These 50 Striking Things Have Been Seen Only by Those Who Have Been to Iceland at Least Once

26 Apr 2024

Cold Climate

As you undoubtedly already know, the first thing you should know about Iceland is that it may get very cold. Although the temperature does not remain consistently icy throughout the year, it is generally acknowledged that the weather is not at its warmest.


This may be the reason why many people from sunny countries cannot tolerate the extreme cold that Icelanders have become accustomed to. When out on the town, some girls are very hardy against cold weather—better dead than simple!

Sports Enthusiasts

Sports are a big part of Icelandic culture, and as you can guess, it's crucial to find entertainment when there's not much to do in a place with such a small population.


Icelanders are known to be incredibly passionate about sports, their national teams, and their favorite athletes, while most people throughout the world are accustomed to cheering on their favorite teams. During sporting seasons or tournaments, it is not unusual to witness people demonstrating their enthusiasm for sports on the streets.

Amazing Caverns

The fact that Iceland's extreme cold produces a variety of breathtaking natural phenomena is one of the finest things about it all. This is but one of the several ice caves found across the nation.

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These extraordinarily luminous natural formations are mainly made of rocky ridges that have frozen into an icy ceiling. But, getting to them usually requires walking, so get ready for an adventure!

Snow-Related Gridlock

Driving in a place with extreme weather, like Iceland, comes with a variety of challenges or oddities that need to be considered.


One of the things to be aware of is snow jams, as nobody wants to be stranded in below-freezing weather. It is crucial that you depart in a suitable vehicle to avoid having to push the car in the snow later like these females do while wearing miniskirts. Really chilly!

Await Your Arrival to the Restroom!

It seems a little unsettling that someone has to post a sign like this, but perhaps it's best to know where the land mines are! As you may imagine, having the entire area to yourself means that, sometimes, running out of toilet paper can be a serious issue.


It's advisable to pay attention to the warning signs and hold off until you reach the restroom because it appears that many people decide to "empty the tank" in the Icelandic wilderness.

Dwellings for Elves

The concept of elves and other supernatural creatures has gained popularity in popular culture, and it's encouraging to see someone take the subject seriously because they are the focus of so many films!


Elf culture is very much a part of Icelandic society because it is founded on traditional Nordic ideals and folklore. In Iceland, it is not unusual to come across tributes like these tiny elf cottages, which are sure to bring good fortune.

There are Puffins Everywhere!

Puffins are among the most magnificent birds in the animal kingdom, and they stand out from other species due to their distinctive beaks and color schemes. Puffins are said to have originated on the continent and are recognized as one of Iceland's national birds.


It is known that puffins travel to many different places across the world, including Siberia, Morocco, New York, and France. Their formative years are spent at sea where they acclimate to the cold.

A Unique Regional Dish

As we previously discussed, Icelanders have a low tolerance for fast food that is mostly of Western origin, and it can occasionally be difficult to find even common snacks.


Locals typically favor foods that have been a part of their cuisine for hundreds of years. One such delicacy is hakarl, a big shark that is eaten as cured steaks. Snack options abound in terms of fruits and veggies.

People Forget About Clothes

People in Iceland are used to being naked since the majority of the country is sparsely inhabited. The reason for this is that these spaces tend to be considerably more private and have an open atmosphere, particularly in public areas like saunas, spas, and gyms.

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People appear more inclined to take off their garments, despite the fact that the temperature is typically below zero. Say what you will about our warnings!

No Railroads

Iceland has made multiple attempts throughout the years to establish a national train network as part of its public transit program. Too many automobiles and not enough people is the main issue!


If you ever intend to go across the nation, you'll most likely rent a car. You should always make sure you have extra petrol on hand in case you run out during a sub-zero snowstorm. That's not the best way to spend your vacation, would you?

Icelandic Equines

Many creatures are able to survive in Iceland despite the country being mostly covered in ice and snow throughout the year. Because they are descended from a particular breed of horse that existed in Iceland during the Viking Age, these are known as the Icelandic horse and are unique to anywhere else in the world.

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Despite their common appearance, these horses are actually very different: they are smaller, their coats are shaggier, and their movement is peculiar. They roam freely, unlike most horses you know.

Organic Power

One of the few nations that has placed a strong emphasis on obtaining greener, more sustainable energy is Iceland. In Iceland, geothermal energy currently powers over 85% of residences, with the remaining energy needs being primarily met by the government through the use of wind and hydroelectric power plants.

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We sincerely hope that the knowledge gained in Iceland will serve as a good model for this kind of technical advancement to gain greater traction globally.

Sauces are Great!

