First of all, congratulations for researching the best Reykjavik airport transportation options before your trip! This will save you lots of money.
I run a Facebook group for Iceland and Scandinavia travel and you would be surprised how often I see stories of people who just hop on a taxi at Keflavik airport without doing any prior research and are then presented with a 200+EUR bill when they get to town… And no, the taxi drivers don’t scam tourists in Iceland – these are the regular taxi prices from Keflavik airport to Reykjavik.
But what is the best affordable way to get to Reykjavik from Keflavik airport? Find out!Before we continue with the airport transfers, you should know that Keflavik airport is located really far from the city. It’s a 50km (30miles) ride to town that in the best case takes at least 40-45 minutes.
TIP: If you are looking for the best price/ quality Reykjavik airport transfer and don’t have the time to read about all the other options, then I’ll save you time. Flybus transfer between KEF airport and Reykjavik hotels is one of the best price/quality transfer options from Keflavik airport to your hotel in Reykjavik.
Reykjavik airport transfers - overview:
Bus and mini bus transfers from KEF to Reykjavik city
I’ll start with the best price/quality way to get from the airport to city – bus and mini bus transfers. There are several big companies offering bus transfers from Keflavik airport. They are all priced quite similarly (19-24EUR price range), have same discounts for the children, and offer free Wi-Fi on the bus. However, they all differ in schedule, baggage restrictions, and drop-off locations. See a short comparison below.
Flybus transfer between Keflavik airport & Reykjavik
Flybus has one of the best schedules for Reykjavik airport transfers. Flybus shuttles depart at the airport 35-40 minutes after the arrival of each flight. They adapt their schedule in case of flight delays, so there is always a bus waiting for you right outside the terminal building. Your ticket is valid on any bus, so if you miss a bus, you just take the next one. Furthermore, there is no luggage restriction (or at least not for the regular size luggage).
The company says that pre-booked tickets have a seat guaranteed, so it’s wise to book in advance. But in any case I’d head straight to the bus after you pick up your luggage as the buses can get quite crowded at times.
There is just one choice you have to make – a transfer to BSI bus terminal in Reykjavik (+ 2 stops along the way – see below) or a drop-off at your hotel. The price difference is just a few Euro, so unless your hotel is located close to the bus terminal, I’d definitely opt for the second option.
- Option 1 – Flybus: Bus transfer between KEF airport and BSI bus terminal in Reykjavik. The trip will take approximately 45 minutes and on request, the bus will stop at Hotel Viking in Hafnarfjörður and at Aktu Taktu eatery in Garðabær.
- Option 2 – Flybus+: Transfer between Keflavik Airport & Hotels. This option costs just a few Euro more and the first part of the trip is exactly the same – you take a bus to the BSI bus terminal. There you switch to another bus that offers drop-off at most hotels, hostels and guesthouses in Reykjavik. Note that there is a bus ban in Reykjavik downtown, so in case you are staying at one of the hotels in the bus-free area, the bus will drop you off at the nearest bus stop. Depending on where you are staying, the total duration of this airport transfer should be 1-1,5hrs.
You can book the exact same Flybus transfers from Reykjavik back to the airport as well. In case you choose a hotel pick-up option, make sure you read the information on the voucher very clearly (or call them just to be safe). Depending on where you are staying, the bus might be waiting for you at the nearest bus stop rather than at the hotel itself.
Gray Line Airport Express
Gray Line Airport Express has a very similar shuttle service as the Flybus. There is one big difference however – their Holtagarðar bus terminal is located quite far from Reykjavik downtown area. So if you decide to go with GrayLine it’s best to just book their airport bus transfer with hotel pick-up and drop off. Also, when booking tickets with Gray Line you have to indicate the time of the bus even for the transfer from the airport, so I am not sure what happens if your flight is delayed. From what I read, you should be able to just hop on the next bus with the same ticket, but this isn’t clearly stated anywhere.
Airport Direct offers direct shuttle bus transfers from the airport to the hotels in Reykjavik. They use mini buses and therefore don’t have to waste time driving to a bus terminal first. So the total transfer times are in principle shorter than with Flybus or GrayLine (although again that will depend on where your hotel is located). These direct airport transfers are just a little bit more expensive than the other transfer options I described above and can be a good option if all goes well.
However, there are some disadvantages of using Airport Direct. First, at Airport Direct you have to buy a ticket for a specific time. So if your flight is delayed, your seat on the next bus is not guaranteed. Second, they don’t have buses in the evening – their buses run between 4.15AM through 5.15PM from the airport to town and 4AM to 4PM from Reykjavik to the airport. Furthermore, you are allowed a maximum of one big suitcase and one carry-on bag only. Extra fees apply for excess luggage.
Taxi and Uber ride from Reykjavik airport
As mentioned above, the distance between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik is quite big, therefore taking a taxi to/from Reykjavik airport is very expensive. Depending on where your hotels is, you can expect to pay anywhere between 200 and 250 EUR for a taxi ride from Reykjavik airport to the city centre. Furthermore, you have no certainty about the price. I read online that a taxi ride from Keflavik to Reykjavik should cost you between 150 and 180EUR, but I also saw many travellers sharing their experience on Facebook groups and they all paid at least 200EUR for a taxi to get to Reykjavik.
The biggest advantage of taking the taxi is of course the flexibility. It is also one of the fastest ways to get to Reykjavik. However, you get the same benefits with a private transfer as well and there at least you know what you pay (see below for more information).
At the moment, Uber is illegal in Iceland, so you cannot take an Uber from Keflavik airport to Reykjavik.
Private Reykjavik airport transfers
Private airport transfers in Reykjavik are the best option for those who are short on time and don’t mind spending a bit more. A private driver will be waiting for you at the Keflavik airport, so you don’t have to worry about flight delays or full busses. A big advantage compared to taking a taxi is that you know in advance exactly what you pay. From what I see the price of a private airport transfer is at least 30-40EUR lower than that of a taxi.
A private transfer is a very expensive option if you are traveling on your own, but if you are with 3-4 people it’s already much more affordable. You can also book a transfer by mini bus for up to 8 people and in that case it costs just a few Euros per person more than paying for 8x bus transfer described above.
Beware that there are many companies offering private transfers to and from Reykjavik airport, but many of them are even more expensive than a taxi. The private transfer I linked to above is the cheapest that I was able to find in Reykjavik.
There is a public Reykjavik airport bus no. 55 that connects Keflavik airport to Reykjavik city. The only advantage of taking a bus is that it’s cheaper than the other options. But there are many disadvantages too: inflexible and limited schedule (especially on weekends and outside regular working hours), it takes longer, and if you miss one bus you may have to wait a long time for the next one.
But if you are visiting Iceland on a budget and have plenty of time, then bus 55 is the cheapest way to get to Reykjavik from the airport. You can find more information about the bus schedule here.
If your visit to Iceland is longer than 2-3 days I strongly recommend renting a car. Public transportation in Iceland will not get you to the most beautiful locations; it’s really not an option outside of Reykjavik. There are some private bus companies that have regular routes along Iceland, but it’s so much easier to explore Iceland on your own.
Renting a car directly at Keflavik airport will save you lots of trouble as you won’t have to worry about airport transfers. If, however, you are staying in the city for longer than a day, it might be wiser to pick-up your rental car in town (but don’t count on cheaper rates compared to airport pick-up). Do your research! Here you can find the best deals for Iceland car rental.
TIP: If you are staying in Reykjavik and don’t have a car, then you’ll need to book tours in order to see the most beautiful places nearby. See our hand-picked selection of the best guided tours from Reykjavik and also best winter tours and day trips from Reykjavik.
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