Getting Around in Reykjavik

by Katie Hammel on December 13, 2010

by Katie Hammel | December 13th, 2010  

Getting around in the city of Reykjavik is very easy. The city center, where most of the tourist attractions, shopping, dining, clubs and hotels are located (as well as the city government) is very compact; you can easily walk from Hallgrimskirkja church or even the BSI bus terminal to the center of downtown Reykjavik or near Tjornin pond in under 20 minutes. If you need to go further afield, such as to the domestic airport, the goethermal beach at Nautholsvik,  the Perlan, Kringlan shopping center, or if you are staying at the city campgrounds, you have three options: a long walk (even the Kringlan and domestic airport can be reached in under 40 minutes or so by foot from the city center), a taxi cab (which are easy to find but pricey) or the city bus.


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City buses run from about 7am until midnight; on Sundays they start at 10am.  On weekdays, the buses generally operate at intervals of 20 minutes until 7 PM. In the evenings and on weekends,that stretches to about 30 minutes between buses. There are 27 routes which crisscross the city. Full route and schedule info can be found on the bus website, which also has a handy online route planner.

A single bus fare costs is 280 ISK (about $2.50US) for travel in zone 1. Exact change is required, as bus drivers don’t carry change or sell tickets. If you plan on riding the bus often, look into a one or three-day pass (600-1500 ISK) or a book of 11 tickets for 2500 ISK.

Driving in Reykjavik is easy, but it can be difficult to find non-permit parking. Unless your accommodation offers free parking and you are certain you’ll need the car, it’s best to avoid having one in the city. When it’s time to venture out, you can rent one in town or at the domestic airport. Most rental companies will allow you to return the car at a different location than where you picked it up, for a small fee.

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