GuidesTransportationExplore with Ease: Iceland Public Transportation Guide
A Public Transportation bus in iceland
Go Car Rental Iceland travel writer Aron Freyr
By Aron FreyrDec 8, 2023 • 5 min read

Explore with Ease: Iceland Public Transportation Guide

Iceland is a country known for its stunning landscapes, unique culture, and friendly people. It's no wonder that it has become a popular tourist destination in recent years. However, with its remote location and rugged terrain, getting around Iceland can be a challenge. That's where public transportation comes in.

In this guide, we'll explore the various options for public transportation in Iceland and provide tips for making the most of your travels.

Why Choose Public Transportation in Iceland?

Cost-Effective

One of the main reasons to choose public transportation in Iceland is its cost-effectiveness. Iceland is known for being an expensive country, and renting a car can add up quickly. By utilizing public transportation, you can save money and still see all the sights.

Eco-Friendly

Iceland is a country that prides itself on its commitment to sustainability and protecting the environment. By choosing public transportation, you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to the country's efforts towards sustainability.

Convenient

While Iceland may seem like a small country, it's actually quite vast and spread out. Public transportation offers a convenient way to get around, especially if you're not comfortable driving on the country's winding roads.

Types of Public Transportation in Iceland

Buses

City bus in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland

Buses are the most common form of public transportation in Iceland. They are operated by Strætó, the country's main bus company, and offer routes to most major cities and towns. The buses are modern, comfortable, and equipped with free Wi-Fi, making them a popular choice for tourists.

Ferries

Ferries are a unique form of public transportation in Iceland, as they are primarily used for transportation between the mainland and the country's many islands. They offer a scenic and enjoyable way to travel, but they can be weather-dependent and may not run during certain times of the year.

Taxis

Taxi cab yellow sign in Reykjavik, Iceland

Taxis are also available in Iceland, but they can be quite expensive. They are a good option for short trips or if you're in a hurry, but they are not a practical choice for long-distance travel.

Domestic Flights

For longer distances, domestic flights are a popular option in Iceland. They are operated by Icelandair and offer routes to most major cities and towns. However, they can be expensive, and the schedules may not always align with your travel plans.

Tips for Using Public Transportation in Iceland

Plan Ahead

When using public transportation in Iceland, it's important to plan ahead. Buses and ferries may not run as frequently as you're used to, and domestic flights can be expensive if not booked in advance. Be sure to research schedules and book tickets ahead of time to avoid any surprises.

Purchase a Reykjavik City Card

If you're planning on spending time in Reykjavik, consider purchasing a Reykjavik City Card. This card offers free access to public transportation, as well as discounts on various attractions and activities in the city.

Consider a Car Rental for Remote Areas

Rental car in iceland with people going on a hike

While public transportation is a great option for getting around Iceland's major cities and towns, it may not be as convenient for exploring more remote areas. In this case, consider renting a car for a day or two to fully experience the country's stunning landscapes.

Be Prepared for Weather Delays

Iceland's weather can be unpredictable, and this can sometimes lead to delays or cancellations in public transportation. Be sure to check the weather forecast and plan accordingly, especially if you have a tight schedule.

Exploring Iceland with Public Transportation

Reykjavik

Reykjavik cityspace with rainbow

Reykjavik, Iceland's capital city, is a must-visit for any traveler. With its colorful buildings, lively culture, and stunning views, it's no wonder it's become a popular tourist destination. Public transportation in Reykjavik is easy to navigate, with buses running frequently and a compact city center that is easily walkable.

The Golden Circle

Stunning Eruption of Strokkur Geysir in Iceland during sunset.

The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route that includes some of Iceland's most famous attractions, including the Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park. While many tourists choose to rent a car for this route, it is also possible to visit these sights using public transportation. Buses run from Reykjavik to each of these locations, and there are also organized tours available.

The South Coast

The South Coast of Iceland is known for its stunning landscapes, including black sand beaches, waterfalls, and glaciers. While it may be more challenging to explore this area using public transportation, it is possible. Buses run from Reykjavik to towns along the South Coast, and there are also organized tours available.

In Conclusion

While renting a car may seem like the most convenient option for exploring Iceland, public transportation offers a cost-effective, eco-friendly, and convenient alternative. By planning ahead and utilizing the various forms of public transportation available, you can fully experience all that Iceland has to offer. So hop on a bus, ferry, or plane and start exploring this beautiful country!