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Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and, not without reason, has become more popular in recent years. Still more travellers find their way to one of the smallest capitals in Europe and although many combine a visit to the city with some sights inland, like the Golden Triangle (Gulfoss, Thingvellir and Geysir), other travellers choose to visit Reykjavik only as a weekend trip. It has numerous bars and restaurants, but especially the alcoholic drinks don't come cheap here, so be prepared! Apart from nightlife and shopping, the city has several cultural things to see as well, like the Hallgrimskirkja and the famous house where presidents Gorbatsjov of the Sovjetunion and Reagan of the USA met in 1986. It's even a good place to visit in winter, as temperatures are surprisingly mild this time of year and you might enjoy the nordic lights (aurora borealis). In summer though, the sun shines 24 hours a day, and although still not warm, people enjoy being outside on the main shopping street or one of several squares in the centre of town.
Temperatures in Reykjavik rarely drop below -12 °C in winter and rarely rise above 15 °C in summer. 20 °C is almost a heatwave and if it gets this warm, it is mostly just a matter of days (or hours!). You can have literally 4 seasons in one day.
Keflavik International Airport, about 50 kilometres from the capital Reykjavik is where you will land when visiting Reykjavik or Iceland as a whole.
The national carrier is Icelandair which has flights to most major destinations in the western half of Europe and the eastern half of North America. Note that off season (wintertime) some destinations might not be served or have a reduced schedule at least.
Air Iceland operates regular scheduled flights from Reykjavík to major domestic airports in all parts of the country, like Akureyri and Egilsstaðir. Landsflug also has flights to smaller airstrips around the country, for example several daily flights from Reykjavík to Vestmannaeyjar.
To/from the airport
Buses travel between the airport and Reykjavik on a regular basis, taking around 45 minutes. Expensive taxis are available as well and there are many options with rental car companies like Hertz and Avis.
There are no train services to and from Reykjavik.
There is an extensive bus service to most parts of the country and seasonal to the highlands. The Flybus travels between the international airport in Keflavik and the capital Reykjavik. Note that bus services are limited from October to May. June to September is your best bet.
Check BSI for an overview on bus companies. Otherwise check the bus companies directly: Austurleid for South and East Iceand, SBK Travels for the Keflavik and Reykjanes area, Stjornubilar for the Westfjords and Trex for West and North Iceland.
Driving in Reykjavík is the preferred method for most residents there. As a tourist though, you should be able to manage without a car if you're only staying in the city. Driving is recommended though for travel outside of Reykjavík and its suburbs.
Reykjavík has a public bus system that is clean and reliable, called Strætó.
Walking in Reykjavík is highly recommended, the downtown is very compact and many attractions are within walking distance from most hotels. The city is very beautiful, and the sidewalk and pathway system is first-rate. Reykjavík drivers are in general very friendly, and will sometimes stop for you even when there is no crossing facility.
Unknown to many tourists a very long and scenic pathway for walking and cycling circles almost the whole city. A good starting point is anywhere where the city touches the sea. The path leads by an outdoor swimming pool, a sandy beach, a golf course, and a salmon river.
It is easy to get around Reykjavík by bicycle, if you can deal with sometimes strong headwinds and a few hills. There are not many dedicated bicycle paths and so most cycling is done on the street or on the sidewalk (both are legal). When cycling on the street you must obey the same traffic rules as cars. When cycling on the sidewalk it's important to be considerate of people who are walking there, they have the right of way.
Where there are specially marked paths for cyclists these are frequently shared with pedestrians, with a painted white line indicating the division between the two forms of transport. In these cases the narrower section is the bicycle path. Dedicated bicycle paths are a new phenomenon in Reykjavík but their number is increasing every year. These mostly link the city centre with the suburbs.
