32 Fun Facts About Iceland.

Here are a few fun facts about Iceland – The Land of Ice and Fire as told by our tour guide who looks and has the same sense of humour as James Corden. For context, there are about 333K people in Iceland – keep this in mind as you read through these fun facts.

You want more facts about Iceland? Here are 11 crazy facts about Iceland written by Kate over at Travel for Difference!


The black sand beach at Djúpalónssandur beach (Djúpalónssandur translates to the Pearls of Djúpalón)
  1. There are only 300 police officers in the entire island nation
  2. It’s hard to find police anywhere in Iceland – they don’t patrol any major tourist sites, and during my stay, I’ve only seen 1 driving by in a motorcycle and not an actual police cruiser/car
  3. Police officers don’t carry gun. Or tasers. They only carry a mace / pepper spray.
  4. You can walk into the Prime Minister’s office just by walking in. It is a white building located at the end of a major tourist shopping street with absolutely no signage or security. Apparently a lot of tourists think the PMO (with its lack of guard and security) as being a tourist info centre, so they often wonder into the PMO asking for the bathroom.
  5. The only location in Iceland with any type of security is the US Embassy
  6. There are 6 political parties in Iceland – an island with 333K inhabitants
  7. 29 / 63 senate members are women
  8. Cost of utilities is some of the cheapest in the world – on average the cost of electricity + hydro + water is equivalent to $8/month
  9. Iceland produces 4x more geothermal energy than it uses (hydro, electricity), hence the insanely cheap cost of utilities.
  10. Iceland’s homogeneity means everyone in Iceland is somehow related to the other. The Book of Icelanders (which details family trees) makes it easy for Icelanders to trace their ancestry. You can read the Wall Street Journal Article on this here
  11. The most expensive cost for tourists and locals alike in Iceland is the food and/or grocery as most things are imported
  12. The last trees on Iceland died during the little Ice Age (end of 1300s) before being re-introduced in the 20th century with a mandated plantation program
  13. In the 1930s Iceland was one of the poorest nations in Europe
  14. There are only about 150 people in Icelandic “prison”
  15. Iceland was the only country to prosecute banking executives in the wake of the 2008 Financial Crisis so some of those 150 people are white collar criminals responsible for the banking crisis
  16. Gender equality in Iceland in ingrained in their DNA and inherited from the Viking Days. Supposedly 40% of Viking raiders of the time were women who had as much right to the loot as the men.
  17. Icelandic hot dogs are legendary for a reason. They are topped with fried and raw onions, plus a specialty mayonnaise sweet brown mustard and a sauce made with mayo, capers, mustard, and herbs. They are also at every gas stations
  18. There are about 1.2M sheep in Iceland. That’s about 4 sheep per Icelander
  19. 2/3 of the Icelandic population live in the capital, Reykjavik
  20. The weather in Iceland is actually temperate and doesn’t go lower than -10C. However, the wind and rain are highly unpredictable making it a tricky place to pack for.
  21. You don’t need to buy a SIM card. There’s wifi everywhere, and if you really want wifi at your fingertips you can purchase a portable wifi that can be turned on/turned off at will. It comes with 10GB of data and costs around 1500 kr ($15)
  22. You don’t need to carry any cash, Iceland is a very plastic country meaning that credit cards are accepted everywhere, even the hot dog stands
  23. There aren’t any tall buildings in Iceland due to the frequency of earthquakes, and very strong winds.
  24. The tap water (cold water) is perfectly safe to drink. It’s pure glacier water
  25. The rotten egg smell from your shower / tap is from the sulfur in the geothermal plant which is used to heat up the water.
  26. There are heated thermal pipes under the main streets in Reykjavik which means that during winter the snow melts almost automatically
  27. Sheep roam free in Iceland and it is against the law to use any kinds of pesticide, or growth hormones. Icelandic meals are as organic, and free-range as they get. I mean, these sheeps are literally marinating themselves.
  28. Iceland has quite the coffee culture.
  29. Rainbows occur everywhere and so often in Iceland – it’s quite common to see double and triple rainbows during my road trips.
  30. The black sands at most Icelandic beaches came from volcanic ashes.
  31. There is a 70% tax on alcohol and tobacco so the cheapest place to buy alcohol in the country is duty free at the airport where you can expect to save around 40% of the list price in the city.
  32. Only 7% of the population smoke
If you enjoy this post, check out the rest of my Iceland travels!

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Have you been to Iceland?

I’ve always wanted to visit Iceland to see the northern lights, but after reading your list I just want to visit and see all these things for myself! I’m especially curious about their hot dogs, they sound delicious!

Oh and I totally rolled my eyes at #5, haha

Jenny // http://www.geekyposh.com

#5 – yep, I think it made all of us laugh for a little bit! I’m a little surprised at how much I want to be back in Iceland already ????

Iceland is definitely on my bucket list of places to travel! x
That’s amazing that only 7% of people smoke in Iceland! ????

Liz | LotsofLoveLiz

Icelanders are so unique in their own way – it’s fascinating to learn more about them!

I so want to visit there to just absorb the gorgeous scenery!! I’m down for roaming sheep and coffee everyday!

It’s so so magical – I think you’ll really like it! Think Harry Potter movies but just better!!

So apparently I know VERY little about Iceland, lol… Thanks for sharing!

You’re welcome!! There’s a lot of new information for me too ???? Glad it helped!

I would love to visit Iceland one day! I always see promo flying from Toronto to Iceland for only 899!!


Definitely visit if you can! I’m hearing that they may start limiting the number of tourists that come due to the stress on the infrastructure!

This is an interesting post I would love to visit Iceland one day it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, can’t believe how many sheep there are lol


Isn’t it incredible? They are adorable and super friendly too!

I am even more excited to go to Iceland next month now, cannot wait! Thanks for sharing xxx

ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

You’re welcome!! I think you’ll enjoy it a lot <3 Let me know if there’s anything else I should add to this list once you’re back!

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