Refugees coming to Iceland may need various forms of support and information, such as job and housing, financial matters, children's school attendance, rights, and obligations.

Here you'll find practical information about the various services that Ísafjarðarbær provides to refugees with legal residence in the city.

If you have questions about anything concerning living in Iceland or if you need assistance with residence permit, working permit, registration, housing benefits, social housing, childcare, etc., the welfare department in Ísafjarðarbær can assist you.

The welfare department also provides social services for the town of Súðavík.

The department is located in Hafnarstræti 1, Ísafjörður, and has office hours Monday to Friday from 10 am-3 pm.

Please call 450 8000 or send an email to to make an appointment.


The Red Cross

The Red Cross is part of the coordinated reception of refugees in Iceland. They offers spokespeople for people seeking international protection as well as social support and provide various services to refugees, for example guiding friend, language training, recreational fund and more.

The Icelandic Human Rights Centre

The Icelandic Human Rights Centre offers free legal counselling for immigrants in its office on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:00-16:00. The services of a translator are provided, upon request, also free of charge.

The Icelandic Church Aid

The Icelandic Church Aid is a non-profit organization that carries out humanitarian and aid work in the name of the national church. They offer aid for families in need. 


A change of residence needs to be registered at or at the offices of the Westfjords Police, Hafnarstræti 1, Ísafjörður.


Fræðslumiðstöð Vestfjarða, Suðurgata 12 in Ísafjörður, is a lifelong learning center. It offers Icelandic courses and assistance in getting your education recognized in Iceland.

Opening hours
Mon: 9 am-5 pm
Tue: 8 am-5 pm
Wed-Fri: 8 am-4 pm

If you want to study Icelandic online, might be the right choice for you. These courses are offered by the University of Iceland.


Electronic identification (Rafræn skilríki or electronic ID). This type of ID is designed for electronic communication and is issued in collaboration with Icelandic authorities. If you have a smartphone, you can get your electronic ID activated at:

Landsbankinn. Hafnarstræti 19, Ísafjörður and Íslandsbanki, Hafnarstræti 1, Ísafjörður


Verk Vest — The workers union in the Westfjords, is Hafnarstræti 9 in Ísafjörður. At Verk Vest, you can get information about your rights and obligations as an employee in the Icelandic labor market.

Opening hours
Monday-Friday: 9:30 am-3 pm
Tel: 456 5190

 KJÖLUR is a union of public servants. Its foundation is based on the merger of public servants unions employed by local governments as well as municipalities in the north and west of Iceland. KJÖLUR is a member of BSRB, the Federation of State and Municipal Employees. Their offices are at Aðalstræti 24 in Ísafjörður.

Opening hours
Monday-Friday: 10 am-4 pm
Tel: 525 8383


The town offices of Ísafjarðarbær are in the large, grey building at Hafnarstræti 1, by the town square in Ísafjörður. The offices provide general services for locals and others. There you can also find advisors for different departments of the municipality, Welfare Department, Financial Department, Environmental Department, and School & Leisure Department.

Opening hours
Monday-Friday: 10 am-12 pm and 12:30 pm-3 pm
Tel: 450 8000


The district commissioner office, tax office and police station are at Hafnarstræti 1, Ísafjörður.

The district commissioner issues various permits and certificates, including residence permits, passports, driver's licenses, permits for operations of restaurants, guesthouses, bars, and more. The office is also an agent for Iceland Health and the Social Insurance Administration.

Opening hours
Mon-Thu: 9:30 am-3:00 pm
Fridays: 9:30 am-1:30 pm
Tel: 458 2400

The tax office helps with tax related matters as well as custom matters.

Opening hours
Mon-Thu: 9 am-3:30 pm
Fridays: 9 am-2 pm
Tel: 442 1000 

To contact the police, call the emergency number 112.



Residents of Ísafjarðarbær have good access to general health at the Westfjords Health Institute in Ísafjörður and dental services in Ísafjörður and the neighboring town of Bolungarvík.

