You're a bit stuck when you get to Keflavik Airport and you need to head downtown Reykjavik. I'd love to tell you that there is a great value tram or train running every 5 minutes but that would be a lie. A LIE, I tells ya.
The 50km Problem at Keflavik Airport to Downtown Reykjavik
It's 50km (I know!) from the international airport at Keflavik to downtown Reykjavik and you're stuck with working out which of the transport options is the least hassle and the best value, particularly if you're arriving overnight (thank you USA and Canada) or after 3 gin and tonics and a too-short nap (merci Western Europe).
Here are the options. My reviews are, as always, totally independent.
Option 1: Local Bus Route 55
Cost each way – ISK 1960 [around €14, $16 USD, £12]
Pro #1: it's cheaper than Flybus or Gray Line.
- It stops all over the place so it takes longer.
- It drops you off at BSI (the central bus station) so you need to make your way to your own accommodation and BSI is not super close to the centre (you'll have to pay for a taxi).
- You cannot pre-book
- The timetable is more limited that Flybus and may not suit your flight times
Click here for details from the bus company, Stræto [English & Icelandic]
Option 2: Flybus
*See the YouTube video at the bottom of this page for *my* experience of Flybus*
Cost each way – ISK 3499 [around €24, $29 USD, £21]
[You can get a return for around ISK 6499; potentially a discount for booking online in advance]
- They are the leader in the market (not *quite* a monopoly but not far off)
- They have the best timetable
- The bus is very comfortable and most of the staff are super polite (see the video below for Mr Exception)
- You can pitch up on arrival and buy a ticket on board
- Some tickets go to BSI (the central bus station) ONLY. Check carefully as you'll have to pay extra to get a taxi to your accommodation.
- It's likely you'll have to change to a *smaller* bus if your ticket guarantees drop off at your hotel. Flybus organises this in groupings of hotels (e.g., city centre hotels are Route 1). This can be awkward if you have a lot of luggage or if you have restricted mobility.
- At pickup, you have to be ready SUPER early and wait around for up to 30 minutes to get picked up. When you are picked up, you are brought to BSI (usually) and have to wait until all the OTHER pickups show up and travel together. This takes a LONG TIME.
Option 3: Gray Line
Cost each way – €20 [you get a return by adding a €20 trip twice into your basket]
- They are better value than Flybus
- Super friendly staff, especially on online chat, and clean coaches
- They will pick up from slightly out of the way hotels and with no grumbles!
- The Gray Line timetable is designed to match arrivals, but is MUCH more limited than the Flybus timetable. If it works for your flight, then great!
- I understand you need to book ahead (correct me!) rather than just pitch up.
- Pickup can again be WAY ahead of schedule. I waited outside my hotel for the whole 30 minutes before anyone showed up.
Option 4: Private Airport Transfer
Cost each way – ISK 9900 [around €68, $80 USD, £58]
- This is the most direct route from airport to your accommodation front door. No faffing, no waiting, no burping co-passengers.
- This makes total sense in terms of cost if there are 4 of you. Check that the car provided for you can accommodate the number of guests AND your luggage.
- If you show up with too much luggage, you'll be upgraded to a bigger car (if you're lucky) and that will cost more €/£/$/ISK
Option 5: Taxi
Cost each way – allegedly €150-180
Cost each way – reality €180-250
- It's absolutely direct.
- People CONSTANTLY complain in online reviews that the price of the taxi is *more* than expected. Taxis run on meters, not on a pre-agreed number. If your accommodation is far out or there's bad traffic, tough luck.
- While tips are not so much a ‘thing' as in North America, your fee does not include a tip.
- You don't know what you're getting. I had 2 *amazing* taxi drivers in downtown Reykjavik with spotless cars and safety measures, but 1 *horrific* driver at the airport whose car reeked of cigarette smoke and which needed a good vacuum.
Best Way to Get to Reykjavik
The majority of people take a coach service. They are busy and well-used for a reason: a decent combination of price and service that gets you where you need to go.
Please check out the INSIDE SCOOP in my latest video on these options and to experience Flybus (2021) from the airport to (near) my hotel!!