Salsa is just a cultural obsession in Iceland. They consider no dish to be complete until the sauce is finished, which is arguably the component of their culture that most closely parallels the Western diet.

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As a matter of fact, the nation serves a number of distinct foods that are typically served with their unique sauce. Among the most well-liked are Bearnaise, Pylsusinnep (a type of grainy mustard), and Remúlaði, a British-favorite vinegar mayonnaise.

Can of Air

Due to increased environmental pollution and global warming, many people are searching for pure air, to the point where some have made it their business.

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The best choice is to travel to Iceland and experience the fresh air, but if that isn't possible, you may still purchase one of these cans. Even though we don't think it was a wise purchase, it would still be a lot more enjoyable to give than a t-shirt that reads, “My friend went to...”. 

Miss Universe's Unusual Line of Work

The most attractive women on the planet compete in the Miss Universe pageant, which is held annually in various nations.

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A stewardess by the name of Maria Leifsdóttir competed in the competition in 2016 on behalf of Iceland and won. Consequently, she rose to prominence as one of Iceland's most well-known models and now travels for most of her time. There will be other stunning Icelandic flight attendants on board besides her!

This is How Icelandic Police Operate

Being one of the few nations in the world with an exceptionally low crime rate, Iceland is widely regarded as one of the safest. You may be sure to feel secure when visiting.

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In addition, police officers are more likely to be kind, helpful, and amiable than traditional authority figures—and if you meet the appropriate ones, you could even find them to be very amusing!


In terms of geography, Iceland is essentially neighbors with North America, even though it is widely regarded as one of the most distant places on Earth.

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The North Atlantic ridge technically splits Iceland in two, with the eastern portion of the nation situated on the Eurasian tectonic plate and the western side of the continent sharing the same tectonic plate as North America. In actuality, scuba diving between these two plates is a very favored tourist pastime.

An Enormous Set of Shootings

In many aspects, it appears as though the landscape hasn't altered in thousands of years, making Iceland one of the most surreal natural vistas you will likely witness in your lifetime.

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Because of this, the mainland has long attracted artists and creatives, and more recently, it has developed into a hub for major international film and television productions. A number of movies, including The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Game of Thrones, were filmed in Iceland.

Generally Deserted Towns

It's interesting to note that 60% of Iceland's overall population lives in Reykjavík, the country's capital—a small amount when compared to other nations. 

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This also implies that it's normal to walk through other cities and discover, mostly, deserted streets—as if they were abandoned ghost towns. In stark contrast to the crammed villages, we are accustomed to.

The World's Youngest Nation

Iceland is the most recent example of a civilized biomass in human history, having been one of the last places where people chose to colonize and establish new lives.

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The explanation is equally humorous: a millennium ago, the Vikings by chance discovered the large island and decided to settle there permanently.

A Beer, Bartender

As weird as it may sound, seeing beers in Iceland is actually quite unusual. Why, given that it's essentially a universal component of bars everywhere in the world? It is interesting to note that, up until about a century ago, beer was illegal in Iceland and might result in legal consequences.

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Even though brewing has been allowed in Iceland for some time, the situation is nevertheless peculiar.

There are Two Tectonic Plates

UNESCO has classified the natural landmark "Thingvellir" in Iceland as “geographically significant.”

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Not only did it serve as the natural meeting spot for the Irish parliament's political gatherings far into the 14th century, but it is also one of only two locations on Earth where the two tectonic plates—North America and Europe—can be seen together, separated barely a few inches on the surface.

Hey, Which Trees Are These?

Strange as it may sound, there are very few forests, luxuriant vegetation, or any other forest-related features in Iceland. The explanation is straightforward: when the Vikings settled, they needed all the wood on the island to construct their cities, which resulted in the nearly total eradication of all trees.

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Even with the government of Iceland's current reforestation efforts, finding a tree wherever we walk remains a pretty unusual sight.

Ultimate Jeeps

Since Icelandic terrain is so uneven, people might ask for what are called Super Jeeps, which are 4x4 vehicles that have been altered to be able to go through any place with ease.

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It is common to come across visitors or locals driving these imposing, yet exhilarating cars while strolling across Icelandic landscapes. When this happens, it is not unusual.

Icelanders' Dating App

Iceland has its own dating app, unlike anywhere else in the world. 

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Even though this may sound unique in and of itself, it serves another function: because of Iceland's sparse population, the app informs you whether the person you wish to spend a Saturday afternoon with is related to you (be careful!) or not (ideally not!).

The Magnificent Marine Turtle

The replica of the largest sea turtle ever seen in Europe is located in the region of Hólmavík. After repeatedly terrorizing local coasts, a crew of armed fisherman hunted it in 1963, and it went on to become a revered tourist attraction and a symbol of the province.

