Iceland is ranked as the safest country in the world, so if you’re a new solo female traveler, Iceland is a great place to start.
I’ll start off by saying that Iceland, is the Place Where Dreams Are Made!
There is a charm about this country that you feel when you first arriving in Reykjavik, that follows you around your journey throughout the country. Iceland is also home to some of the most beautiful landscape, that can’t be found anywhere else in this world.
- *Currency: Icelandic Króna
- *Language: Icelandic (most of the locals know English)
- * Population: 330,000
- *Known For: The Northern Lights, The Blue Lagoon, safest country in the world, great nightlife and music scene.
- *Perfect Trip Length: Between 4-7 days, especially if you want to see the northern lights.
- *Cost: Expensive (one of the most expensive cities in Europe)
Iceland still remains my favorite country in the world, alongside Italy, after visiting about 50 countries. There is a magic to this country that you just have to experience for yourself. It was also one of my first countries that I traveled to solo. I know that being a solo female traveler might seem scary to some, but Iceland is honestly the perfect place to start and a good place to break the ice. If you’ve ever questioned being a solo female traveler or traveling solo in general, check out: Why Traveling Solo Is So Important: VIDEO to inspire you on why you should do it.
Now let’s get started at the Solo Female Traveler’s Guide to Iceland!
Airport Transportation to Reykjavik – Iceland
Most people start their Iceland adventure in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.
There are a few ways of getting to the city center. The cheapest and most popular way is by bus, the Airport Express. The bus ride from KEF airport to Reykjavik takes about 35-45mins.
You can purchase tickets upon arrival or online (but not necessary).
Tickets cost: $21 USD (Normally cheaper to buy a roundtrip ticket)
Taking the FlyBus is another way of getting to Reykjavik. It cost about the same of the Airport Express.
A private taxi, one-way, cost $120 USD.
Where to Stay
If you’re a first-time solo traveler or new to solo travels and looking to make some friends (WHERE: To Make Friends When You Travel Solo), I suggest staying at a hostel. There is a beautiful hostel in the heart of Reykjavik called LOFT, seriously the perfect -location. Very clean, chic, friendly people and staff. You can choose from an all female or all male dorm, or co-ed (normally 6-8 in a room, with private shower and bathroom). My favorite feature to this hostel is their lounge area located on the top floor where you can enjoy some wine or beer. They also have a patio and if you’re lucky, you can even spot the northern lights from it.
Book the LOFT Hostel here.
If you’re looking for a luxury experience, check out these beautiful and cozy hotels in Reykjavik. Some hotels in Reykjavik are styled like an apartment, which is also a popular option.
Best Hotel in Reykjavik:
- Black Pearl Apartment Hotel
- Alda Hotel Reykjavík
- Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre
- Diamond Suites
- Room With A View Luxury Apartments
- Reykjavik Residence Apartment Hotel
Must Do Things in Iceland
You can start off by getting to know the capital of Reykjavik by exploring it by yourself or doing a Reykjavik City Walking Tour. I also know that there are free (tip base) walking tours.
Iceland is known as the country of fire and ice, active volcanos, beautiful glaciers, black sand beaches, the northern lights and more. There is so much to see and do in Iceland. I went on a 5 day trip to Iceland and didn’t get to see all the amazing things there is to do and can’t wait to go back and do them all.
You can pick from full-day tours that last around 10hrs and leave you exhausted and breathless, but worth every second or you can do half-day tours or special excursions.
THE BLUE LAGOON
A first must see and do is the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s pride and joy. The Blue Lagoon is opened 365 days of the year, rain (snow) or shine. I actually visited the Blue Lagoon in 35’F, while it was pouring rain and it was actually pretty amazing because the water is so warm.
The Blue Lagoon is opened from 8am-8pm.
I would suggest getting there early and booking a tour that will pick you from your hotel and drop you off unless you’re planning on renting a car.
You can purchase tickets upon arrival or book in advance here- Blue Lagoon Spa with Roundtrip Transport from Reykjavik or Private Round-Trip Transport to Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik. I actually met some pretty awesome people on my tour bus, who later became friends and we booked other excursions together. So if you’re a female solo traveler, this is a great place to make friends.
