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Iceland is one of those locations with distinct winter and summer seasons. Whether you are on school break or just trying to determine the best time to visit Reykjavik, it is all about the season. The winters in Iceland are harsh to the point where you are better off getting around with a sled. That being said, the area blanketed in thick, fresh powder is breathtaking. In the summer, you have festivals, camping, and the area is much easier to explore. Ideally, you want to travel from July – August. The weather is great and you have the midnight sun with warm temperatures.
You can find direct international flights from Canada to Reykjavik from Air Canada, Icelandair and WOW Airlines. Other operators flying to the area with non-direct flights include Delta Air Lines, Lufthansa, British Airways, Austrian Airlines, and SAS.
When you arrive at KEF, you have a few methods for getting from the airport into the city centre.
Taxi services are found at Leifur Eiriksson Air Terminal. Taxi companies include BSR A station, City Car Station, and City Taxi. You can book ahead by calling the company or hail a taxi at the terminal. Taxis take approximately 45 minutes to the city centre, and they will cost around 16,000 ISK for up to 4 passengers one-way.
The most affordable way to get into the city centre is by bus. Public transportation offers Route 55 between city centre and the Leifur Eiriksson Air Terminal. The trip takes approximately 75 minutes and will cost 1,760 ISK one-way.
The Airport Express drives from the airport to Holtagardar 10 and passes the hotels and guest houses in the city centre. Departures from the airport occur every 35 – 45 minutes. A one-way trip from the airport costs approximately 2,400 ISK. Another shuttle option is the airport bus offered by the Icelandic Traffic Center. The shuttle departs every 35 – 45 minutes from the airport as well and a one-way trip from the airport to a hotel in the city centre starts at 3,000 ISK.
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Like most Icelandic cities, Reykjavik is one of those destinations where public transportation is important. The city relies heavily not only on their public transportation to get around, but also because they want to stay environment-friendly.
Buses run throughout the city. Bus Route #87, for example, runs from Voggafleggjari to Vogar. Straeto buses allow you to purchase in 20 ticket increments. 20 adult tickets cost approximately 8,300 ISK, 20 tickets for children aged 12 – 17 cost 3,000 ISK, and 20 tickets for children aged 6 – 11 cost 1,300 ISK. Children under the age of 6 ride free.
Taxis run throughout the city centre by private companies including Iceland Taxi, Airport Taxi, and Hreyfill. Fares depend on the taxi service and number of kilometers travelled.
Bus tours operate throughout the country and especially in Reykjavik. Take the Reykjavik Excursion tour which has over 40 years of experience in the area and includes tours daily for tourists. Tours cost approximately 6,800 ISK to as much as 29,900 ISK depending on which package you select.
Ideally, you want to rent a car to visit the outskirts of Reykjavik. Most of the main tourist attractions are further away from the city centre, and you will rely heavily on your own vehicle. It is best to book your car rental at the airport.
Whether you are a first-time visitor of Iceland or you have finally made your way to the coast of Reykjavik, you want to fill your itinerary with some of these key attractions to get the most out of your time here.
The best way to see Iceland is at night. Most of the attractions are full during the day, but at night and the longer summer days, you get the midnight sun, which means you have light for 24 hours. Skip the crowds and take advantage of those endless days. To save on eating costs, purchase your food right from the farm. Most farmers have self-service stands too that are designed for travellers. They trust that you will pay for what you take, so do not take advantage of their generosity. If you want to try Icelandic beer, avoid the supermarkets. Instead, you need to visit the Vinbudin, which is The Wine Store of the country. Lastly, mingle among the locals out there. You will be surprised to see how friendly the locals are and that they are more than willing to help you find just about anything in their city.