Airport Transfers Between Keflavik and Reykjavik: The Complete Guide

Airport Transfers Between Keflavik and Reykjavik: The Complete Guide

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There are a range of different airport transfers between Keflavik International Airport and Reykjavik.

Discover all the easiest ways to get between Keflavik International Airport and your Reykjavik accommodation with this guide to airport transfers in Iceland! Start your Iceland holiday with ease and enjoy a stress-free departure when you head back home.

Unless you are terrified of air travel, in which case, you'll likely arrive in Iceland via the ferry docks at Seydisfjordur, almost all travelers to the land of ice and fire will pass through its one central transportation hub, Keflavik International Airport. After all, it is the only international airport in the country!

Keflavik Airport has seen an increase in traffic in recent years, yet it still feels much quieter and calmer than many of its counterparts worldwide. Regardless, it is always wise to remember that any airport can also be inherently stressful. You have to check in your bags, keep your passport handy, wait in queues, go through security, find the right gate, maybe handle an unruly toddler, and stand in more lines. The last thing you need to worry about is successfully transferring from the airport to your accommodation in Reykjavik.

Thankfully, traveling to and from Keflavik International Airport is a straightforward affair, made easier by the various airport transfers available. Whether it's with a bus, public transport, or by renting a car, traveling between the airport and Reykjavik can be done in a stress-free and convenient way. Read on to learn all about the transfer process in Iceland.

Photo above from Airport Direct Transfer from Keflavik Airport to Your Accommodation in Reykjavik

An Introduction to Airport Transfers in Iceland

A friendly guide welcomes travelers to the bus transfer service in Iceland. Photo from Airport Direct Transfer from Your Reykjavik Accommodation to Keflavik

Without prior research, many prospective travelers to Iceland will be somewhat surprised to find Iceland's only international airport is located not by its capital, Reykjavik, but just west of Keflavik on the beautiful Reykjanes peninsula. It's a town of around 22,000 people that's just a 10-minute drive from the airport. In comparison, Reykjavik is around a 45-minute drive away.

Staying in accommodation near Keflavik Airport can be a good option for your first or last night in Iceland, especially if you're arriving late or if you have a delayed flight. It's also a great way to maximize time during a stopover. Most hotels in the vicinity are just a 10-20-minute drive away, and some even offer shuttle services to and from the airport, minimizing the stress of travel.

Regardless of the proximity, however, it's generally a rare occurrence that holiday-makers choose to transfer directly to the town of Keflavik and stay there for the duration of their trip. Iceland's bustling capital city has far more options regarding accommodation, cultural opportunities, and tour departures, and it's easy to find transportation from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik.

Airport Direct bus transfers take you from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon or Reykjavik, or vice versa. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Hansueli Krapf.

The transfer between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik runs through the Reykjanes peninsula on Road 41, meaning you will gain immediate insight into this area's rugged and fantastical landscapes as you travel to the capital.

Most passengers can't help but spend this hour enraptured by Iceland's majestic introduction. To the right, fields of jet-black lava rock and distant, blue mountain peaks strike an appealing contrast to the vehicle's left-side view, an ever-changing panorama of grizzled coastlines and the majestic ocean.

To make the most of their transport journey, many guests choose to visit the world-famous Blue Lagoon Spa on their arrival or departure day. It's renowned for its soothing azure waters, healing silica mud, and geothermal energy. It is particularly cherished by those who deal with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, as the Blue Lagoon Spa operates a research facility examining new ways to treat skin ailments.

Of course, the tours to the Blue Lagoon are also loved by visiting guests who jump at the opportunity to take a dip in one of the country's most iconic attractions. Not only will guests here have the chance to engage in some rejuvenating activities, such as getting a face mask or massage, but they can also enjoy some fine dining at the spa's restaurant.

The Blue Lagoon is found between Reykjavik and Keflavik, roughly fifteen minutes from the airport and 30 minutes from the capital, and is one of Iceland's most popular tourist destinations. You can also book a stay near the Blue Lagoon if you want to keep things simple. If you're visiting Iceland in winter, we recommend visiting the spa in the evening for a chance of spotting the northern lights as you bathe!

Discover the breathtaking Blue Lagoon as soon as you get to Iceland with an airport transfer.Photo from Relaxing 1 Way Transfer from the Blue Lagoon to Keflavik International Airport

Appreciating not only the fine landscapes but also the lack of traffic, visitors will find that, by the time they have reached the hotel, their jet lag has almost entirely dissipated. This is particularly true after bathing at the Blue Lagoon. 

