Reykjavik is the capital city of Iceland and is located on the coast. A trip to Reykjavik is a bucket list item for many travelers; with charming buildings downtown and more rugged scenery further out, it has the best of both worlds- in one magnificent location. With extensive Viking history, stunning seascapes, and geothermal spas, it’s an idyllic and culturally-rich city. Headed to Reykjavik? In order to take full advantage of everything Reykjavik, Iceland has to offer, we’ve put together a transportation guide to help you get around the city.
Here’s your full guide on how to get around Reykjavik, a run-down of your transportation options and tips and tricks for your Reykjavik trip.
How to get from Keflavik Airport to downtown Reykjavik
So, you’ve arrived in Iceland- now what?
Keflavik Airport is a bit of hike from downtown Reykjavik. It usually takes about 45 minutes each way.
Flybus Airport Transfer:
If you’re looking for a super easy and cost-effective transfer service from Keflavik Airport to your destination in Reykjavik, we’ll do the homework for you- head over here for the Flybus Airport Transfer. Just provide your hotel address or destination at the time of booking. It’s simple, you have your info ahead of time and, it won’t break the bank.
There are other transfer services available from the airport as well.
Gray Line Airport Express:
Similar to the Flybus, the Gray Line service will bring you to the city from the airport. Keep in mind that the terminal isn’t that close to the downtown core, so it may not be the easiest option.
Minibusses are available from Airport Direct from the airport to downtown Reykjavik. For Airport Direct service, you must purchase a ticket for a specific time which may be an issue if your flight is delayed. Service also stops in the evening so for flights arriving after 4 p.m., it won’t be the best option.
For late arrivals, a taxi will be your best shot at getting into the city. It’s important to note that taxis are the priciest option. Uber is not available in Iceland at this time.
How to get Around Reykjavik
Transportation Option 1: Public Transportation
Iceland has a public bus transportation city that runs in multiple cities. The bus system, called Strætó in Icelandic, is a useful way to get around Reykjavik- though perhaps a little confusing. Buses service the entire city and stop at many major attractions.
You can find the timetables and routes for the buses in Reykjavik here.
It’s worth noting that the bus route schedules differ on Saturday, Sunday, and on holidays. Check the timetables before planning your time to make sure buses will be running or what time they start. For the most part, most buses end service at around midnight, most days. However, some buses may not run on Sundays.
The best way to figure your route, find the nearest bus stop or locate buses in real time is to download the Strætó App for use on the go. Simply input your starting address and your destination to find out the best way to get there using the bus system. Don’t forget- be sure to grab a SIM card for your Iceland trip.
Pro-Tip: While not strictly enforced, you are not permitted to eat or drink on buses. You should enter the bus at the front doors and pay your fare upon entry. When you want to disembark the bus, you should be sure to press the button to notify the driver, otherwise, they may not stop.
Reykjavik Bus Fare Info:
Single fares for the Reykjavik public bus are as follows (you must pay in exact change):
Single Fare (General, Adult): 470 kr
Single Fare (Children aged 6 – 17, disabled and elderly aged 67 or older): 235 kr
Night Fare: 940 kr
Children ages 5 and under can ride for free
Bus Tickets are sold in packs of 20. There is a price break for ticket packs, so travelers who will be in Reykjavik for a while and will be taking the bus often should consider this an option. At regular fare, the price for a pack of 20 tickets is 9,100 kr.
If you’ll be in Reykjavik for an extended trip (at least one month), you may want to think about purchasing a month-long card. This allows for unlimited travel on the bus for an entire month. The price for a regular fare one-month pass card is 12,800 kr (a little more than US$100).
You can check out all fare options here.
A list of all ticket, bus card, and bus pass vendors can be found here. However, if you can also use the app to purchase tickets for the bus as well- no need to carry around exact change!
Pro-Tip: For travelers exploring Reykjavik for 24, 48 or 72 hours, a great and wallet-friendly option is the City Card. The City Card grants you unlimited, free access for the city bus, a free ferry ride to Viðey, as well as free entry to Reykjavik museums and galleries, the zoo, and thermal pools.
24-Hour City Card price: 3,900 kr
48-Hour City Card price: 5,500 kr
72-Hour City Card price: 6,700 kr
There are 24-hour and 72-hour public bus card options (for the city center), that only allow access to the bus, without the option of free entry (more info here) but for tourists, your best bet is the City Card.
Transportation Option 2: On Foot or By Bike
Luckily, if you’re going to be spending a day or two just within the city center, you can easily adventure around the city on foot, or even by bike. Bike rentals are available in Reykjavik for about 4,000 kr per day. While not super inexpensive, if you will be sightseeing across the city, to multiple points, biking may be a good option. However, it’s good to keep in mind that the terrain may not be what you’re used to. If you’re hoping to see museums, parks or gardens, or historical sites and landmarks within the city, it should be doable by foot. We recommend using Google Maps to plot out your points of interest and put together a map of your journey.
Transportation Option 3: Taxi
Unfortunately though, there is no Uber or Lyft in Iceland, however, they do have taxis. For budget-travelers, taxis may not be the best option. Multiple 24-hour service taxis are available in the city. While flexibility is a pro with a taxi service, they can be pretty expensive.
You can find a full list of 24-hour taxi services here.
Transportation Option 4: Tours
Tours allow you to visit multiple major attractions or landmarks in a city, all in one day. Day tours are available for Reykjavik’s most popular spots including the Blue Lagoon and the Golden Circle. It’s a great way for a more DIY approach to planning your vacation and you can sit back and relax while your tour guides bring you from place to place.
Our travel experts have picked out a few of our favorite day tours or services in Reykjavik:
Transportation Option 5: Car Rental
For tourists who want to travel at their leisure and wish to travel across cities or to more remote regions, renting a car might work best. Most likely, you will need an international driver’s license for this. Smaller, Prius-size vehicles, 4×4 SUVs, or even camper vans are all accessible as a rental, depending on your needs. If you’re hoping to head out of the city and to visit more rural areas, this might be a good fit. If leaving out of Europe, you are able to bring over your car via ferry from Denmark.
Tips n’ Tricks: Don’t forget about the ferry!
Videy Island, just off of Reykjavik, is a picturesque island featuring sweeping views of the mainland and an extensive network of trails. If you’re in Reykjavik, it’s definitely worth a stop! The island can be explored on foot or by bike. You can easily take the ferry from Reykjavik to Videy. Trips on the ferry are free with a City Card. You can learn more here.
Travelers coming from within Europe can choose to adventure to Iceland via the Symrill Line Ferry from Denmark. As mentioned, you can bring your car or motorcycle. You can check out more details here.
With your comprehensive transportation guide to getting around Reykjavik, traversing across this magnificent city doesn’t have to be difficult. Purchase your tickets to Iceland and prepare for a real *chill* trip!