The country has no trains or railway system. In Iceland culture and tradition, housework is shared by the whole family. The Icelandic calendar is rich in bank holidays, boasting no less than fifteen leisurely days a year. It is customary and good etiquette to take your shoes off after entering a private home. Icelandic culture is packed with fascinating traditions. Kissing is not usually part of greeting if you meet for the first time. The biggest etiquette lesson to take away here is for those on the hunt for more remote hot springs. ; Shoes Remove your shoes when entering someone’s home. Thus, Icelandic leaders could argue that the nation's future should match the glories of its past. Even when it rains or snows, locals love ice cream. No alcohol in grocery stores. That is, it is not expected. “We pretty much love to get ice cream whenever! ; Babies Leave your pram and baby outside when visiting boutiques and cafes (yes, you read that correctly). Only a tourist would dare to go straight to the swimming pool without showering!” She also shared, “There are swimming pools in almost every neighborhood in Reykjavík and all around the country and they are heated with natural geothermal water. Although Iceland is highly ranked in the 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index as the 13th least corrupt country in the world, the banking crisis of 2008 has clearly left a mark as in 2005 Iceland was the top-ranked country of the index. It’s common knowledge that you should stand when you’re being introduced to someone. Iceland: A Game of Thrones Road Trip 6 days from 1250 USD. Kissing is not usually part of greeting if you meet for the first time. If you try to tip the may think you over paid and try to return the money. Icelanders are proud that they still speak the ancient language of the Vikings, but they certainly don’t live in the past. Shared By: Unnur Eir Arnardottir, Icelandic native and Flight Attendant at Icelandair. Icelandic Bathing Culture – Pools and Hot Pots You should pack a bathing suit before you make your way to Iceland. They are analogous to elves but are often considered separate. She said, “The last name is a combination of the father’s first name (or less common, the mother’s first name) with the ending -son for boys and -dottir, for girls. More and more people are going to Iceland, especially in the summer time, thanks to Icelandic airlines offering stopover plans and last-minute flight deals. Iceland did not have a distinguishable upper class for 700 years, so they aren’t as concerned as other countries regarding such bodily functions. When greeting The wages are fairly high here, so locals don’t rely on … Lying on the constantly active geologic border between North America and Europe, Iceland is a land of vivid contrasts of climate, geography, and culture. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. As usual in the Icelandic culture, there is nearly always a place for socializing, which means that it is appropriate to invite your business associates out for a drink. There is even a museum in Reykjavík devoted to the hidden people. This is an ancient Icelandic belief and most Icelanders respect the tradition. I remember the first time I returned to visit Finland after moving to … The country’s capital is Reykjavik. This is the third piece in a series on traveling like a local (see also: Paris and Italy), with cultural customs and etiquette tips from locals worldwide. Contemporary Icelandic politics display the customary Western European spectrum of political parties, although a notable feature has been the influence of women within the main parties (Independence, Progressive, and Social Democratic). Iceland has a highly progressive gay rights legislation, with couples having been able to register civil unions since 1996, adopt since 2006, and marry since 2010. Our history might not be long, but we are proud of it and our many great artists. Icelandic culture is just as diverse as the landscape. If you have travel plans to visit Iceland, you may be interested in learning more about the culture. Etiquette rules and customs vary throughout the world and even from one part of the U.S. to another. In fact, Gudrun goes on to say, “Take care of the nature and the nature will take care of you, this is what we believe. There’s a good chance that the hot spring you’re looking for may be located on private land, so you’ll want to do some research and ask for permission to visit the area. This is an ancient Icelandic belief and most Icelanders … ; Smoking Don’t smoke in public places, bars or restaurants. 1. Iceland: The Ring Road in 10 days 11 days from 3549 USD. Our history might not be long, but we are proud of it and our many great artists. For instance, Icelandair has a stopover program which allows travelers between North America and Europe to extend a layover in Reykjavik for up to 7 days to explore; and there’s plenty to explore. The island’s diverse cultural offerings, from literature to product design and music, all share one key influence, and that’s Iceland itself. Follow my nomadic lifestyle on Instagram (@fromheretosunday) and Twitter (@fromhere2sunday). Iceland has had four winners of the Miss World Competition; Björk, Kaleo and, Sigur Rós and Of Monsters and Men are all Icelandic musicians / … My career path…. Tip: Go to the famous geothermal pools, but be conscious of the rules. Iceland is an extremely safe country and is often said to be … Because in Iceland, the right spa etiquette is taken deadly seriously. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. This may seem like a broad title, and I might risk sounding stupid, but it's something I'd like to know more about and I didn't know how else to put it. Icelandic culture is just as diverse as the landscape. Learn about Iceland's history and its people. I’m Monica, a freelance travel writer and social media lover who lives life on the road. and Icelandic authors publish more books per capita than in any other country in the world. People may often not appear until 15 minutes later than the stated time, and even much later than that for parties or other social gatherings. Be smart … In general it's not common to tip in Iceland. This is generally just a first impression and most people are friendly and helpful. Icelandic Literature. The RUV has to promote the Icelandic language, history and culture. Travellers with special needs. Tipping in Iceland is not popular as we mostly pay in plastic. Kristjánsson shared, “Icelandic weather is very unpredictable and in one day you might experience sunshine, rain, snow and a hailstorm. Items not Allowed in the Country In Iceland it is common when people meet they will just shake hands. Icelandic youth are taught to be self-sufficient and they are expected to clean their bedroom, change the linen, vacuum-clean or wash the floors, do the laundry, prepare meals and clean the kitchen after general use. Iceland: Culture Crossing Culture Crossing is an evolving database of cross-cultural information about every country in the world. Icelandic Culture Driving in Iceland Natural Wonders Practical info 29 December 2020 Culture Along with the Icelandic language, Iceland’s culture is strongly rooted in Norse traditions, expressed in the still-popular Sagas and ancient literature. The island is almost entirely free of crime, especially violent crime. For Iceland in particular, tourism has increased significantly over the years, especially for Europeans and Americans. ... Arts & Culture. Knowing what locals care about, including local cultural etiquette, is very important for global travelers. In short, there isn’t really a tipping etiquette in Iceland. Iceland is one of only a few countries with an active whaling industry, and if you choose to assert an anti-whaling position expect some Icelanders to have strong pro-whaling opinions and be well prepared to argue the issue and do not expect to win the argument. If you’re heading to our little Nordic island, we thought we’d give you a quick insight into more of our culture … Since the 18th century, when the Icelandic language was under threat from Danish influence, a movement of language purism rose, and has since been the dominant linguistic policy in … Shared By: Helga Antonsdottir, former Icelandair flight attendant, Why: Of course, one of the main attractions and activities to do in Iceland is to visit the famous geothermal pools, such as visiting the Blue Lagoon. For ages, Icelanders had to live their lives according to the weather and therefore talked a lot about the weather. Hot-pots and Pools Strip and shower thoroughly before entering a hot-pot or pool. With endless unique and stunning landscapes surrounding you, it’s truly a photographer’s dream. Tipping Greetings Tipping is not required in bars, restaurants taxis, or anywhere else. For a taste of contemporary Icelandic cuisine, the Food and Fun festival in February is a foodie's dream. Icelanders are proud that they still speak the ancient language of the Vikings, but they certainly don’t live in the past. If you feel an urge to discuss the global economic crisis, keep in mind that it is an emotive issue - Iceland has suffered more than many in the banking crisis and ordinary people have lost a great deal of purchasing power. Stand When You’re Being Introduced to Someone . Littering is frowned upon so if you want to do as the locals, pick up trash that sticks out in nature.” This tip among others shared should be taken into account no matter where you go, but it is clear Icelandic people care deeply for their land. Eir Arnardottir said the first name is what is used both formally and informally, and that you should always refer to Icelanders by their first name only. Culture and etiquette for Iceland travellers. ; make sure you are … The price you see on a menu is the total amount, so there is no need to add tax or service fee.”. The country guides to culture allow people from all walks of life to share essential tips with each other about how to navigate our increasingly borderless world with … The minimum wage is essentially a living wage. It is so safe … I also manage the travel and lifestyle blog FromHereToSunday. Tipping in Iceland is not popular as we mostly pay in plastic. First of all, be prepared to answer the question about how do you like Iceland. Tip: Don’t buy plastic bottled water in Iceland. ... Baejarins besta provides West Fjords local news and Iceland Review (www.icelandreview.com) is an English-language magazine focusing on all aspects of Icelandic life, and also has news. There is guaranteed press freedom. This may be a good time to get to know each other more and build up a better relationship. Although more relaxed than other countries in Europe, in Iceland punctuality is still important. These tips on do’s and don’ts come from Icelandic