Of course, not everyone will be arriving in the same manner, nor planning the same type of holiday, meaning some clarification is needed as to what type of transfers from Keflavik are available. These are the primary options for transport.

Renting a Car in Iceland

It's easy to pick up your rental car after your flight to Keflavik airportYour first option, and perhaps your likeliest given an extended stay in the country, is to drive the route to Reykjavik yourself. If you've been planning to rent a car from the get-go, it's simplest to look for rental cars by Keflavik Airport, which you can pick up straight away and drop off when you leave!

Having a car in Iceland is a great way to get around and explore the country. It means you can explore sights such as the Golden Circle, South Coast, and East Fjords without feeling constrained. Take a self-drive tour if you want the freedom to travel as you please but would like help to plan your itinerary.

Rental car operators are by no means few and far between in Iceland. In fact, some even keep a permanent booth open at Keflavik International Airport. This convenience makes picking up your vehicle upon arrival easy and accessible!

As a side note, remember that whatever cars you'll be renting should fit the criteria of your plans. For instance, there is no use considering going into the highland reserve of Landmannalaugar if you do not have a 4X4 rental vehicle, are visiting outside summer, or don't have the right insurance. You can, of course, also choose a more affordable rental car and go on guided trips to the highlands to skip having to tackle more difficult roads yourself.

Flybus Transfers Between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik

Grayline and Reykjavik Excursions are the main organizers of bus transfers to and from Keflavik International Airport.Photo from Affordable Express Transfer to Keflavik International Airport with Hotel Pick-Up

Flybus services, as operated by Grayline and Reykjavik Excursions, are one of the most accessible means of getting from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik, with a scheduled transfer occurring directly after each flight. You simply book your ticket online or at their service desk at the airport and select where you would like to be dropped off. You can then go directly to your bus, show your ticket to the driver, and relax! We recommend booking your transfer online before your trip for a fully stress-free experience.

Some Flybus transfers will travel to the main BSI bus terminal in Reykjavik before splitting the passengers into smaller groups and then taking them individually to their respective hotels. With just one cross-over during this transfer, those considering forsaking a personal vehicle will find this the most efficient option. Some transfer options, however, can drop you off on the way, depending on your chosen accommodation.

Reykjavik Excursions is one of Iceland's most reliable airport transfer operators.Photo from Cheap Flybus Transfer from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik BSI Downtown Bus Station

It is also worth pointing out that BSI is only a ten-minute walk from downtown Reykjavik, where you can find most of the city's hotels. Considering the hotel's location, this means that you may be able to walk the last leg of the journey yourself.

Note that there are some restrictions on where the buses can drive you in downtown Reykjavík, so if your accommodation is central, you will be dropped off at one of the nearby bus stops and will need to walk for a few minutes to reach your hotel.

You can order an airport transfer to Keflavik Airport from your hotel

Photo from Airport Direct Transfer from Your Reykjavik Accommodation to Keflavik

When your adventure in Iceland comes to an end, you can easily reach Keflavik Airport with the same Flybus transfer services that brought you to Reykjavik. It's best to book online, where you can choose your desired pickup location.

Depending on your transfer service choice, you may even be able to get picked up from your hotel or a close by bus stop. With this option, it's most common to be picked up by a smaller bus and brought to the BSI bus terminal where you'll board a larger bus that brings you to the airport.

Some bus transfers only depart from the BSI bus terminal in central Reykjavik and don't offer hotel pickup, and this may be the most convenient option if your accommodation is within walking distance. Then you won't have to worry about the hassle of switching buses and can start the journey straight away.

Give yourself some extra travel time and choose a pickup time that's at least three hours before departure, or four hours if you have to go through border control. It's better to be a bit early than late!

Taking a Private Shuttle in Iceland

Private shuttles add a whole new dimension to Luxury travel.Photo from Luxurious Private Airport Transfer from Reykjavik to Keflavik Airport in a New Mercedes Benz V-Class

Private transfer is not for everybody, but those who want to spend more for comfort, or have a strong inclination to avoid other humans, might opt for one of Iceland's personalized shuttles, taking them between the airport and the capital. With your private driver or guide, tinted windows, and sometimes even a complimentary drink, there really could be no more luxurious way of beginning or ending your trip abroad. 

