After you’ve booked your trip and planned your itinerary, you start to dream more about your upcoming adventure. Practical concerns come to mind, like can you drink tap water in Iceland. It’s a crucial piece of information to know before you set off on your road trip. You may have heard rumors about Iceland tap water and it having a weird taste or smell. We’ll cover all of that and give you tips for staying hydrated with a nice refreshing glass of Icelandic H2O.

Iceland tap water filling up a glass

Tap Water in Iceland

The tap water in Iceland is some of the cleanest, freshest, most delicious drinking water in the world. Our water source is glaciers and streams, so you know it comes from a pure place. So if you’re wondering if you if the water here is safe to drink, we have an unequivocal answer for you. Yes, you can drink tap water in Iceland. You won’t get any weird stomach bugs or suffer from indigestion.

Like any modern country, our infrastructure is well set up, and that includes cleaning, filtration, and distribution of the water supply. You won’t find any sediment or strange colors or a weird taste like the drinking water in some places. The clear water running through our pipes is some of the best you will ever taste. In fact, the freshness of Icelandic drinking water is something that visitors comment on frequently.

Iceland Tap Water – The Ultimate Money Saver

Many tourists eyes light up when I tell them that drinking tap water in Iceland is a great way to save money. Because you won’t be spending extra on a liter or two of bottled water every day, you’ll have some extra króna for meals and activities. It’s important to stay hydrated during the glacier hikes and waterfall exploration you’ll be doing. You lose a lot of fluids sweating under your layers, and you’ve got to replenish them frequently.

While making your packing list for Iceland, be sure to include a refillable aluminum container or plastic Nalgene water bottle. You can top up for your daily water intake at the tap or a natural spring you come across while exploring our gorgeous landscapes. If you’re planning a hiking or backpacking trip, be sure to include this essential item.

Iceland tap water drunk by female hiker from plastic reusable bottle

The same is true if you’re at campsites. The water running from the tap flows out cold, fresh, and clean. Just top up before you head out for the day and remember to refill constantly.

Iceland Tap Water’s Sulphur Smell

Picture this. You go to get some of that tasty Icelandic water you’ve heard so much about. You turn on the faucet and instead of a rush of Iceland tap water, a sulphur smell hits your nose. With this stinky surprise, you think “Wait a minute, that’s not what was I expecting”. The same thing may have happened when you visited a hot spring or geothermal area like Hverir.

Here’s the deal. Iceland is a volcanic island, and many things, including our water supply, are heated by geothermal energy.  The Iceland tap water sulphur smell comes from this, nothing more nothing less. It’s not harmful, and we Icelanders have been drinking it for generations without any issues or problems.

The Secret to Sulphur-Free Tap Water

If it’s not something you’re used to, I can see why an unusual aroma might freak you out a little at first. So here’s a tip for the best way to get sufphur-free Iceland tap water. It all comes down to temperature. The drinking water that comes out of the faucet has no trace of chemical compounds when it’s cold water. It smells and tastes like regular bottled water or from a natural spring.

Hot water is where you’ll run into problems. Hot water in Iceland can sometimes have the mild odor of suphur. If you’re taking a shower in the north, the scent can be slightly stronger or more pungent. The secret is making sure the water runs cold long enough for there to be no smell. Just open the tap on cold, and you’ll be fine.

Iceland tap water running on cold

Can You Drink Tap Water in Iceland?

To answer the question is the tap water safe to drink in Iceland, the answer is yes. Our drinking water comes all the way from glaciers that are tens of thousands of years old. It’s pure, fresh, and clean. Depending on the time of year, you might even be able to drink from a glacier directly. We also get lots of precipitation, so our streams and rivers are constantly refilled with water straight from the source.  

Just be sure to bring your reusable water bottle with you so that you can refill whenever you need to. Make sure that the water that flows from the tap comes out cold so that you can avoid that strange, egg-like odor. And know that the water here is safe, even if it does smell a little funny at times.

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