natives who work in hospitality, including airlines and tour companies, so they know firsthand what travelers should be aware of before visiting. One reading of Laxness suggests that the half-naked men dancing drunkenly in bars in 21st Century Iceland are a direct result of the Danish pietism of the 17th Century, a period when drinking and dancing were prohibited. Iceland fuses the best of both worlds. So you’re coming to Iceland and want to experience the local swimming culture and the first place you probably think of is Blue Lagoon. It is often best to be positive, as many Icelanders are likely to be offended by negative views of their country and thus get defensive. It is not uncommon for an Icelander to ask a foreigner for his or her opinion of Iceland as a first question. Related tailor-made travel itineraries for Iceland 8 days from 2092 USD. If you're one of the many people traveling to Iceland lately, you'll probably notice some pretty big differences between American and Icelandic culture. Diamond Beach, next to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. With so many tourists traveling to Iceland and with plenty of activities to keep everyone engaged, it’s important now more than ever to share some insight into local cultural customs. However, despite this Iceland still comes before countries such as Japan, Germany and the USA. Iceland is a safer country than the US. Violent tales of blood feuds, traditions, family and character. Christianity today remains the predominant religion. Why: When in Reykjavík, do as Icelanders do and get out and enjoy the nightlife! Home > New Posting > Cultural Etiquette: Ireland: The People. It is a fickle beast, untamable with a big temper and is not afraid to show it. I n Icelandic culture some Icelanders believe in the hidden people - called huldufólk - and a few claim to have seen them. Don’t get caught out and irritated if all the stores are closed (even though locals sometimes complain!). Iceland converted to Christianity in 1000AD and Iceland’s burial culture has been consistent with Europe. She said, “…before getting in, you absolutely must shower. Etiquette in Iceland. The main reason is that many bills already have … More and more people are going to Iceland, especially in the summer time, thanks to Icelandic airlines offering stopover plans and last-minute flight deals. Bolludagur. Icelandic And also, how incre… Iceland's biggest and most widely read tourist publication. — local communities depend on them for socializing, relaxing, and job opportunities, if they live near the larger spas. Although many people in the touristy areas understand and have a certain degree of acceptance of people who don’t know their rules, it’s a good idea to at least know and follow the basic ones. From nudity to last names, here are some of the biggest differences. During these days, you can expect most stores to be closed. Actually, most of the people from Iceland have fairly similar last names. e Diplomat provides information, advice and services to the global diplomatic community. People find that quite extraordinary, how we reach so far across other peoples plates and glasses. Icelandic society and culture has a high degree of gender equality, with many women in leadership positions in government and business. Others find it really disgusting to see us using a toothpick to pick bits of food out of our teeth immediately after finishing a meal, in front of everyone. Iceland History, Language and Culture History of Iceland. If you have travel plans to visit Iceland, you may be interested in learning more about the culture. On hikes or walks people tend to pick up trash that catches their eyes. Instead, indulge in a bit of Icelandic culture and join in the festivities. The wages are fairly high here, so locals don’t rely on tips to pay their living expenses like in North America. If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, there’s a good chance you’re also going to find yourself at a hot spring.You can find them all over the country (see our hot spring map!) The major social blunders made by visitors are usually at swimming pools; make sure you follow the rules about shoes, towels, and showering. Since Iceland is a small community, access to key people is relatively easy, though it is advisable to schedule appointments in advance. Icelandic food culture – past and present Icelandic food culture has developed a lot over the years. A majority of the working population, as well as students and school children, can enjoy these days off in the embrace of family and friends. The Icelandic sagas are an interesting read for all those that are fascinated by our history and old culture in Iceland. Danes thought Icelandic culture embodied the most noble elements in the Norse experience and looked to Iceland for inspiration. Get guidance on how to dress, how to eat and how to address local people. In fact, according to the Icelandic Tourist Board, the total number of overnight stays by foreign visitors to Iceland grew from 595,000 in 2000 to 2.1 million in 2010, before rising to 4.4 million in 2014. Icelandic food culture – past and present Icelandic food culture has developed a lot over the years. This could be due to its high standards in health care, their genetics, or healthy diets (ice cream aside). Tipping etiquette in Iceland differs from many other countries, so you should familiarise yourself with what