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Airport Transfer from Keflavik to Reykjavik, Iceland
Going from Keflavik to Reykjavik:
So Many Options!
We have lost count how often we get asked about the best way to travel from Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport to Reykjavik City. This is even more of a cause for concern for families with children, where not only you’d now have impatient kids, but also likely pay a higher price if you do not arrange transportation beforehand. But we understand that there are all kinds of travelers to Iceland who’d be interested to get this information. So, we made this article for families, solo travelers, and all types in between, to help you figure out what your options are when going from Keflavik Airport to the capital city of Reykjavik. Reading through this and weighing your options prior to your trip will save you a lot of money, and if you're traveling from the United States remember that euro (or its equivalent in Icelandic Króna) is stronger than the US dollar, all the more reason for you to plan your airport transfer well.
We've had friends and family hopping inside a taxi when they land in various airports across the world. Many of them do this in Keflavik Airport, thinking they can just reach Reykjavik city center without much concern for anything else. In a way, they're justified, because they know that of all places, in Iceland, a taxi driver isn’t going to ask for more money from tourists or inflate their prices. Unfortunately, they all find out in the end of their journey that the taxi has charged them a whopping 200 euro. Considering that flights to Iceland are generally on the inexpensive side, these folks might have just shelled out more than half the cost of their round-trip flight ticket on a simple one-way transfer from the airport. You can imagine how this can be a genuine cause for anguish for the unsuspecting travelers who arrived in the country on their maiden visit to Iceland after a long and tiring flight. But even though that is the legitimate transfer fee for a taxi ride from Keflavik International Airport to Reykjavik it didn’t have to be that way if they only did some basic research before landing in Iceland. Remember that this is a particularly expensive country so doing extensive research on issues such as these beforehand might save you with hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your trip. Having been to Iceland multiple times and during multiple seasons, this is why we decided to do that important research for you. Below we discuss all the different ways you can make transfer from Keflavik to Reykjavik for a much more reasonable price. Planning for a transfer to Reykjavik from Keflavik is all the more necessary because the airport is located extremely far from the city, and in the best-case scenario and with light traffic, the ride would take you approximately 45 minutes.
Option #1: Renting a Car
at Keflavik Airport
Your first option would be the best in our humble opinion, and especially if you're traveling with kids and families, car rental at the Keflavik Airport is a no-brainer. The only time it might be somewhat inconvenient to rent a car in Iceland would be when you’re there on a long layover – from many hours to a day or so – and you prefer not to go through the hassle of all this. Otherwise, if you're staying in Reykjavik for anything more than a couple of days, a car rental can not only save you hundreds of dollars, it'll also give you peace of mind, a great deal of flexibility, as well as freedom to go around and visit the nicest places in Iceland. Remember that public transportation in Iceland taking you to the glaciers, waterfalls, and national parks isn't that easy to find, have very limited schedule, is extremely time-consuming – and most of all – ridiculously expensive.
Driving in Iceland is like a walk in the park, far easier than driving in any of the European cities we've ever been to. In fact, we have found this to be simpler than driving in United States: roads are clear and always in great condition, cars are infrequent, and traffic is exceedingly light. In other words, you can't really go wrong by renting a car and Iceland. There are several car rental agencies that you can choose from, like the big names, and you can see those here. Or if you're intent on renting a car from one of the local agencies which might end up being somewhat cheaper, you can try this one.
But what if you absolutely do not want to rent a car in Reykjavik? Well, there is of course other ways to secure that transfer to Reykjavik. Keep in mind that what we describe here goes both ways. So, you can simply choose from one of the options we have below working in reverse order.
Option #2: Bus transfer from Keflavik to Reykjavik
Many of the trusted companies providing transportation between Keflavik and Reykjavik have prices in the same range, between 20-25 euros. What you need to watch out for are the amenities, like what they let you load on the bus (strollers, car seats, etc.), and whether they charge for extra baggage or carry-ons. When traveling with families and kids, also research whether they give you discount what are bundled ticket, or at least for kids under a certain age. In our experience, this is usually uniform across the board.
One of the best non-rental options to consider when transferring between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik hotels is a company called Flybus. They will also provide you with the greatest comfort, coupled with one of the best prices available. And smile! These buses have USB charging ports to charge your dying phones as well as Wi-Fi. Their service caters to various times during the day, so your schedule can be aligned during one of those times. Interestingly, too, Flybus have shuttles that leave Keflavik Airport approximately 40 minutes after the arrival of each flight. They have done this so as to give you enough time to clear customs and immigration, and then carry your luggage outside, so you can find a bus waiting for you right outside the terminal ready to go.
The other great thing about Flybus is that you do not have any restriction on the size or weight of luggage. In case of flight delays, Flybus lets you use your ticket on any of their scheduled buses, meaning that if you're delayed for one reason or another, you can simply hop on the next bus without having to rebook or cancel your earlier ticket. Unless you're traveling during the peak seasons, the buses shouldn't be full; but since you have a valid ticket, our advice would be to head towards the bus since they can get a little crowded in the summer.
