If you’re visiting Iceland or planning on going, you’ll definitely need to make sure you have some handy mobile apps that’ll make your travel around Iceland easier and safer.
In this guide, I list the apps I used during my road trip around Iceland’s ring road as well as apps I use for planning my travel. Some apps focus on safety, as Iceland’s climate and landscape can lead to dangerous situations. But don’t let that scare you, as long as you are careful, and follow any safety guidelines, you’ll be fine. The apps listed will help you do things like take better photos, find cheap places to drink, and find where to go whilst others will give you safety advice, and offer audio or audiovisual tours of different parts of Iceland. Plus some apps, will help you plan your journey, and save money.
All the apps are available for Android and iOS. Some are available for Windows. A few apps are premium, but most are free or have a free version available.
1. 112 Iceland
112 is Iceland’s version of 911/999. This app is free, and I highly recommend everyone traveling with you to install this app on their phone. The app allows you to get help in an emergency by sending a text message, along with your GPS to 112, then it’ll call them for you. This is really useful as in an emergency, it removes the stress of having to open up your map app and find your location, etc. By sending them your GPS, 112 can track where you and your group are and as Iceland’s landscape can be quite treacherous, this app makes sure it’s easier to locate you and keep you safe.
Note: The tracking is only as accurate as your phone’s GPS, so I recommend calibrating your GPS before you head off. If you use Google Maps, there’s an explanation on how to do this here.
Wapp is a walking app, that acts as a sort of travel and hiking guide. You can use it to find trails, and while walking the trail it will pop up with information and photos. You can download the maps over WiFi and use them while you’re offline, which is a great way of avoiding data roaming costs. The app allows you to find hiking trails bt searching by the length of trail, elevation, difficulty, and territory. The app itself is free, but some of the trails require purchasing. But still, it’s a really good app to use when traveling in Iceland.
Having Vegagerdin installed on your phone is a must when traveling in Iceland. This is a road information app, and displays information on road conditions and the weather, so you can check if the route you’re traveling is safe. It’ll let you know whether a road is clear, slippery, very slippery, covered in snow, or impassable. Vegagerdin is free to download, and I highly recommend using it to check the road conditions in Iceland before heading out. I would check the app each morning, and again whenever I would stop off somewhere to confirm the roads are still safe before I continued driving.
4. Iceland Weather Guide
I really recommend grabbing this free Iceland weather guide. Whilst there are loads of weather guide apps out there, this one lets you download the information so you can check it again later without needing data roaming. The forecasts are detailed, and include tons of information for things things like temperature, conditions, wind speed, cloud cover, and more are available for up to 6 days. With 12 to 30-day weather forecasts available, based on archive data.
I found the best way to use this app, was to download the weather forecast each morning so I would have up-to-date information. I’d check it for the areas I was planning on visiting, and if it looked all good I’d head off.
This app is useful if you want to use buses within Iceland. It allows you to see the bus times, stop information, and plan your journey throughout Iceland. You can also pay for your bus trip if using it within the Greater Reykjavík area. It also lets you see where the bus is in real-time, so you can make sure not to miss it.
I recommend adding your payment details to the app before you head off to Iceland so you don’t have the stress of trying to get it working while you are there. To save data, you can check the bus times, stop information etc on WiFi and screenshot it to view later.
6. Appy Hour
If you are staying in Reykjavík and plan on drinking (especially in March if you’re there on Iceland Beer Day), download Appy Hour. This app is a must to help you save money whilst drinking. Anyone who has visited Iceland will tell you how expensive alcohol is, but thanks to Appy Hour you can at least try to stay within budget.
The app will show you when and where happy hours are taking place, plus the cost of a beer so you can figure out where and when to go drinking. The Appy Hour app is free so make sure you download it.
I always recommend Waze, whatever the country. Waze is a great alternative to Google Maps, if anything, it’s better (there’s a reason Google purchased it). The app allows people to report accidents, police, speed cameras, traffic etc. It’ll detect when you or others using the app are in traffic, and accesses traffic information. It uses this + the user submitted data to calculate the best journey, and if something happens when on the route it’ll figure that out, and calculate an alternative to save you time. You can also use it to find petrol/gas stations.
Plus you can share your journey, so people can see when you’re going to arrive or just keep an eye on where you are if you’re worried about safety. It also lets you make an account, record how far you traveled and lets you get cute little user icons that show up on the map.
Waze is free for both iPhone and Android.
8. My Aurora Forecast & Alerts
When visiting Iceland, an aurora forecast app is a must. My favorite is “My Aurora Forecast”. It gives information on strength, viewing probability, and cloud coverage. It also includes a map so you can see where the aurora will be strongest at. It’ll also send a free push notification when auroral activity is expected to be high. I used this app in Iceland to see when the aurora was taking place, so I could plan what spot I wanted to be in, at the time it was going to happen. I attempted to see the Aurora 5 times in my 2 weeks in Iceland, and successfully saw the Aurora all 5 times thanks to this app. If you combine it with some of the location-finding apps on this list, you’ll be sure to get some awesome viewing points and photos.
