When I travel to Iceland, there are always a few things I do right after arrival. I want to write them down here so that you can be inspired and well-prepared from day one.

So here’s a brief overview…

  • Stock up at the duty-free shop
  • Activate mobile internet roaming
  • Withdraw some cash
  • Pick up the rental car

…and here’s the detailed explanation:

Stock up at the duty-free shop

Right after landing, you should stock up on some things at the duty-free shop in the airport: a local SIM card and alcoholic drinks are always the first things that come to mind for me because it’s nice to be online immediately and because alcohol is heavily taxed in Iceland. But you can also buy sweets and electronics here. I doubt that you’ll get a bargain, though.

Activate mobile internet roaming

If you don’t want to buy a local SIM card (e.g. if you have a EU SIM), you should activate roaming at this point in order to use mobile internet. Make sure to check beforehand with your provider and your own tariff whether you will incur any costs here, but in most cases, you can use the data volume that is available to you in Germany in Iceland as well. You just have to activate roaming. To do this, simply enter “roaming” in the search field in the settings of your smartphone and activate it.

Withdraw money

Even though you can pay for everything and everywhere with a credit card in Iceland, it makes sense to have a few Icelandic krona in your pocket. I usually withdraw about 10,000 ISK from an ATM. You usually get a better exchange rate here than at the counter, so keep your euros for the return journey in your suitcase.

Pick up the rental car

In the airport terminal, there are different counters for the big car rental companies. The parking lots are usually a bit far from the airport, so a shuttle bus is often offered. When picking up the car, it’s important to inspect it carefully and report any damage that has not already been noted. Take a few pictures or a video of the car before you start driving, so you can easily prove whether any damage was already present or not when you return it.

If you’re traveling without a rental car, you usually go to the Flybus at this point, which takes you directly to the BSI terminal in Reykjavik.

Have fun in Iceland!