When traveling to Iceland, most visitors stay or at least shop in Reykjavik’s downtown part because of the amenities. While public transportation is available, renting a car will give you the freedom to experience Iceland to the fullest. Though you plan on driving, it helps you understand the parking rules, schedules, and different parking zones to avoid parking violations.
Overall, parking in Iceland is free, even in Reykjavik’s capital city; however, certain areas in the center do charge for parking. The parking zones are reasonably well marked, and depending on whether it is paid parking on the street or a spot in the car park or parking garage, prices, payment options, and hours of service are relatively straightforward.
Below, we’ve compiled the information you need to know in regards to paid parking.
UNDERSTANDING THE PARKING ZONES
P-Zone 1 (red)
P-Zone 2 (blue)
P-Zone 3 (green)
P-Zone 4 (orange)
All parking is free on the following recognized holidays:
HOW TO PAY FOR PARKING
The paid parking zones will be equipped with a mobile app option, ticket machine, or parking meter. The traditional style meters that accept coins are being phased out. However, if you do encounter them, you’ll need to have larger coins such as 10, 50, and 100 ISK available.
The ticket machines accept credit cards and larger coins (10, 50, 100 ISK), but it doesn’t provide change. At these locations, you’ll need to input your license plate number and the length of time you’ll remain parked, and the machine will charge you accordingly. No ticket will be provided; instead, when a parking attendant scans the license plate, the data will confirm whether you paid or not.
Finally, paying via the mobile app is possible. The app is named Leggja and is available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
If you want to avoid street parking or prefer more secure or overnight parking in Reykjavic, there are several car parks or parking houses to choose from. These are not typically full unless it’s during a significant event or is searching for parking near Vesturgata or City Hall.
Also, be forewarned that the car parks are only open between 07:00-24:00, so make sure that won’t hinder your schedule. Another important note is the car parks are designed very compact and tight, so drive through with caution.
Most car parks charge 240 ISK for the first hour and 120 ISK after that, except Stjörnuport and Vitatorg, which set 150 ISK for the first hour and 100 ISK for each additional.
In addition to the standard free parking areas, the different parking zones offer complimentary parking to eco-friendly cars. These spaces are marked by a blue parking meter symbol and can be used free of charge for 90 minutes. The vehicle must be equipped with a parking clock in the front window issued by Reykjavik city. If you’re driving a car with studded tires, you must pay regular fees.
For the most part, Reykjavic offers ample parking, and even when you do find yourself paying for parking, the rates are reasonable. Just be sure to pay for parking when it is required to avoid fines.