A recently shared photo demonstrates definitively that not only is buying bottled water wholly unnecessary in Iceland; it can also be even more expensive than you might guess.
Þórólfur Júlían Dagsson, a member of the Pirate Party in Suðurnes, posted the above photo in a status about the larger problems of the price of Icelandic goods in Iceland.
“In Iceland we’re supposed to be ensuring sustainability in food,” he writes. “But when has that policy actually produced real security and affordable food? Fish is incredibly expensive. Not a single tourist who comes here understands this. The same can be said about lamb meat and the water in stores which is more expensive than anywhere else in the western world.”
As can be seen, the price for a litre of whole milk from the grocery store Hagkaup is 142 ISK. One litre of water—which, by the way, is the same water that comes out of the tap—is 165 ISK.
Recently, the Icelandic government launched an initiative to try and educate tourists that there is no need to buy water in stores.
Iceland actually ranks first in the world in Water and Sanitation on the Environmental Performance Index. This is also very much the case in Reykjavík, where the bottled water you buy from stores contains the exact same water that comes from the tap. While many tourists argue that they only buy bottled water for the bottle itself, we would recommend buying a canteen or similar re-usable water bottle from any one of the outdoor goods stores you can find in Reykjavík, such as at Fjallakofinn on Laugavegur or Útilíf at the Kringlan mall. Reduces plastic waste, and gives you a fine souvenir from Iceland to bring home.