Preparation

Getting from the airport to Reykjavik

rainbow at Keflavík Airport” by Jason Eppink is licensed under CC BY 2.0

[Pricing updated in November 2016. Between price increases and a less favorable exchange rate, everything costs about 25%-30% more than it did a year ago!]

Assuming our post  about things to do near Keflavik airport didn’t persuade you, you may be looking for the best way to get from the airport to Reykjavik. As with most other decisions you’ll make, you have to balance price against time and convenience. A taxi that picks you up and shuttles you directly to your hotel is convenient, but not cheap. And a bus that forces you to transfer to a smaller shuttle to get to your hotel is cheaper, but not as convenient.

Large bus options to Reykjavik

Let’s start with the busses. The two biggest bus companies are Flybus and Airport Express. Both will offer Wifi on the bus, and both will require you to transfer at the BSI bus terminal in downtown Reykjavik to get to your hotel.

The good news is that both should provide car seats for children, and the journey is free for small children.

Prices for each are similar. We’ll look at a one way fare; roundtrip fares offer about a 10% discount. But, you’d want to book a different trip one direction if you wanted to stop at, say, the Blue Lagoon.

Adults Kids 12-15 Kids 11 and under
FlyBus 3000isk 1500isk Free
Adults Kids 12-17 Kids 11 and under
Airport Express 2700isk 1350isk Free

 

So Airport Express is always cheaper. Flybus does offer a cheaper option that just gets you to the Bus Terminal, but I’m assuming you want to get to your hotel. Reviews for each are comparable, so Airport Express seems like the way to go, though for most families the difference will only be a few dollars.

Assuming you have 2 adults and all kids 11 and under, you’re only paying about $48 for the whole family to get to your hotel.

Each company will run a bus approximately 45 minutes after an international flight lands. Still, I think it makes sense to make a reservation through the company’s web site. You can also make reservations when you buy your airline ticket. Wowair allows you to reserve seats with Flybus for $23 for adults, which at the current exchange rate is about $3 cheaper than the 3000isk you can get directly from the Flybus web site, and about $1 cheaper than Airport Express. Note that the savings will change based on the current exchange rate*.

wowair-flybus

Icelandair also offers Flybus service, which currently costs $22. Again, the value of this will fluctuate with the currency.

Small bus options to Reykjavik

Slightly more expensive is service from Back to Iceland. Prices are more expensive, but mostly because only infants and toddlers are free:

Adults Kids 3-12 Kids 2 and under
Back to Iceland 3200isk 1600isk Free

The price for an adult is similar. But, kids are no longer free. So your cost for that family of 2 adults and 2 kids (let’s assume they are 5 and 8 years old) is now $85. For that extra $37 (compared to $48 for Airport Express), you get to upgrade from a full-sized bus to a much smaller minibus. The largest minibus they have holds just 22 people. And, instead of having to transfer at the bus terminal, the minibus will take you directly to your hotel. Note, though, that you’ll most likely have to wait for a couple of other groups to be dropped off first. The company told me that there will generally be no more than 3 short stops before getting you to your hotel.

Back to Iceland also offers Wifi on all of their buses.

Taxi options to Reykjavik

Finally, we get to the even more expensive taxi option. One high-rated option is Iceand Taxi Tours, which offers a fee of 17730isk for up to 4 people in a taxi, or about $158 USD. That’s after a 10% online booking discount. The price goes up to 23040isk for 5-8 people, or $205. But you will save even more time. With any of the options above, you’ll be waiting for the rest of the groups to board the bus, and you’ll have to either transfer at the BSI bus station (Flybus, Airport Express) or most likely wait for other groups to be dropped off at their hotels (Back to Iceland). The taxi is only for you—you should even get a driver with a sign waiting for you. And you’re going straight to your hotel.

So which is the best option? As with most choices, it depends. If you have a lot of kids 11 and under, one of the big bus companies may still make sense. If you just have a 12 year old, then the price is nearly identical for Back to Iceland, and so that’s the obvious choice. And if you are a family of 8, with lots of older kids (or maybe grandparents), the taxi may not be much more expensive than the bus options.

In my opinion, I like the Back to Iceland option—the middle of the road. Stories online talk about hassles and long waits when making the transfer at the bus station with the full-sized bus companies. Your mileage may vary, and this may be the exception. But you may want to save the big bus tours for when you don’t have to deal with luggage, and probably sleepy children after an overnight flight.

What do you think? Are there other options in this “middle” level of smaller buses besides Back to Iceland? Or other taxi companies you would recommend?

*Prices are as of November 2016, when 1 US dollar bought you 112 Icelandic Krona. This exchange rate has fluctuated—in fact, that dollar buys you about 10% fewer krona than it did over the summer!

Getting from the airport to Reykjavik was last modified: November 11th, 2016 by Eric