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5 Things To Know About Grocery Stores In Iceland

Grocery stores in Iceland are absolutely essential to visit if you are spending a long period of time in the country or if you are trying to see Iceland on a budget. While everyone knows that going out to eat while visiting is ultra expensive, no one really talks about grocery stores in Iceland. We are here to tell you that Icelandic grocery stores are actually really great and not scary at all for foreigners [you can breathe a sigh of relief!]

5 Things To Know About Grocery Stores In Iceland | Iceland Travel Tips | Iceland Grocery Stores | What To Do In Iceland | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

Credit: Jackie White

5 Things To Know About Grocery Stores In Iceland

#1: Grocery stores in Iceland really aren’t that expensive

Grocery stores in Iceland are actually super affordable places for foreigners to shop. Unlike almost everything else in Iceland [gas, liquor, accommodations, dining out], prices at grocery stores in Iceland are relatively similar to shopping at your average store in America or Europe. For example, frozen pizza may cost $4-5 USD, chips cost $2 USD, and bread costs $3. All super reasonably priced when you consider that a simple hot dog and a drink can cost $15 USD from a gas station.

5 Things To Know About Grocery Stores In Iceland | Iceland Travel Tips | Iceland Grocery Stores | What To Do In Iceland | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

Credit: Wendy Bockman

#2: Grocery stores in Iceland offer tons of recognizable brands

Brand snobs rejoice! Grocery stores in Iceland cater to their many tourist shoppers by offering tons of brands we all know! From Doritos and Lays to recognizable frozen and canned food brands, there are plenty of options for those who want a taste of home. The country receives a ton of visitors from America, Europe, and Asia, and grocery stores in Iceland do a great job stocking some items that will remind us all of home.

5 Things To Know About Grocery Stores In Iceland | Iceland Travel Tips | Iceland Grocery Stores | What To Do In Iceland | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

#3: All grocery stores in Iceland are not created equal

Whether you are venturing to south Iceland or driving the whole Ring Road, it is important to recognize that not all grocery stores in Iceland are created equal. If you can, do the majority of your shopping in Reykjavik and just pick up perishables from other stores. Some grocery stores in Iceland offer a ton of selections while others are no larger than a gas station store. Despite this fact, all Icelandic grocery stores offer fresh produce, frozen goods, and dry foods. The difference will be in selection, size, and price.

5 Things To Know About Grocery Stores In Iceland | Iceland Travel Tips | Iceland Grocery Stores | What To Do In Iceland | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

Credit: Rudy De Meulder

#4: Bonus is the best for range of options/price

Although there are multiple different Icelandic grocery stores, you are going to want to shop at Bonus whenever possible. Bonus stores are easy to find because they are bright yellow with a huge pink pig logo. Bonus stores are mostly located near Reykjavik/surrounding area, with a few in west Iceland. Other stores such as Kronan or Netto don’t offer nearly as large a selection of affordable food products. Think of Bonus as Iceland’s version of Aldi and you are golden.

5 Things To Know About Grocery Stores In Iceland | Iceland Travel Tips | Iceland Grocery Stores | What To Do In Iceland | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

#5: You don’t have to bring your own bag

Unlike Aldi and many stores in Europe, grocery stores in Iceland provide their shoppers with free bags upon checkout. If you don’t get why this is such a big deal, then you have never shopped at a store that requires customers to bring their own bags or pay.

Get prepared for Iceland: 

Shopping in Icelandic grocery stores is quite a pleasant experience and much less stressful and expensive than you would imagine! Comment below and let us know if you have ever shopped in Iceland!

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32 thoughts on “5 Things To Know About Grocery Stores In Iceland

  1. Andrea W.

    Thanks for sharing! It’s intimidating to navigate other countries when visiting. I’m not sure I will find myself in Iceland, but I love this peek into their culture 🙂

  2. Linda M

    I have huge dreams to travel. This article was especially interesting to me, because I am vegan & its of huge importance to be able to find quality vegan food during international travels. I believe it’s doable in Iceland after reading this, Victoria.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Yes! Vegan food isn’t too hard to come by in Iceland as they have many of the same offerings as the USA. 🙂

  3. Kelly | A Pair of Passports

    Such a creative post! One of our favorite things about AirBnbs is that we can cook in our own apartment, even if we are just staying for a night. (That’s not to say that we often do, haha!). Grocery store shopping & home cooking is a great way to save money while traveling – or at least prioritize spending on more important stuff 🙂

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Yes! We love going to the grocery while on vacation, especially for drinks and snacks for day trips.

