Traveling to Iceland soon and preparing your trip? Get ready to be blown away by the sheer beauty of this country, but make sure to avoid high roaming charges. Get yourself a local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card for Iceland! In this guide you will read everything about buying a sim card for Iceland with up to date prices as per August 2023, the best 4G/5G network in Iceland, where to buy a sim card, the best e-sim cards for Iceland, info about buying a sim card at Reykjavik Airport and even info about international sim cards for Iceland.
It took me 106 countries to finally travel to Iceland. As expected it turned out to be an epic trip with glaciers, hikes, caves, black sand beaches and even the northern light.
As a full time travel blogger and nomad the first thing I do when visiting a new country is finding the best way to get connected. Often that is by buying a local prepaid sim card or quickly getting an e-sim card online. As I am also trying to visit every country in the world you can already find more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world: USA, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Dublin, Denmark, Copenhagen, Ireland, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Thailand, South Africa, Kenya, Europe, Asia, etc.
So whenever you are planning your next adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice. Bookmark me!
Why buying a sim card in Iceland
Isn't Iceland most famous for its outdoor activities and road trips? So what if you are looking for directions on Google Maps or there is an emergency in your family? You are going to wait for the hotels WiFi? Bars and restaurants in Iceland mostly have free WiFi as well, but since everything is so remote, don't rely on these slow public WiFi connections.
Also reminding you that public WiFi is through an UNSECURED connection. Be sure to protect your data, the use of a VPN in these cases is recommended.
Getting a prepaid sim card or an e-sim card for traveling in Iceland is easy. It is set up fast and you get a good amount of GB's for a fair price. For these reasons I always recommend travelers to stay connected when traveling abroad. It simply makes traveling so much easier.
Traveltomtom recommends a Simmin sim card for Iceland as they have by far the best network and 10 GB data for 1 month will cost you around $23.
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Iceland is an e-sim card. Traveltomtom also recommends e-sim cards for Iceland and they already start from $4.5 USD.
Another great alternative is a travel sim card. If you are looking to buy an international sim card with data that is valid in multiple countries I recommend you to check out my article with a comparison of the best global sim cards with data for travelers in 2023 and pick the one that suits your trip. There are some great sim card deals for traveling to Iceland.
Make sure your phone is unlocked before buying a prepaid sim card in Iceland, an international sim or an e-sim card. If your phone is locked none of these sim cards will work in your phone. If you are unsure about this then ask your mobile internet provider in your home country before your trip to Iceland.
Best e-sim cards for Iceland
There is no easier way to get data on your phone when traveling to Iceland in 2023 than using an e-sim card without visiting a shop or swapping physical sim cards. How? Order an e-sim card! All new smartphones are equipped with the technology to use e-sim cards. You order online, receive a code, simply follow the instructions and you are good to go. Here are the best e-sim card deals for Iceland:
- 1 GB for 7 days = $4.5 USD
- 2 GB for 15 days = $7.5 USD
- 3 GB for 30 days = $10 USD
- 5 GB for 30 days = $14 USD
- 10 GB for 30 days = $23 USD
- 20 GB for 30 days = $36 USD
Click here to order an e-sim card for Iceland directly online.
These are data-only e-sim cards for use in Iceland only and calls are not supported, but it is a great way to stay connected in Iceland right? These e-sim cards from Nenna Mobile operate on the Nova 4G/LTE network in Iceland.
There are also international e-sim cards for Iceland. They are more expensive but they include calling and texting. These international e-sim cards are valid in all of Europe and a lot more countries:
- 10 GB data + $2 calling credit (top-up possible) for 30 days = $24.90 USD
- 8 GB + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = $29.90 USD
- 20 GB + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = $49.90 USD
Before ordering an e-sim card for Iceland make sure your phone is e-sim card compatible. All newer smartphones are e-sim card compatible.
If you like the comfort of ordering a sim card for Iceland online, but your phone is not e-sim card compatible or you simply prefer a physical sim card then click on the banner above for a bunch of international sim cards that can be used in Iceland. You can order them directly online and the sim card will be shipped to your home address before your trip to Iceland. You can already get a sim card with 12 GB data + unlimited calls/text in all of Europe for less than $30. Click on the link for more info.
