Getting from Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík city centre

You’ve landed in Iceland, picked up your bags, passed the passport check, and now you’re ready to explore the land of ice and fire. First things first, welcome to Iceland!

Getting from Keflavík airport to Reykjavík city centre.
Pic: Keflavík Airport / SuperJet International (CC)

Chances are, you landed at Keflavík Airport (KEF). Iceland’s main international airport, Keflavík is situated roughly 40 kilometres from Reykjavík city centre.

Don’t get it confused with Reykjavík Airport, which is mainly a domestic airport with the odd flight to Greenland.

Now you’re ready for the next part of your journey – getting to Reykjavík city centre from Keflavík Airport.

The good news is that there are several options available. We’ve looked into all the different transport methods, whether you’re after the cheapest, fastest or most convenient way into the city.

By airport bus
By taxi
By public bus
By car
By helicopter
Transfers to the Blue Lagoon
Transfers to the Sky Lagoon
Staying overnight near the airport 

The most popular way: take the FlyBus

The Flybus is the easiest and most reliable way to get to Reykjavík. Run by a private company in partnership with the airport, it leaves from right outside the arrival terminal building.

The FlyBus is a good way to get from the airport to Reykjavík city centre
Pic: KK70088 (CC)

If you arrive at a busy time, you won’t have to wait to wait long for a bus: as soon as one is full it leaves and another one pulls up.

If you arrive at a quieter time, you may have to wait up to 40 minutes for a bus. 

The journey from the airport to Reykjavík takes around 45–90 minutes, depending on the traffic, and the bus goes directly to BSI, Reykjavík’s main bus terminal. 

To guarantee a seat on the bus, we recommend booking your ticket in advance.

However, if you didn’t get the chance to do so then you can book your ticket at the Flybus stand in the arrivals hall.

Remember to book a return ticket for your way back, too. The Flybus drops travellers off right outside the departure hall.

The earliest bus leaves the city centre around 3am, so this option is great if you’ve got an early flight to catch on the way back.

A single ticket from Keflavík to Reykjavík on the Flybus costs 3899 ISK ($30 USD). Return tickets cost 7199 ISK ($60 USD).

Flybus Plus (hotel pick-up)

Since large buses are not allowed into the narrow streets of central Reykjavík, all airport coaches stop at the main bus station. And a regular transfer ticket includes your fare to the bus station.

If your hotel is close to the bus terminal, you can get off at the station there and walk to your accommodation. 

Alternatively, you can take one of the shuttle mini-buses that run from the bus station into the centre of the city and stop at almost all the major bus stops, hotels, hostels and guesthouses in the central area. 

Once you arrive at the main bus terminal, you’ll be shown which minibus to take, depending on which part of the city you’re staying in.

If you want to use the mini-bus shuttle, you can book a ticket straight through that includes the airport transfer coach and the mini-bus shuttle to your hotel.

Fares for the airport transfer plus the shuttle to your hotel or into the city centre are 4999 ISK ($37 USD). 

On the way back, the mini-bus shuttles pick up at the same stop as they dropped you off at and the earliest bus leaves the city centre around 2.30am, so this option is great if you’ve got an early flight to catch on the way back.

Return tickets cost 8999 ISK ($74 USD) with the mini-bus transfer included.

Airport Direct (Gray Lines)

Flybus is not the only company to run coaches from the airport into the city centre, though it does tend to have the most frequent services.

Airport Direct also runs regular transfers from the airport to the BSI bus terminal, and offers the extra mini-bus shuttle to hotels and central bus stops.

In terms of comfort and the coach itself, there’s little to choose between Airport Direct and the Flybus.

Airport Direct tends to be slightly cheaper than the Flybus, though you may have to wait a bit longer for a bus at the airport.

The easiest way: grab a taxi

Taking a taxi is, of course, the most expensive way to get to Reykjavík. However, it’s also the easiest and fastest way to the capital and a great option if you’re in a hurry.

And taxi drivers in Iceland have a good reputation for being safe, friendly and on-time.

There are usually plenty of taxis waiting directly outside the arrivals hall. If you’re a small group or you’ve got a lot of luggage then it might be a good idea to book in advance.

Big-name taxi companies such as Bolt, Uber or Lyft don’t operate in Iceland, but there are several taxi operators that run from the airport to Reykjavík. 

These include BSR, Hreyfill, Borgarbílastodin and and the electric Evtaxi.

Taxis are metered, so the price will depend on the time of day and the traffic (weekends and evenings are more expensive). 

You should always check with the driver in advance what the approximate price will be, but given the distance into the city centre, you can expect to pay around 22,500 ISK ($160 USD).

The comfortable way: book a private transfer

If you fancy starting your trip with a little luxury, booking a private transfer could be the way to go. 

You’ll be met at the airport by your own chauffeur in a private air-conditioned car with wi-fi. And because you’re in a private car, you can drive straight into the city centre and be dropped off directly outside your hotel.

It costs a pricey 23,100 ISK ($127 USD), but if you’re travelling in a group of three, and want to be dropped directly at your hotel, it works out at not too much more each than the bus.

The cheapest way: take public transport

Taking the public bus is the cheapest, but also the slowest, way to travel from Keflavík to Reykjavík city centre. The #55 bus leaves from behind the airport departures hall.

