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Iceland Travel Information

The Basics

Electricity

Iceland's electricity supply is 220 volts, 50Hz, as it is in most European countries. Plugs and sockets are of the two-pin type as in Continental Europe.

Language

Icelandic, but English is widely spoken.

Travel Health

There are no specific health risks associated with travel to Iceland, and no vaccinations are necessary for entry. Medical care in the country is of high quality. Payment is usually expected in cash from visitors. Travel health insurance is highly recommended. A reciprocal agreement exists whereby British citizens are entitled to free emergency medical treatment provided they possess a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Tipping

Service charges are included in bills and tipping is not expected in Iceland.

Safety Information

Iceland is an extremely safe country to visit, the only threats being a low level of petty crime and rapidly changing weather conditions, which necessitate keeping a check if you are on the road.

Local Customs

Smoking in bars, restaurants and on public transport in Iceland is illegal.

Business

Most business in Iceland tends to take place in the capital, Reykjavik. Business meetings tend to be formal, with smart dress essential. It is worth handing out business cards, and initial greetings are usually accompanied by a handshake. Punctuality should be respected. Meetings are usually conducted in English when dealing with foreigners. It is worth noting that Icelanders generally go by their first name, and telephone directory listings are alphabetical by first name. Business hours are usually from 8am to 4pm (summer) and 9am to 5pm (winter). Most offices are closed on weekends.

Communications

The international country code for Iceland is +354. The outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g., 0027 for South Africa). City/area codes are not in use. Note that Icelanders are listed by their first name in the telephone directory, not the last. Iceland has the highest per capital mobile phone use in the world with GSM networks and there are roaming agreements with most international mobile phone companies. Iceland Telecom rents mobile phones to visitors. There are numerous Internet cafes around the country.

Duty Free

Travellers to Iceland over 18 years do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 250g of other tobacco products. Travellers over 20 years are also allowed 1 litre spirits and 1 litre wine, or 1 litre spirits and 6 litres beer; or 1 litre wine and 6 litres beer; or 2.25 litres wine; and food items up to 3kg not exceeding kr13,000. Permits from Post & Telecom Authorities are required for cordless phones, remote controls or radio transmitters, but not for a GSM mobile phone. Prohibited items include narcotics and drugs, meat products, weapons and powdered or moist snuff.

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We are looking for contributors for our Iceland travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Iceland or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.

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