Top 10 Apps for Your Trip to Iceland

Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfossar on Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

Hreyfill: the taxi app

Hreyfill is one of the largest taxi companies in Iceland. With their app, you can order a cab to your address and see the car’s location in real-time. Unlike Hopp Taxi, you disclose your destination to the taxi driver, not through the app. Therefore, you will see the final price once you arrive at your destination. The payment goes through the cab driver, not the app. If you would like to get a price estimate first, you can call Hreyfill Taxi at +354-588-5522. 

SafeTravel

The SafeTravel app will give you all the information you need to travel safely in Iceland, such as Icelandic road regulations, traffic signs, road closures and weather warnings. It enables you to register your location at any given time, so if you go on a hike and get lost, the app can provide the authorities with your last reported coordinates so they can find you more easily. You can directly connect to emergency services through the app.

Traffic jam in snow storm in Iceland
Photo: The SafeTravel app will keep you updated on weather and road conditions.

Hopp: getting from A to B

Hopp is an app for three types of transportation. It offers electric scooter rentals, car sharing and ride sharing. There are many scooter rental stations in Iceland. You can use the app to rent one for a limited time and then return it to any Hopp scooter station. Car sharing allows you to rent a car for a shorter period, much like Zipcar. These cars are located at various places in the capital area. The ride-share option, or Hopp Taxi, is similar to Uber. You can order a car through the app, and by choosing your destination, you will see the price before confirming. The cost will then be deducted from your payment method through the app.

Klappið: getting from A to B for less

Klappið is the public bus app which allows you to buy tickets and plan your ride by entering your start location, destination and departure time. You can see the bus’ location in real-time. As of 2024, the price for a standard bus ticket is ISK 630 [$4.60, €4.20]. You can pay the fare by entering your card information in the app.

Bus in Reykjavík, Iceland
Photo: Lækjartorg bus stop in Reykjavík.

Kringum Iceland: fun facts all around you

The Kringum app teaches you about various sites, fun facts and events around you. You can look at the map and see icons marking each site. When you click them, you will see information and stories about the given subject and get directions on how to get there. Aside from the map, you can go to a list that shows the nearby sites, with the closest ones listed first. 

Parka: parking made simple

The Parka app enables you to pay for parking from your phone, so there’s no need to search for an automat. The app will show you which parking zone you are in using the location function, ensuring you pay the correct fee. It will list locations such as parking garages, street parking and car washes. You connect your card to the app for payment. Once you park your car, you check in through the app, and when you return to your vehicle, you check out. The app will then charge you a prorated price based on the time you used the parking spot. Note that this app can also be used for reserving camping sites

Wikiloc: hiking trails in Iceland

The Wikiloc app offers detailed hiking trails, which you can find on their map or by using filters to create a list. You will see the elevation, distance and difficulty level of each trail, ranked and reviewed by travellers. The app includes offline maps that can come in handy if you lose cell phone reception in the wilderness.

Kleifarvatn, Iceland
Photo: Golli. The Wikiloc app will guide you on adventurous hikes.

Google Translate

This popular app can be very useful during your travels in Iceland. Sometimes, instructions or descriptions are only listed in Icelandic. With this app, you can hover your phone’s camera over the text you need translating, and in seconds, you will have the text written in your language. In addition, you can translate sentences via text or verbally and have the app read the text out loud.

Icelandic Coupons

This app offers coupons for restaurants, bars, shops, and activities. The offers include 2-for-1 deals and percentage discounts, making your time in Iceland more economical. You can use free coupons or buy a collection for ISK 1,380 [$10, €9.20]. Search for coupons anywhere in Iceland or turn on the location feature to see nearby deals. Simply download the app, start scrolling, and then activate the offer once it’s time to pay for the service.

Red Cross First Aid

This app provides instructions for first aid on the go, with no internet connection needed. You select the emergency from a list, and the app will give step-by-step instructions on how to best care for the injury. Having first aid in the palm of your hand can save a life and is especially helpful when you’re out of town and must wait longer for assistance. In some instances, the app instructs to dial 911, but note that the emergency hotline in Iceland is 112.

 

Parking in Reykjavík

Parking meter in Reykjavík

In Reykjavík, there are four parking zones: P1, P2, P3, and P4. You can see which zone you are in by the blue signs with a white “P” and its corresponding zone number. Each has its own prices and payment periods. You can see the parking zones in the city centre on this map, and their prices here below.

