We are Arka & Rupali, travel bloggers from Bangalore, India. We’re full time corporate professionals with a common passion for travelling. We love travelling to offbeat places around the world and focus on budget travelling. Arka loves clicking while Rupali loves writing. We backpacked across Iceland in February 2020 for our honeymoon. You can read about our experience in The Exploring Eyes.
Most people don’t think about budgeting or cheap grocery stores in Reykjavik when planning their trip to Iceland. However, there are ways to make your vacation more affordable, especially when it comes to food. The best way to do this is to skip the restaurant and hit the grocery store!
Grocery shopping is a big travel cost
If you replace daily dining out with cooking your own food for the duration of the trip, you can significantly reduce your food budget. Hostels, BnBs, and vacation homes in Iceland all have dedicated cooking spaces.
Whether you have chosen Reykjavik as your base for different tours or are self-driving around the country, it’s a good idea to pick up your groceries and cook your own meals for a budget travel experience.
There are many grocery stores in Iceland where you can buy staples for the duration of your trip. It’s important to remember that what’s cheap by Iceland standards might not be as cheap as in your home country, but it can still be a bargain compared to your other options.
The best place to buy basic grocery items in Iceland is a supermarket. The big supermarket chains have outlets throughout the country and range from budget to more pricey options.
This isn’t the fanciest supermarket but it’s certainly the cheapest.You can find all of your basic staples here. In fact, the attractive price range makes it the most prominent budget supermarket chain in Iceland. There are about 31 stores in all of Iceland and 19 in the Reykjavik area alone.
Mon – Thu – 11.00 – 18.30
Friday – 10.00 – 19.00
Saturday – 10.00 – 18.00
Sunday – 11.00 – 18.00
Check out their website for any seasonal change in timings
Outlets all over Iceland, especially along the Ring Road.
Usually closed by 18.30
For our 5-day trip to Iceland, we stocked up on food items like bread, sandwich spread, eggs, biscuits, wafers, noodles, juices, chips etc. from Bonus. This was all for approximately 6500 ISK and lasted all five days.
2. Kronan - Variety within a budget
This is the next best alternative to Bonus. Kronan has comparatively larger varieties of fresh produce and health food options. It also offers vegan options. Shops are bright and big and are open until late evenings. There are around 20 stores operating in Iceland. The majority are in the southwest region.
Different stores around Iceland have different timings. However, most of the stores operate from 10.00 – 20.00
Large variety of fresh produce and health food options
Open until late evening
Most of the stores are in South and Southwest Iceland with fewer options in other regions.
3. Nettó – Food & household under one roof
Nettó is a department store that offers cheap groceries along with household items. These stores are open 24x7 and offer home delivery. If you need food items along with basic grocery stuff like napkins, toilet cleaners etc., all under one roof, this is the place to go.
The store usually remains open from 10.00 – 19.00 in Sep-May
In June-Aug, the weekday timing in 09:00-20:00 and weekend timing is 10.00 – 19.00
However, most of the stores in Reykjavik are open 24x7
Food as well as household items under one roof
A variety of other consumer goods like wool, stationery, games, etc. are also available.
Can order online
Comparatively fewer outlets
If you are backpacking through Iceland, Bonus, Kronan & Nettó are your best options for a budget Iceland grocery shopping. Stock up on food from any of these for the duration of your stay and cook your own meals to cut short your total meal expenses.
There are other supermarkets as well in Iceland, but they don’t exactly help with budget traveling. However, here is a list of mid to high ranging supermarkets in Iceland.
Mid to High Range Grocery Stores in Iceland
An upscale hypermarket with a wide variety of consumer goods. Here you can find food, household items, cosmetics, electronics, clothing, and everything else. It’s not extremely expensive but it’s also not a budget stop. It remains open until midnight.
This is the most expensive chain of supermarkets. It’s open 24/7 and most convenient to visit for a quick purchase of random items that you need immediately. The stores are also located at convenient locations like the airport and right outside downtown hostels that may lure tourists who do not know about budget shops in Iceland. If you are a budget traveller, this is not the place for you.
3. Corner stores
These are not chain supermarkets but small stores run by different individuals or family businesses. The prices are comparatively high compared to Bonus and Kronan, but they also add a nice personal touch. There’s personal service, authentic items, and a few also serve hot food. These stores include Kjötborg, Melabúðin & Pétursbúð.