  4. Anne

    Great tips! Thanks, we are going this weekend (2nd trip) longer this time! Staying at an Airbnb place so will def need the grocery store! I love exploring grocery stores in different places, it’s fun!

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Yay!! Have so much fun! We love staying at Airbnb in Iceland…one of the best ways to see the country!

  5. Ambra

    Just á little nit picking from a local. Grocery store aren’t catering to tourist with their selection. We import a lot of foodstuff and my generation was brought up eating Cocoa Puffs and Cheerios for breakfast. I’m soon to be 60. So nothing to do with tourists. We have imported foods from both Europe and the US for a long time.
    Bonus is low cost as is Kronan and Netto (the last being open 24 hours selling yarn at great price). Hagkaup is more upscale to be found in several locations with a broader selection of goods (clothing, housewares, yarn, books and toys) in their 24 hour store centrally located in the city. We have two Iceland stores also 24 hour. And there is Kostur which carries a lot of products from the US (lots of Kirkland). 10-11 are overpriced limited selection shops that cater to working people and tourists.
    Then there is Fru Lauga, a cute organic food store. Costco will open this fall. Use Google maps to find these places.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Thank you for this wonderful comment!! We love education and learning as much as we can! That is wonderful the grocery stores are just selling what they would usually sell, our bad for thinking otherwise. YES! We heard about the Costco! We have them in Florida and they are awesome so you are in for a real treat! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Yes! Bonus is the best. We always travel with a small folding reusable bag and you are right, such a good thing to use!

  6. Jonathan

    Great advice ! We stayed airbnb in Reykjavik plus another area and bonus was amazing ,also fun to look round !
    They had a great selection of goodies so much so that we left plenty of food for the next people to stay and yes it’s a good idea to stock up for your road trip as the gas station food is pretty limited and expensive ! Good luck to everyone who gets to experience this magical island !

  7. Jody

    We lived in the grocery stores while we were there! We had all 3 of our kids and my wife’s parents and we stayed in a home in Selfoss. They were starting to recognize us in Kronan! They had way more than we thought they would and sometimes we would just have to Google something if we were sure what it was! Fun adventure for sure. I’m headed back for a photography trip in July. I’ll be stocking up with food every chance I get!

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Yes!!! Grocery stores are a life saver! What photography trip are you going back for? Sounds really awesome!

  8. Anna

    Heres just a few friendly pointers from a local and some advice. Although it’s irrational the Icelander in me couldn’t help but get annoyed when I read the bit about catering to tourists at our supermarkets. We are wayyyy more than just a tourist attraction, still I understand that it would be an easy assumption to make 🙂 I also wanted to point out that with the exception of the tinny clear bags that rip instantly stores don’t give you bags for free!!! You pay a few króna for each bag, I recommend carrying a tote bag with you to save money and for environmental reasons 😉

    Also I always recommend packing a lunch for day trips instead of buying hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches for 10$ on the road everyday its a tourist trap and prices go up every year. When I have friends visiting I recommend save our money for going to a nice meal and a few drinks in the city at the end of their trip instead, we have a lot of really good restaurants to choose from like Apotekið right downtown and Kopar by the old harbour trust me its worth every penny.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Thank you for your comment!! As a Floridian, we know how you feel about being seen only as a tourist attraction sometimes. That is not what we meant. In Florida, we do cater to other cultures so that other visitors have things they are familiar about when they are in our state. Not to say to get rid of the Icelandic identity. I hope that clears things up 🙂

  9. Hanane

    Hello, thank you for this awesome article!
    Im planning to go for a 8 days road trip in iceland in september. Im planning on going to one of the grocery stores and buy all the food/snacks/drinks i need for the trip. How much do u think will be the amount of the expenses?
    Thank you!

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Depending on what you buy, you could do it all for under $100USD, even cheaper if you will stick to the basics!

  10. Jenn Stanley

    Costco also just recently opened in Iceland between the airport and Reykjavic. If youre renting a car, this is a great option too!

  11. David

    Hi! Congratulations on this post. Really helpful. My wife and I are traveling with our 18-month-old son, and our concern is if there will be enough grocery around the country. I looked up for Bonus, Kronan and so on supermarkets, who aren’t that common especially at east and north of the ring road (as you said). We’re traveling for 15 days and would like to know if it’ll be difficult or not to buy veggies and fresh food all over the country. And, if there’re restaurants on the way (I read such differents things on the internet).
    Thanks a lot!

  12. Axel Diego

    On thing nr. 2; Icelandic stores usually always charge for a plastic bag. Unless it’s clothes or specialiced bags, which you probably do pay for in the upper price ranges. Unless you wanna carry everything in vegetable bags that are available at the counter.

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