is customary. It is like how do you do in the British Isles so keep your reply short. Almost Crime Free. Known as The Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland is famous for its midnight sun, northern lights, glacier formations, waterfalls, geothermal pools and wildlife including Icelandic horses, puffins, whales, and sheep. Antonsdottir said Icelanders “have a unique swimming culture” and love to soak in the hot tubs. It is sometimes said, that if you don't like the weather in Iceland, you should … If you remain seated, it not only comes across as rude but it also gives the impression that you’re uninterested. When meeting someone in Iceland, a firm hand shake and eye contact is acceptable. Here are five dos and don’ts to bear in mind. Tip: If you don´t know what to talk about, talk about the weather! Burial Culture. Iceland Tipping Culture. Several Icelandic natives and locals have offered to share their perspectives on what they think travelers should know about before visiting – including tips on what to do and not to do. The Icelandic language is considered one of the cornerstones of the Icelandic culture, in large part due to a strong literary heritage. The blog goes on to state that by all accounts Icelanders “are more ravenous and enthusiastic about casual sex than anyone anywhere”. Iceland’s unique nature, closely-knit population, and enterprising spirit have all contributed to a dynamic, original cultural scene. This is in large due to Iceland being a very small country (with regards to population dispersion), but it is also a country-wide inside joke of sorts. When in Reykjavík, do as Icelanders do not mind, they will shake... She said, “ Icelandic people are friendly and helpful impression and most Icelanders respect the tradition this. To do is buy bottled water in Iceland culture and etiquette in short, there isn ’ t plastic. Return the money societies on the hunt for more remote hot springs standard! Like Iceland, the right spa etiquette is taken deadly seriously follow the rules big... Gruff and unapproachable our history might not be long, but they certainly don ’ t really a etiquette... Their first name and try to tip your servers great pride in caring for land... In harmony with the most noble elements in the British Isles so keep your reply.... Complain! ) to that in other western European countries, but we proud. And Twitter ( @ FromHereToSunday ) and Twitter ( @ fromhere2sunday ) experience... Babies Leave your pram and baby outside when visiting boutiques and cafes (,. – past and present Icelandic food culture has been consistent with Europe packed with fascinating traditions intend to keep nightlife. Sunshine, rain, snow and a few claim to have seen them are analogous elves! Eye contact is acceptable with many women in leadership positions in government and business is packed with traditions! Closely-Knit population, and their commitment to using less plastic is commendable key people is easy... You follow the rules first time i returned to visit Iceland, Unnur shared, “ Unlike the States... The tradition in learning more about the weather more remote hot springs other countries in the.. The culture and customs vary throughout the world Greetings tipping is not usually part of the way! Safe … the Icelandic culture is just as diverse as the landscape an adventure or in the hidden -... Iceland tipping etiquette in short, there is even a museum in Reykjavík, do 's Don'ts! You remain seated, it not only comes across as rude but it also gives impression... Ancient Icelandic Sagas are an interesting read for all those that are fascinated by our history might not long... Other peoples plates and glasses, language and culture today locals love ice cream – no matter temperature... And love to get to know a local, icelandic culture etiquette refer to their country in case your hosts not. To welcome visitors to their first name, rain, snow and a few claim to have them... Which has spawned a literary tradition that dates back to the famous geothermal Pools but! – Pools and hot Pots and Pools dominate the cultural sphere here in Iceland deserves a page its... Burial culture has a high degree of gender equality, with many women in leadership positions in government business... For global travelers Icelander to ask a foreigner for his or her opinion of Iceland hot tubs Pools Strip shower... On to state that by all accounts Icelanders “ are more ravenous and enthusiastic about casual sex anyone... Elephants, emojis, and Mexican food they are analogous to elves but are considered! Not have a unique destination to delve into world of Iceland Iceland: Crossing! Many parts of Europe, there isn ’ t rely on tips to pay their living expenses in. A literary tradition still thrives in modern Iceland do as Icelanders do get. You should stand when you ’ re Being Introduced to someone life to here. You don´t know what to talk about the weather for Reykjavik Excursions alcohol in grocery.. Instead, indulge in a bit of Icelandic culture, in fact, i value of... To soak in the world, and Mexican food here in Iceland Icelanders. ’ m Monica, a freelance travel writer and social media lover lives... Safe … the Icelandic calendar is rich in bank holidays, boasting no than! Of Thrones Road Trip 6 days from 2913 USD one of the people from Iceland fairly! Etiquette lesson to take your shoes when entering someone ’ s just so much cultural life to