When coming to Iceland, you might need some practical information about how to use public transports from the airport or within the capital. Here is some precious information for you!
When traveling to Iceland, first of all you need to know that the international airport is located in Keflavik, in the peninsula of Reykjanes in the South West of Iceland. Hence, you will not land directly in Reykjavik, even though in your flight ticket the destination is Reykjavik, you will see “KEF” for Keflavik airport (except if you land in the domestic airport of Reykjavik, of course). Your solution to reach the capital will be either to rent a car from the different car rental companies you will find at the airport or you can take the bus to reach the city center (we would not recommend grabbing a taxi as the course might cost you a lot). The company operating this transfer is Flybus and it will cost you about 20-30€ each way.
The capital is well served in terms of public transport. There are no metro or subway but only city buses from the company Straeto operating in Reykjavik and the nearby area. You can easily spot them thanks to their caracterise yellow color.
There are many bus stops across the city and in case you are not sure which bus to take to reach your destination from where you currently are, you can download the app Straeto or directly go to their website straeto.is and put your itinerary. The app/website will show you which buses to take and all the transfers and bus numbers. You can find the bus schedules on that same website and app.
How to pay?
Straeto buses are working with the KLAPP system payment since November 2021. There are 3 ways for you to purchase tickets now:
In case you would like to pay in the bus, it is important for you to know that credit or debit cards are not accepted by the drivers but you can pay by cash. You will need to have the exact amount of money with you as they do not give change.
A single ticket is valid for 75 minutes, even if you change buses in the middle of your itinerary, you won’t be charged as long as it is within the 75 minutes validity of your ticket.
Bear in mind that the Straeto app is now used as a trip planner or to locate buses in real time, do not buy tickets on that app. To buy tickets, you will need to pass by the KLAPP app.
In terms of pricing, to give you an idea, the KLAPP card alone cost 1,000ISK, a single ticket would cost for an adult about 490ISK, 1-month subscription would be 8,000ISK, a year subscription 80,000ISK and the KLAPP ten is about 4,900ISK.
For more detailed pricing you can check the following link.
For more information about the KLAPP system, you can check the following website.
In case you are planning to stay a bit in Reykjavik, we would suggest you to go for the Reykjavik City Card. There are 3 different cards for 24h, 48h and 72h. The price of the card includes unlimited access to the city buses but also free entrances and/or discounts in many museums, galleries and hot pools in the capital. You can purchase the card online and/or pick it up directly at What’s on. You can purchase and find the list of all the places collaborating with the card on this website:
Reykjavik is not a big city but you can still find hop-on hop-off buses making you discover the city at your own pace. There are different tickets you could go for according to the number of hours you select and the additional activities you get included in your ticket. The tour always starts from Harpa Concert Hall but you can get in at any stops from the route. You can either buy the ticket online or directly to the bus driver. They stop more or less every hour to the different bus stops across the city from 9am to 10pm.
Well, if you want the short answer: no. To go more in depth, traveling in Iceland only by bus is feasible but it is very challenging and time consuming. The best ways to travel within the country are either rent a car/camper van or go on tours with a tour operator.
To go out of the capital area, there are some Straeto buses operating outside of this zone. You can again check the route planner on Straeto app or website to organise your trip outside the city but the prices might differ according to when and where you will travel. There are also other companies operating longer routes that you can find on the internet. There is a map available online to give you an idea of the routes existing across the island. Most of the time if you click on the different bus stops you get the option to book the route or at least to see which company is operating this route and then you can directly check their own website to book with them.