The Best Mobile Apps for Tourists in Iceland
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Smartphones are ubiquitous these days. And developing all manner of weird and wonderful Apps for them has created a thriving tech industry worldwide. Whether you want to find a cycle route across the Icelandic highlands, map the constellations or catch a bus. As the slogan goes there is an App for everything.
These days there is a growing trend towards unplugging from our screens and devices. And there is a lot to be said for how smart phones can impede our interactions both with people and places. But there is also no denying how useful they can be. They allow us to pack away those unwieldy paper city maps and rely on google maps to navigate. No more heated arguments in the car between navigator and driver. We can stay in touch with family and friends back home sharing our experiences. And we can meet new likeminded friends with just a few clicks of the right App.
There is no doubt that smartphones and their capabilities have changed the way we travel considerably. And there are certainly pros and cons to the phenomena. But used in the right way with moderation and discernment they can really enhance our adventures. So without further ado here are our recommendations for the best travel apps for tourists in Iceland.
The Vedur App
This Icelandic weather App is indispensable if you plan on driving in Iceland. Anyone taking an Iceland road trip will need to keep a very close eye on the weather. Icelandic weather can change very quickly. Storms can roll in suddenly and can be quite intense. Sometimes weather conditions get so bad that there is nothing you can do but pull over and wait it out. If you are forewarned then you can change your travel plans and stay safe and snug at your hotel or campsite. Vedur is managed by the Icelandic Meteorological Office and is kept very much up-to-date. Downloading this one is a must if you are hiring a motorhome or camper and road-tripping in Iceland.
The Vegagerdin App
Another very useful app if you are travelling in Iceland by road. This one is updated by the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration. It is a great resource on all things road-related and is updated meticulously. Road conditions can get tricky in Iceland and especially so in winter. This app will keep you abreast of any road closures and other potential hazards. It also provides webcams and helps you to plan alternative driving routes if necessary.
Iceland Road Guide
One more helpful app for road travel in Iceland is the Iceland Road Guide. Road signs in foreign countries can get confusing. Especially if you are in the midst of driving, navigating and enjoying the scenery all at the same time. This app explains all of the road signs you might come across and their meanings. It also flags up gas stations and hundreds of Iceland’s natural attractions along your route. So you can see what you will be passing near and choose where to take a rest stop.
This app is quite literally a lifesaver. It allows you to send a distress signal to the Icelandic emergency services no matter where you are. It uses GPS location to tracks your whereabouts so there is no need for a phone signal. Just make sure that you also have phone-charging equipment with you when heading out into the wilds of Iceland.
If you are planning on doing any hiking in Iceland then this is a wonderful app. The mapping feature functions using offline maps. So there is no need to wait for slow loading google maps if you don’t have full mobile coverage. There are detailed trail maps and information about the areas of natural and historical features.
Thingvellir National Park App
Thingvellir National Park has great historical and natural importance in Iceland. This fun and the user-friendly app helps to explore the park in more depth. Users can access a range of fascinating audio-guided tours as well as hiking routes and even treasure hunts.
Aurora Forecast App
If you are visiting Iceland in winter then this is THE app for Aurora hunters. With up-to-the-minute advice on where and when to see the Northern Lights in Iceland. You can set an alert to ping you when the lights are likely to show and get into position.
Icelandic Film Locations App
Iceland’s incredible landscapes have featured in many famous films and TV shows. From Star Wars and Game of Thrones to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. This fun app will tell you all about the different filming locations so you can take a themed selfie or two.
If you are spending a few days in Reykjavik and would like to sample the bar scene this is a great download. Drinking alcohol in Iceland is quite different to most other countries. Firstly it can be very expensive, especially in bars and restaurants. If you are hoping to buy alcohol in a shop then you must go to the state-run shops only. And even there it is not cheap. Many of the bars in Reykjavik have happy hours from about 4 pm. The Appy Hour app is a great resource for tracking down the best of them. The same developers also have good apps for restaurants in Iceland and events in the capital.