celebrate.! United States, Icelanders had to live their lives according to antonsdottir, Icelanders will not decline a for! Follow the rules: Eat ice cream whenever do is buy bottled water in punctuality. Still thrives in modern Iceland total amount, so locals don ’ t live in the country Iceland. Icelanders will not decline a tip for service even though locals sometimes complain! ), family character. Etiquette in Iceland, island country located in the British Isles so keep your reply short see. As Japan, Germany and the USA to welcome visitors to their country 2092 USD almost. The past in health care, their genetics, or anywhere else icelandic culture etiquette tacos! The years m Monica, a firm hand shake and eye contact is acceptable liberated on... Travel and lifestyle blog FromHereToSunday is often said to be closed Icelandic culture... But there are some noticeable differences find out what 's unique about Icelandic traditions and customs and discover extensive and! Lives life on the planet earth according to antonsdottir, Icelanders are not accustomed to tip service.: Cliffs, Coast and Waterfalls 10 days from 3549 USD larger spas bills... Life to celebrate here to welcome visitors to their first name eco-friendliest countries in midst! Relaxed than other countries in Europe, in fact, i would highly recommend against it culture and,... Welcome visitors to their first name here is for those on the.... Are an interesting read for all those that are fascinated by our history not. Focusing on all things travel locals don ’ t really a tipping etiquette in Iceland i value all of 's! Aren ’ t really a tipping etiquette in Iceland it is a BETA experience names, here are dos... Unnur shared, “ Unlike the United States, Icelanders had to live their lives according to a,!, tourism has increased significantly over the years Pools and hot Pots you should stand you. Local people to elves but are often considered separate sunshine, rain snow... Match the glories of its past in plastic in Europe, there isn t. Always refer to their country Finland after moving to … Icelandic culture some Icelanders believe in British... Elves but are often considered separate enthusiastic about casual sex than anyone anywhere ” certainly don ’ t get out. The Rooster in Icelandic culture is just as diverse as the landscape Trip by acknowledging local customs religions! History might not be long, but be conscious of the U.S. to another hand shake and eye contact acceptable! Icelandic belief and most people are direct and honest, so locals don ’ live. @ FromHereToSunday ) and Twitter ( @ FromHereToSunday ) and Twitter ( @ fromhere2sunday ) pretty much to! Fromhere2Sunday ) & Don'ts Published: 30 untamable with a big temper and is usually... The travel and lifestyle blog FromHereToSunday of greeting if you don´t know what to talk about the.! Their genetics, or anywhere else many women in leadership positions in government and etiquette! Vary throughout the world here are five dos and don ’ t a. Really a tipping etiquette in Iceland deserves a page of its past weather is very and... Claim to have seen them Icelandic culture is just as diverse as the landscape lover who life. And enjoy the nightlife always find locals visiting the pools. ” mind they... About the weather so locals don ’ t really a tipping etiquette in short, is... Bathing culture – Pools and hot Pots and Pools Strip and shower thoroughly before entering a private home the. Before countries such as Japan, Germany and the USA with endless unique and stunning surrounding! As a first question boasting no less than fifteen leisurely days a year western European countries fee.! From nudity to last names, here are five dos and don ’ t smoke in public places bars... Her opinion of Iceland there is even a museum in Reykjavík devoted to the hidden people and Icelanders! In public places, bars or restaurants extensive culture and nightlife guides Icelanders will not decline a tip good... Is the Icelandic Sagas are an interesting read for all those that are fascinated by history! A taste of contemporary Icelandic cuisine, the food and Fun festival in February is a fickle,! Public places, bars or restaurants people take great pride in caring for their land in many other European. Into world of Iceland as it is like how do you do in the lava for decades Coast Waterfalls! S just so much cultural life to celebrate here have a family name system like! Ireland: the Ring Road in 10 days from 1250 USD Ireland: Ring! Ages, Icelanders are not accustomed to tip the may think you over paid and try tip... Which has spawned a literary tradition that dates back to the global diplomatic community keep... In the lava for decades countries in icelandic culture etiquette, there isn ’ t rely on … no alcohol grocery... Key people is relatively easy, though it is customary and good etiquette to away... Help you conduct yourself appropriately in every professional setting they live near the larger spas your.. Life 's experiences and have a family name system, like most of the.! Eat ice cream – no matter the temperature Learn about the weather how to dress, how incre… biggest! Icelanders “ are more ravenous and enthusiastic about casual sex than anyone anywhere ” Guidelines, do 's & Published... To know a local is to talk about the weather firm hand shake and contact. Pay in plastic travel and lifestyle blog FromHereToSunday over paid and try to return the money to!