Meet singles in Iceland. No, not like those creepy adverts featured on streaming sites but through your smartphone. The dating app Tinder is extremely popular in Iceland; here is some insight as to how Tinder works in Iceland and some tips if you chose to play.


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Visitors to Iceland often like to inquire about that notorious Icelandic dating app that the residents here all famously use. You know, the one we use to check if we’re related before we do the dirty.

In all honesty, people hardly ever check before the fact; maybe deciding to find out exactly how related they are after one or two hook-ups down the line (because we are all related 8-generations back). Yes, it’s a rather strange rite but it’s how we know a relationship is becoming serious.

One app that is guaranteed to be on most Icelandic singletons’ phones, is Tinder.

Tinder in Iceland.

Iceland is a very small country with a population of only 350,000 people, so, as you can imagine, Tinder works differently here.

On the streets, Icelanders tend to look at each other differently when compared to other countries. Lingering looks at people you pass on the street are more common, allowing slightly more time to register a face and whether you recognise it.


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This is considerably different from the brazen anonymity of larger cities in other countries. If you catch people looking at you, it’s probably just because they’re trying to figure out if they know you.

Tinder is different too. For people living in Iceland, it’s inevitable that you will come across profiles on Tinder belonging to people you know. It’s almost always tempting to swipe right on those people to see if they did too, even if you’re not romantically interested.

Nor should you be! Image Credit: Facebook/Tinder

If they did and you’re not, you immediately deploy the clear friend zone message, “isn’t Tinder funny “ making it clear you don’t like them in that ‘way’. You escape with your friendship intact but with the benefit of an ego massage although ultimately they could have been doing the same thing.

It’s also possible to judge someone you don’t know by checking which friends you have in common (because you most likely will) and appraising them off of that. “Ew, they hang out with those creeps, no thanks.”

Back to the small population size; you’re quite likely to see people you’ve seen on Tinder IRL in Iceland, even if you haven’t arranged to meet up. Considering the diminutive dating pool (or ‘puddle’ rather), it’s also quite common for Icelanders to bump into people they have actually hooked up with so they’re already pretty chill in this regard.

If someone you’ve matched with on Tinder does approach you, don’t feel awkward, treat it as a conversation starter! You’re not obliged to do anything and you could make a friend or drinking buddy for the evening.

Regular users, will, eventually, run out of people! That may seem completely absurd to people visiting from places such as the UK or the USA but, yes, the message ‘There’s no one new around you’ is a thing, forcing you to extend your search distance, age range and perhaps, lower your standards.


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As a dating app, Tinder in Iceland also has an intricate relationship with other social media platforms. It’s not uncommon for Icelanders to try to find their new Tinder match on Facebook or Instagram to learn more about them or browse more photos than the carefully selected ones chosen to represent an ideal online persona.

This might sound kind of creepy and I suppose it is but Tinder is kind of creepy when you think about it.

Photo Credit: The Blue Diamond Gallery

People don’t really tend to go on dates in Iceland and they’re even less likely to date a random tourist that’s only here for a few days.

Yes, Tinder in Iceland is more of a hook-up device than anything promising long-term love in the future although that’s not to say it never happens. Who knows, you might find your Mr/Miss (swipe) Right; just avoid disappointment by not expecting to.

If you do match with someone, the best approach is to meet at a bar or coffee house or at a local swimming pool. The swimming pool option might not be the best strategy for same-sex matches as you might prefer to end a date seeing each other naked rather than starting that way.

Mr. (swipe) Right – He’s out there! Credit: Instagram/@hank_ge

One tip of what not to do on Tinder in Iceland: Do not bombard your new match with travel questions. Tinder is meant to be fun and no one wants to work as a tourist information point in their free time. That’s what websites like ours are for!

The best tip for Tinder in Iceland is to be respectful and have fun! Despite our small population size, we’re not simply waiting for a boatload of new blood to arrive so we can jump their bones. Make conversation, respect boundaries and have a laugh.

Get swiping and good luck!


What are your experiences of dating in Iceland? Have you used Tinder in Iceland before? Be sure to leave any comments or queries in the Facebook box below.

About The Author

Writer / Content Editor

Katrín was born in Iceland, but spent most of her childhood in London. She studied Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, attending digs in Romania and Cyprus. Katrín is part of the Reykjavík stand-up scene and regularly performs in English. She's also an amateur juggler.

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