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Strangely enough, Iceland forbids the keeping of turtles as pets. Maybe because they still associate them with those scary beach evenings.

The Committee for Icelandic Nominations

In Iceland, having a kid brings with it an interesting situation: any name will do. 

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The government literally has the right to reject naming a boy or girl if it doesn't meet the requirements of effect, the Icelandic Naming Committee, possesses the authority to sue parents if they believe that the name they choose to give does not sound like the Icelandic naming custom.

The Greatest Glacier in Europe

The largest example of a place crystallized and immortalized by time is found in Iceland and is called Vatnajökull. Every traveler agrees that seeing this glacier, which cuts across a significant portion of Icelandic territory, is an amazing experience.

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Situated at the center of Iceland's most valuable natural resource, it offers an experience that is almost identical to going to its core.

Lamb Hot Dogs

It's interesting to note that hot dogs—surprisingly made with lamb sausage—are one of the most iconic dishes from Iceland.

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They always fill them with a handmade sauce, the recipe of which they won't share, giving them an extremely appealing appearance, as seen in the photo. They also have an odd texture and flavor. delectable!

Water's Power

With a length of over a hundred meters and a drop of forty-four meters, the Dettifoss is the most potent waterfall in all of Europe. It is a stunning sight to behold in the Icelandic environment.

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The breathtaking vistas it offers to anyone who ventures inside to witness it surpass even the force of the river. Definitely one of the most suggested tourist destinations.

Little One Parking

Be at ease: infants seen wandering the streets of Iceland are not a sign of maltreatment or neglect. It seems that Icelanders take their food courts' quiet policies quite seriously; in fact, public strollers are provided so that parents can leave their small children outside while they sip their coffee.

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In contrast to the rest of the world, it appears incredibly alarming, but they have already come to terms with it. 

Conventional Wrestling Competitions

The traditional wrestling style practiced in Iceland is called Glima, and it involves knocking down your opponent with only grabs and circling motions, like a waltz. 

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It's regarded as a highly gentlemanly sport, with regulations designed to keep players from being either passive or aggressive. Drengskapur, the Glima honor code, is a word that denotes safety and respect.

The Military Corps in Iceland

As the country with the smallest armed forces in the world—it may sound unbelievable—coming across a moving soldier is an extraordinary experience in and of itself. Just the small air force and navy, which haven't engaged in hostilities in any recent conflict, remain as state forces after the final land-based military base—also held by the United States—closed its doors in 2006.

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Furthermore, as a national security team rather than a military one, they enjoy greater respect. a tiny bunch for a nation that ought to be tranquil.

Classic Barbecues

Nothing beats a cozy fire to ward off the cold, and in Iceland, fire is an essential part of everyday life. When the weather gets a little warmer in the summer, the locals will probably enjoy a traditional outside BBQ with some drinks and warm company to keep them warm.

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Thus, if you intend to stay, be ready to partake in copious amounts of food prepared over a fire and outdoor summertime festivities.

The Northern Lights While Flying!

The chance to see the Northern Lights clearly is one of the most magnificent sights in Iceland and a major reason why so many people visit the country.

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This spectacular light show is the result of high-altitude solar radiation from the sun's magnetic and UV fluxes being dispersed throughout the Earth's atmosphere. They're even included in Iceland Air's aircraft!

Beautiful Dawns

Living in a region with this kind of ambiance allows you to see some amazing lighting conditions, which is one of the best things about living there.


The fact that the sun sets at midnight in the summer and can remain dark for nearly the whole day during the winter months in Iceland is among the most peculiar aspects of the country's seasonal changes. It's advisable to make sure you have thick curtains or a blindfold to assure relaxation because this can be rather difficult to adjust to.

Numerous Volcanoes

Iceland is situated on a huge tectonic ridge, which causes frequent earthquakes around the continent as the underlying plates move. As a result, strong volcanoes have formed all over Iceland, several of which are still active today.


A large volcano erupts every four years; if you have the guts, it's absolutely worth witnessing one up close!

Pristine Water Quality

Because Iceland has so many natural springs and glaciers, its water is known for being exceptionally pure. This water is safe to drink straight from the faucet and requires little treatment before it reaches homes. Icelandic tap water is among the cleanest in the world, and visitors are frequently pleasantly surprised by its taste and clarity. 

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Whether you're cooking or just having a glass of water, Iceland's immaculate water quality not only showcases the country's dedication to environmental conservation but also improves the overall experience.

