Getting to and from the airport
Sure you could take a cab, although I talked with some people who did and it cost them something like 9000 Kr ($140 US). However, I'd recommend taking the FlyBus which is run by Reykjavik Excursions, a local travel company. These buses will coordinate their scheduel with incoming International flights, so you can just head outside and jump onboard. It cost me 1200 Kr (as of April 2007), which is around $18 US. The bus is comfortable and convenient and will take you to the BSI station just on the edge of town where you can either disembark and jump in a mini van to your hotel, or do like I did and walk it.
I know some people are against using tour companies and sometimes we have wondered that ourselves but i have nothing but praise from Reykjavik Excursions. They pick up and drop off at your hotel, they were always on time, polite and the coachs in excellent condition.
Your 1st encounter with RE will probably be the Flybus from the airport. You are taken to the main bus station were you are then told to stay on that coach or are put onto another one to be taken to your hotel.
We used them for 3 trips.
South Shore. By far one of the best trips we have done anywhere in the world. We saw waterfalls, a musuem of all things Icelandic, the black sanded beach of Vik, fasinating rock formations and the best of all a glacier. We were lucky as at this time of year it is very hit and miss whether they can go to the glacier with the road conditions. It really was a great day and well worth the money. the guide was very knowledgeable and was very amusing too.
Golden Circle. Again a great tour where you get to see the massive waterfall at Gullfoss and the Geysirs. Our weather was not the best so seening the geysirs was quite tricky but again was good. We also went to the National Park were you get to cross the Atlantic Rift and see how the plates of the Earth are pulling apart.
Blue Lagoon. It was lightly snowing when we went and was very bizarre to be sat in a steaming pool of geothermic water at a lovely 39 degrees whilst it is freezing cold. the silica mud to put on your face and body is very cleansing and leaves your skin nice and soft. There is also a steam and sauna plus a wonderful waterfall which you can stand under. We got the tour that drops people back at the airport but it also goes back to Reykjavik too. We left at 11.00 and you leave the Blue Lagoon at 14.10, you get around 1 hour 40 minutes in the lagoon and that is plenty of time.
The best, and cheapest, way to get from the airport to Reykjavik is to take the Flybus. It's run by the same company that does many day tours (including to the Blue Lagoon, which is actually very close to the airport), and runs many times a day, starting at 5 a.m. At certain times of the day, including for the early morning run, you can arrange pick-up from your hotel: smaller buses do the rounds between 4:30 and 5 and gather passengers up, and then you transfer to larger buses at the station. Don't be tempted to get a taxi: even with four people, that will be a lot more expensive than four Flybus tickets!
If you are going to see something other than Reykjavik and are not going to rent a car, you will get to know this place real well. First, this is the first stop for the Flybus from Keflavik. Secondly, this is the main bus terminal for buses out into the heart of Iceland. The station is on the edge of the town towards the Pearl, on Vatnsmyrarvegur. There is a Full Circle passport which allows you to hop on and off, going in one direction, all the way around the ring highway of Iceland (Route 1). Its cost is about 400 USD.
The cheapest and best way to get from Keflavik to Reykjavik is by the Flybus. The bus will be labeled, "Reykjavik Excursions" as this is the company that operates the line. It also runs a tourist operation to most of the sights aorund Iceland. The cost was about 10USD and you can pay on the bus itself, in either USD or ISK. Whats great is that you tell the driver where you are staying and they drop you at the doorstep of your accomodation.
Front door service!!!
Flying into Iceland you will be landing in Keflavik (pronounced KePlavik) which is about 50 km south of Reykjavik. It is a very small one level airport. Icelandair is the main airline into Iceland (go figure). From the States, you can fly from Boston, Baltimore, Minneapolis/St Paul, Orlando, San Fransisco, and New York's JFK. You MUST check their website for current schedules, because at certain times of the year flights from certain cities all flights cease.
A very cool option offered is to have a layover, up to 7 days in Iceland, before flying into one of their destinations in Europe. Most of the flights I have seen are at least equal, and sometimes cheaper, than direct flights.
There are 2 airports in the Reyjavik area. The international airport where most visitors arrive from is actually in Keflavík, which is about 50 km west of Reykjavik. Taxis into the city are available at the airport as well as an airport bus. The domestic airport which offers to other parts of Iceland as well as to Greenland is in the city of Reykjavik itself. Be sure that you know which one you need to go to before you go!
