Updated: Jan 24
If you’re headed to Iceland, then you are pretty much guaranteed to begin your adventure at Keflavik International Airport. Keflavik Airport (KEF) is one of three international airports in the Land of Fire and Ice. The other two are in Akureyri in North Iceland, and Egilsstadir in East Iceland. However, it is Iceland’s Keflavik Airport that welcomes about 98% of international flights into the country.
If you’ve never flown into Iceland before, don’t worry; we’ll answer all your questions in this Guide to Keflavik International Airport.
Is Keflavik Airport the same as Reykjavík Airport?
No, Keflavik Airport is not the same as Reykjavík Airport. Reykjavík Airport is for domestic flights only, so be careful not to go there for your flight home!
Where is Keflavik International Airport?
Keflavik Airport is located close to the town of Keflavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula. It is in the region of Reykjanesbaer and is about 50 km / 30 miles from the capital city of Reykjavík.
How big is Keflavik Airport in Iceland?
Keflavik International Airport is very small; it only has one terminal. It is actually a real relief to deal with such a compact space and not have to rush between terminals.
How do I get from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavík?
Most visitors arriving in Iceland will likely head directly from the airport into Reykjavík city center. Some might choose to head straight off on a road trip or take a connecting flight to the north. We recommend, especially for first-timers, spending a couple of days in Reykjavík.
The journey from Keflavik International Airport to Reykjavík city center takes about 45 minutes.
Let’s look at the various options for airport transfers.
Keflavik Airport Shuttle Bus Service
Taking the Keflavik Airport shuttle bus is certainly the most cost-effective and convenient way to get from the airport to the city.
KEF Airport shuttle bus service is run by a company called Flybus and is specifically set up to cater to visitors. The buses run regularly throughout the day and night, both to and from the airport. There is plenty of space for luggage on board, and the buses run pick-ups and drop-offs from outside the terminal.
The drop-off points in the city center for the Keflavik International Airport shuttle bus are particularly convenient. Even more so for those who'll stay at the main hotels and guest houses in the capital. You can also book your travel in advance to correspond with your flight arrival time. In this way, you know that you have a guaranteed seat on a conveniently timed bus.
Do I Need to Book the Shuttle Bus in Advance?
If you don’t have time to book your shuttle bus transfer, there’s no need to worry. You can simply hop on the next available bus, and with more frequent departures at busier times, you shouldn’t have to wait long for a spot.
The cost of a return journey between the airport and any stop in the city is around 30.00 USD / 27.00 GBP / 31 EUR.
Taxis From Keflavik International Airport to Reykjavík
Taxis are available from the airport to the city, and vice versa. Taxi drivers are very reliable in Iceland, and fares are strictly by the meter. They are on the more expensive end of the spectrum, though.
A one-way trip from the airport to central Reykjavík will cost approximately 130.00 USD / 118.00 GBP / 134.00 EUR.
Motorhome, Campervan or Car hire
There is another option open to you if you will be renting a campervan for a road trip around Iceland.
Many Iceland RV rental companies offer a service where you can pick up your rental vehicle at the airport or close by. This works well if you intend to head straight off on your Iceland adventure.
In fact, even if you would like to spend a few days exploring Reykjavík first, then it’s a good bet. There is an excellent RV campsite just a twenty-minute walk from the city center. The Laugardalur Campsite makes a great base from which to explore. And you’ll be able to get to know your RV and get into camping mode straight away!
Things To Do At Keflavik Airport
As in all airports, a spot of retail therapy can be a great way to kill some time before a flight.
There are many great souvenirs to choose from in the various outlets at Keflavik. From that bottle of Brennivin you fancied, to that puffin toy you forgot to pick up for your niece. Snapping up last-minute holiday gifts is a mainstay of duty-free shopping before your final leg home.
Alcohol can be quite expensive in Iceland, so why not stock up on a few bottles of duty-free wine or spirits?
Restaurants at Keflavik
Another good way to while away your time at the airport is by enjoying a meal or a drink.
Keflavik has several good restaurants, cafes and bars where you can grab a table or pull up a seat. There are many well-known international brands dotted about the airport, such as Dunkin' Donuts or Joe and the Juice.
But for some Nordic fare, head for a sit-down meal at Nord. If you are after a quick bite, hjá höllu dishes out delicious pizzas at a good pace. Choose from the usual toppings or go for something with an Icelandic twist, such as trout or lobster.
Families at Keflavik
Families are really well catered for at Keflavik Airport. Small children, in particular, can get quite fed up with all the waiting that is usually necessary at an airport. This, in turn, impacts their parent’s experience, and it’s not much fun for anyone. Therefore, the Keflavik Airport team has come up with a few solutions to combat this.
Once you have passed through security, kids are presented with coloring books and pencils. There are then plenty of comfortable and spacious seating areas where you can all relax together. To blow off some steam before your flight, take small children to the play area next to Gate C.
Adults and teens can kick back on the nearby seating and connect to the airport's Wi-Fi.
Pushchairs or strollers are available as well if your little ones get sleepy.
Things To Do Near Keflavik
Recently, Keflavik International Airport has become a popular stopover destination. It is mainly the case for flights between the US and Europe. Often you can stay a night or two in Iceland at no extra charge en route between the two. This is a great option as there is so much you can do in Iceland in a day or two, especially without straying too far from the airport.
Even if you only have 4-5 hours between flights, there is much to do in the immediate vicinity. You can easily head out on a mini Iceland adventure and return for your onward flight in good time.
The most popular option has to be a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon. This is just a twenty-minute journey from the airport. You can arrive by taxi, but the cheaper option is the shuttle bus that stops at the spa before continuing to Reykjavík.
An incredible destination that will give you a real flavor of Iceland in a short space of time. Just remember to book your time slot in advance, as the Blue Lagoon is very popular among tourists.
Another great place to visit is Viking World in the town of Keflavik. It is less than a ten-minute drive to the museum, so a taxi is a good bet. You can also catch the 55 bus, but you’ll need to walk, and the whole journey will take roughly forty minutes each way.
The museum houses an impressive Viking boat and offers a fascinating insight into Iceland’s Viking past.
Award-Winning Service at Keflavik International Airport
This small but well-run airport was shortlisted several times in the prestigious Airport Council International ASQ Awards. The staff and management have won several other awards for exceptional airport facilities and customer care. So, it is safe to say that you’ll be in good hands once you touch down on Icelandic soil.
Don’t delay; book your Keflavik flights today and enjoy the perfect holiday in Iceland.