so you’re heading to iceland and still need to keep incommunicado with your friends and family back home, so what do you do?
well, thankfully in the smart devices age, there’s apps like Whats App, Skype, Tango and Viber where you can make free phone calls over wi-fi, but what happens when you’re traipsing off the beaten track with only frozen sheep for company?
look no further than your pre-paid SIM card, my friends and yes, they DO have them in good ole iceland.
here are some telcos you can get pre-paid SIM/micro-SIM cards from :
our pick of the crop has definitely got to be the pre-paid card from siminn, iceland’s biggest telco. it’ll set you back 2,000ISK but boy did it give me great data access mileage for that small amount. i didn’t have to reload my card for about 7- 8 days but then, i didn’t make any regular calls either and i switched to wifi wherever i could. other benefits of siminn is their 3G network coverage. i loved that i was in the middle of nowhere, piled up in snow and yet had 3 to 4 bars of signal strength connecting me with the outside world.
downsides? well, there are 2.
firstly, it’s pretty hard to get especially when you’re travelling during peak seasons i.e the airwaves festival or during summer when the whole world converges in on iceland with one fell swoop and decides to buy up the country’s entire siminn SIM card supply. secondly, you will have to deal with SMS text updates on your balance in icelandic. other than that, siminn seems like the way to go, at least for me.
that’s your next best pick, albeit it’s a tad bit more expensive and 3G network coverage isn’t as wide or strong as siminn’s. it works great in reykjavik but you might experience signal drops and slow browsing times in rural parts of the country.
didn’t try that one but from my research prior to travelling to iceland, i found out that this is iceland’s third biggest telco. however, research also revealed that they do not have very positive reviews. customers have been known to complain about bad service, signal drops, data browsing problems and updates all being available only in icelandic. hell, even their website is all in icelandic. :S
one SIM card
if you live in the US, this is a card you can purchase for your trip to iceland. i don’t know much about it but from the website, they seem to have great deals for incoming calls and text messages. not very sure about the data plans and the availability of micro-SIM cards though. kindly click the link above to visit their website for more info.
as far as my research has shown, all the above except for one SIM are available as micro-SIM cards.
cards can be bought at
- all local convenience stores, including 10/11 outlets or the neighbourhood ‘mom n pop’ shops.
- siminn cards can also be purchased on-board icelandair flights. just ask the friendly staff what data plans they have available.
- macland, a small blue-painted apple authorised retailer at klapparstígur 30, just off laugavegur,101 reykjavik (see map below coz this shop is tucked behind the main road and is a bit tough to find.)
- keflavik airport@elko, the airport’s 10-11 convenience store or the *tourist info desk.*the tourist desk info is not always open so do keep other options available.
more detailed info on pricing can be found in this useful article here that i used for my initial research. happy chatting!
101 Reykjavík 580-7500
map of macland