What to buy and what not to buy at Keflavík airport


    Posted on
    Monday, October 28, 2019

    Well, I’ve already given you some tips on how to drink on a budget in Iceland, which include buying alcohol at the duty free at Keflavík airport in Iceland. But there are some things you shouldn’t buy at the airport because they are way more expensive than in the city.

    But let’s start with the alcohol, just to get that out of the way. In short: the difference between buying alcohol at the duty free shop at Keflavík airport before you enter the country and buying it at the state run liquor store called Vínbúðin is ridiculous! You can literally save thousands of ISK just by spending a few extra minutes at the airport.

    All prices in this post were gathered between the 30th of June and the 3rd of July 2017.

    Here’s an example of beers you can buy at the duty free and how much you would save by doing exactly that:

    6 pack of Tuborg Gold 50 cl

    Duty Free: 1499 ISK
    Outside of airport: 2274 ISK

    Difference in ISK: 775 ISK

    6 pack of bottled Stella Artois 33 cl

    Duty Free: 1399 ISK
    Outside of airport: 2094 ISK

    Difference in ISK: 695 ISK

    6 pack of Carlsberg 33 cl

    Duty Free: 999 ISK
    Outside of airport: 1554 ISK

    Difference in ISK: 555 ISK

    So you see that I wasn’t just messing about. But just wait. Let’s move on and take a look at one brand of white wine and one brand of red:

    Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio 75 cl

    Duty Free: 1599 ISK
    Outside of airport: 1999 ISK

    Difference in ISK: 400

    Rioja Vega Crianza 75 cl

    Duty Free: 1499 ISK
    Outside of airport: 2398 ISK

    Difference in ISK: 899

    Ok, that’s not too bad. But are you ready for the real savings? The ones that will make you go: Saaaay what?! I give you the liquers and spirits:

    Icelandic Rhubarb Liquer 20 cl

    Duty Free: 2299 ISK
    Outside of airport: 2999 ISK

    Difference in ISK: 700

    Amarula Cream 1 L

    Duty Free: 2690 ISK
    Outside of airport: 4998 ISK

    Difference in ISK: 2308

    Bailey’s Irish Cream 1 L

    Duty Free: 2990 ISK
    Outside of airport: 4999 ISK

    Difference in ISK: 2009

    Bacardi Razz 50 cl

    Duty Free: 1499 ISK
    Outside of airport: 4199 ISK

    Difference in ISK: 2700

    Jagermeister 1 L

    Duty Free: 2790 ISK
    Outside of airport: 7999 ISK

    Difference in ISK: 5209

    Absolut Vodka 1 L

    Duty Free: 2699 ISK
    Outside of airport: 7799 ISK

    Difference in ISK: 5100

    I’ll let that just sink in a minute before I go on. I mean, how crazy is the price difference?

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    Who doesn’t love candy?

    I’m a big lover of candy, as you may know since I’ve gone out of my way to exchange candy with people from all over the world lately. There’s a lot of candy at the Duty Free at Keflavík airport and sometimes I wonder if I’m actually saving money buying it there, instead of just popping to my local grocery store. Well, I’ve done the math and divided my selection of candy into what to buy and what not to buy at the Duty Free.

    What to buy at the Duty Free:

    Omnom Chocolate Bars 60 g

    Duty Free: 899 ISK
    Down town Reykjavík: 1490 ISK on average

    Price Difference: 591 ISK

    Þristur Candy 250 g

    Duty Free: 303 ISK
    Bónus: 329 ISK

    Price Difference: 26 ISK

    Nói Licorice Chocolate Bar 60 g

    Duty Free: 118 ISK
    Bónus: 125 ISK

    Price Difference: 7 ISK

    Fazer Tyrkisk Peber 150 g

    Duty Free: 219 ISK
    Bónus: 259 ISK

    Price Difference: 40 ISK

    What NOT to buy at the Duty Free:

    Doritos Nacho Cheese

    Duty Free: 44 g for 179 ISK
    Bónus: 170 g for 149 ISK

    It’s shocking to learn that the price of Doritos per kilo at the Duty Free is over 4000 ISK. While at Bónus the price per kilo is close to 900 ISK. That’s just ridiculous!

    Nóa Mega Kropp 200 g

    Duty Free: 396 ISK
    Bónus: 329 ISK

    Price Difference: 67

    Nóa Siríus Chocolate Covered Raisins

    Duty Free: 800 g – 1199 ISK
    Bónus: 400 g – 498 ISK

    If you buy two 400 g bags of the raisins at Bónus, the damage would be 996 ISK – not 1199 ISK like at the Duty Free. Food for thought (pun intended).

    Nóa Siríus Kropp with pepper powder 180 g

    Duty Free: 368 ISK
    Bónus: 359 ISK

    Price Difference: 9

    Freyju Djúpur 150 g

    Duty Free: 299 ISK
    Bónus: 295 ISK

    Price Difference: 4

    Nóa Gummy Men 150 g

    Duty Free: 255 ISK
    Bónus: 175 ISK

    Price Difference: 80

    Góa Filled Licorice Laces

    Duty Free: 250 g – 349 ISK
    Bónus: 200 g – 235 ISK

    The price per kilo for the laces at the Duty Free is 1396 ISK. At Bónus, it’s 1175 ISK. That’s a difference of 221 ISK.

    M&M’s Chocolate

    Duty Free: 157 g – 314 ISK
    Bónus: 165 g – 279 ISK

    You can pay less for a slightly bigger bag at Bónus.

    Skittles Red

    Duty Free: 400 g – 849 ISK
    Bónus: 174 g – 198 ISK

    The price per kilo of red Skittles is more than 2000 ISK at the Duty Free. At Bónus it’s a little over 1000 ISK.

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    Pack a lunch

    One thing I always try to do when traveling is to bring snacks with me from home to the airport so I don’t have to buy overpriced fast food. Of course, it’s not possible to go through security with liquids, but I always carry a reusable water bottle when traveling to and from Iceland. You see, the tab water is clean and there’s also a faucet right outside the bathrooms at Keflavík International Airport where you can fill up your bottle. That can be some savings, seeing that a 750 ml bottle of water at the airport costs a whopping 430 ISK. So stupid to pay for something that’s free.

    Other drinks are also quite pricy at the airport. You can get a Svali juice for 215 ISK, but at Bónus that same carton costs only 132 ISK. That’s 83 ISK cheaper than at the airport. Icelandic chocolate milk is 205 ISK per carton at Keflavík airport, while at Bónus you can get six of them for 498 ISK or 83 ISK per carton. So the chocolate milk at Bónus is 122 ISK cheaper than at the airport.

    Fruit at Keflavík airport.
    Fruit at Keflavík airport.

    I noticed a sign at one of the restaurants at Keflavík International Airport recently where fruit was sold for 150 ISK per piece. That’s not so bad. However, I can get four pieces of my favorite brand of apples, Pink Lady, at Bónus for 398 ISK. That’s 99,5 ISK per apple, so savings of 50,5 ISK per apple.

    But if I could give you one piece of advice before traveling, if you want to save some money: Make your own sandwiches and snacks. Basic sandwiches at the airport will cost you something from 900 ISK to 1500 ISK. And that’s just the basics. If you’re traveling with children you could easily spend 5000 ISK just snacking at the airport. So, buy some bread and cold cuts at your local store and make sure you have enough to last you the whole trip.

    I hope my breakdown on what to buy and what not to buy at the airport has been helpful. The reason I chose Bónus as my local store to compare prices is because most pricing polls indicate that Bónus is the cheapest supermarket in Iceland.

    If you have any questions, make sure to send them to me at mustsee@mustsee.is.

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