Street parking in Reykjavík: prices and chargeable hours

Zone P1 (Red and pink)

  • ISK 600 [$4.35, €4] per hour
  • 9 AM–9 PM on weekdays and 10 AM–9 PM on weekends 
  • Maximum 3 hours

Zone P2 (Blue)

  • ISK 220 [$1.60, €1.47] per hour
  • 9 AM–9 PM on weekdays and 10 AM–9 PM on weekends 

Zone P3 (Green)

  • ISK 220 [$1.60, €1.47] per hour for the first two hours 
  • ISK 65 for each additional hour
  • 9 AM to 6 PM on weekdays

Zone P4 (Orange)

  • ISK 220 [$1.60, €1.47] per hour
  • 8 AM to 4 PM on weekdays

Street parking is free of charge on the following holidays:

New Year’s Day, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, Easter Monday, First Day of Summer, May 1, Ascension Day, Whitsunday, Whitmonday, June 17, Merchants Day, Christmas Day and December 26.

Reykjavík Hallgrímskirkja church
Photo: Skólavörðustígur Street in Reykjavík City.

Parking garages in Reykjavík: prices and hours

Parking garages are open daily from 7 AM to midnight.

Garages at Stjörnuport (Laugavegur St. 86-90) and Vitatorg (Skúlagata St. 22)

  • ISK 180 [$1.30, €1.20] for the first hour
  • ISK 120 [$0.87, €0.80] each additional hour 

Garages at Kolaport (Kalofnsvegur Rd. 3), Ráðhús City Hall, Traðarkot (Hverfisgata St. 20) and Vesturgata St. 7

  • ISK 260 [$1.90, €1.75] for the first hour
  • ISK 130 [$0.94, €0.87] for each additional hour

If you leave your car past opening hours, you will continue paying the hourly fee, even though the garage is closed for access.

Paying for parking in Reykjavík

You may use coins, debit/credit cards, or digital wallets to pay through parking meters. You can also pay online on the Reykjavík Parking Authority’s website. Lastly, you can pay with a parking app on your phone. Note that some meters may not accept coins.

  • Tickets bought in Zone P1 are valid for all zones. 
  • Tickets bought in Zone P2 are valid in zones P2, P3, and P4
  • Tickets bought in Zone P3 are only valid in Zone P3
  • Tickets bought in Zone P4 are only valid in Zone P4

Paying with a parking app

You can pay using parking apps such as EasyPark and Parka. These apps can be used for any parking zone or garage in Reykjavík. You simply input your licence plate number and the zone in which you are located to activate the timer, and then check out once you are done using the space. The fee is prorated and paid through the app. The apps include a map of the zones, making finding the less expensive ones easier.

Parka map Reykjavík
Photo: In parking apps, you can see which parking zone you’re located in.

I got a parking fine in Iceland; what do I do?

Parking tickets in Iceland are electronic, meaning you will not find a paper ticket on your windshield. The car’s licence plate will be traced to your car rental company, which will notify you and provide payment instructions. If you receive a parking ticket, you can pay it here. Familiarising yourself with Icelandic parking signs can help you avoid getting a fine. Keep in mind that street parking and garages are not meant for campers or motorhomes; those must be parked at campsites. Remember that in Iceland, you must park in the direction of traffic.


Parking Fees Rise in Downtown Reykjavík

architecture downtown Reykjavík houses square

Higher parking fees took effect in central Reykjavík this month and have been criticised by some politicians and locals. The city has instituted paid parking on Sundays for the first time and extended the hours when parking is paid on other days.

In the P1 and P2 zones, parking will be paid until 9:00 PM throughout the week. It was previously free after 6:00 PM on weekdays and 4:00 PM on Saturdays. On Sundays, parking will be subject to fees between 10:00 AM and 9:00 PM.

Three-hour limit in P1 and P2

Guðbjörg Lilja Erlendsdóttir, Director of Transport at the City of Reykjavík, says this change was implemented to accommodate residents and shop owners in the city centre. “The aim of the fees is that as many people as possible can get parking when they need it. Therefore, in toll zone 1, where there are a lot of shops and services, we are also implementing a maximum time of three hours, and are extending the toll hours in zones 1 and 2. All this is done so that residents and visitors get more parking when they need it,” Guðbjörg told RÚV. It’s important to note that residents within paid parking zones can apply for residential cards, allowing them to park within applicable parking zones for free.