Car hire in Iceland
The easiest way to see the sites in Iceland is by hiring a car. Ok, so car hire in Iceland is amongst the dearest in Europe...but it gives you the flexibility to visit all the amazing sights at your pace. (Though of course, there are plenty of bus tours you can go on that cover many of these sights)
Due to local contacts, we found affordable car rental through AG Car Rental. We hired a small Daewoo Kalos, perfect for the two of us, though meant that we had to stick to the main roads - but the "main" sights were easily accessible. If you hire a (much more expensive) 4WD you can visit all those real off the beaten track places.
Our car was delivered to us at our apartment in Reykjavik at a pre-agreed time and then collected again as arranged. The car was clean and the service friendly.
If you are going to hire a car, make sure you do some research so that you understand all the road signs. Also, ensure that you drive with your headlights on at all times, as this is law in Iceland - our hire car actually had its headlights wired to turn on whenever the engine was on.
We found driving easy in Iceland - the roads were in good condition and well sign posted.
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
- Adventure Travel
Getting around Reykjavik
Reykjavik is a pretty compact city. Most of the main attractions in town are all within walking distance. We spent half a day checking out the main attractions and found everything conveniently centrally located.
The bus network can take you anywhere else you may want to go within the city. There are two main bus stations in town (not to be confused with the main BSI Bus Terminal), and a flat fare of 220 kroner is charged.
The website link below gives you details of bus schedules and routes.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Transport from the Airport
Upon arrival in Iceland at Keflavik Airport, there are 2 main ways for the tourist to get into Reykjavik. One would be to catch a taxi....but this would cost the equivalent of around 80-100 pounds!! The other and much cheaper option is to catch the Flybus.
The Flybus connects with all arriving flights, no matter how late - we arrived around 11.30pm, and there was a bus waiting for our flight. It departs from just outside the arrivals terminal. When we were there the cost was 1,150 Kroner each (around 10 pounds) and the trip took between 35-50 mins - we bought a ticket aboard the bus.
The bus goes straight from the airport to the BSI (Bus Terminal) in the centre of Reykjavik. From here, if you are staying at one of the major hotels or guest houses you can then board a smaller bus and be dropped off at the door.
If, like us, you are staying in private accommodation, you can either walk or catch a taxi from the bus terminal - nothing is too far away.
To catch the bus back to the airport, there is a set timetable (see website). You can purchase a ticket inside the bus station.
- Road Trip
- Adventure Travel
Flying to Reykjavik
Iceland has 2 airlines, both with flights from London (and other cities). Iceland Express (http://www.icelandexpress.com/), the 'budget' option, with flights between London and Reykjavik and Copenhagen, and Iceland Air (http://www.icelandair.co.uk/), the official carrier of Iceland, with flights from London, other European Cities and North America.
We were lucky enough to get a cheap fair with Iceland Air, flying from London Heathrow airport, which is the closest and most convenient airport to us. Flying time from London to Reykjavik was 2.5 - 3 hours.
One great thing about flying with Iceland Air was that there was no queues at check-in - at either end - which helped to make the airport experience a happy one.
The Iceland Air staff wore funky retro style uniforms. They were very friendly and the flight was relaxing and food edible. Soft drinks were free of charge, but you had to pay for alcoholic drinks.
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
From Reykjavik airport to town
Getting to town from the airport is easy, virtually everyone who comes in uses the Flybus. The Flybus takes you from the airport to their central terminal and from there smaller minivans go to most of the major hotels. Check with the hotel you are staying at to see if it is covered.
If you are lucky enough to be in one of Icelandair's gateway cities in the US (Baltimore, Boston, NY, Minneapolis, Orlando or Philadelphia), Icelandair has sometimes awesome prices on flights to Iceland that can also be combined with many other cities in Europe.
Sign up for their Lucky fares on the attached website.
We combined a short visit to Reykjavik with a stop in London, it was actually cheaper to combine the two cities than to just go to Reykjavik.
Bus fares august 2004
A one way ticket cost 220 Crowns. If you have to change busses during your trip, ask the bus driver, you will get and ticket for the connecting bus.
If you will use the bus a lot, consider buying a 9 trips card or the Reykjavík card. These are sold at bus stations.
Save you coins if you buy your ticket in the bus. You don't get any change. So if you are with 2 persons and you only have a bill of 500 Crowns, the trip will cost you 250 each.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
In and around Reykjavik
Getting around Reyjkavik really isn't all too complicated. The inner city is not very large so you should have no problem exploring by foot. There are no subways but they do have a reliable bus system. You can consider using it or call for a cab. The cab, while more convenient, is much more expensive. I recommend walking.
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