Bus 55 is the cheapest but slowest way of getting from the airport to Reykjavík city centre
Pic: KK70088 (CC)

The journey takes between an hour and 90 minutes, depending on the traffic, with several stops along the way. It ends up at BSI, Reykjavík’s main bus terminal.

During peak hours, it’s sometimes difficult to get a seat on the #55 bus as it’s also a popular route connecting the outskirts of Reykjavík to the city centre – therefore this option might not be ideal if you’ve got a lot of luggage.

On weekdays, the first #55 bus from Keflavík leaves at 6.35am and the last bus leaves at 6.42pm. 

Note that at weekends the #55 only runs at far as Fjörður, and not to the central bus station.

The price of a public bus ticket from Reykjavík to Keflavík is 2280 ISK ($16.50 USD) per adult. You can find more information and the bus schedule at straeto.is

Note that the Reykjavik City Card includes all public transport within the Reykjavik area, but does not include the #55 bus out to the airport. 

For more on details on what’s included in the city card, and what’s not, see our guide to the Reykjavik City Card: is it worth buying?  

The most convenient way: rent a car

Renting a car in Iceland is not only a good way to get into Reykjavík, but also a great way to get around the island. The car journey from Keflavík to Reykjavík city centre takes around 45 minutes.

You’ll need an international drivers licence and a credit card to rent a car.

All the main international car rental companies have desks at the airport, including Hertz, Avis and Budget.

However, you’re likely to get a better rate plus the security of knowing that you’ve got a car reserved, if you book in advance.

Rental Cars is a good option, as it gives you the price of a car from all the major rental brands, plus local companies, so you can compare prices and cars. You can get a quote here.

The cost of car rental depends on the company and the size of the car, but expect to pay around 36,700 ISK ($270 USD) to 55,000 ISK ($400 USD) a week.

Remember that unforeseen weather events and road conditions can be difficult year-round, so we highly recommend getting insurance in Iceland for extra peace of mind.

For more on car rental, see our guide to renting a car in Iceland.

The luxury way: by helicopter 

And if money really is no object, you can book a tailor-made transfer by helicopter

You’ll get to see the Reykjanes peninsula and its lively volcanoes from the air en-route to the city.

For more affordable and unusual helicopter tours around the country, see guide to 6 epic helicopter rides in Iceland.

Transfers to the Blue Lagoon

It’s also possible to get a bus transfer from the airport to Iceland’s most popular attraction, the iconic Blue Lagoon geothermal pools, about 20 minutes’ drive away.

For more on the Blue Lagoon, see our guide to the best hot springs in Iceland.

You can book a transfer from the airport to the Blue Lagoon then onto Reykjavik at the beginning of your trip, or the reverse journey from Reykjavik to the Blue Lagoon then onto the airport in time for your flight home.

If you’re on a stopover you can get a return transfer back to the airport. 

The price is about 4,150 ISK ($30 USD) for each leg of the trip and that include the mini-bus shuttle between the BSI bus station and city centre hotels.

Note that at the time of writing the Blue Lagoon is currently closed, due to extreme seismic activity in the area. Check the website for the latest updates.

Transfers to the Sky Lagoon

You can also get a transfer from the airport to Reykjavík’s newest luxury thermal pool, the Sky Lagoon

Takae an airoprt transfer to the Sky Lagoon, Reykjavik's newest luxury sea-view spa.
Pic: Amanda Tomlin ©

For more on this stunning sea-view spa, see our guide to Iceland’s best hot springs.

A private transfer in a luxury car from the airport to the Sky Lagoon starts from 21,400 ISK ($155 USD) for two people.

Where to stay overnight near Reykjavík airport

If you arrive late in the evening  and have an early flight out in the morning, you may want to stay near the airport.

There are a few options close by. The only hotel on the airport site itself is The Aurora Hotel, just a five minute walk from the terminal. 

Alternatively, there’s the Courtyard by Marriott on the edge of the airport site, just a five-minute taxi ride from the terminal.

The comfortable, modern Konvin Hotel is a couple of miles away from the airport, but offers a free shuttle to the terminal from 4am–10pm.

FAQ

Is there a train to Reykjavik? 

No, there are no trains at all on Iceland, so the only way into Reykjavik is to drive or take a bus.

Is there wifi on the airport bus? 

Yes, all the airport transfer buses have wifi.

Is the journey between the airport and Reykjavik scenic?

The journey between the airport and the Reykjavik city centre takes about forty-five minutes and it’s certainly very interesting.

If you’ve never been to Iceland before, the trip will give you a taster of Iceland’s dramatic volcanic landscapes.

The road is very flat and runs along the Reykjanes peninsula, over moss-covered lava fields. The sea is on one side with volcanic mountains in the distance on the other.

Is there anything to see near the airport?

There are a few interesting places to see in the vicinity of the airport, which can be easily accessed by car or on the #55 airport bus.

In Keflavík, the Iceland Museum of Rock and Roll delves into the history of Icelandic pop music, via Björk, Sigur Rós and others, while the Viking World museum is home to a restored wooden Viking ship and some interesting exhibitions detailing the role of the Vikings in Iceland’s history.

Nearby, the Giantess Cave is a popular attraction for children, where they can explore a cave by the sea filled with huge wooden furniture and a statue of the giantess.

See also:
10 of the best Airbnbs in Iceland
Getting an Icelandic sim card
The best boat tours and cruises from Reykjavik
The best hot spring hotels in Iceland
When and where to see puffins in Iceland
Whale-watching in Iceland

 

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