In this guide to Supermarkets in Iceland, we’ll be covering everything we learnt from shopping daily at stores across the country during our trip to the land of Ice and Fire.
It’s no secret that Iceland is expensive, with accommodation, internal travel, attractions and food all at a rate of 50% or higher when compared to elsewhere in Europe and North America.
However, we don’t believe that’s enough of a reason not to visit the incredible natural beauty and inspiring landscape this country has to offer.
Shopping in the supermarkets of Iceland during your visit is going to help you significantly save money without too much of a compromise. In fact, it’s just one way of saving money while travelling to Iceland that made our trip possible.
This is exactly why we put this guide of the best 9 food stores in Iceland. Each supermarket on this list has a short brief about each to give you an idea of what to expect as some of these supermarkets are cheaper than others, and some sell specialist goods ideal if you’re travelling on a specific diet.
Bonus and the next on our list Kronan are the budget supermarkets you’re most likely to see in Iceland. These stores aren’t anything close to the Walmart or Asda you might be used to but they cover the basic food needs.
Kronan is another budget supermarket, they are known to have a slightly better selection when compared to Bonus especially when looking at fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and specialist foods. We shopped at a Kronan supermarket in Iceland because it was the closest to our hotel.
Netto sort of reminds me of Aldi or Lidl, not only will you find an array of food and drink items here you’ll also find ‘weekly special buys’ that include random things such as toilet seats or even Icelandic knitting yarn.
Netto Iceland isn’t the cheapest of the supermarkets, however, they do have stores that are open 24 hours a day – so if you’ve had a late night and everywhere else is closed you’re likely to be able to get some food (or a new toilet seat) here…
If you enjoy shopping at Whole Foods in the US or Waitrose / Ocado in the UK then Vioir is the supermarket for you.
It’s not as cheap as the three supermarkets above, but it does offer the best selection of quality foods in the whole of Iceland.
Hagkaup is the Walmart / Asda of Iceland. Here you’ll find a wide range of foods as well as; toys, cosmetics, homewares, clothes etc. In terms of pricing and product availability, it’s pretty average on both accounts.
However, much like Netto one of the benefits of shopping here is that many stores are open 24 hours a day.
10-11 are convenience-based stores. They offer a limited selection of products at higher prices than you’d find at other supermarkets in Iceland.
They are situated in locations to cater to the working population and tourists. The food is mediocre despite the added convenience cost so I advise only shopping here as a last resort.
If you head out of the capital of Iceland Reykjavik either on your own or as part of an organised tour then you’re likely to notice supermarkets starting with the word Samkaup and less of the bigger budget stores mentioned above such as Bonus and Kronan.
The Samkaup stores are considerably more expensive than the budget alternatives such as B?nus and Kronan and again cater to convenience.
Convenience in the sense that it’s unlikely you’re going to see another budget supermarket for miles (view the map below for confirmation). They know that for this very reason they can charge you a pretty hefty premium – and they do!
8. Samkaup Strax
Samkaup Strax is the ‘express’ / ‘local’ alternative to Samkaup Urval. Here you’ll find less of a variety than Samkaup Urval but again higher prices.
My mind was literally blown when I found that this is one of the budget supermarkets in Reykjavik!
However, while Iceland may be an affordable supermarket in Iceland, it does centre around selling frozen goods. This will often then require you to have accommodation with access to a freezer in order to store the goods.