Akureyri

Travel Guide Europe Iceland North Iceland Akureyri

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Introduction

Akureyri

Akureyri

© JOSE_MARIA

Akureyri is a city in the north of Iceland. The "Capital of the North" has about 18,000 inhabitants and is by far the largest urban area outside Reykjavik. It is an important fishing and port centre and increasingly is becoming a major tourist centre for all sorts of activities.

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Sights and Activities

Akureyri is a very picturesque town with its location by a scenic fjord, eclectic building styles and streets winding their way through gorges. Spend some time walking around the city center, see the impressive church and check out Listagilið (literally: "the art canyon"), home to a number of arts and crafts galleries and shops. The tranquil municipal botanical garden, Lystigarðurinn, is worth visiting, as are the several small museums dotted around town.

Be sure to visit Nonnahús, childhood home of author Jón "Nonni" Sveinsson, as well as Sigurhæðir and Davíðshús, the former homes of poets Matthías Jochumsson and Davíð Stefánsson. Admission is 1200 kr. for adults, or get a day's pass that also includes access to Minjasafnið á Akureyri (Akureyri Museum) and Gamli bærinn Laufás (Old Turfhouse Laufás) for 2000 kr. Better yet, a year's pass for all five costs only 3000 kr. and will allow you to visit everything at your leisure.

You can visit Akureyri all year around. There is always a lot to see.

Akureyri Drama Society (Leikfélag Akureyrar), Strandgata 12, ☏ +354 460 0200. The only professional theatre in Iceland outside of Reykjavík.
Akureyri Swimming Pool (Sundlaug Akureyrar), Þingvallastræti 21, ☏ +354 461 4455. 28 228 May-1 September: 6:45AM-9PM M-F, 8AM-7:39PM Sa-Su; 2 September-27 May: 6:45AM-9PM M-F, 10AM-6:30PM Sa-Su. A recently renovated and expanded pool. Two pools for swimming, several hot tubs, a water slide and a children's pool. Close to the city center. 450 kr.
Hof, Strandgata 12, ☏ +354 450 1000. Akureyri's new house of culture, home to the North Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Sinfóníuhljómsveit Norðurlands) and regularly host to other performances.
Skautafelag Akureyrar, ☏ +354 461 2440, ✉ skautahollin@sasport.is. Indoor ice rink (hockey, figure skating and curling).
Græni hatturinn, Hafnarstræti 96, ☏ +354 461 4646, +354 864 5758, ✉ haukur@graenihatturinn.is. Night club, live music.
Borgarbíó, Hólabraut 12, ☏ +354 462 2602. Cinema, keep an eye open for Icelandic movies such as Hrútar!
SAMbíó, Ráðhústorg 8, ☏ +354 575 8900, ✉ akureyri@samfilm.is. Another cinema.
Flugsafn Íslands (Icelandic Aviation Museum), Akureyri Airport, ☏ +354 461 4400. 11:00 to 17:00 from 1 June to 30 September. Aviation museum right next to the airport.
Iðnaðarsafnið (Industrial Museum), Krókeyri, ☏ +354 462 3600, +354 897 0206, ✉ idnadarsafnid@idnadarsafnid.is. 10:00 to 17:00 from 1 June to 14 September. 1000 kr. (adults, 18+); free (17 and younger).
Ambassador Whale Watching, Torfunefsbryggja, ☏ +354 462 6800, ✉ info@ambassador.is. Whale watching, midnight sun cruises (summer), northern lights cruises (winter). 10 990 to 17 990 kr. (adult) depending on tour, children 50% off, children under 7 free.

You can also visit nearby farms, go horseback riding, etc. For more information and booking, visit Hof Cultural Center (see above) or Saga Travel (Kaupvangsstræti 4, +354 558 8888, sagatravel@sagatravel.is).

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Weather

Akureyri has a relatively mild climate for its location. Summers are short and last from June to August, with daytime temperatures close to 15 °C, while nights are around 6-7 °C. In winter (December to February) temperatures are slightly above zero during the day and average around -5 °C at night. Precipitation is possible year round, though spring is certainly the driest and sunniest time of year, while summers are almost as dry and sunny. Most of the rain falls from October to January.

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Getting There

By Plane

Akureyri Airport (AEY) offers Air Iceland flights to/from Reykjavik, while relatively new Norlandair serves Grímsey, Vopnafjörður and Þórshöfn. Iceland Express has seasonal flights to/from London-Gatwick and Copenhagen (summer only).
Norlandair has charteflights to Greenland as well.

By Car

The Icelandic Ring Road (Route 1) connects Akureyri with other places around the country. Reykjavik is about 400 kilometres away, about a 5 hour drive. Roads inland require 4wd vehicles, such as along the the F821 road which ascends from the head of the fjord and connects to the trans-Interior route F35.