Fee increase to ISK 600 in P1

In the P1 zone, the cost of parking will also increase to ISK 600 [$4.31, €4.11] per hour, from the previous rate of ISK 430 [$2.95, €3.09] per hour. However, parking will now be free in zone P3 on Saturdays. A count revealed that parking spaces were better used on Sundays than Saturdays, so the change may help to better distribute weekend traffic in the city centre.

Independence Party politician Kjartan Magnússon criticised the steep price hike in the P1 zone, which amounts to some 40%. Guðbjörg says there has been relatively little response to the changes overall, however.

New Fees at Jökulsárlón Could Generate Up To ISK 40 Million

jökulsárlón parking fee

Park rangers for Vatnajökull have stated that the necessary infrastructure will soon be in place to introduce fees at Jökulsárlón, one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations.

The new fees would be introduced this June, and could potentially generate some ISK 40 million [$285,000; €266,000].

Read More: 72% of Icelanders Support Tourism Fee

According to rangers for South Iceland, new cameras will be set up in April of this year and will be tested for two months, before becoming fully operational this June.

Future visitors to Jökulsárlón in private passenger vehicles can expect to pay ISK 1,000 [$7.10; €6,70] for parking, though visitors who also visit Skaftafell will receive a 50% discount. Camping fees will not be included in this amount.

The introduction of a parking fee at Jökulsárlón has been discussed as a possibility for some time. Initial proposals first came in 2017, when the Icelandic state acquired all of the land surrounding the popular glacial lagoon. According to RÚV, nearly 1 million tourists visit the area annually. This volume of visitors means that the area is expensive to maintain.

In Focus: Privately Owned Tourist Sites

Although by Icelandic law, all land is open to the public, increasing numbers of visitors to Iceland have raised concerns in recent years about the sustainability of the tourism industry. Notably, these laws, known traditionally in English as “the right to wander,” do not cover services, such as parking and bathrooms.

 

Reykjavík City Announces Expansion of Paid Parking Zones

architecture downtown Reykjavík houses square

Changes will soon be made to paid parking zones in Reykjavík, the City announced yesterday. A recent tally indicates that parking spaces just outside paid-parking zones are heavily used.

Heavy use of spaces just outside paid parking zones

Yesterday, the City announced that it will be expanding paid parking zones in Reykjavík. According to a press release, a recent tally has indicated that spaces just beyond paid parking zones are heavily used. This gives “occasion to expand paid-parking zones in specific areas” and in accordance with regulations. The expansion will mainly apply to Zone 2 parking spaces but also to Zone 1 and 3.

At a meeting on Wednesday, the City’s Environment and Planning Branch (Umhverfis- og skipulagsráð) approved a proposal, which has subsequently been referred to City Council. The proposal has also been put to the capital area police where it met with approval. The proposal will, however, not come into effect prior to approval and publication by City Council. Appropriate signage and metres must also be installed within new paid-parking zones.

The following parking zones will be expanded:

  • Parking Zone 1
    • Grettisgata between Rauðarárstígur and Snorrabraut
  • Parking Zone 2
    • Hrannarstígur
    • Öldugata, Bárugata, Ránargata, and Vesturgata (between Ægisgata and Stýrimannastígur
    • Stýrimannastígur
    • Blómvallagata
    • Ásvallagata and Sólvallagata (east of Hofsvallagata)
    • Hávallagata (between Hofsvallagata and Blómvallagata)
    • Tjarnargata (from no. 33 to Hringbraut)
    • Bjarkargata
    • Baldursgata (between Freyjugata and Skólavörðustígur)
    • Lokastígur and Þórsgata up to Skólavörðustígur
    • The area between Laugavegur, Rauðarárstígur and Bríetartún
  • Parking Zone 3
    • Baldursgata and Bragagata (from Nönnugata to Freyjugata)
    • Freyjugata (from Baldursgata to Njarðargata)

As noted by the press release, residents within paid parking zones can apply for residential cards. Conditions being met, holders of residential cards are allowed to park within applicable parking zones for free.

Parking Not Free at Eruption Site

Meradalir eruption 2022

Although authorities are still advising those who are not experienced hikers to refrain from visiting the eruption at Meradalir, an increasing number of tourists and local visitors are making their way there. However, many may be surprised to discover that parking in the nearest lots isn’t free and that a fine will be levied against anyone who doesn’t pay it. RÚV reported as part of its ongoing, updated coverage of the eruption.

