often referred to as “The Land of Fire and Ice” due to its geological extremities. While it has some of the largest glaciers in Europe, it is also home to the world’s most active volcanoes. Iceland’s varied climate and extreme landscapes make it the ultimate travel destination for nature lovers. The country is filled with hot springs, lava fields, geysers, canyons, glaciers and is surrounded by ocean. The capital city of Reykjavik is a friendly and colorful city with an exciting nightlife and home to a bustling music and art scene. Iceland is a country unlike any other and has healing energy that leaves many travelers in awe.
Which power outlets do they use in Iceland?
The power outlets used in Iceland are Type F. This type of outlet is recessed; meaning the faceplate of the outlet is deeper in the wall. Type F outlets and are round with two small holes that fit a Type F electrical plug (also known as a Schuko plug). The Type F plug fits into the outlet has two 4.8mm round pins spaced 19 mm apart. The Type F outlet and plug type are commonly used in Northern European countries. Type C plugs are also used in Iceland and are similar in appearance to Type F, although they are being switched out more and more for Type F.
Electricity in Iceland is 230 Volts with alternating electric currents of 50 cycles per second (50 Hertz).
If you are traveling from the United States or Canada it is important to note that the electrical outputs are half that of Iceland. For example, electrical devices from the United States are usually 120V and 60 Hz so be sure to check the voltage range on your devices. This information can usually be found labeled on the back or bottom of electronic devices.
What kind of power adapter do I need for Iceland?
If you’re traveling from the U.S. you’re probably wondering, “What plug do I need for my trip to Iceland?” The plugs on your U.S. devices will not be compatible in Iceland, so you will need an adapter.
We recommend this high quality Universal Adapter because it will have you covered on your trip throughout Iceland and over 100 countries around the world. It will reliably charge all of your personal electronics including mobile phones, tablets, cameras, laptops etc.
What’s the electricity and power supply like in Iceland?
One of the unique features of Iceland is that it produces all its electrical power through renewable energy. Iceland uses a combination of hydroelectric, geothermal and wind power! 75% of electricity production in Iceland is derived from hydropower, making hydro Iceland’s main source of clean energy. A report by the United Nations states, “Iceland is a strong example of how renewable energy can power a modern economy.”
Although Iceland is not a densely populated country, it is connected to a power grid that is rated as one of the most reliable in the world.
The grid is highly modern and is constantly being developed and maintained at a high standard. Iceland frequently rebuilds older lines and adds new ones to ensure maximum efficiency. Blackouts are extremely rare and in cases, there have been blackouts they were due to weather and occurred in smaller towns. Iceland runs off a 230V supply voltage and 50 Hz.
Do I Need A Voltage Converter In Iceland?
Prior to traveling to Iceland, take inventory of which electronic devices you will be bringing. Most devices list the voltage range on the back or bottom so be sure to check the range to determine if you need a voltage converter. A power adapter can only adapt to the shape of the plug for Iceland and is unable to convert power to a higher voltage. If you wish to safely use any 100-120V appliance, that is not dual voltage, you will need to bring a voltage converter to Iceland.
Most commonly used electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, cell phones, and cameras are dual voltage and will not require a converter, however, it is always important to check the power label. High powered electronics such as hairdryers and straighteners are not usually dual voltage so be sure to check the voltage settings to see if a converter is required. It is important to note that voltage converters are not always reliable and there is always a risk you could fry your device or a power outlet.
Other Iceland Packing List Items
In addition to your US to Iceland power adapter these items will help you on your travels:
1. Travel Umbrella
The weather in Iceland can be very erratic, including a lot of rain, so it is best to arrive prepared. They have a saying there that “if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes.” To be prepared for the rainy, stormy weather, we highly recommend bringing a windproof travel umbrella. An umbrella, like the one pictured, will allow you to enjoy the sites even if the weather is not cooperating.
2. Packing Cubes
If you have never used packing cubes before, prepare to be amazed. Packing cubes make your life as an international traveler so much easier! They allow you to easily pack and unpack your bag and take the stress out of how to make everything fit. It’s also much easier to find what you are looking for once you reach your destination.
3. Lipstick-Sized Charger
A small, portable sized charger like this one will allow for hassle-free phone charging. This charger is great because it has USB connections and is powerful enough to fully charge a smartphone. When you are traveling you are constantly on the go and power outlets are not always readily available. Having a portable charger allows you the freedom to charge your phone no matter where you are.