I personally would set a half a day or full day for this because after leaving the Blue Lagoon, you will be exhausted.
A HUGE word of advice, DO NOT PUT YOUR HAIR IN THAT WATER LADIES! It will destroy your hair, you’ll thank me later. I promise you, it’s not worth it. Over 8 washes and my hair was horrible because of the amount of silica and sulfur in the water.
I wrote a whole post on The Incredible Blue Lagoon Experience.
THE NORTHERN LIGHTS
If there is one thing you must see in Iceland, it’s the northern lights, well..after the Blue Lagoon.
The time to see the northern lights in Iceland is from late October until the beginning of March. The best times would be December-February. (Read:Everything You Need To Know About The Northern Lights)
How do you see the northern lights? You have to be INSANELY lucky to randomly just see it. There is a lot of science in seeing the northern lights. So your options are renting a car and literally driving all over the country to get away from city light, for best sighting, which could kind of be a headache, but doable.
The best option is by an organized city tour. Most tours are 5hrs and drive you all over the country for the best sighting. They have people throughout the country that report to them and then the bus will take you there. Tickets are also reusable if weather conditions aren’t at best. So if you booked it for one night and the weather is bad, you will get an email at 5pm for rescheduling for the next day. Totally worth it. My tour got canceled 3 days in a row before actually seeing them. I didn’t end up seeing them until my last day and it was an amazing sighting! I personally would recommand booking it for day 1 or 2 and seeing how it plays out, in case what happened to me, happens to you. It’s very common.
Northern Lights Tours in Iceland:
- Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik
- Small-Group Northern Lights Tour by Super Jeep from Reykjavik
- Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik by Bus
- Northern Lights Viewing Cruise from Reykjavik
- Kopar Fine Dining Dinner and Northern Lights Cruise from Reykjavik
For my whole story on seeing the northern lights, plus photos, check out: Chasing The Northern Lights: Iceland. Also, helpful article, Everything You Need To Know About The Northern Lights.
Other Great Tours
Best Full-Day Tours
The most popular full-day tour in Iceland and my personal favorite, which I highly recommend is The Golden Circle Tour. It’s a day packed with beautiful sight-seeing and stunning landscape unlike nowhere else in the world. On this tour, you will be visiting the Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir geothermal and Thingvellir National Park. (9hr)
Options for the Golden Circle Tour:
- The Golden Circle and Fontana Wellness from Reykjavik – $108 USD
- Golden Circle Express Tour from Reykjavik -$88 USD
- Golden Circle Afternoon Tour from Reykjavik $89 USD
Another great tour, for those who love waterfalls and want to see a beautiful black sand beach with icebergs, check out, the Ultimate South Coast Day Trip from Reykjavik including Urridafoss and Dyrholaey (10hr). This is also a MUST personally.
These 2 tours will give you a real feel for Iceland and all of its beauty.
For animal lovers
Iceland is also very well known for their gorgeous Icelandic Horses and the Horse Riding Tour on Úlfarsfell Mountain with Pickup from Reykjavik is amazing. Everyone who I’ve talked to that did this loved it. The Iceland Super Saver: Puffin Cruise plus Whale-Watching Tour from Reykjavik is also a great tour.
More awesome tours:
- Glacier Hike and Glacier Lagoon Boat Ride in Skaftafell
- Icelandic Sagas and Glacier Cave Private Tour
- Snorkeling Silfra Tour from Reykjavik
- Half-Day Lava Cave Exploration Tour from Reykjavik
- South Iceland Tour from Reykjavik: Waterfalls, Volcanoes and Glaciers
As a foreigner and a vegetarian, I was shocked to see what’s on the popular menus of most of the Icelandic restaurants. If you’re a meat eater I’m sure you’ll do just fine.
A few things to try for the daring souls; whale soup, rotten shark, sheep head and well…testicles (seriously).
As a vegetarian/vegan Iceland was my most difficult country to visit as far as food goes, however, there are a few Italian restaurants in the city center of Reykjavik and also a Subway, all walking distance.
ENJOY YOUR TRIP TO ICELAND! I know you’ll be safe. If you have any question, feel free to comment below.
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