A private shuttle offers a level of intimacy and comfort that is not as easily found on more public transportation. It allows you to pick the vehicle model and size you have in mind. This can be perfect for those traveling in a larger group, or when heading to accommodation that is a bit out of the path of regular transfer routes, such as luxurious countryside hotels or even holiday cottages.

With a private shuttle comes a VIP means of starting your holiday.Photo from  Luxurious Private Transfer to Keflavik Airport

Another great benefit of taking a private shuttle from Keflavik Airport is that your journey is ready to commence once you meet your driver. As an added security, they will follow your flight path during the trip, making sure to arrive on time regardless of whether the aircraft arrives early or late.

These delays can sometimes cause a problem with the Flybus service, which will often hang on for an extra fifteen to thirty minutes in an attempt to fill up all remaining seats. This pause can be a little frustrating if you're looking to shoot off as quickly as possible, adding even more appeal to a reliable private transfer.

As for the trip from your Reykjavik accommodation back to Keflavik Airport, the advantages are pretty great. Not only can your driver pick you up wherever and whenever you need, but you don't have to worry about missing your bus or any mix-ups occurring.

You will also go directly to the airport, unless you're planning a stop on the way, such as by the Blue Lagoon. This makes your trip much faster and stress-free! Your driver will also help you with your luggage, making this an especially convenient option for those who're bringing a lot with them.

Use Public Transportation

The public transportation system in Iceland makes getting around town easy.

Photo from Straeto

Another option, though this one no doubt comes with a degree of hassle, is utilizing Iceland's public transportation system, Straeto. It's by far the cheapest way to travel between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik, however, this is most convenient if you don't have much luggage with you, such as a small carry-on.

For this route, you'll need to take bus 55. You will be able to pay for your trip on the bus when you arrive with your card, as long as it has a PIN. Keep in mind that this is not possible for other buses in the Capital Region.

You'll instantly recognize the canary yellow city buses as they make their routine stops around Reykjavik, but the buses that travel outside the Capital Region, such as bus 55, look a bit different. They're mostly white but are recognizable by a splash of the classic yellow, as shown in the photo above, along with a lit-up bus number in the front window.

If you choose to take bus 55 from Reykjavik to Keflavik Airport, it's best to catch it by the BSI bus terminal. Alternatively, you can also go to the Fjordur bus stop in Hafnarfjordur. It's also possible to hail bus 55 when it passes other stops along the way, indicated in yellow on the map below. This is less reliable as it won't stop automatically, so keep an eye on the live location of the bus on the Klappid app and wave to give the driver a clear signal to stop when you see the bus approach.

Make sure to plan your arrival at Keflavik airport early to prevent any time issues. The trip will take around 20-30 minutes longer than a regular transfer bus as there are more stops on the way.

When traveling from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik, you should know that you'll need to walk a bit away from the airport building to reach your bus stop, as shown in the picture below. We recommend planning your journey in the Klappid app or on the city bus website to plan your departure.

Finding your transport option is simple at Keflavik Airport


Map of transport options at Keflavik International Airport from Isavia.

Those who use the Straeto city buses to get around while in Iceland should know that booking tickets and scheduling journeys is primarily done on the mobile application called Klappid. You can also get refillable cards from select vendors around the city, or simply pay in cash. Drivers do not give change for the ride, so make sure to prepare your bus journey ahead of time.

Keflavik International Airport is rather small and is easy to navigate

However you choose to transfer between Keflavik Airport and your accommodation in Iceland is entirely up to you. It heavily depends on the adventures ahead and your budget. As mentioned previously, it is possible to arrange this transfer upon arrival in Iceland, though we recommend that you do so beforehand.

If none of the above options suits you, there is always the option to take a taxi. Note, however, that Icelandic cabs are expensive, particularly if you are traveling alone or with a small group, so you should only consider this in an emergency. Hitchhiking is also possible in summer in Iceland. Please note, however, that this is unreliable, there is no guarantee for your safety, and winter conditions make such an option impossible. 

To avoid the pressures of arrival in a new country, it is best to take one of the other more straightforward options listed above. They provide a fantastic welcome to Iceland and will allow you to get on with your adventures as quickly as possible! 

Did you find our article about airport transfer options between Keflavik International Airport and Reykjavik, helpful? Which Reykjavik airport transfer did you utilize when you arrived in Iceland and were there any obstacles to your trip? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

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