|Climate chart (explanation)|
The weather in Akureyri (and Northern Iceland in general) is often colder than in the capital, Reykjavík, but precipitation is lower; however, snow begins to fall earlier in Akureyri than in Reykjavík. As in the whole country the weather is unpredictable.
January is the coldest month. Snow is very common in December to February, 80-85% of the days in those months have some snow coverage. Sunshine hours in Akureyri are fewer than in its surroundings due to its location between two mountains to the east and west. These mountains also make winds blow frequently to the north and south.
July is the warmest month and one of the driest ones; actually temperature often remains rather cool even during summer, but one or two relatively hot days (> 24 °C) can occur, while rain is less frequent than in Reykjavik.
Get in[edit source]
By car or bus[edit source]
The city is linked to the rest of Iceland via the Ring Road, the highway that circles the island along the coastline. The Ring Road just west of Akureyri travels through a scenic valley. This valley can be slow-going in inclement weather and there are limited places to safely stop or pull over, so be sure to check weather reports.
- SBA. Buses between Reykjavík and Akureyri four days a week, leaving at 08:00 and arriving at 18:30. kr 18,000 one-way.
- Strætó. Buses from Húsavík, Reykjahlíð, Egilsstaðir and other places in the north and east several times a week. Daily buses from Reykjavík, Borgarnes, Blönduós and Sauðárkrókur.
By plane[edit source]
- 1 Akureyri Airport (AEY IATA) (about 3.5 km (2.2 mi) from the city centre). Akureyri has an airport with flights from Reykjavík Airport on domestic carrier Icelandair several times a day. Icelandair also has flights from three smaller villages: Grímsey (a small island to the north of Iceland, on the arctic circle), Þórshöfn (in the northeast on Langanes peninsula) and Vopnafjörður (the northernmost fjord in East Iceland).
Don't let the lack of a sidewalk at the airport's driveway intimidate you, there is a sidewalk next to the public road. Alternatively, take a taxi, and expect to pay about kr 1900 to the city centre. There are no buses serving the airport.
Get around[edit source]
Being Iceland's northern capital doesn't mean Akureyri is a huge metropolis. Although it can get a bit hilly leaving the waterline, walking distances are reasonable for a fit person.
Akureyri has a public bus system, called SVA[dead link], which is free for all. The buses are not very frequent, each line has a bus every hour or so. The buses stop running at 23:00 on weekdays and only run between 12:00 and 18:00 on weekends and holidays, but when they're free, why complain? For easier routing and route-planning consider getting the Strætó bs. app.[dead link]
BSÓ is the only taxi company in town, and they have a taxi rank in the centre.
For those who prefer to cycle, it's possible to rent a bicycle at the souvenir shop The Viking in Hafnarstræti (☏). The price is kr 1000 for 6 hours, or kr 1800 for the day.
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 centre, 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 kr 1200 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 kr 2000. Better yet, a year's pass for all five costs only kr 3000 and will allow you to visit everything at your leisure.
You can visit Akureyri all year around. There is always a lot to see.
- 1 Akureyri Art Museum (Listasafnið á Akureyri).
- 2 Aviation Museum of Iceland (Flugsafn Íslands).
- 3 Akureyri Botanical Garden.
- 4 Akureyrarkirkja. A church
- 5 Gásir (Medieval trading post). Gásir is the site of a medieval trading post, located 11 km north of Akureyri. In July, locals stage medieval reenactments here. At other times of year, it is a sparse area. It is also a reasonably good place to view the Northern Lights if you do not want to drive a long distance from town. You can pull into a parking area after dark.
- 1 Akureyri Drama Society (Leikfélag Akureyrar), Strandgata 12, ☏ . The only professional theatre in Iceland outside of Reykjavík.
- 2 Akureyri Swimming Pool (Sundlaug Akureyrar), Þingvallastræti 21 (Close to the city centre), ☏ . 28 May-1 September: M-F 06:45-18:00, Sa Su 08:00-19:30; 2 September-27 May: M-F 06:45-21:00, Sa Su 10:00-18:30. Two pools for swimming, several hot tubs, three water slides and a children's pool. kr 450.
- 3 Hof, Strandgata 12, ☏ . Akureyri's house of culture, home to the North Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Sinfóníuhljómsveit Norðurlands) and regularly host to other performances.
- 4 Skautafelag Akureyrar, Naustavegur, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Indoor ice rink (ice hockey, figure skating and curling).
- 5 Græni hatturinn, Hafnarstræti 96, ☏ , , email@example.com. Night club, live music.
- 6 SAMbíó, Ráðhústorg 8, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Another cinema.
- 7 Flugsafn Íslands (Icelandic Aviation Museum), Akureyri Airport, ☏ . Jun-Sep: 11:00 to 17:00. Aviation museum next to the airport.
- 8 Iðnaðarsafnið (Industrial Museum), Krókeyri, ☏ , , email@example.com. 1 Jun to 14 Sep: 10:00 to 17:00. kr 1000 (adults, 18+); free (17 and younger).
- 9 Elding Whale Watching Akureyri (Elding hvalaskoðun Akureyri), Oddeyrarbót 2, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Whale watching, midnight sun cruises (summer), northern lights cruises (winter). kr 10,990—17,990 (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, ☏, email@example.com).
