Top Travelling Apps in Iceland
Whether you’re planning an Iceland road trip or just visiting the country and mostly staying in one place, there are a few resources that can make your trip infinitely easier. In this article, we’re covering all the best travelling apps in Iceland and you’ll be able to easily download every travelling app in Iceland that you’ll need for a safe, fun, convenient trip, no matter where you plan to go or what you plan to do once you get here.
Accessing the Internet in Iceland
But first, you know you’ll need an internet connection of some kind to access those apps in Iceland, right? Luckily, Iceland’s internet connectivity is excellent and you’ll find service just about everywhere in the country. What’s more, when you rent a car in Iceland, you can add a WiFi package to your rental, for easier connectivity no matter where you drive.
How is all this connectivity possible?
Well, when it comes to data roaming, European Union countries, as well as Iceland and a few others, allow all travellers with phones registered in Europe to access data roaming when travelling throughout these countries. So, if you’re visiting Iceland from a home country that’s within the European Union, or from Norway or Liechtenstein, you’ll have easy access to data roaming.
Visiting Iceland from elsewhere? Read our full guide to mobile and internet coverage in Iceland, and be sure to connect with your particular mobile provider to see what type of coverage they offer while in Iceland.
Regardless of where you’re coming from or what kind of coverage you can find in Iceland via your normal carrier, though, we still recommend that you add a WiFi package to your car rental, if you happen to be renting a car in Iceland. Lava Car Rental’s WiFi option, for example, allows you to enjoy a strong internet connection nearly everywhere you drive, throughout the country. You can connect up to eight devices and use as much data as you want.
Weather and Road Conditions Apps in Iceland
We can’t mention travelling apps in Iceland without mentioning weather and road condition apps. The weather and road conditions will impact your trip to the country in such a substantial way, even if you’re not planning a road trip. The weather in Iceland can change very quickly and delay or cancel your plans; additionally, venturing out in some Iceland weather can be dangerous.
So, no matter your itinerary, download these weather and road conditions apps.
Vedur: The Weather App
Photo by Icelandmag
Vedur is an incredibly useful app that’s overseen by the experts at the Icelandic Meteorological Office. It provides all kinds of information that you might need regarding the country’s weather, as well as weather-related hazards. You can get up-to-the-minute updates on winds speeds, temperatures, snow or rainfall, for the entire country. You can also find information about dangers such as earthquakes, avalanches, eruptions, flooding and more.
The Vedur app isn’t just handy during your trip, though, as you monitor the weather while travelling around Iceland. It’s also a very useful tool before your trip, as it will allow you to see future forecasts and what kind of weather you can expect in the days ahead. As such, be sure to download this app before you arrive in Iceland and use it to adjust your plans, just as much as you use it once you’re on the ground.
The app is free to download and, once you’re logged in, you can see the upcoming forecast, look at weather maps that show you how the weather differs around the country, search for particular locations, and find alerts for anything you might need to know. The app is available in both Icelandic and English.
Keep in mind that the Vedur app also offers information regarding solar activity, which is something you’ll want to keep track of, if you plan on doing any northern lights chasing during your trip.
With Vedur, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy a safe trip, whether you’re taking a scenic driving route or just enjoying a little hiking.
SafeTravel: For Road and Weather Conditions
SafeTravel takes things a bit further than Vedur, but we recommend having both downloaded to your device before you visit Iceland. This Iceland travel app is your go-to resource for finding information on all things safe driving in Iceland, as it not only provides weather information, but also road condition updates.
Once you download the app, you’ll be able to enter the route you plan on driving while in Iceland, then get up-to-the-minute alerts on roadway conditions. The app will highlight your route in green to red, letting you know how safe your route is, with green meaning passable and red meaning entirely closed.
The app even has a handy feature designed for hiking safety, wherein you can send emergency personnel your exact coordinates via the app, so that they can find you, if needed.
The last thing you want while travelling in Iceland is to realize, all too late, that you’ve taken the wrong route or that one of the roadways you were planning on taking is closed due to snow or winter weather conditions. SafeTravel helps you avoid that headache and annoyance. However, even more important than this, SafeTravel helps you avoid driving conditions wherein you could possibly encounter life-threatening conditions such as avalanches, volcanic eruptions, storms and similar natural disasters.
A smart travel tip? Before you leave for your Iceland road trip, submit your travel plans on the SafeTravel website. The plan will be used in the event of an emergency, to help emergency rescuers track your whereabouts.
Safety App for Travelling in Iceland
112 Neyðarlínan: For Emergency Services
Photo by Iceland Monitor
There’s one specific app you’ll need for general safety while travelling in Iceland, and that’s the 112 Neydarlinan app, or, formerly, the 112 Iceland app.
Countries in the European Union use 112 as their emergency number to contact police, emergency medical responders, fire brigades and others. However, you might not always be in a position where you can easily call 112, and so that’s where the app comes in; in fact, the app was originally designed as a solution for hearing-impaired individuals who needed to be able to call emergency services, but were unable to do so via a voice call.
Once you download the app, you can use it to send text messages to an emergency operator. You can even choose via a menu what kind of services you need, such as police, medical, fire, child protection, etc. The app shares your exact location with the operator, so you can easily be found by emergency personnel.
Additionally, before your trip, you can enter important personal information into the app and then that information will be passed along to the emergency personnel, too.