My Aurora Forecast is free, although they do offer a paid version with extra features.
9. Iceland Film Locations
Iceland has become a popular place for filming movies and TV series, such as Game of Thrones and Vikings. With this app, you can locate where your favorite movies/tv shows were filmed, and be guided when visiting them. The app includes an audio-video guide for each location, that can be downloaded via WiFi so you can learn more about the location without using up your data.
The Iceland Film Locations app is free to download.
10. Flight Aware
Due to the unpredictable weather in Iceland, you may have issues with flights being canceled or delayed. FlightAware lets you see the status of your flight, and look up other possible flights you could take if something was to happen during your stay in Iceland.
11. Photomapper: Best photo spots
Photomapper allows you to find photo spots during your travels. Chances are, while you’re in Iceland you’ll want to be photographing its amazing landscape, the northern lights and waterfalls. So this app is definitely worth downloading to find where there are some good photography spots, which will allow you to spend more time taking photos and enjoying Iceland than driving around looking for places to stop.
Iceland has very little light pollution, so I highly recommend doing some astrophotography or stargazing while in Iceland. Soon as you’re away from the main cities, you’ll be able to see millions of stars. This app will help guide you, so you know what stars or planets you’re looking at. The apps free to download.
13. The Photographer’s Ephemeris
This app is a must for photographers. It shows what time the sun and moon set and rise, plus the direction they’ll be rising/setting in. This information is available well in advance so you can go through the dates you’ll be visiting Iceland to check the times & locations for each of the locations you want to photograph. This is great for planning out the sunrise, and sunset shots to ensure you’re in the right place, at the right time.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris is not free, but it’s definitely worth buying. They do, however, have a web version that is free to use. I do recommend grabbing the app for your mobile though as it’s much easier to use, and supporting the developer helps ensure this great app is maintained.
14. Thingvellir National Park app
During your visit to Iceland, you’ll most likely be visiting the Golden Circle. Thingvellir national park is located within the Golden Circle, and the landscape is amazing with tons of things to see. This app uses audio guides and GPS to help guide you through the national park. Plus it provides information on opening and closing times, and hiking routes. It’s definitely worth grabbing this app if you’re visiting Iceland’s Golden Circle.
Peak Finder is really useful for helping you identify the names of different mountains and hills while you’re in Iceland. Iceland has tons of mountains that look awesome, and thanks to this app, you can now quickly identify them. It isn’t a free app, but it’s worth buying if you like to easily look up what mountains are called. It’s really useful to photographers as it can help us ID what we’re taking photographs of whilst taking photos in Iceland. I like to use this app, so I know where I am, and what I am photographing and can then, later on, I can name and describe my photographs properly.
16. Iceland Hot Springs Map
This free app will help you find hot springs as you’re traveling around Iceland. The app will use your GPS to locate you and show you hot springs near your location. You can also look around the map, so you can find hot springs you want to visit before you go to Iceland.
This app is freemium, with the free version having a selection of hot springs locations unlocked. But some of the best locations are locked, and you’ll need to upgrade by paying a one-off fee to access those.
17. Icelandic Coupons
Iceland is one of the most expensive countries in the world, so I recommend downloading this free coupon app to help save you money. The app shares discounts on restaurants, bars, cafés, and activities. There are coupons available for every day plus they do 2 for-1 deals on certain days.
There are coupons for places all over Iceland, not just in Reykavik. Depending on when you visit you may find discounts for food at gas stations, Icelandic brands such as Icewear, geothermal baths, kayaking, and other activities. You can also search using your location to find discounts near you, so I recommend grabbing this app and using it whenever you’re looking for food, drink, or booking activities.
18. SafeTravel – Iceland
This is another safety app but it’s worth having as this one covers the coastal areas, roads, volcanos, etc. This app will display alerts from Iceland’s Road and Coastal administration. If you enter your destination, they’ll alert you as to whether there’s any important safety information about your destination.
They also include a guide for color codes, so you can quickly tell what each color means when viewing the map (e.g. green is easily possible, and red means closed). You can also do a free driver’s test, which will check that you know the rules regarding driving in Iceland which I highly recommend doing to ensure you’re safe. The driver’s test is quite short but covers ( everything you need to know.
The app is free, so make sure to download this and stay safe.
I hope you found this guide helpful. Make sure to stay safe whilst visiting Iceland, and if you’re visiting in March make sure to check out my tips on visiting Iceland in March.
If you found an app and would like to share it with others, drop a comment and let everyone know.