Produce Exchange Points

Icelanders place a high value on trust and honesty in their society, which is reflected in many aspects of daily life. One such example is the proliferation of produce exchange locations throughout the country. These exchange locations, which are commonly found along rural roads, allow farmers to sell their products directly to consumers, eliminating the need for intermediaries.

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Customers simply select the things they want to buy and leave payment in the relevant box. This arrangement displays the Icelanders' strong trust in one another.

Own Currency

Unlike many European countries that have adopted the euro as their official currency, Iceland maintains its own currency, the Icelandic krona (ISK). This decision reflects Iceland's desire to retain control over its monetary policy and maintain its economic independence. 

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While the Icelandic krona's value can fluctuate against other currencies, it remains an integral part of Iceland's identity and sovereignty. Visitors to Iceland will need to familiarize themselves with the Icelandic krona for transactions during their stay.

Absence of McDonald's

Despite being a global fast-food giant with a presence in numerous countries, Iceland stands out as an exception. The reasons behind McDonald's departure from Iceland in 2009 are multifaceted, including economic factors, consumer preferences, and regulatory challenges.

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Nevertheless, Icelanders have embraced alternative dining options that celebrate local ingredients and traditional Icelandic cuisine. From hearty seafood dishes to innovative takes on Nordic specialties, Iceland offers a rich culinary experience.

Whale-Watching Paradise

Husavik's claim to fame stems from its thriving whale-watching industry. With its coastal waters teeming with diverse whale species, the town has rightfully earned the title of "whale-watching capital." Visitors can embark on exhilarating whale-watching tours from the port, offering the chance to witness these majestic marine mammals in their natural habitat. 

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For those seeking deeper insights into the world of whales, Husavik is home to the renowned Whale Museum.

Akureyri's Heartwarming Traffic Signals

In the picturesque town of Akureyri even the traffic lights embrace a touch of whimsy and romance. Instead of the traditional red circles that signal "stop," visitors and residents are greeted by charming red hearts, adding a delightful twist to everyday traffic management.

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Whether residents are rushing to work or leisurely exploring the town's attractions, the presence of these endearing symbols serves as a gentle reminder to spread love and kindness in every aspect of life.

The Streets Look Like Illustrations From a Fairy Tale!

Such colorful pictures on the asphalt and sidewalks can often be seen in various cities in Iceland! It creates the impression that you are in a fairy tale!

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In fact, these decorations not only bring a smile but also remind us of the importance of respecting the LGBT community.

Even Within the Same Family, Members May Have Distinct Last Names

In many parts of the world, family names are passed down through generations, creating a sense of lineage and continuity. However, in Iceland, a distinctive last name system challenges this tradition, fostering a culture of individuality and inclusivity within families.

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Traditionally, when two individuals in Iceland marry, they do not adopt a common family name. Instead, they retain their respective last names, preserving their individual identities. This practice extends to their children, whose last names are derived from a combination of their parents' first names.

Viking Sword Road Looks Amazing!

In Iceland, not only the natural landscapes are breathtaking, but also the wonders of human architecture! For example, take a look at this bridge designed in the shape of a Viking sword! 


A mesmerizing sight! It was crafted in this form for a reason, as Iceland reveres its Viking ancestors!

The Hotel Phone Will Wake You Up if the Northern Lights Appear in the Sky!

Many people go to Iceland not only to enjoy the incredible scenery and to see whales and other animals. One of the main highlights of this country is the northern lights! 


It looks fantastic and many people dream of seeing it with their own eyes. That’s why hotels even have a special button, pressing which will trigger it and wake you up if the northern lights appear in the sky.

The Children You Will See There Are Named Only With Approved Names!

The thing is that the Icelandic Naming Committee, established in 1991, created a list of approved names - there are about 2,000 of them for each gender.


If parents want to give their child a name that is not on the officially approved list, they must submit it to the committee for approval so that its staff can assess whether the name conforms to Icelandic grammar and whether it will cause embarrassment to its owner in the future.

Unification of Natural Phenomena!

The photo shows an incredible place where the blue sea, yellow river, and black beach meet! The drone photo perfectly shows this incredible landscape in all its scale! 


We can only envy those people who will fly by on an airplane and will be able to see such beauty.

Amazing Pedestrian Crossing

We think you've seen that Iceland has many man-made wonders - and here's one of them!

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It's cool that someone turned on the imagination and created an unusual crosswalk in 3D! We are sure that not only tourists but also locals like it.

A Giant Rock in the Shape of an Elephant's Head

Nature often works wonders, especially in Iceland! Located on the island of Heimaey, this mountain looks very much like an elephant's head! 


It is formed mostly from basalt rocks, which also mimic the gray elephant skin with amazing accuracy. This amazing mountain formed because the lava flows that came down were cooled by seawater.