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Everything You Need to Know About Tap Water in Iceland


Iceland tap water

One of the questions you’ll most likely have upon landing in Iceland is whether or not you can drink the tap water. Being able to drink water from the tap is much more convenient than purchasing bottled water, not to mention the money and plastic saved!

So, let’s explore everything you need to know about tap water in Iceland. In this blog, we’ll answer the question ‘can you drink tap water in Iceland?’, so you’re fully prepared for your epic trip to the Land of Ice and Fire!

Is Iceland Tap Water Safe to Drink?

When it comes to tap water, Iceland is one of the best countries in the world to drink from the faucet. In fact, Iceland is famed for having some of the purest tap water in the world. So, if you’re wondering ‘can you drink tap water in Iceland?’, the answer is yes, absolutely – Iceland tap water is safe to drink.

Iceland tap water is not only drinkable, but it also tastes really good. It might even be some of the best you've ever had in your life! Have you heard about the impressive Iceland tap water drinking quality before? Try it for yourself and you’ll see!

Tap water in Iceland comes straight from the source, originating from the country’s many glaciers, streams, rivers and waterfalls. The fresh, pure water from these natural sources then goes through a water treatment facility to be processed, just like water in any other developed country. The crisp, clean water that’s produced is simply delicious!

Iceland tap water

Can You Drink Bathroom Tap Water in Iceland?

While tap water in Iceland is perfectly safe to drink, we recommend taking this water from the kitchen tap, rather than the bathroom tap. Although bathroom tap water is most likely safe to drink, the quality can vary depending on the pipes and water storage system. If possible, it’s much better to drink from a kitchen tap.

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

So we've established that Iceland tap water is drinkable, clean and perfectly safe. But what about those persistent rumors about the tap water in Iceland having a distinctive sulfur smell?

It's true that, depending on the temperature of the water, you may notice the scent of sulfur, which smells like rotten eggs. But don’t worry, only the hot water is sulfur-scented, so your cold drinking water will be odor-free!

That’s because Iceland is powered by geothermal energy, heated from the Earth itself. Whenever you come across a natural spring, there's a high probability that it’ll be warm, or even hot because Iceland is a volcanic island with magma and sulfur dioxide (SO2) flowing just beneath the surface.

In fact, when you’re exploring geothermal areas, like Hverir, you’ll most likely notice the same sulfur smell. Tap water in Iceland is geothermally heated by passing close to these natural heat sources, absorbing some of its properties.

So if you're taking a hot shower, your nose will definitely pick up this particular aroma. Also, bear in mind that the sulfur-tang is more noticeable in the north of Iceland than in the south.

Icelandic water safety

How to Avoid the Sulfur Smell of Tap Water in Iceland 

It's quite easy to avoid the Iceland tap water sulfur smell when it comes to drinking water. Cold water here is completely different to hot water. As it’s not heated, it doesn’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 and refreshing, with no hint of sulfur. If the person before you was using hot water, then don't fill up right away. Instead, let the water run for a while until the smell has gone, so you can avoid the water in your glass having the distinctive sulfur smell and taste.

Once you’ve let the tap water run for a few seconds, until the hot water has had the chance to leave the valve, you'll notice the smell has disappeared and you’ll be ready to fill up your glass or water bottle with pure, clean Iceland tap water.

Iceland Tap Water: Your Money-Saving Secret

If you've done any research about Iceland, you already know that prices can be expensive. Everything from food to gas to groceries can be pricey for many tourists in comparison to their home countries.

Travelers are always looking for ways to save a few bucks and we don't blame them! One of the ways that people save money in Iceland is by drinking the Icelandic tap water and, therefore, avoiding purchasing bottled water. Not only will you be helping the planet by not using plastic, you'll also be doing your wallet a huge favor

Why not bring a refillable water bottle and top it up with Icelandic tap water at your hotel, holiday home, or wherever you get the chance on the road? You'll likely be enjoying a wide range of outdoor activities while in Iceland, which require you to stay hydrated, so it’s important to bring along enough water for your days out.

Refillable water bottle

Drinking Tap Water in Iceland

Now that our Iceland tap water guide has enlightened you, you can spread the good news to your fellow travelers that tap water in Iceland is safe (and delicious) to drink! Not only that, but the fresh, clean and refreshing Icelandic water that flows from the tap is some of the best water you will taste.

Of course, remember to stay hydrated while hiking and exploring Iceland’s spectacular landscapes. We recommend keeping a water bottle or two in your Iceland car rental, so you’ll always have some fresh Iceland tap water to enjoy during your day out!