ICELANDIC KRONA: THE CURRENCY OF INDEPENDENCE
According to Countryaah, the Icelandic krona is the legal tender of Iceland and has existed since the country gained independence from Denmark in 1918. The Central Bank of Iceland has held the sole right to issue banknotes since 1961, and the right to issue coins followed six years later. You can order the latest varieties here directly online or buy them from a travel bank branch. In our currency converter you will find the current XE exchange rate from euros to Icelandic kronor.
ICELAND AS A DANISH COLONY
It was a long way before Iceland was able to introduce its own national currency, the íslenks króna. The country is mentioned for the first time on a coin as a Danish colony on a Danish piaster from 1771. The first attempt to establish an independent currency by having Icelandic characters minted on Danish coins failed. With the establishment of the Scandinavian Coin Union, to which Iceland as a colony automatically belonged, only the Danish krone was valid as a means of payment in Iceland.
THE SUBUNIT EYRIR NO LONGER PLAYS A ROLE
The Icelandic krona is officially divided into 100 aurars (singular Eyrir). This denomination is currently no longer relevant and was de facto abolished in 2003.
COINS UNDERSCORE THE IMPORTANCE OF FISHING
Coins currently exist in values of 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 kroner. Due to the high inflation, however, the small coins are hardly of any importance here either. On the obverse, the coins consistently show the four guardian spirits of Iceland: dragon, eagle, giant and bull. With images of fish such as cod, capelin (a fish belonging to the smelt family) or a sea hare, the backs refer to Iceland’s most important industry, fishing.
BANKNOTES COMMEMORATE THE FIRST STATESMAN
Iceland Currently there are banknotes of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and, since October 2013, also of 10,000 kroner in circulation in Iceland. The individual banknotes, which differ only slightly in size, show people from Icelandic history. Common to all banknotes is a watermark showing Iceland’s first statesman, Jón Sigurðsson. His portrait is also shown on the 500 kroner note.
AFTER THE FINANCIAL CRISIS: ICELAND IS HAPPY WITHOUT THE EURO
The bankruptcy of the investment bank Lehman Brothers also had serious consequences for Iceland, which plunged into a massive financial crisis. All three of the country’s major commercial banks had to close, causing the Icelandic krona to plummet. Potential accession to the EU and the prospect of the euro as a stable currency alternative became temporarily more attractive for the residents of the island state. However, the enthusiasm quickly cooled down again. In spring 2014 the Icelandic government decided to withdraw the application for membership in the EU. That is why the Icelandic krona will remain the island nation’s currency in the future.
CHANGE TRAVEL MONEY IN GOOD TIME
Despite the fact that credit card payments and electronic banking are very common in Iceland, more cash has been in circulation since 2007. So it is worth changing enough cash well in advance of the trip. In bars and restaurants, tips are already included in most bills, but the service providers are happy if you pay an additional tip. Many travelers like to buy the typical souvenirs such as wool sweaters, hats or furs. For more helpful tips on staying in Iceland, check out our Iceland travel guide.
ORDER ICELANDIC KRONOR ONLINE
You can easily change Icelandic kronor and other currencies at XE. Simply select the type you want and view the rate, and you can order the currency online. The travel money will then be conveniently delivered to your home within a few days. Alternatively, you can exchange euros for Icelandic kronor at one of XE’s branches.
THE CURRENCY AT A GLANCE
1 Icelandic krona (islensk króna) = 100 aurars. Currency abbreviations: IKr, ISK (ISO code). Banknotes are in circulation to the denomination of 10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000 and 500 IKr. Coins in denominations of 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1 IKr. Aurar have no meaning in practice since 2003.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE REGULATIONS
No restrictions on the import and export of local currency up to a maximum of 8,000 kroner. Unrestricted import of foreign currencies, from 10,000 € declaration obligation. Export of foreign currencies up to the amount declared, minus the exchange amounts.