Iceland sim cards and free roaming in Europe
Since 2017 there are no roaming costs anymore within Europe and since Iceland is part of the EU you can use your Iceland sim card in every other country in Europe at no extra costs. That simply means that you can use the data bundle of your Iceland sim card also in Amsterdam, London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, etc. However, when buying a sim card in Iceland always ask the provider for the free EU roaming restrictions.
There are also designated sim cards for tourists traveling to Europe. In my comparison of the best prepaid and e-sim cards for Europe in 2023 you will find a list of (e)-sim cards that you can directly order online and are valid in all if Europe.
For more info about free EU roaming, Brexit and UK sim cards, etc. check out my complete guide with tips for buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival in Europe in 2023.
Mobile internet operators in Iceland
There are 3 mobile internet providers in Iceland: Vodafone, Siminn and Nova. All of them offer prepaid sim cards for tourists.
Where to buy a sim card for Iceland
Buying a sim card at Reykjavik Airport Keflavik
The most convenient place to buy a prepaid sim card in Iceland is upon arrival at Reykjavik Airport. As soon as you walk out of the Arrivals door on your right hand side you will see a lime green convenient store. This is the only place in Reykjavik Airport where you can buy a prepaid sim card. At the convenience store they sell prepaid sim cards for tourists from Vodafone, Siminn and Nova.
Iceland sim card insider tip: I asked the guy behind the counter which provider had the best network and he was clear in his answer: Siminn! Find more info about the best 4G/5G network in Iceland in 2023 below.
The convenience store is open 24 hours and you can pay by credit card. There is also an Elko store at Reykjavik Airport that sells prepaid sim cards for tourists.
Buying a sim card in Reykjavik city center
Unfortunately in the city center of Reykjavik you can’t find any of the mobile phone stores. The Siminn, Nova and Vodafone store are all located a little outside of the city center. So even more reasons to buy a sim card at Reykjavik Airport when traveling to Iceland and you didn't buy a sim card online.
As part of my research I went to the stores of the official mobile internet providers in Reykjavik and found out that Vodafone, Siminn and Nova sell the exact same Iceland sim cards as you can get at the airport and also at gas stations.
Your best bid for buying a sim card in Iceland if you missed the opportunity at Reykjavik KEF airport is actually at gas stations.
To save precious holiday time and the hassle to buy a sim card on arrival in Iceland I recommend buying a sim card online. Especially since the e-sim cards for Iceland are great deals for travelers. Click here for buying a data-only e-sim card for Iceland or here for an international e-sim card for Iceland including calls and texting. Or when your phone is not e-sim card compatible you can buy an international prepaid sim card for traveling to Iceland.
Prices Iceland prepaid sim cards in 2023
All the below sim cards for Iceland can be bought as per August 2023 at Reykjavik Airport Keflavik at the lime green convenient store, at official retail stores in Reykjavik and also at gas stations.
Prices below are in Icelandic Krona and as per August 2023: $1 USD = 132 ISK and 100 ISK = $0.76 USD.
Vodafone offers a prepaid starter kit for tourists including 1 GB data and 3 GB for your tablet or dongle.
- 1 GB data + unlimited calling + sms for 30 days = 1,790 ISK ($12 USD)
Then you can top up with one of the above packages:
- 1 GB data = 2,190 ISK
- 10 GB data = 3,190 ISK - $23.4 USD
- 25 GB data = 5,190 ISK
- 50 GB data = 6,190 ISK
- 150 GB data = 8,190 ISK
- 500 GB data = 10,190 ISK
For more info check out the Vodafone Iceland website. But it is a bit of a maze and prices are not displayed very well and different info is provided on different pages. There is also no info if free EU roaming is included in a prepaid Vodafone Iceland sim card.
- 2 GB data in all of EU + unlimited calling/sms in Iceland = 1,990 ISK - $15 USD
- 20 GB data (10 GB in EU) + unlimited calling/sms in Iceland = 2.690 ISK - $20 USD
- 100 data (15 GB in EU) + unlimited calling/sms in Iceland = 3,490 ISK - $26 USD
- 250 data (25 GB in EU) + unlimited calling/sms in Iceland = 6,690 ISK - $49 USD
For more info check the Nova Iceland website.
- 10 GB data in all of EU + 50 minutes in all of EU + 50 sms in Iceland = 2,900 ISK - ($21.3 USD)
- 10 GB data only in all of EU = 2,900 ISK
For more info check out the Siminn website.