You also have the choice to get dropped off at the BSI bus terminal in Reykjavik, or all the way at your hotel doorstep. Unless your hotel is right next to the terminal, or you’d like to save a few extra euros, go with the second option to give you some peace of mind, especially when traveling with family and kids. This means that you’ll have to change buses at the BSI bus terminal, and the entire trip time will probably be closer to 1 to 1.5 hours. Remember that in Iceland buses are banned in downtown Reykjavik so if you're staying in one of the hotels in that area then he would need to be dropped off at the nearest bus station from where you can get to your hotel.
When returning from your hotel to Keflavik, make sure you pay attention to the voucher since it might pick you up from the terminal instead of the hotel. We recommend calling ahead so there’s no confusion.
Option #3: Bus transfer from Keflavik to Reykjavik
Gray Line Airport Express
Another obvious option to choose is Gray Line Airport Express which has a similar shuttle service. One caveat that comes to play with this bus service is that their pick-up and drop-off in the downtown area is far from Reykjavik City so if you choose this option you will need to make sure you have arrangements made with your hotels for pickup transfer from where the bus drops you off. This means it makes even more sense to arrange for a hotel drop-off for a few extra euros. It’s less clear, however, what happens if your flight gets delayed on this bus ticket. Common sense would dictate that you simply get on the next bus, but this isn’t clear from their website. But like Flybus, Gray Line also has charging ports and Wi-Fi on board.
Option #4: Bus transfer from Keflavik to Reykjavik
Airport Direct is a little more expensive option when transferring from Keflavik to your hotel in Reykjavik. However, there are some advantages to avail their shuttle service as well. The company uses smaller buses so you do not waste much time driving to the bus terminal, and you effectively cut down the need for that second transfer. In other words, your total transfer time will be shorter, but this would obviously depend on where your hotel is located.
What about the downsides? Well, they have less flexibility in their schedule, running only between 4:15 AM to 5:15 PM from Keflavik to Reykjavik, and from 4 AM to 4 PM when going in the opposite direction. If you’re landing at Keflavik on a late afternoon or evening flight, you’re out of luck. Another issue is that are only allowed to carry just one big luggage other than your carry-on bag. Anything more, you need to pay fees for your excess luggage.
Option #5: Taxi
for Keflavik to Reykjavik transfer
This might be one of the more expensive options. A taxi ride will likely set you back by approximately 200 euros when taking that same transfer from Keflavik International Airport to the city center. Remember that these prices are not set in stone, so you might end up paying a little less, around 180 euros, or depending on the traffic, as high as 250, something we found on some of the travel forums we frequented. On the upside, this is probably the fastest way to go from the airport to your hotel.
Option #6: Private Transfer
from Keflavik to Reykjavik
You can also opt for private airport transfers from Keflavik Airport. This is definitely helpful for those who have a little more to spare or are on a brief visit and are short on time. The great thing about this is that a private driver will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it, right at the exit door of Keflavik Airport terminal. They’ll have all the information they need about your flight arrival beforehand, so you don’t have to worry about delays either. You’d also know exactly how much you're paying since this the price has already been negotiated. This option is expensive if you're traveling solo or as a couple, but if you're traveling with a big family and do not wish to rent a car, this might be ideal in terms of flexibility as well as pricing. Last we checked, their pricing a little lower than that of a taxi. If you choose this option, plan ahead and either email or call with all necessary information and flight details so they can meet you right outside the airport terminal for a hassle-free transfer.
Option #7: Public Transportation
from Keflavik to Reykjavik
The last option we discuss will be the cheapest route from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik but not necessarily the best given your circumstances. You will have saved several hundred euros by choosing this option, but the disadvantages are many. They do not have a flexible schedule and are limited in their service. Nonetheless, if you have time to kill and are traveling to Iceland solo, as a backpacker, or on a limited budget in this expensive nation, this might not be a bad option for you after all. If this is the case, bus number 55 would be your best friend and the most affordable transfer from Keflavik Airport.
A Different Option:
Blue Lagoon Transfer from Keflavik
One last point we wanted to touch on is your transfer to Blue Lagoon, which attracts a significant percentage of tourists to Iceland. And the most people I know traveling to Blue Lagoon do so right after landing at Keflavik airport, or right before departing Iceland. This makes complete sense, since the Blue Lagoon is located near the airport, and it is quite out of the way when your plan is to visit some of the gorgeous natural wonders in Iceland which are mostly on or near the Golden Circle. For the sake of time management, we would also recommend visiting the Blue Lagoon during this time.
Our guide on efficiently transferring from Keflavik to Reykjavik should prove to be very useful for people of all stripes, whether flying solo or traveling with big families, which we obviously specialize in. Whichever option you choose, don't forget to check out all of our handpicked Iceland tours and itineraries which you can visit right from this page. Good luck and let us know about your experience.