Complete guide to Reykjavik airport transfers in Iceland

How to Get from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik City

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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.

TIP2: If you are looking for an airport transfer to the Blue Lagoon and from the Blue Lagoon to Reykjavik, you can book all your Blue Lagoon transfers here.

***Read also: How expensive is Iceland (+ Budget Tips)***

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

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 travelers 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.

Public transportation

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.

Rental car

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.

Blue Lagoon transfers

Many people choose to visit the Blue Lagoon immediately after arriving in Iceland or just before the departure. Since the Blue Lagoon is located just 20 minutes drive from Keflavik airport, it’s indeed quite easy to do.

If you don’t have a car, the best way to get to the Blue Lagoon from Keflavik airport is by taking the bus transfer offered by the official Blue Lagoon partner – Destination Blue Lagoon. This same company offers transfers from the Blue Lagoon to Reykjavik and vice versa. You can book your Blue Lagoon bus transfers here.

Please note that these transfers don’t include Blue Lagoon admission tickets. You have to book them separately and make sure to book well in advance, because the Blue Lagoon is usually completely sold out. At the moment, you can only book the Blue Lagoon tickets directly on their website.

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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How to get to Reykjavik city from the airport - Iceland

Featured image credit: @chrislawton

 

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Comments

  1. My son and I are arriving Keflavik at 0600 on a Sunday morning. I like the Flybus option. Is there a bus (fly or public) that can take us directly to the Blue Lagoon and then into Reyjkavik?
    How do you recommend getting from Reyjkavik to the Blue Lagoon?
    Which is better: Blue Lagoon or Fontana Baths? Or both?
    Thank you!
    Marieka

    1. Author

      Hi Marieka, yes, there are busses from the airport to the Blue Lagoon and from there to Reykjavik. You can book the bus transfer here and make sure you book your Blue Lagoon entrance tickets asap – they do sell out.
      As for Blue Lagoon vs. Fontana Lagoon, they are very different experiences. Blue Lagoon is definitely more touristy. If you want to visit Fontana Lagoon, you could also do it in combination with the Golden Circle, otherwise it’s quite a ride to go there just for that. There is also a less popular and more low-key Secret Lagoon that is also nice.
      For more suggestions please check our selection of the best winter day trips from Reykjavik.
      PS Whatever you decide, make sure you book it asap. Sunday is in just a few days and many tours and places like the Blue Lagoon get fully booked.

  2. Hi
    I’m arriving at KEF at 04:50 on March 5 and I’m leaving KEF at 21:20 on the same day (I want to be back at the airport by 19:30). The KEF to BSI Flybus looks like the right option to me. From what I’ve read above, there’s always a bus around the clock going to BSI from KEF and it’s the same way from BSI to KEF. Is this correct? If not, what do I need to know? Thanks!

    1. Author

      Hi JW, yes, there are busses going between Reykjavik and airport the whole day. When you book the bus, I think you have to choose the approximate time you want to take it, and then just make sure you are there. If you want to be at the airport at 7.30pm, you should probably take a bus from BSI at around 6-6.30pm. When they drop you off at BSI, just ask the driver where exactly the bus leaves for the trip back, but I think it’s the exact same place.

  3. Hi – we arrive in Reykjavik feb 9 at 6 am. i would like to book flybus to the bus terminal in town, but then how do i arrange for a transfer to our hotel near bus stop 7? Do we need to do in advance or just inquire at the main bus terminal. and for our reverse trip from a different hotel, but i think also nearest stop 7, do we need to make both arrangements (hotel transfer and flybus) in advance? thanks! Kathy

    1. Author

      Hi Kathy, if you want the bus to drop you off at the hotel, then you have to book either ‘Airport Direct’ transfer or ‘Option 2 – Flybus+: Transfer between Keflavik Airport & Hotels’, as explained above. Flybus will bring you to the main terminal by big bus and then from there I think you’ll be divided into smaller groups with a drop-off at the place that you asked. It’s the same for the trip back, you just have to tell them where you are going/ have to be picked up when you book the transfers. If you book ‘Airport direct’, they’ll go straight to the hotel from the airport, so it takes a bit less time.
      You don’t have to book these transfers in advance and can also do iso at the airport, but often it’s easier if done in advance and if it’s busy advanced bookings get priority.

  4. Hello,
    We will be travelling to Reykjavik in February 2019. We are arriving at Keflavik at 06:00AM and plan to take the FlyBus to our hotel in Reykjavik. Because we will only be there a few days and want to experience as much as we can, we booked a South Coast tour the same day that we arrive. We will be picked up at 08:00AM at our hotel for the tour. Do you think this is enough time to get from the airport to our hotel, for the tour pick-up at 08:00am? Our other option is to have the tour pick us up at the BSI bus terminal. That may save us time to just take the FlyBus to the BSI bus terminal and join our tour from there. Please advise as your recommendation or suggestions. Thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi Kara, this sounds extremely short in my view. Even if everything goes really well, it might JUST work out, but what if your flight is delayed by 20 minutes (or more)…
      It takes some time to get out of the airport, find the bus (which will not leave immediately either I suppose), then it takes about an hour to get to town. If they have to drop you off at the hotel, it might also mean that they’ll pass some other hotels first, etc.
      Having the other company pick you up at the bus terminal is already a much safer option in my view, but even then I honestly find it risky.
      Is there any shorter tour that you are planning to make the other day, that starts a bit later, like Golden Circle or so? In that case you better book that one for the day of arrival and leave the South Coast for later. It will save you so much worrying and stress. Here’s a so-called afternoon tour for the Golden Circle, it starts at 10.30AM – maybe a safer option? Here you can find two other options for the Golden Circle – both starting at 9AM. In that case you may also want to check Golden Circle combination tours (can find in the same post) – they also start around 9AM if I’m not mistaken and fo not just the Golden Circle, but also one of the geothermal pools on the same day.
      And fingers crossed for a good trip and on-time arrival!

  5. Hi- I land at KEF at 6:20 and have a flight from RKV to Aukureyri at 9:55. I thought this would be easily doable but am now concerned about bus transfers. Thinking Flybus may be quickest option, especially if flight is delayed? But it seems any bus line will take me to the main bus station and then I have to connect to another bus with unknown time delay? RKV is extremely close to BSI bus station, do you know if any line can drop off before getting to bus station? (Also thinking probably not walkable in winter with luggage?) Or maybe Airport Direct minibus if RKV can be selected as a hotel?
    Any suggestions would be welcome! Thanks.

    1. Author

      Hi Rachel, that’s indeed not much time, as it takes you an hour just to drive to town, not talking about the extra time you need to get out of the airport, wait for the shuttle bus to leave, also check in for your next flight…
      I really don’t know what to say. Private transfer would probably be the safest option, but certainly not the cheapest. Otherwise you can probably just take a Flybus to the bus terminal and from there a taxi to the airport terminal of Reykjavik domestic airport. Ask the driver of Flybus if they can drop you off where you need to be, you never know, but I wouldn’t count on it. It’s indeed very close by, so shouldn’t cost a fortune by taxi either. Walking is also an option, but you never know how the weather will be or how much time you’ll have.
      Sorry I can’t help much more. Good luck!

  6. Car rental is very convenient!

    1. Author

      It sure is, Maria. Renting a car is the best way to explore Iceland, except if you’re traveling in winter and aren’t used to driving in extreme winter conditions. In that case you may want to check this guide to winter driving in Iceland.

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