4. Neck Wallet / Passport Pouch
While Iceland is a very safe country to visit, we always recommend using a neck wallet or secure document holder while traveling internationally. Having a neck wallet like this one ensures that all your important travel documents are accessible, secure and located in one place.
5. Jet Lag Relief Pills
There is nothing worse than getting off the plane in a new country and feeling exhausted. You are there to explore and take in the scenery, but being tired and groggy takes away from the experience! Try taking jet lag relief supplements. For me, they relieve tiredness and fatigue, they prevent jet lag headaches, and they allow me to adjust to the new time zone more quickly.
6. Virtual Protection Network (VPN)
A VPN is essential for any travel. A strong VPN, such as NordVPN, provides you with an added layer of security so all your sensitive data such as passwords, credit card information are protected from being hacked. It is especially important to use when you are on public WiFi networks.
7. Travel Insurance for Iceland
Travel insurance is one of those things you don’t really think about until you’re in a situation where you need it. You wouldn’t drive a car without insurance, right? TravelInsurance.com is an excellent website for finding the best travel insurance and is my personal favorite after years using them during my travels. Not only will insurance cover your costs if your luggage gets lost or stolen, but it will also cover flight cancellations and medical expenses if you become injured while traveling. Many policies are extremely flexible and some cover over 150 adventure activities, making it essential for your trip to Iceland.
Other FAQs about traveling in Iceland:
1. When to travel to Iceland?
Iceland is a beautiful country to visit no matter what time of year you chose to visit. However, it is important to note that certain seasons in Iceland will be more expensive due to high tourism rates. Iceland’s tourist high season is summer, which goes from June through August. Prices will be higher, reservations will need to be made earlier, and at times you’ll need to plan for a little more competition for views and resources. The best off-season times are the months of April, May, September, and October.
These months have slightly less forgiving weather (October may be a bit cold for some) but tourism is far lower and prices will be back to their already-high normal amounts. Not to mention during the off-season it is easier to reserve rental cars and accommodations. There is no right or wrong time to visit Iceland, but certain times of the year will require more planning in advance. Be sure to check current Iceland travel advisories before you go.
2. What is the weather like in Iceland?
Despite its name, Iceland is more of a solar country than polar; glaciers cover only certain parts. Due to the Gulf Stream that passes through, Iceland experiences frequent weather shifts and you may find yourself experiencing various types of weather in one day! However, Iceland is not unbearably cold nor it is intolerably hot! Most travelers find that Iceland’s weather to be quite comfortable so long as they pack appropriately.
3. Best time to see Northern Lights?
Because Iceland is located at such high latitude there is no darkness from mid-April until mid-August and no Northern Lights can be seen during this time. The absolute best chance of observing the lights is after dark from late September to late March. You will often hear people talking about “hunting” the lights and that is because it is indeed a “hunt” to find them. Conditions must be optimal meaning complete darkness and no cloud cover.
For the full effect, make sure you travel to a rural area outside the city lights of Reykjavik. The town of Húsavík, located on the North Coast, or the West Fjords are great places to see them.
4. Where to go in Iceland?
Iceland is a country that can only be enjoyed and experienced outdoors. Its diverse landscape and geological features are what make it such a unique country to visit. Iceland is small enough that you can drive around it on the Ring Road and make plenty of stops along the way! A week is a normal standard for those who rent a car and decided to drive around Iceland. Iceland is an amazing destination no matter if you plan a tour around the island or decide to explore only specific areas. From waterfalls to horseback riding and hikes with amazing views there is something for every nature lover. If you are more of a city person, Reykjavik is a great place to immerse in art, history and culinary delights.
5. What to do in Reykjavik?
The city of Reykjavik is a colorful and friendly city that has a rich history dating back to its founding by Norwegian Vikings. It is the largest and most populated city in Iceland and is famous for its vibrant nightlife, art, and live music. There are multiple museums in Reykjavik which house Iceland’s history and cultural traditions as well as art exhibitions. In Reykjavik, you can learn about Viking history, take a soak in one of the many soaking pools or explore the food scene through various restaurants and cafes.
While you are there, stop by the Ice Wear store and pick up an authentic Icelandic wool sweater and say “hi” to the most popular Icelander in Reykjavik, Baktus the cat.