By Bus

The Icelandic Bus Company provides services to/from Akureyri. Buses run to Reykjavík twice daily from May to September, departing at 8.30am and 5pm (5¾ hours). There is at least one service daily during the rest of the year. From mid-June to the end of August an additional service runs to Reykjavík along the interior’s Kjölur route (10 hours), leaving at 8am.

Heading east, there are daily summer buses from Akureyri to Egilsstaðir (four hours), stopping en route in Reykjahlíð and Skútustaðir for Mývatn (1½ hours). In peak season up to three additional buses run to Mývatn. From June to August there are three daily services to Húsavík (one hour), from where you can connect to Ásbyrgi and Þórshöfn (weekdays only). Buses to Árskógssandur and Dalvík (for the Grímsey and Hrísey ferries) and Ólafsfjörður leave up to four times a day on weekdays.

By Boat

Cruisehips call at Akureyri in summer and there are whale-watching trips in season as well.

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Getting Around

By Car

Avis, Budget, Hertz and National all have offices at the airport or downtown. Since 2006, you must now put a parking disk (available free from all shops, guesthouses and banks) on display in your car. Spaces are marked with maximum stay allowed (from 15 minutes to two hours). Parking is free, but overstaying your time certainly is not!

By Public Transport

The bus service within Akureyri is provided by the SVA (Akureyri Bus Company). The buses are not very frequent, each line has a bus every hour or so. The buses stop running at 11pm on weekdays and only run between 12 and 6pm on weekends and holidays, but when they're free why complain?

By Foot and Bike

Central Akureyri is easily negotiated on foot, but you will need a bike when you go outside the city. For those who prefer to cycle, it's possible to rent a bicycle at the souvenir shop The Viking in Hafnarstræti (tel.: +354 461 5551). The price is 1000 kr. for 6 hours, or 1800 kr. for the day.

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Eat

If you just want a quick snack, there's a hot dog stand on Hafnarstræti, opposite The Viking (souvenir store). Do as the Icelanders do and ask for eina með öllu: one with everything.

While you're in Akureyri, also be sure to get ice cream from Brynja (Aðalstræti 3, +354 462 4478, brynjaehf@simnet.is). You'll never want to eat other ice cream again.

Nætursalan, Strandgata 6, ☏ +354 462 4020. MacGratsky hamburger shop.
Dominos Pizza, Undirhlíð 1, ☏ +354 581 2345. World's northernmost dominos pizza.
Rub23, Kaupvangsstræti 6, ☏ +354 462 2223. Fish restaurant.
Indian Curry Hut, Hafnarstræti 100b, ☏ +354 461 4242. Indian curry resturant.
Hamborgarfabrikkan (The Hamburger Factory), Hafnarstræti 87, ☏ +354 575 7575. Icelandic hamburgers.
Strikið, Skipagata 14, ☏ +354 462 7100. High quality restaurant with a good chocolate cake. Mostly fish and lobster on the menu.
Greifinn, Glerárgata 20, ☏ +354 460 1600. 11:30-22:30 (Sun-Thu), 11:30-23:30 (Fri+Sat). Famous for its pizza, but everything on the menu's worth trying.

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Drink

A nice bar is across the street from the main movie theater. It seems that people in the city enjoy an 'early' movie theater around 8pm or so, and, as customary in Iceland, go clubbing/barhopping after midnight. However, the clubs close at 1AM, at least during the weekdays. A strange wheel-of-fortune with shots, beer, and nothing, is there, for 1500 kr.

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Sleep

There are many guesthouses more inland immediately away from the city center. They double as residences for college students, but they are the cheapest lodging you'll find, at around 8000 kr double and 5000 kr single.

Hostelling International. Dorms from 2900 kr.
Gista, Gránufélagsgata 43, ☏ +354 694 4314. Company that rents out apartments.
Hotel Kea, Hafnarstræti 87-89, ☏ +354 694 4314. Hotel in Akureyri centrum. Around 15 000 kr. in the winter and 30 000 kr. in the summer.
Icelandair Hotel Akureyri, Þingvallastraeti 23, ☏ +354 444 4000 (booking), +354 518 1000 (hotel), fax: +354 444 4001, ✉ akureyri@icehotels.is.
Akureyri Backpackers, Hafnarstræti 98, ☏ +354 571 9050, ✉ akureyri@backpackers.is. Rooms, showers, guest kitchen, lockers, washers/dryers, bar/restaurant, hangout, and more.
Acco Hostel, Skipagata 4, ☏ +354 547 2226, ✉ acco@godo.is. Very basic, very cheap (€28 in an 8-person dormitory). Don't confuse the hostel (entrance B) with Acco guest house (entrance A).
Hotel Akureyri, Hafnarstræti 67, ☏ +354 462 5600, ✉ hotelakureyri@hotelakureyri.is. Attractive exterior, nice clean rooms inside with views of the fjord. Breakfast included with room. 125€.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

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.

Phone

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.

Post

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.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 65.683868
  • Longitude: -18.11046

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This is version 12. Last edited at 13:12 on Nov 1, 19 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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