|101 Guesthouse||Laugavegur 101 Snorrabraut 29||Guesthouse||83|
|4th Floor Hotel||Laugavegur 101||Hotel||-|
|Alba Guesthouse||Eskihlid 3 Hlidar||Guesthouse||-|
|Baldursbra Guesthouse||laufasvegur 41||Guesthouse||85|
|Blaklukka Guesthouse||Hvammsgerdi 12||Guesthouse||81|
|Bolholt Apartments||Bolholt 6||Guesthouse||-|
|Domus Guesthouse||Veghusastigur 7 101 Reykjavik||Guesthouse||-|
|Einholt Apartments||Einholt 2 Reykjavik||Guesthouse||-|
|Guesthouse BB 44||Borgarholtsbraut 44 Nýbýlavegur 16||Guesthouse||-|
|Guesthouse Egilsborg||verhoult 20 101||GUESTHOUSE||80|
|Guesthouse Odinn||Odinsgata 9||Guesthouse||86|
|Guesthouse Pavi||Brautarholti 4||Guesthouse||76|
|Hotel Floki||Flokagata 1||Hostel||-|
|Reykjavik Backpackers||Laugavegur 28||Hostel||78|
|Reykjavik City Hostel||Sundlaugavegur 34 IS-105 Reykjavik||HOSTEL||85|
|Reykjavik Downtown Hostel||Vesturgata 17||Hostel||90|
|The Capital-Inn||Sudurhlid 35d||Guesthouse||78|
|Thor Guesthouse||Skolavordustig 16||Guesthouse||81|
|Travel Inn||Soleyjargata 31||Guesthouse||-|
|Guesthouse Tunguvegur||Tunguvegur 23||APARTMENT||71|
|Guesthouse Galtafell||Laufásvegur 46||Guesthouse||-|
|Guesthouse Palshus||Einarsnesi 58||Guesthouse||-|
|Aurora Guesthouse||Freyjugata 24||Guesthouse||-|
|Kriunes Hotel||Vatnsenda 203 Kopavogur||Guesthouse||-|
|Guesthouse Von||Laugavegi 55||Guesthouse||-|
|Metropolitan Hotel||Ránargötu 4a||Hotel||-|
|FIT GuestHouse||A23 Guesthouse Auðbrekka 23 Kópavogur||Guesthouse||-|
|Our House||Karastigur 12||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Grettisgata Apartments||Grettisgata 43 101 Reykjavik||Apartment||-|
|Blue House B&B||Valhusabraut 19 Seltjarnarnes||GUESTHOUSE||85|
|Reykjavik residence Hotel||Hverfisgata 45||Hotel||-|
|Igdlo Guesthouse||Gunnarsbraut 46||GUESTHOUSE||88|
|KEX Hostel||Skúlagata 28||HOSTEL||88|
|Bina Guesthouse||Bugdulaekur 1||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Abode Little||Odinsgata 17, 101 Groundfloor||Apartment||-|
|Loki 101 guesthouse||Lokastigur 24A||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel Laxnes||Haholt 7||HOTEL||-|
|AR Guesthouse||Braedraborgarstigur 3||GUESTHOUSE||83|
|Reykjavik Peace Center||Vogasel 1||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Heytjörn Cabins||Laufasvegur 2||Guesthouse||-|
|Flying Viking Guesthouse||Krókhálsi 5a||Guesthouse||-|
|Fjord Guesthouse||Hverafold 33||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Konrads B&B||Lokastigur 11||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Grettisborg aparmtents||Grettisgata 53b||Apartment||-|
|Grettir Guesthouse||Laugavegur 28a||GUESTHOUSE||83|
|Hotel Gardur||Hringbraut 29||HOTEL||-|
|Arctic Comfort Hotel||Sidumula 19||HOTEL||-|
|Pisa Guesthouse||Lækjargata 6b||Guesthouse||-|
|Ranargata 23||Ranargata 23||APARTMENT||-|
|Rentice Guesthouse||Kvistavellir 15 221 Hafnarfjörður||Guesthouse||-|
|Loft Hostel||Bankastraeti 7||HOSTEL||89|
|Hlemmur Square||Laugavegur 105||HOSTEL||82|
|Central Guesthouse||Ránargata 10 Reykjavík||Guesthouse||-|
|Bus Hostel Reykjavik||Skogarhlid 10||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostel B47||Baronsstigur 47||HOSTEL||82|
Most of Iceland is well connected. Most homes have ADSL connections which work well most of the time. There is however a firewall which can cause connections problems especially at busy times. Most hotels, guesthouses, hostels, cafés etc. have a working Wi-Fi network. Generally it's free of charge, but sometimes there might be a small fee or limited amount of time. There are a couple of public computers at the University of Iceland and the National Library that you can use for free and without the need to log in.
See also International Telephone Calls
The international telephone code is 354. National numbers in Iceland are seven digits long and generally written in the form xxx xxxx or xxx-xxxx.
There are no area codes in this closed numbering plan and the international call prefix is 00. Numbers of mobile phones tend to begin with either 6xx xxxx, 7xx xxxx or 8xx xxxx, while land line numbers start with 5xx xxxx (in Reykjavík) or 4xx xxxx (the country side). The Icelandic emergency number is 112 for all services.
Internally, phone calls in Iceland are very reasonable priced and most providers offer friends and family discounts or free calls/messaging to same network phones. International calling cards are available in most convenience stores which can significantly reduce the cost of international calls.
There are three main companies who supply personal internet connections: siminn Vodafone and Talk. It is very important to get full details of the charges and excess charges as it is very easy to run up a huge bill without being aware of it, especially on a mobile connection. You can buy a local SIM card, if you have an unlocked mobile phone. The major internet companies can supply 3G mobile internet on a monthly basis. If you are travelling be sure to check the coverage because the mobile connection is not as wide as the mobile phone connection.
Iceland's Postal Service (tel. 580-1200) is reliable and efficient. General post office hours in Reykjavík are 9:00am to 6:00pm weekdays, but post offices close earlier elsewhere. Mailboxes are bright red and marked Pósturinn. Stamps are sold at many locations, including Nóatún supermarkets; N1, Olís, and Shell gas stations; and some bookstores. Mail typically takes 3 to 5 business days to reach Europe or the United States. If you are importing goods through the post, it takes a while to sort out the customs and tax based on the value of the item, so be sure to have receipts readily available. For sending packages you can also use international courier companies like TNT, UPS, FedEx or DHL, since they are fast, reliable and generally competitively priced as well.
Ask corneggs a question about Reykjavik
Lived there for a year as an exchange student.
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