Home > Blog > Tap Water in Iceland: Is it Safe?

Tap Water in Iceland: Is it Safe?


Iceland tap water

A common question when traveling to a new country is whether or not you can drink the tap water. It's one of the things people ask the most, and Iceland is no exception. So can you drink tap water in Iceland? And what about all those rumors about sulphur? We'll break it down and cover everything you need to know about tap water in Iceland. 

Is the Tap Water Safe to Drink in Iceland?

When it comes to tap water, Iceland is one of the best countries in the world to drink from the faucet. Is the tap water safe to drink in Iceland? Absolutely! And not only is it perfectly fine to drink, it also tastes really good. It might even be some of the best you've ever had in your life. 
Think about it. We have an ample supply of fresh, pure water straight from the source: the country’s glaciers, streams, rivers, and waterfalls. It goes through a water treatment facility and is processed just like water in any other developed country. So, of course, the tap water is safe to drink in Iceland.

Iceland Tap Water: Your Money-Saving Secret

If you've done any research about Iceland, you already know that prices can be astronomically expensive. Everything from food to gas to groceries is pricey. Travelers are always looking for ways to save a few bucks and I don't blame them. 

One of the ways that people save money is to not purchase bottled water. Not only will you be helping the planet by not using plastic, you'll also be doing your wallet huge favor. 

Instead, bring a refillable aluminum or Nalgene plastic bottle and fill it up with Iceland tap water at your hotel or wherever you get the chance. You'll likely be taking part in a wide range of outdoor activities. This means you'll be sweating under all of those layers and losing a lot of fluids. Tap water in Iceland is a great way to replenish everything you've lost so that you stay energized and refreshed.

Iceland tap water will give you some extra wiggle room in your road trip budget for your Iceland car rental

Iceland Tap Water’s Sulphur Smell: Is it True?

So we've established that Iceland tap water is clean and perfectly safe to drink. But what about those persistent rumors about sulphur? Well, I'll be perfectly honest. They don't come from nowhere. 

We are a country powered by geothermal energy. Whenever you come across a natural spring, there's a high probability that way it will be warm or even hot. That's because Iceland is a volcanic island with magma and sulfur dioxide (SO2) flowing just beneath the surface. In fact, geothermal areas like Hverir and the occasional hot spring will have the same sulphur smell.

In many cases, water in Iceland is geothermally heated by passing close to the natural heat source and absorbing some of its properties.
It's true that depending on the temperature of the water, you may notice the scent of rotten eggs. Iceland tap water is sulphur-scented when hot water flows from the spout. So if you're taking a hot shower, your nose will definitely pick up this particular aroma. It's more noticeable in the north of Iceland than in the south for some reason.

Tap Water Iceland Secret Trick

But don't freak out or let that put you off. It's quite easy to avoid the Iceland tap water sulphur smell when it comes to drinking water. Cold water here is completely different. It's not heated, which means you won't have the same scent as hot water. All you have to do to make sure that your drinking water doesn't smell is to let it run cold from the tap. 

When you turn the faucet on, start it all the way to the side that has cold water. What comes out will be icy, refreshing, and not have a hint of sulphur. If for some reason the person before you was using hot water, then don't fill up right away. The liquid in your glass will smell and possibly have that distinctive taste.

You want to let it run for a few seconds until the hot water has had the chance to leave the valve. Now you're ready to let the cool water run. Once the smell disappears you're all set to fill up your glass or water bottle.

Tap Water in Iceland: Is it Safe?

So now you know. The unequivocal answer is that yes, tap water is safe to drink in Iceland. It's fresh, clean, delicious, and refreshing. Icelandic water that flows from the tap is some of the best water you will ever taste in your life. To avoid stinky H2O, be sure that the water runs cold from the faucet before you top up your refillable bottle. And of course, remember to stay hydrated while doing the Skógafoss waterfall hike or trekking Vatnajokull glacier.

Reykjavik Auto
October 2019


Our website uses targeted advertising cookies. By continuing, you are agreeing to allow us to deploy cookies, as detailed in our privacy and cookies policy.
Learn more