For local art and design, head to Grófargil, colliqually known as Listagil (“art canyon”). It's a steep canyon by the street Kaupvangsstræti and home to several studios, galleries and shops.
There is a Nettó supermarket near the Glerártorg shopping mall. There is also a 3 Bónus supermarket near there, just a little further north along Glerágata/Hörgárbraut, and a 4 Krónan supermarket at Tryggvabraut 8. A 5 Hagkaup supermarket is located near the harbour, at Furuvellir 17.
While you're in Akureyri, be sure to get ice cream from the locally famous 1 Brynja.
Eating on a budget in Akureyri is about as difficult as in the rest of the country, though there are some options.
- 2 Domino's Pizza, Undirhlíð 1, ☏ . This is the world's northernmost Domino's pizza. It is popular with the locals. On Tuesdays, you can buy a medium pizza for kr 1000. Be prepared to wait if ordering in the evening.
- 3 DJ Grill, Strandgata 11, ☏ . Burger joint.
- 4 Sprettur-Inn, Kaupangur, ☏ . Pizzeria and grill. You can eat at the restaurant or order by phone or online.
For a quick snack, consider going to a hotdog stand such as the one on Hafnarstræti, opposite The Viking (souvenir store). Do as the Icelanders do and ask for eina með öllu: one with everything. There are also several grocery stores in town such as Krónan. ]
- 5 Backpackers restaurant, Hafnarstræti, ☏ . A travel-themed bar/restaurant. Connected to a hostel but open to all. 2500-3000 ISK for a standard bar meal (burger and fries, for example).
- 6 Greifinn, Glerárgata 20, ☏ . Su-Th 11:30-22:30, F Sa 11:30-23:30. Famous for its pizza, but everything on the menu is worth trying. For a unique take on pizza consider ordering the salt-fish pizza.
- 7 Indian Curry House, Ráðhústorg 3, ☏ . Indian restaurant.
- 8 Hamborgarfabrikkan (The Hamburger Factory), Hafnarstræti 87, ☏ . Icelandic hamburgers.
- 9 Strikið, Skipagata 14, ☏ . High quality restaurant with a good chocolate cake. Mostly fish and lobster.
- 10 Rub23, Kaupvangsstræti 6, ☏ . Fish restaurant.
A nice bar is across the street from the main movie theatre. It seems that people in the city enjoy an 'early' movie theater around 20:00 or so, and, as customary in Iceland, go clubbing/barhopping after midnight. Keep in mind that the clubs close at 01:00, at least during the weekdays. A strange wheel-of-fortune with shots, beer, and nothing, is there, for kr 1500.
- 1 Einstök Brewer’s Lounge, Kaupvangsstræti 23 (located in the back room of the Ölstofa Akuryrar bar as well as the back of the burger/grill joint next door). As there is no tasting room at the brewery, this is the second best bet. Flights available for kr 2500..
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 kr 8000 double and kr 5000 single.
In addition to hostels and hotels, there are a variety of apartments to rent. These are usually set up like a conventional 1-bedroom apartment (with amenities like a refrigerator, kitchen, and dining area). You might prefer renting an apartment if you're staying in the area for multiple days and want to buy groceries and prepare your own meals.
- Hostelling International. Dorms from kr 2900.
- Hotel Kea, Hafnarstræti 87-89, ☏ . Hotel in Akureyri centrum. Around kr 15 000 in the winter and kr 30 000 in the summer.
- Icelandair Hotel Akureyri, Þingvallastraeti 23, ☏ (booking), (hotel), fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Akureyri Backpackers, Hafnarstræti 98, ☏ , email@example.com. Rooms, showers, guest kitchen, lockers, washers/dryers, bar/restaurant, hangout, and more.
- Acco Hostel, Skipagata 4, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, ☏ , email@example.com. Attractive exterior, nice clean rooms inside with views of the fjord. Breakfast included with room. €125.
Akureyri has good mobile phone coverage (including 3G). Wi-fi internet is often available at cafés or hotels. Here are additional internet access options:
- Municipal Library of Akureyri (Amtsbókasafnið). Cheap Internet connections are available here for kr 300/hour.
- FAB Tourist Centre, Strandgata 49, ☏ . 07:30-23:00. Internet access, wireless hotspot, VAT refund, currency exchange, information centre, café and ticket sales for FAB Travel tours.
Go next[edit source]
Akureyri is a good base to explore some of the more remote areas of Iceland, such as Mývatn. Several buses run mostly hourly from the city centre to other important places like the airport and neighboring settlements and bus tours are available which take you to see the enormous crater of Víti, and Goðafoss (waterfall of the gods).
Akureyri is fairly close to Húsavík, which has several whale watching tour operators, and Dalvík, from where you'll be able to catch a ferry to the island of Grímsey, Iceland's northernmost inhabitated island, situated right on the Arctic Circle.
- Akureyri to Myvatn (1 hr 30 min) kr 2400 / €16
- Akureyri to Egilsstadir (3 hr 30 min) kr 7600 / €51
|Routes through Akureyri|
|Reykjavik ← Blönduós ←||W E||→ Reykjahlíð → Egilsstaðir|