Best mobile data network in Iceland in 2023
Equally or even more important for finding the best sim card for Iceland is the mobile internet coverage. Where can you find a signal when traveling in Iceland. Especially in a country with so many remote places to visit it is not easy to stay connected. Below you can find a comparison of the Iceland 4G/5G coverage maps in order to find the best 4G/5G network in Iceland in 2023.
Is there 5G in Iceland?
Yes, there is 5G in Iceland. However, as per August 2023 it is still pretty much concentrated in areas around the capital Reykjavik. Nova Mobile has the best 5G network in Iceland in 2023. But let's have a closer look below.
Nova Iceland network coverage
Vodafone Iceland network coverage
Siminn Iceland network coverage
From the above 4G/5G coverage maps we can indeed see that Nova has the best 5G network in Iceland, but their overall 4G network coverage around the country is less compared to Siminn.
We can clearly see that Siminn has the best mobile internet network in Iceland in 2023 with Vodafone being a good runner up. Especially those tourists who are going all around Iceland and are traveling on the ring road I recommend you buying a Siminn prepaid sim card just because of their extensive 4G/5G network.
Best sim card for Iceland in 2023
Comparing the prepaid sim cards and e-sim cards for Iceland we can actually come to the conclusion that e-sim cards for Iceland are cheaper than prepaid sim cards in Iceland. E-sim cards can be ordered online before your trip and you are online as soon as the plane lands.
However, if you are traveling extensively around Iceland Traveltomtom recommends buying a Siminn prepaid sim on arrival in Iceland as Siminn has the most extensive 4G/5G network in Iceland. Therefore Siminn is the best prepaid sim card for Iceland in 2023.
The cheapest prepaid sim card for Iceland is actually from Nova. They give you 20 GB data for around $20 USD and a Siminn sim card only gives you 10 GB for around the same price.
A Vodafone Iceland sim card is much more expensive and the provided info is also very minimalistic and therefore not recommended.
Don't want the stress of buying an Iceland sim card on arrival, remember that you can order a sim card for Iceland online as well. See below!
Buy a sim card for Iceland online
Buying an international prepaid sim card for Iceland is among the easiest ways to arrive prepared in Iceland. You order online and the sim card will be shipped to your home address before your trip. Put this pre-activated sim card in your phone in the plane and as soon as you land you are online. Plug and play.
The following international sim cards are valid in Iceland and all over Europe:
- 10 GB data in all of Europe and UK
- Unlimited calls/sms within Europe and UK
- Valid 30 days
- 12 GB data in all of Europe and UK
- Unlimited calls/sms within Europe and UK
- Valid 30 days
- 10 GB data in all of Europe and UK
- $2 calling credit - top up possible
- Valid 30 days
- 20 GB data in Europe and in the UK
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe and the UK
- 120 minutes worldwide
- 1,000 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
Click here to order an international sim card for traveling in Iceland directly online or find more info.
The sim card will be automatically activated from its first use so no need to worry about that either and no need to look for a phone shop on arrival in Iceland.
Also another reminder that with an e-sim card you arrange everything online within just a couple minutes. There are data-only e-sim cards for Iceland and also international e-sim cards for Icelands including calling minutes and texting.
Portable WiFi devices for Iceland
Don’t want to change the sim card in your phone? There is an alternative for buying an Iceland sim card.
In front of the convenient store at Keflavik Airport you will also find a Hotspot.rent machine to order a portable WiFi device for Iceland. It will let you connect up to 10 devices at the same time while it gives unlimited 3G/4G. The price per day is 1,300 ISK ($9.50 USD). You have to rent the device for minimal 3 days.
You can print out your voucher and pick up your portable WiFi device around the corner. Fairly easy. As I didn’t try it out myself I don’t know about the battery life of the portable wifi device and the speed if you connect with more than 1 person, but keep in mind that you all share the same line and that data speed will significantly drop if you are using the portable wifi device with multiple people at the same time.
May be an option for those who are traveling to Iceland with kids, but not my preferred way to stay connected.
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card for Iceland. If there is anything I can still help you with don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below or reach out to me on social media.
Curious what the life of a full time nomad and travel blogger who is aiming to travel to every country in the world looks like? Check out my Instagram profile @traveltomtom. As per August 2023 I have been to more than 155 countries.
Some links in this article about the best ways to stay connected when traveling to Iceland are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at absolutely no extra costs to you.