Iceland : Safety by City
Iceland is a country in the North Atlantic Ocean, located between Europe and North America and as such, considered Nordic European.
Its name though, is a bit misleading, because although 10% of it is covered in glaciers, its climate is surprisingly mild and it boasts a number of geothermal hot-spots and hot springs.
Iceland’s unique landscape is not only gorgeous and, well, a bit unconventional year-round, it also allows for many different adventures: it flaunts a diverse marine life, you can actually go whale watching or ice climbing and if that’s not enough, it offers an exploring trip to magma chambers.
Another interesting fact about Iceland is that, because it is so close to the Arctic Circle, the amount of daylight varies, and sometimes the sun sets only for a couple of hours, and it doesn’t even get fully dark before it rises again!
Iceland is an immensely interesting country and very safe to visit.
Warnings & Dangers in Iceland
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Iceland is a very safe country to visit. It is actually considered the safest country in the world, which still doesn't mean that you should completely relax: petty crime has recently been on the rise in the capital city, Reykjavik.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Taxis and other means of transportation are very safe and reliable in Iceland.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There is almost no pickpocketing in Iceland, it is a country that boasts extremely low crime rates. Avoid flashing your valuables in public, or leaving them in plain sight and you should encounter no problems.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
The biggest threats for tourists in Iceland actually lie in nature. The most important thing for tourists and visitors is to monitor local news for information on the weather (since it can change very quickly) and follow the advice of authorities as well as the signs you see on the road, or anywhere in nature.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Mugging is uncommon in Iceland, and so is kidnapping. However, as in any country, it is recommended that you remain vigilant at all times. Be wary of people trying to distract you, as it might be a trick to try to steal from you.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There haven't been any terrorist attacks in Iceland's recent history. However, they shouldn't be ruled out, so remain aware of your surroundings at all times.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Scams are also not common in this country, but you should use your common sense and double-check everything. Be wary of people offering you help with anything or giving you unsolicited advice or directions.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Iceland is very safe for women traveling solo, probably one of the safest countries for female travelers. Just follow the rules of common sense such as avoiding deserted and poorly lit streets and areas, and your trip should go smoothly.
So... How Safe Is Iceland Really?
Iceland is considered to be one of the safest places in the world, so if there’s any tourist destination where you can relax, this is it, because there are very low chances that you will get mugged or robbed.
Crime rates are generally low, excluding Reykjavík where, recently, there have been reports of petty theft and night-time violence.
The greatest threats for tourists in Iceland are actually risks of natural disasters.
It is very important to do exactly what the signs in your nearest vicinity tell you to do.
So, follow the signs, and if there are no signs, follow your common sense.
There have been tourists getting hurt or even killed up in the mountains or on the sea usually after not following safety advice.
You should be careful when approaching glaciers, big waves or big waterfalls, and actually, avoid them unless you know what you’re doing.
You can also get caught up in a volcanic eruption, even though the chances of that happening are really low.
You should also be very careful when skiing as sudden weather shifts are very common in Iceland.
Since Reykjavik is a big party town and nightlife begins around 1 AM, clubs still being crowded at 4 AM, a violent altercation at night is always a possibility.
How Does Iceland Compare?
- Visas - Many countries do not need a visa to enter Iceland, just make sure that your passport is valid during the duration of your stay: no additional validity is needed. Since Iceland is part of the Schengen Agreement, a Schengen visa is valid. However, if you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Icelandic króna is the official currency in Iceland. ATMs are widely used and available, and credit cards are accepted and used throughout the country.
- Weather - Iceland is gorgeous to visit year-round. Despite its name, the climate in Iceland is rather mild. Generally, the southern part of the country has a somewhat wetter and warmer climate than the north part, and the coldest part of Iceland is the Central Highlands.