During last year’s nearby eruption, the Hraun Landowners’ Association established two parking lots that are still in use. The daily parking fee at both is a modest ISK 1,000 [$7.30; €7.17], payable through the parka.is website or app. Those who don’t pay the fee, however, are charged a fine of ISK 4,750 [$34.67; €34.06]. (For Icelanders, this fee appears as a bill in their online bank account; how this fee is charged to foreign visitors was unclear at time of writing.)

See Also: Eruption in Meradalir: Everything We Know So Far

Signs are posted in both lots indicating that there is a daily charge for parking. But some who’ve been hit with the fourfold fine say the signage needs to be improved, particularly as the current notices are difficult to see when there are many cars parked in the lot.

Sigurður Guðjón Gíslason, head of the Landowners’ Association, says that work is underway to improve the posted signage. Looking ahead, he said that Hraun is considering installing cameras and automated charging systems at the parking lots which would be similar to those found in capital-area parking garages.

Challenging 13-km hike poses risks for inexperienced visitors

The eruption is located in Meradalir valley, further inland from the Fagradalsfjall eruption that occurred on the Reykjanes peninsula last year. The hike to the site is around 13 kilometres [8.1 miles] long and includes considerable elevation. Several people were injured while hiking there last Wednesday; one had to be evacuated by helicopter with a broken ankle.

Suðurnes Police Commissioner Úlfar Lúðvíksson reminded the public that the hike is difficult and not for everyone. He told RÚV that many visiting the eruption on its first night were not carrying flashlights, though it has begun to get dark in the evenings.

Those who do visit the eruption also need to be particularly aware of the risk of gas poisoning. Authorities advise visitors to avoid bringing children, who are more sensitive to toxic gases and more prone to poisoning, as heavy toxic gases collect closer to the ground. The same is true of pets such as dogs. On calm days, poisonous gasses are likely to collect in low-lying areas.

Off-road driving is banned at the site, as everywhere else in Iceland. Several individuals were fined for off-road driving near the eruption earlier this week.

Drivers Can Now Choose Between Two Parking Apps

With the advent of the new app Parka, drivers can now choose between two apps when parking their vehicles in Reykjavík, and near specified tourist attractions in Iceland, Kjarninn reports. As the company intends to generate income by other means, users will not have to pay service fees or additional costs. 

No Service Charges

Parka, a new parking app, has recently offered early access to drivers in Iceland. Before Parka, the only app option for drivers was Leggja, which the Swedish company EasyPark recently acquired. The Parka app introduces a few new features, such as no service charges for users. 

Generating Income by Other Means

Parka, which was created by Computer Vision, aims to simplify the process of paying for parking by saving the location of the parking space, by displaying payment areas on a map, and by sending free reminders to users to deregister vehicles from parking spaces. The app allows users to pay for parking in downtown Reykjavík, in Höfðatorg square in Reykjavík, at the Þingvellir National Park, and the Skaftafell area at the Vatnajökull National Park. 

Parka will not charge users service fees or additional fees, according to Computer Vision. Instead, the company intends to generate income by other means, via “novel solutions” that the company plans to introduce over the next few days. Leggja charges a service fee of ISK 95 each time that a driver parks their vehicle. Users also have the option of paying a fixed monthly fee. 

“We’re confident that we can generate income by other means. We see many opportunities that we will be introducing over the coming days. We’re an innovation company that focuses on solutions. We put the customer first. Parka aims to make the lives of its users easier through automation. Our dream is that when you park your car you won’t even have to open the app. We will be testing this feature at Hafnartorg square,” Ægir Finnsson, Technical Director at Parka, stated in an interview with Kjarninn.

EasyPark Acquires Leggja

Before Parka, Leggja was the only parking app in Iceland. It was founded in 2008 by the software company Stokki, which was acquired by Já in 2017. Já announced yesterday that the Swedish parking company EasyPark had purchased Leggja. The company will invite users of Leggja to switch over to the EasyPark app in the coming days. EasyPark offers parking solutions in over 1,300 cities in 18 countries. 

