10 Weird Things About Icelanders & Iceland

Magazine 10 Weird Things About Icelanders & Iceland

Every country has its cultural oddities. What is weird is relative to what you are used to. But, just for fun we put together our list of 10 weird things about Icelanders and Iceland. We hope you enjoy it!

  1. Icelanders do not leave voicemails. Period. Because of this, Icelanders tend to always answer their cell phones, even in meetings. This is not considered rude.
  2. Icelanders have public social security numbers, called Kennitala.
  3. Approximately 80% of Icelanders still believe in elves, trolls and ghosts
  4. Icelandic phone books list people by their first names.  
  5. Iceland is home to the very first parliament grounds in Europe. In the year 930 AD, the first Parliament met in Iceland in what is today Þingvellir National Park
  6. Icelanders speak Icelandic which is unchanged from ancient Norse. If an Icelander travelled back in time 1000 years, he or she would be able to converse with the people who settled the country.
  7. Iceland had the first democratically elected female Prime Minister, Vigdis Finnbogadottir
  8. Iceland also has the first openly gay female Prime Minister, Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir
  9. Mothers leave their babies sleeping outside in baby carriages.  They will park the carriage outside their homes or even while in a shop.  
  10. Beer was illegal until 1989.  Yup, you heard right.  For a country that loves its alcohol, beer was illegal from 1915 until 1989. Of course there was a lot of sneaking and cheating in regards to beer.  This came out of a Temperance movement that believed that because beer was cheaper than spirits, people would become alcoholics if they had access to beer.

So, there you go - 10 weird and quirky things about Icelanders and Iceland. And, if you travel to Iceland, we’re confident you experience some of this yourself. As, for the beer, there is now lots of great breweries in Iceland, stop by one of Reykjavik’s most popular bars, called Slippbarinn located within Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina - also one of Reykjavik’s most popular hotels. Cheers from Icelandair Hotels!

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