- Airports - Keflavík International Airport also known as Reykjavík–Keflavík Airport, is the largest airport in Iceland and located about 50 km southwest of Reykjavik.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Iceland, since it covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Iceland Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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21 Reviews on Iceland
Iceland I Would Go To
Lived in Hofn and Keflavik a long time ago (1976-1977) as a USAF military member. Icelandics are not the friendliest people I have ever met but they are professional and usually tolerant of annoyances like tourists. The hot dogs were out of this world. The women were quite beautiful. The biggest problem at the time there was the negative publicity the US, in particular, received. The second biggest problem was the Icelandic police. They were the gestapo and spared no opportunity to search your person, handbag or jacket.
there are no such thing as iceland police or iceland military
iceland has police and milltary
not true again
Yes there is police in iceland but they don’t hold guns
and THERE IS NO MILITARY IN ICELAND
There is US military presence in Iceland
The U.S. Military holds a presence in Iceland, including air force.
I think Iceland is safe
Definitely! I lived here my entire life, an awesome place and kind people overall.
Not safe Iceland one day they shoot a person
Hi Leah, this is completely taken out of proportion. In 2017, Iceland investigated its first (!) potential abduction/murder case. Domestic violence (e.g., within the family) can be found in the safest countries. But this does not affect anybody traveling there as a tourist. The only thing killing you in Iceland: prices for food and hotels.
That’s true but it is safer than usa
I have lived in Iceland for 15 years, and let me say, IT IS FILLED WITH GANGS!! All reviews are faked, please cancel your plans IMETDALLY!!!!!!!
Thanks for your tip. I suspect every tourist who has ever visited Iceland has been bribed and sworn to secrecy about the gangs which is why we don’t hear about them.
why would gangs care about what people thought of Iceland?
Iceland is safe
It’s much safer than most countries, I think because it’s a relatively small island (smaller than the U.S. for example), it gets a sort of local charm you just don’t find in most places. I believe you are safer traveling in tourist areas and shopping malls more than in quiet streets at night, but still, overall, very safe.
its the safest country
Safe and a pleasure to visit
Iceland was voted one of the safest countries in the world for a reason. We’ve encountered zero issues during our one month stay there. Icelanders seem to be friendly by default, they’re always happy to answer questions.
Great food, friendly hotel staff etc.
Something else entirely - Iceland is amazing!
Iceland is probably one of the safer countries out there. There’s no comparison to the US for example. None whatsoever when it comes to safety. People here generally mind their own business, they might not be the friendliest people out there but they are ok in my book. You won’t hear of pickpockets or any of the things you normally hear in most developed countries and cities. This place is safe. As for the things you can visit and explore, well there are plenty of those here.
One of the things you must absolutely experience is the geothermal spas found near Reykjavik. The water goes up to 39 degrees Celsius and is great for your skin and overall health. Get a mask (of mud) on and just sit in the warm water and you’ll probably feel 10 years younger afterwards. Then you can go to the Strokkur Geysir which is one of more known geysers in Iceland in the world. It shoots water up to 29-30 meters in the air at regular intervals, usually just a few minutes apart.
You can’t come to Iceland and not see the Aurora Borealis. This is such a spectacular sight, like nothing else you’ve seen for sure. These lights are not predictable so you will need to be on the lookout for them. Hotels around the area will try to help out by predicting when they can be seen. You can also take a tour to the countryside and have a better chance at experiencing the Northern Lights in their full splendor.
If you are more adventurous try to do some hiking in Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve. You will love it! There’s also the Skaftafell Ice Cave (covered in blue light), Askja Caldera (a huge geothermal pool in the middle of a live volcano) or
the Gullfoss Waterfall (a spectacular waterfall where you’ll have to be careful not to get too close and fall over).
Iceland is amazing...
I originally only went to Iceland because it was a dream of my daughter’s to go. I was so pleasantly surprised by the super warm, kind hearted nature of the locals. Our car broke down, and we had several people help us until we were back on the road. Iceland is a stunningly beautiful country, full of natural wonders to see. T
he calm, kind and trusting people of this country make it my all time favourite country to visit. This was a suprise to both my daughter and I… I will go again as soon as I can… Brilliant!?
New york new york!!!!!!!
Soooo dangerous got robbed 20 times in 2 days
New york is soooo much safer and its best state ever every state is bad compared to New york