Taking the Flybus

I’m not normally a fan of bus travel (as referenced in my Northern Lights trip post), but for some reason, I love taking the Flybus. When you arrive at Iceland’s international airport, you are a 45 minute drive away from Reykjavik. A taxi would be very expensive. Also, hiring a car *from the airport* is expensive (much cheaper to pick it up somewhere that isn’t the airport). So most people will be taking the Flybus from the airport to their destination in Reykjavik.

Normally I am quite impatient and just want to get where I am going as quickly as possible, especially if I have already been travelling for hours. But there’s something very old-school and relaxing about the Flybus. You usually have to wait a little bit for it to fill up with people, and then you have the journey itself. Maybe because you know there aren’t going to be traffic jams, or maybe because you get a chance to just look at the pretty-much-empty landscape along the way, I find the bus journey is a nice way to start unwinding and acclimatising to being in Iceland again.

It’s usually a good source of amusement too.  Often I see foreign visitors bemused by what is actually a very simple process! It looks like the company who runs the bus has recently updated their website so I will direct you there instead of doing a detailed and boring post about what you need to do. But based on travel mishaps I have seen the main advice I would give is:

  • At the airport, assuming you now have your ticket – just go outside! It’s the only bus that’s outside!
  • When the bus personnel ask what your hotel is, tell them and make sure you tell them the correct and full name of your hotel. Sounds simple, I know, but you really don’t want to be “those people” that the bus has had to make a detour for!

There is talk of putting in a rail link between the airport and the city. As there are currently no trains in Iceland, I think this would be a shame. Yes, you might shorten the journey time but you’re also making Iceland a little more like everywhere else, fast and impatient. Also, I just don’t see what there is any issue with the current system, so why spend loads to fix something that isn’t a problem?

I’m sure things will move on as they do and some day there will be a super quick way to make the airport journey, but for now there isn’t and I’m ok with that.


16 thoughts on “Taking the Flybus

  1. You might have rail rather than polluting and forcing the folks in Islenksa to drive, buy cars, and build roads, when rail would be so much more affordable. I am sure the little folk would appreciate this.

  2. The rain was heavy at times, but I could make out some jagged peaks in the distance. The lava fields flowed by as my face was pressed against the bus window trying to decide which planet I had landed on.

  3. Here another tip: visit the blue lagoon on your way from/to the airport.
    At the Blue Lagoon:
    If you’re a woman with long hair: DON’T dip your hair in the water.
    Now let me repeat that: DON’T dip your hair in the water.
    All the minerals and stuff will make you look like a fucking troll for the next 3 days.

  4. I actually like taking the flybus, i dont take it alot, usually i rent a car, but im often the only Icelander on boards and i vitness funny conversations like, this one time there was a mother with her teenage daughter sitting in front of me in the flybus. They were both Danish speaking Danish which i speak fluently, anyways the mother was all excited when we came closer to Reykjavík and said to her daughter, Look, the first Icelander we see!!!.. 🙂 i admit.. weird to hear such a comment, plus the driver was Icelandic 😉 Also she was telling her daughter about Bjork, the singer and that she lived in New York.. I wanted to say, no she lives in Vesturbaer, in that black house by the sea.. but, i didnt say a word 😉 just enjoyed the turists talk about the ¨Icelanders¨… 😉

    • I need to get good enough Icelandic to understand what they say about tourists!!

      Most people who come to Iceland have probably never met an Icelander, which must seem pretty strange to you. Usually the Flybus drivers are a pretty good first impression. 🙂

  5. The Flybus is remarkably good value for money I think – what is it, about GBP22 return? I like the fact the bus proceeds at medium pace and doesn’t do a manic charge straight to BSI, meaning that the landscape unfolds before the passenger in far more sedate fashion and that it’s easier to to look at things with a scrutinising eye. Everything was bushed in snow when we were there, but that created a thrilling sense of anticipation as to how the landscape might change even further (to quote the poet Wallace Stevens, ‘It was snowing/And it was going to snow’) Things to write about on the Worldly Scandifriend blog at some point, I think!

    • I completely agree, there’s something about the way the bus creeps along, steady, not too fast, not too slow. I’m always surprised at how far the eye can see again. Going back is always a little more tense as there’s inevitably someone who hasn’t come down to their reception, or forgotten something…

      A train would be a lot more expensive I’m sure. It is a good price.

  6. hi there! i’m heading to iceland in dec but my flight is only arriving at 22:50 at night. they said on the website that they have a bus waiting for every flight that comes into reykjavik. have you personally flew in late before and will they wait for you? thanks! 🙂

  7. Hi there! I would like to ask if the flybus reach the airport on time as I have a plane to catch around 7:30am and the earliest bus is 4am, picking up us from the hotel around 3:15am. Thank you!

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