“EasyPark is a leading player in the field of parking, offering solutions that are constantly being updated and improved, which will benefit Icelanders. This is exciting news for Leggja’s customers,” Vilborg Helga Harðardóttir, CEO of Já, stated in a press release. 

City Centre Parking Zones and Hours Extended, Rates Increased

Proposed extension of parking zone 1

The Reykjavík Planning and Transport Committee has approved a proposal to extend parking fee hours for popular locations in the city centre and will start charging parking fees on Sundays. In addition, parking rates will go up in all tariff zones.

Zone 1 will be extended as the map above shows. The extended parking fee hours for zone will be 9 AM-8 PM on weekdays and 10 AM-8 PM Saturdays. On Sundays, parking fees will be collected from 10 AM-4 PM. Both of these changes exclude Borgartún.

Parking fee rates for zone 1 will go from 340 ISK (EUR 2.47 – USD 2.74) per hour to 400 ISK (EUR 2.91 – USD 3.23) per hour. Zones 2 and 4 will change from 190 ISK (Eur 1.38 – USD 1.53) per hour to 200 ISK (EUR 1.45 – USD 1.61) and zone 3 will go from charging  190 ISK (Eur 1.38 – USD 1.53) per hour for the first two hours and 55 ISK (EUR 0.40 – USD 0.44) per hour after that to simply charging 100 ISK (EUR 0.73 – USD 0.81) per hour.

The People’s Party’s Observer in the Planning and Transport Committee entered in the official minutes that “the proposals were focused on making it harder for car users to drive to the city centre. The result will be immediate, more and more Icelanders, suburban residents, will stop visiting the city centre.”

The Pirate Party, Social Democratic Alliance, and the Reform Party’s counter-entry stated that “the extension of parking fee zones and hours was in accordance with the city’s policy on parking issues. Its intended goals were better traffic control, more economic use of parking, and increased revenue. A reasonable fee collection encourages us of divers modes of transport and reduces use of beautiful city space being used as long-term storage for cars.”

Long-Term Parking at Airport Completely Full Over Easter

The long-term parking lots at the Keflavík Airport are at full capacity for the third Easter holiday in a row. RÚV reports that the airport’s long-term parking lots closed just before 5:00 PM on Wednesday afternoon because all of the 2,600 on-site parking spaces had been filled.

The Easter holiday is a very popular time for Icelanders to travel, both within the country and abroad. Isavia’s service manager, Gunnar Ingi Hafsteinsson, said that travelers are advised to book their long-term parking spots in advance of popular travel weekends. As of lunch time on Wednesday, 95% of the long-term lot was full. By comparison, on a normal day, only 50 – 60% of the airport’s long-term parking lot is booked.

At least two other companies offer their own valet service and offsite parking options close to the airport. However, it looks as though these companies also have fully booked up during the holiday season. For instance, Smart Parking, which has 400 parking spots, reported that its lot was fully booked until April 22. And as of Wednesday afternoon, it also looked likely that Base Parking, which has nearly 1,000 parking spots, would also fill to capacity this weekend.

Parking Spot Security Camera Deemed Not to Violate Privacy

The Icelandic Data Protection Authority has ruled that a resident did not violate the privacy of other people by setting up a security camera in their apartment window to monitor their private parking spot, RÚV reports. The security camera sent real-time images to the resident’s phone, but did not take pictures or videos and is not being disseminated. Therefore, says the Protection Authority, no privacy violation has taken place.

A complaint about the resident’s security camera was made by one of his neighbors, who complained about photos being taken of her and her partner. The resident contended that the reason he had the camera was because his neighbor’s partner owned a large Jeep with 44 in. tires and would park it such that he was basically unable to use his own parking spot. The resident also asserted that the partner tended to leave his Jeep running, which was both loud and created a great deal of pollution. The resident said they’d complained to the police about this behavior on numerous occasions, but nothing had come of it.

The complainants claimed that the resident had taken numerous phone pictures of them, followed them around the parking lot, and recorded the couple from the laundry room window. They also said that the security camera’s field of vision would necessarily extend beyond just the private parking spot of the resident.

In making their judgement, the Protection Authority did not find it necessary to gain access to the recording resident’s home. It said that there was no evidence that the neighbor and her partner’s personal information had been used for anything other than “personal use” and said that the security camera was not being used for electronic monitoring.

The compliant was, therefore, dismissed, but the complainants were advised that they could submit another complaint in the future if they had any further information related to a possible privacy violation.