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Bus Travel in Iceland

Iceland has no rail network so many travelers inquire about the bus service in Iceland instead. There is a good network of buses that will transport you efficiently and reliably around the country, but going by bus does have its disadvantages. For one, bus is often just as expensive as flying, yet takes much longer and you often only have one choice in terms of departure time (especially in off season and for trips to more remote parts of the country).  Flying will get you there much quicker and often costs less than half of the bus fare if you can book early and snag a good deal.

But what if you want to see more of the country at ground level? Well, then I recommend renting a car if you are traveling with more than one person. It is possible to go around the entire country by bus and traveling that way does allow you to take in more of the scenery than flying, but part of the appeal of driving in Iceland is stopping to take photos and admire the view and detouring when you see something interesting. On a bus, you are more limited by schedules and routes.

If you’ve examined the options and determined that bus is the right form of transport for your trip, here’s what you need to know.

  • BSI is the main bus service offered in Iceland. Their website is in English and easy to use.
  • Only legs departing from Reykjavik can be bought online; all others can be bought at the BSI terminal in Reykjavik.
  • Some routes only operate in summer so double-check availability before you firm up your plans.
  • Tickets can be booked from one place to another individually (and range from about $20-$70 each way) or you can book “passports” which allow for a certain number of travel days on a specific route.
  • Passports range from approximately $170 to over $600 are can be good for 3-15 days.

Photo by Tania Ho