The Westfjords Health Institute operates a hospital, health center and nursing home in Ísafjörður and smaller health centers in Þingeyri, Flateyri and Suðureyri.

Make an appointment at the health center by calling 450 4500 or by sending a message at through

Opening hours of the health center in Ísafjörður
Mon-Fri: 8 am-3 pm
Tel: 450 4500

Vaccinations have been common in Iceland for many decades, especially vaccination of children. This is very important, since epidemics will not be controlled unless most people are vaccinated. If you have children, we kindly ask you to inform the healthcare services what vaccinations your children have received. Vaccinations for children are free of charge.

For medical services outside of daytime, call 1700

In case of emergency, call 112.

Dental service is free of charge for children aged 3-18 apart from an annual fee of ISK 2,500

It is recommended that children go to the dentist for a checkup at least once a year.

Two dentists works at the health center in Ísafjörður, Viðar Konráðsson and Margrét Theodórsdóttir. They perform all general dentistry and emergency services outside the opening hours of the dental office.

Tel: 456 3737

Katrín Ugla Kristjánsdóttir is the dentist in Bolungarvík. She has a dental office with the dental technician Rebekka Líf Karlsdóttir, in Höfðastígur 15.

Tel: 456 7077


Ísafjarðarbær offers social and leisure activities for senior citizens in Hlíf Ísafjörður, Sunnuhlíð in Suðureyri, and Tjörn in Þingeyri. The aim is to prevent social isolation, encourage creative activities and find channels for the knowledge, experience, and skills of the participants by providing facilities for gymnastics and recreation.

A day ward for senior citizens is operated in Hlíf, Ísafjörður. It is open on weekdays between 10 am and 4 pm. The day ward offers leisure activities, light exercise, food, rest facilities and assistance with bathing.

Ísafjarðarbær municipality has service apartments for the elderly at Hlíf I, Ísafjörður, and at Tjörn, Þingeyri, both for couples and individuals.

The service apartments have a security system and a choice of diverse services such as lunch, laundry and cleaning and access to social activities and social domestic services. Staff are available during the day and a 24-hour on-call service is provided.


There are six kindergartens in Ísafjarðarbær, one in each of the smaller towns of Flateyri, Suðureyri and Þingeyri, and three in Ísafjörður, whereof one is just for five-year-old children.

Daycare services are generally available for children from the age of 12 months and is subsidized by the municipality.

Kindergartens in Ísafjörður are closed for four weeks due to summer vacation, but for five weeks in Suðureyri, Flateyri and Þingeyri.

Opening hours are from 7:45 am-4:15 pm.

Enrollment is online through the service portal at or with the school officer, Guðrún Birgisdóttir,, tel: 450 8000.


Primary schools in Iceland are mandatory and free of charge.

There are four primary schools in Ísafjarðarbær municipality: in Ísafjörður, Suðureyri, Flateyri and Þingeyri. In all schools, hot food is offered at lunchtime for a small fee, and after school centers are available for the youngest children.

The schools are open from 7:50 am.

Enrollment is online through the service portal at or with the school officer, Guðrún Birgisdóttir,, tel: 450 8000.


Two art schools operate in Ísafjarðarbær, Ísafjörður Music School and the Art School of Rögnvaldur Ólafsson.

Ísafjörður Music School was founded in 1948 and offers classes in all major instruments. The headquarters and concert hall are at Austurvegur in Ísafjörður, but there are branches in Suðureyri, Flateyri and Þingeyri.

Information about classes and enrollment can be found at

The Art School of Rögnvaldur Ólafsson has piano and singing classes and shorter courses in various arts.

Information about classes and enrollment can be found at


Public swimming pools are an integral part of the Icelandic culture. They are a place to connect with others, relax, have fun, and give undivided attention to family and friends. In other words, it is a communal place.

