6 ways to avoid paying $200 for an airport transfer in Iceland
By Lucky Byfleet
Airport transfer in Iceland is slightly different than other countries. Our international airport – Keflavik, is 50km from Reykjavik. The drive is 45 minutes on a good day. So an airport transfer in a taxi can cost you up to $200 that you could spend whale watching or gazing at the northern lights with us. Unlike a lot of airports situated out of the city we don’t have a high-speed train shuttle…we have no public trains at all…just 3m of track down by the harbour. It’s very cute, but not useful as transport for your romantic weekend. Instead here are your best options for an airport transfer into Reykjavik.
If you are stuck at the airport right now and just want the easiest, pretty cheap airport transfer you can use Airport Direct, Grayline, or Flybus for coach services – you can read more about them in this article.
6 ways to avoid paying $200 for an airport transfer in Iceland.
1. Jump on a Coach! Coaches are the most common form of airport transfer in Iceland, there are several different companies and they are all, give or take about the same price, with a good timetable aligned to flight arrivals, English-speaking drivers, and modern, comfortable, warm buses, often with USB ports.
The thing to look out for is that large coaches aren’t allowed in the centre of the city, so normally you are taken to a depot and then transferred onto minibusses. But Reykjavik is small, so the depot may only be five minutes walk from your hotel! And it wouldn’t be worth paying the extra.
If you are staying at the Bus Hostel it is definitely worth choosing Airport Direct as their depot is located at the Bus Hostel, rather than at the main bus terminal – the BSI. Of course, you can transfer to anywhere else from there, but it would be silly to get a coach to BSI then pay extra money to come to the Bus Hostel. The same applies to a lot of hotels marked as downtown, take a second to google maps it! Then chose Flybus or Grayline.
The prices vary a little but they are normally about 3500isk ($27) one way, 6500isk ($50) return, without an extra minibus changeover.
2. Private Airport Transfer. If there is a group of you then booking a private airport transfer may be a great shout. They cost about $170 but that is still cheaper than a taxi, and you can fit up to 8 people in it and they will take you directly to your door. The coach companies above also provide this service.
Incidentally Uber is illegal here – so save yourself the hassle of looking! There is a Facebook group -Skutlarar- where people offer rides for a price…but this is no different than getting into an unchecked strangers car – neither the person nor the car could be good. Whilst Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world a good rule for travelling anywhere is – if you wouldn’t do it at home don’t do it abroad.
3. Make the Most of Your Day! If you arrive in the morning and are planning on doing a tour of the Reykjanes Peninsular then start it from the second you land. If you book a private tour with our friends at Iceland Discover then they will be happy to collect you and your luggage, take you to see sights such as the bridge between continents and the Brimketill – a large stunning natural rock pool at the base of the cliffs. After a day filled with whatever you wish they will drop you and your luggage right at your hotel. This saves you $200 off a private day trip. Brilliant!
4. The Blue Lagoon stopover. If you are thinking about visiting the Blue Lagoon during your time in Iceland a great trick is to visit it during your airport transfer. It is only twenty minutes away from it! You’ll get on a coach to the city, as talked about below, but you’ll break the journey at the spa. After your time slot is over the coach will then collect you and take you onwards to your hotel.
Please be aware that you must book your Blue Lagoon time slot in advance, it is often fully booked, and so if you just turn up you may be disappointed. Several companies offer Blue Lagoon transfers but this is the cheapest we found.
5. Public transport – the local buses. The cheapest airport transfer in Iceland is using the public bus number 55. You can see the timetable on Straeto. If you are planning on using it please be aware they don’t take cards. By far the easiest thing to do is download the app, pop your credit card details on there and use it to buy a ticket. If you want to pay in cash you can…but it’s more expensive, and you have to have the correct change, which coming from another country may be tricky!
6. Rent a Car. Rental cars are great if you intend to explore outside of Reykjavik and don’t want to take guided tours. You can rent them directly from the airport area, but check prices using a search engine in advance as it may still be cheaper to get an airport transfer and a lower-priced car from the city. You can get great rental car options and prices at Friend in Iceland.
In summer driving here is easy, though be aware we have no motorways, our national speed limit is 90km and there can be winds strong enough to blow cars off the road. For our English friends they should also be aware we drive on the right.
However in winter please check on the road conditions before travelling anywhere, and whether it is actually open!
We hope this helps you with your airport transfer from Keflavik to Reykjavik! Feel free to contact us with any questions.