Some folks like to think they’re prepared for travel because they research tourist sites, hotels, and flights but if you’re not careful, you’ll give some of those savings back in costly cab or Uber rides.
Iceland is a perfect example. Keflavik airport is 30 miles from Reykjavík and the ride could last 40-45 minutes to the city center and cost you $200-$250 USD. Ouch.
So what’s the best option for you and your budget? Let’s review:
Bus and mini bus transfers
There are several big companies offering bus transfers from Keflavik airport. They’re all in the same price range (US $20-$28), offer free Wi-Fi, and kids’ discounts. Schedules, all baggage restrictions and drop-off/pick-up locations will vary. Here’s a rundown of some companies:
This company offers a great schedule for Reykjavik airport transfers. Buses depart the airport every 35-40 minutes after each flight arrival and they’ll adapt schedules in case of delays. They don’t have baggage restrictions (yay!) and if you miss your bus, no worries: your ticket is valid on any other Flybus.
Now for the catch: they stop only at BSI Terminal in Reykjavik. From there you can:
a) have your hotel pick you up; or
b) take a cab/Uber to your lodging; or
c) pay a few more $ and take another bus transfer to your hotel (for pre-booked seats only)
You can book Flybus transfers from Reykjavik back to the airport too.
Gray Line Airport Express
They have a very similar shuttle service but their Holtagarðar bus terminal is far from downtown Reykjavik. So if you decide to use them, just book their airport bus transfer with hotel pick-up and drop off.
Airport Direct offers door to door shuttles, private taxis, and airport transfer. They use mini buses and therefore don’t stop at bus terminals first. Of course, price will be higher but if this your preference, book tickets here.
Also note that you will need to purchase tickets fo a specific time, and if your flight’s delayed, your seat on the next transfer won’t be guaranteed. They’ve also got some baggage restrictions and don’t run transfers in the evening.
As I have mentioned, the distance between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik is quite big. Taking a taxi to or from Reykjavik airport is very expensive. Depending on where your hotels is, you can expect to pay anywhere between US $200- $250 for a taxi ride from the airport to the city center.
The biggest advantage of taking a taxi is flexibility. It’s also probably faster than via bus too. But as I mentioned above, it’s pricey. FYI, Uber is illegal in Iceland.
This is the best option if you’re short on time and don’t mind spending a bit more than for bus. You can book a private transfer and a driver will wait for you at the arrivals terminal. They’ll wait even if you’re delayed, and you don’t have to worry about finding a seat on the bus or room for excess baggage. Price should run about about US $40.
There is a public bus going to the airport, bus no. 55. It connects Keflavik airport to Reykjavik. However, the schedule is limited so if you miss one, be prepared to wait. It’s about US $5 so if you can make it work, it’ll be cheaper than the other options listed here. Find more information about the bus schedule here.
If you plan to visit Iceland for a few days, splurge and rent a car. I guess public transportation is ok if you’re only going to check out Reykjavik but why would you? And if you’re thinking “bus tours to get around”, they’ll just go from a to b and won’t stop often to let you soak in the dreamlike scenery. Whoever coined the term “getting there is half the fun” must’ve had Iceland in mind.
You can rent a car at Keflavik airport so you can save time and trouble with airport transfers and the like. Start your research here for the best deals for Iceland car rental. Since we’re IHG members, we get discounts with Hertz, so check too if your credit card partners with a car rental agency and save some extra bucks.
Blue Lagoon transfers
Since the Blue Lagoon is located just 15 minutes drive from Keflavik airport, you can choose to visit when you arrive or just before you depart. We chose to do it on our way out to relax, but its up to you.
If you don’t have a car, the best way to get to the Blue Lagoon from Keflavik airport is by taking the bus from Destination Blue Lagoon. This same company offers transfers from the Blue Lagoon to Reykjavik and vice versa.
FYI, the ticket admission to the Blue Lagoon is not included in the cost of the transfer.