Navigation and Parking Apps in Iceland
Google Maps: For Easy Navigation
You’re likely familiar with Google Maps and you may even have it already downloaded onto your phone. If you don’t, though, this is definitely one of the travelling apps you’ll need in Iceland.
While some travellers may use Waze to get around, in Iceland, we pretty much exclusively use Google Maps, as it can help you get around the entire country. In fact, if you want to, you can even download a complete map of the country, before your trip, and then use it within the Google Maps app whenever you don’t have service or aren’t able to connect to WiFi.
It’s the perfect resource to have for any Iceland scenic road trip.
Easy Park or Parka App: For Parking
There are two apps you should consider downloading for parking in Iceland: EasyPark and the Parka app.
Parking in Iceland is not something to “just figure out” when you get here. There are a lot of rules about parking in Iceland, and parking in the wrong spots can mean that you’ll incur fines and fees. If you’re driving a rental car while incurring these fines and fees, you may find that you have to pay even more, as the rental car company passes the fees on to you, along with their own processing fees.
Luckily, the EasyPark and Parka apps can help you not only find suitable parking in Iceland, but will also help you pay for it — and will ensure that you pay the correct amount based on the time of day and day of the week that you’re parking!
EasyPark is used throughout Europe and can be used in Iceland specifically in Reykjavik and Akureyri. The app helps you find parking spots via GPS, and then you can pay for your parking right in the app, so there’s no need to try to find a payment booth or meter.
After you park, if you’re busy sightseeing, and you realize that your time in the parking spot is about to run out, you can pay for additional parking within the app, too, so there’s no need to return to your car earlier than you might want to.
The Parka app is very similar, but is primarily the most useful when you’re visiting major tourist attractions in Iceland, where paid parking is necessary. Again, you’ll be able to pay for your parking right in the app, making the entire process easy and seamless.
Activities Apps in Iceland
The My Aurora Forecast App: To See the Northern Lights
While you can use weather apps like the Vedur app to watch for solar activity, there’s one app that’s even better for tracking solar activity, and thus increasing your likelihood of seeing the northern lights, while you’re travelling in Iceland: the My Aurora Forecast app.
The My Aurora Forecast app is ideal for those who want to go northern lights chasing in Iceland, when visiting during the late fall to early spring, late September to March. The My Aurora Forecast app gives you all the information you need for northern lights viewing not just in Iceland, but all around the world.
You’ll get information about how likely it is that you’ll be able to see the northern lights; forecasts for the upcoming hours and even weeks, so you can plan your trip to Iceland accordingly; and information on the absolute best spots to see the northern lights right at that moment. Additionally, you can set up push notifications, so that you’re alerted any time that there’s strong solar activity, so you never miss a chance to see the northern lights.
AllTrails App: For Hiking in Iceland
If you plan on doing any hiking at all while you’re in Iceland, then you need to download the AllTrails app. This app provides plenty of information about hiking in Iceland, as well as hiking all over the world.
You can explore locations that you plan to visit and see trails in the nearby area, and start planning which you want to take. Trail profiles give you handy information such as how long and difficult a trail might be, how much elevation gain there is, what you can expect to see on the trail and more. You’ll also find that trails feature reviews from other users, which can help you decide if a certain trail is right for you and your fitness level. Reviews often include photos.
While the app is free to use, you can sign up for a premium profile that gives you extra features, such as downloadable maps that you can use on more remote hikes, where service might not be available.
Budgeting Apps for Travelling in Iceland
The best way to ensure that you stick to your travel budget while in Iceland? Arm yourself with all the information you need regarding how much it actually costs to travel while in Iceland. These two apps can help you out.
XE Currency Converter App: For Better Travel Budgeting
Photo by Kjell Jøran Hansen on flicker
In Iceland, we use the Icelandic Krona, so, before your trip, you’ll want to get an idea of how the value of this currency translates to your home currency, whether that be USD, the British pound, Euros, etc.
To help you better plan your travel budget, consider downloading the XE Currency Converter app. The app can convert between nearly 200 different currencies from across the world. You’ll be able to easily see how much you can spend in Icelandic Krona, based on your home currency. While you’re at it, consider also reading our guide on how to pay and tip in Iceland.
The Bensin App or Website: For Gas Prices
While the Bensin app is only available on iOS, if you can access either the Bensin app or the Bensin website, they’ll help you save on gas prices. You’ll be able to see where gas prices are lowest in your vicinity, so you don’t pay more for fuel than you have to, and you can easily find nearby fuel stations, so you never run out of gas.
You can learn more about fueling up and finding fuel during your trip, in our guide to gas stations and EV charging stations in Iceland.
Need More Help Planning Your Trip to Iceland?
Last, but certainly not least, one of the best resources for planning your trip to Iceland is the Lava Car Rental website. On our blog, you can find lots of information about how to prepare for your trip to Iceland, what to do while you’re here, how to get around safely and more. It’s your one-stop for all things Iceland travel.
Then, when you’re fully prepared for your trip, you can book your rental car. We have plenty of options, whether you need a spacious SUV that can fit the entire family or you’re looking for something smaller. We even have campervans that you can rent for a summer road trip, filled with lots of exploring beneath the Midnight Sun.
Need help deciding what option is the best fit for you? Have more questions and not finding the answers on our website? Get in touch today and we’ll see how we can help.