Book your flight to Akureyri with Icelandair from

What to see and do in Akureyri

Yellow summer flowers brighten up the foreground of the picture, with the city of Akuyreyri and Hlíðarfjall visible in the background

Best time to visit Akureyri

Akureyri, Iceland’s second-largest urban area, is an amazing destination all year round.

A naturally beautiful town, Akureyri is situated on one of the longest fjords in the country and features a mild climate with summer temperatures of up to 77°F (25°C).

Summertime brings long hours of daylight and midnight sun, and activities such as boat trips, hiking, snorkeling and whale-watching tours.

Northern Lights season is from September through to early April, and they are more likely to appear in northern Iceland than anywhere else in the country. In the colder winter months, shorter days are balanced out with lots of lively festivals and events to wrap up warm for.

Getting around Akureyri

Akureyri is a walking city and you can reach most places in the center on foot, but a car is handy to explore the region further.

There is one taxi rank in the city (BSO), but there are also plenty of buses for local travel and excursions further afield. One of the big advantages of Akureyri’s local buses is that they’re absolutely free.

The bus stop for all the local city buses is located between the taxi station and the town square. For bus journeys to and from Akureyri (including buses to Akureyri airport), look for a stop near Hof – the cultural and conference center.

The cruise ship harbor is also a 5-minute walk away from the center of the town, so you can hop on a ferry with ease.

Akureyri city lit up in dusky evening light with the church visible
Akureyrarkirkja pictured from the bottom of the stairs which lead up to it

Things to do in Akureyri

Akureyri provides the perfect mix of culture, nature and adventure and it’s a city that offers something for everyone.

You can spend time wandering the quaint stores, cafes, art galleries and museums in the city center. Then later the same day, head outdoors to enjoy fishing, hiking or even skiing. This compact city really offers it all.

You’ll find locals relaxing in the local geothermal pools year-round or playing a round of golf under the midnight sun in the summer season.

During your evenings in Akureyri, we suggest you try one of the numerous excellent restaurants specializing in Icelandic lamb, seafood, and other local delicacies.

Explore the Northern region of Iceland

Akureyri serves as a gateway to North Iceland where you can discover many natural gems, from offshore islands to geothermal wonders.

Discover the Jökulsárgljúfur area of Vatnajökull National Park, home to spectacular Ásbyrgi canyon and Dettifoss waterfall, and the pretty village of Húsavík, a magnet for its whale-watching trips.

Also nearby is the Mývatn area, home to beautiful lakes and geological marvels. You can also take a short ferry or flight from Akureyri to Grímsey: a small, puffin-populated island in the Arctic Circle.

With the recently created Arctic Coast Way and Diamond Circle tourist routes, it’s now easier than ever to access unique scenery and diverse attractions.

A whale fin emerges in the waters of the North of Iceland, meanwhile tourists on a whale watching tour boat watch the scene

FAQs about travel to Akureyri

Helpful information for travelers to Akureyri

How do you get to Akureyri, Iceland from North America?

Icelandair offers regular flights to Akureyri airport from the United States, as well as frequent domestic flights from Reykjavík to Akureyri, so you can plan your vacation exactly as you like it.

It’s worth keeping in mind that flights to Akureyri always depart from Reykjavík Airport, so those travelers who are flying into Iceland on international flights will first land in Keflavík International Airport before making their own way to Reykjavík Domestic Airport.

How long is the flight to Akureyri?

The average flight time from the US to Akureyri is around 12-14 hours, depending on where in the US you’re traveling from. Fly from Reykjavík and the flight time is only 45 minutes.

As Keflavík is on route to Akureyri Airport (AEY), why not stopover in the south of Iceland before heading to the capital of the north?

How do you get to Akureyri from Reykjavík?

Travelers often wonder how to get to Akureyri from Reykjavik, and the answer is that it’s easy!

Icelandair passengers from Europe and North America land at Keflavík International Airport (KEF). To travel to Akureyri by air, passengers need to first transfer from Keflavík to the city airport in Reykjavík, a distance of 31 miles (50 km).

Getting to Akureyri is quick and easy once you’re in Reykjavík. The domestic flight in Iceland, from Reykjavík to Akureyri, takes just 45 minutes and operates several times a day, all year round.

Is driving from Reykjavík to Akureyri possible?

Yes, absolutely. This is an especially popular option during the summer months.

Many travelers who want to explore the ring road may look at renting a car and traveling all around the country. It’s a popular trip for good reason as there’s plenty to see and do all around Iceland.

However, the winter months can make for trickier driving conditions (expect shorter, snowier days and longer dark nights), and a car rental may not be ideal for those only in Iceland for a short stopover.

It’s no secret that we recommend you fly to Akureyri, but those travelers especially find the flight to be the most convenient option.