solo travel

9 Useful Tips for Solo Travel in Iceland

Did you know that Iceland is amongst the best destinations for solo traveling? The land of ice and fire seems to offer an incredible combo of safety, simplicity and adventure on every corner, which each solo traveler looks for!

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Dominika Kolomazníková

14. June 2018

Solo traveling has lately become a trend not only for the young generation but for travelers of all ages and backgrounds. Individual traveling is obviously not for everyone, so if you still hesitate on heading the road on your own, here are my 9 tips for your solo traveling in Iceland!

1. Speak English

One of the most common questions from tourists coming to Iceland is what is the language of the country. Icelanders have their own language, Icelandic, which comes from the Old Norse. A great advantage for you as a foreigner in Iceland is that almost everyone speaks fluent English. I can guarantee you that you will have no difficulties with communication as all Icelanders learn English at school from very young age and today they are also used to tourism. However, on the countryside, it might get a bit more challenging, but it is still better than in many other countries where English is not a native language.

2. Make Friends

Solo traveling is by far the best way how to make friends during your travels in Iceland. As you are on your own, you tend to be more open and socialise much more than when you travel with your mates. If you want to make sure you meet “the right people”, I would recommend you to stay in a social hostel, grab a drink in an international bar or even join an event for foreigners visiting Iceland! In Reykjavik, many hostels and bars organise evening for internationals, pub quiz nights, pub crawls or speed dates which can help you to meet fellow travelers and also easier approach the locals. Don't forget to visit a thermal swimming pool which is considered to be the best place for Icelanders to relax and socialise.

People sitting and enjoying food and coffee.

3. Be Independent

Do you know that never ending struggle of planning your holiday? The bigger your group is, the longer it takes to agree on something. Now imagine how easy it can be to travel solo! From my personal experience I can say that once you try traveling on your own you will never want to share your adventures with anyone else. Solo traveling allows you to be completely independent, social, easy-going and it makes you discover your dream destination in a totally different way than with your friends or family around.

solo travel - be independent

4. Say Yes to Isolation

No doubt, Iceland is well known for its uniqueness when it comes to socialisation. After all, it is a relatively big island with population a bit more than 300.000 from which over two-thirds live in Reykjavik. Living in Iceland, you can hardly meet someone with whom you would have no mutual friends, especially when you are staying on the countryside. Iceland is a perfect place when you are looking for isolation and you are not afraid of being alone. Hiking through lava fields, exploring the landscape while driving your car or soaking in a natural hot spring, these are only a few activities that you can perfectly enjoy on your own!

Horses outside on a snowy day.

5. Stay in a Hostel

Staying in a social hostel should be on your bucket list when coming solo to Iceland. Check out my list of best budget-friendly accommodations in Iceland and I'm sure you won't regret. Hostels are usually the most popular for backpackers and low-cost travelers, therefore there is a good chance you will meet a mate for your future Iceland's adventure!

5. Get Adventurous

Planning a solo travel to Iceland certainly has many advantages but it also requires a lot of energy and good organisation. You should have good managerial skills in order to prepare a perfect holiday since there is no one else to help you. On the other hand, freedom that you explore during solo traveling can never be replaced by anything else. Use this opportunity and experience Iceland on its best! Many tour operators offer exciting activities which are equally suitable for individuals as for groups. Whale watching, Snowmobiling or Lava Caving, all of these can easily be enjoyed by solo travelers.

snowmobiling adventure

7. Rent a Car

Self drive based trip in Iceland is the most popular way of traveling around the country. Renting a car in Iceland is very easy, however it can get a bit expensive for a single traveler. If you decide on exploring Iceland from a comfortable car, I would recommend you to team up with some fellow travelers you may meet on your way so you could share the cost and also have more fun while driving!

8. Try Hitch-Hiking

Hitch-hiking has been on increasing interest in Iceland. Especially in the summer the more and more visitors try to stop a random car and get a ride from both locals and other tourists. I personally am a big fan of hitch-hiking and I've done it multiple times here in Iceland. It has always been easy since locals are extremely friendly and travelers in Iceland very helpful. Although I would not recommend you to hitch-hike during the off season (winter months) and in the remote places such as the West fjords.

hitch hiking

9. Relax - Iceland is Safe!

Scored as the most peaceful country in the world, Iceland is specifically great for solo female travelers! Not a big surprise that Iceland has the lowest criminality in the world. Walking the streets of Reykjavik, venturing the road on your own or hiking in the national parks, you can truly feel safe. Honestly, in Iceland, a bigger fear comes from the nature than from the people.