Ísafjarðarbær has four public swimming pools, in Flateyri, Ísafjörður, Þingeyri and Suðureyri. The pool in Suðureyri is the only outdoor pool in the municipality. There are warm wading pools outdoors in Flateyri and an outdoor hot tub in Þingeyri. The annual pass for the swimming pools in Ísafjarðarbær is also valid for the swimming pool in Bolungarvík. Opening hours can be found at

There are five sports halls in the municipality. Two are in Ísafjörður; a small hall in the same building as the swimming pool at Austurvegur, and a large sports hall in Torfnes. In Suðureyri, Flateyri and Þingeyri the sports halls are in the same buildings as the swimming pool. Suðureyri, Flateyri, and Þingeyri sports halls also have small gyms. In Ísafjörður, the gym is run by Stöðin, Sindragata 2.

Ísafjörður has an alpine ski area in Tungudalur valley and a cross-country ski area in Seljalandsdalur valley. All information about the ski areas can be found at

A good overview of hiking trails can be found at


Most sports clubs in the region operate under the banner of the Westfjords Regional Association, HSV.

HSV also operates a sports school, intended for children in grades 1-4 in elementary school, where all children can participate in diverse and organized sports activities with little cost. The sports school takes place during school hours or immediately after the school day.

The goals of HSV's sports school are:

  • To get as many children as possible to play sports.
  • That children's first encounter with sports is positive.
  • That children get to know as many sports as possible.
  • To increase the quality of training.
  • Reduce household costs for children's sports.
  • Enhance the basic training part of sports training.
  • Increase movement, motor development and mobility among children.

More detailed information about available sports activities can be found on the association's website,



The Ísafjörður Culture House houses the library, regional archive, Ísafjörður art museum and Ísafjörður photography museum.

The library has a good selection of books, magazines, and films in Icelandic, English and a few other languages. There are special rooms at the library for children and teenagers, study and reading rooms and meeting facilities.

Opening hours
Weekdays: 12 pm-6 pm
Saturdays: 1 pm-4 pm
Second Monday of the month, the library is open until 9 pm.
Tel: 450 8220


Vesturafl is a mental rehabilitation center for people who, due to illness and/or other temporary conditions, are unable to take an active part in the society, at work or at home. Vesturafl’s mission is to break social isolation and encourage people to participate in society.

Vesturafl also runs a secondhand store at Suðurgata 9 in Ísafjörður where you can buy clothes and household equipment.


Town offices
The town offices in Súðavík are at Grundarstræti 1.

Opening hours
Weekdays: 10 am-12 noon and 1 pm-3 pm.
Tel: 450 5900

Health center
The health center in Súðavík is part of the Westfjords Health Institute, and is located in the same building as the town offices. A doctor is only present for pre-scheduled appointments.

Opening hours
Thursdays: 1 pm-2:30 pm.
Tel: 450 4500

Kindergarten, primary school, and music school

The Súðavík school consists of a kindergarten, primary school, and music school, all headed by one principal. 

Senior citizens

Senior citizens in Súðavík are offered leisure activities at Grundarstræti 1.

Opening hours
Mon-Wed-Thu: 1 pm-5 pm.

Súðavík town offices

Súðavík school

Are you new in Iceland? Or still adjusting? 
Multicultural Information Center 
Ísafjarðarbær Municipality’s webpage 
Verk Vest, the workers union in the Westfjords 
The Icelandic Confederation of Labor 
The Directorate of Immigration 
Register Iceland 
Housing benefits 
Legal counselling for immigrants free of charge. 
Information about Icelandic society


Official facebook page for Ísafjarðarbær municipality.

Buy and sell items such as clothes and furniture, etc. You can also place an ad if you are looking for an apartment or a job.

Húsnæði til leigu/sölu Ísafjörður og nágrenni
Housing for rent/sale in Ísafjörður and the surrounding area.

Lánum og fáum lánað - Ísafjörður og nágrenni
Borrow stuff from your neighbors.

Auglýsingatafla Ísafjarðar og nágrennis
Bulletin board where people can post ads about events, buy and sell things, etc.

GEFINS, N-Vestfirðir
Get free stuff from people in the area.

Fræðslumiðstöð Vestfjarða
Center of learning for adults and Icelandic courses.