Two Days In Iceland- Travel Tips on a Budget

My husband and I visited Iceland on our way over to Paris, France as part of our honeymoon. At the time Iceland air was offering a free two day stop over and we thought, why not! We were able to fly directly from Denver, Colorado to Reykjavik, Iceland. Since we knew we would only have a little less than two days we narrowed down everything we wanted to do and came up with the perfect two days in Iceland itinerary.

Gullfoss waterfall along the “Golden Circle”

One thing that is important to note is how expensive Iceland can be. Like I mentioned our stop over to Iceland was free but once we actually got there we realized how expensive everything was. I am not saying this to turn you away from future travel plans to Iceland but just so you can properly prepare!

We ended up stay in a hostel since it was the cheapest option we could find and even then it was a $150 dollars a night for the bare minimum (that was also a private room. ) Again, not to turn you away but important to note! Click here for where we stayed.

Our flight from Denver to Reykjavik was a red eye that we both were unable to sleep on just from the pure excitement we were experiencing. Once we actually landed we picked up our rental car. I highly recommended getting a rental car in Iceland! The process was easy and made it so we could really enjoy the city on our own terms. We also were only 21 at the time and I do not believe they had any extra charges because of our age so that is an extra bonus! Once we got the rental car we made our way to the infamous Blue Lagoon. This place is worth all the hype. Now remember how I mentioned that we did not sleep on our red eye? We had been up for over 24 hours at this point but we were still excited to head to the Blue Lagoon straight from the airport! (Blue lagoon is closer to the airport than Reykjavik that’s why we chose to do it first) Before the trip we bought our Blue Lagoon tickets online. The Blue Lagoon has become an even more popular place since we were there so make sure you get your tickets in advance! Click here for a direct link to tickets.

At the Blue Lagoon

We chose to do the comfort package that comes out to be $53 USD. This price includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of a towel and a drink of your choice. They have clean locker rooms for you to change in and once you get to the water you can swim/ walk over to the hut where they have the facemasks, then to the other side of the lagoon for where you can get your drink, if I remember right we ended up getting a smoothie!

After the Blue Lagoon we were still unable to get into our hostel (we were early) so we took a nap in our car right there in the parking lot ha. I can still remember how tired we both were but those are the type of memories that are fun to look back on! Once we got into the hostel we drove around exploring the town and we of course had to make a stop at the iconic Reykjavik church that sits in the middle of town. With our rental car we were able to just park on the road close by and continue exploring. Although the national language in Iceland is Icelandic everyone speaks great English so that was never a problem. We finished off the day by eating at a cute café near the church.

Famous Church in Reykjavik- it was a little cold

The next morning we took a tour that they call the “Golden Circle.” They call it that because it encompasses some of Iceland’s most iconic spots in the form of a circle. The tour bus picked us up near our hostel. Our tour guide was a lot of fun, wish I could remember his name! Our first stop was at the Kerid Crater. This crater is believed to be from a volcanic eruption. It is truly a sight to see! Next we stopped in Sandgeroi Iceland to see Geysers in the Geothermal Area and other incredible blue pools (somewhat similar to Yellowstone if you have ever been.) Fun fact, did you know the word Geyser is actually Icelandic? The term is derived from the Icelandic word geyser, meaning “to gush.” We all know more Icelandic than we thought! The Geyser goes off about every 5-10 minutes. Making it so you can get some great pictures with some patience! The next stop takes you to the double-tiered falls of the Gullfoss waterfall. Gullfoss is made up of two spectacular tiered waterfalls: the upper one plunges 36 feet (11 meters) from the Hvítá River, before falling again. The second Gullfoss waterfall falls 69 feet (20 meters), making the total height of the canyon 105 feet, or 31 meters (description taken from google) This is another great location to get some incredible photos. On the tour you are also able to see where the tectonic plates meet. For those of you who do not know the Eurasian tectonic plate and the North American tectonic plates are actually what make up Iceland! Seeing the Plates was our last destination on the tour. Each Golden Circle tour is more or less alike. You can click here for more info. You can also google search “Golden Circle Tours Iceland” and a ton of options with different agencies pop up!

Kerid Crater- you are also able to go down closer to the water

For food our hostel had breakfast (loosely using the term breakfast, more like toast and juice ha) then during the day we found fun local cafes to try, you cant go wrong trying the local cafes! Food was another area that was more expensive than we anticipated. I would plan on about $20 dollars a person for each meal. At one point we were hungry and did not want to spend a lot on food so we ordered dominos and it was actually the same price as in the US so we called that a win (;

Where the tectonic plates meet there in the back of this photo!

The Golden Circle tour takes up most of your day. Once it ended we went back to our hostel and packed up to head into the airport to finish our trip off in Paris! Remember how earlier I mentioned that some of our travel memories are fun to look back on and laugh about? Well I messed up our travel times for our connecting flight to Paris making it so we were 10 hours early for our flight. But because we had already checked out of our hostel, returned our rental car and packed our bags we just ended up spending the night in the airport. But this airport is so small we were the only ones there. Security came by and were really confused as to why we were there. I am just glad they let us go through security to be inside the airport, felt safer that way!

Just two happy newly weds and a famous waterfall

We hope to go back to Iceland soon when we can spend more days/ time in the country and do some of the hikes and camping that so many people post and talk about, they truly look amazing! But I feel good about all we were able to accomplish in the two days we were there!

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8 thoughts on “Two Days In Iceland- Travel Tips on a Budget

  1. Very nice post!! It sounds like you two had such a great time there! I have always heard the Iceland is expensive, like the rest of Northern Europe by the way… and I did not know that geyse was an Icelandic word: thanks for sharing!

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  2. What a quick trip! Looks like you hit all the important stops. What was your beverage of choice at the Blue Lagoon?

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  3. It’s so nice to see that Iceland can be done on a budget. It is about to make an appearance on my list as l keep hearing more and more from friends who loved it there.

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