Tourism – Good to Know

What do most tourists in Iceland do?

The most popular time to visit Iceland is during the summer (June – August).

However, there is no right or wrong time to visit Iceland. During summer travellers can enjoy the mild climate and the bright summer nights, whereas in winter they benefit from having fewer tourists around and the chance to see the northern lights.

Most tourists stay for 6-8 nights in Iceland.

Compared to prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, tourists now tend to stay longer in Iceland.

The most popular accommodation types are hotels, guesthouses and campsites.

For information on what/where accommodation is available, click here.

The area tourists visit the most is the capital area, followed by the South of Iceland.

Among the main reasons for this is that the capital area and the South of Iceland are close to Keflavík International Airport, where nearly all tourists arrive.

The most popular travel mode is to rent a car.

Since many tourists are travelling independently, it is important to inform them about safety matters, such as traffic regulations and road conditions (see Safety).

The most popular tourist activities are nature baths, swimming pools and museums.

There are wide variety of activities available in Iceland. Click here to explore what activities are available and where.

Tourist arrivals

Tourist arrivals began to increase significantly in 2011, following the financial crisis and the volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. In 2017, tourist arrivals exceeded 2 million for the first time. During the Covid-19 pandemic, tourist arrivals decreased and began increasing again as travel restrictions were lifted.

Most tourists (more than 90%) arrive via Keflavík International Airport.

Tourists arriving via cruise ships are counted separately, see here.


Most tourists came from the United States, Germany, Great Britain, France and Italy.