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Akureyri, with a population of around 19,000 (2019), is the largest town in Iceland outside the Southwest region, and the unofficial capital of North Iceland.

Understand[edit]

Climate[edit]

Akureyri
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Averages 1961-1990, data from the World Meteorological Organisation.
Up to date weather information from the Icelandic Meteorological Office .
Imperial conversion
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

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]

Akureyri Airport viewed from the Ring road

By car or bus[edit]

The city is linked to the rest of Iceland via the Ring Road, the highway that circles the island along the coastline.

  • 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 pladesvin the north and east several times a week. Daily buses from Reykjavík, Borgarnes, Blönduós and Sauðárkrókur.

By plane[edit]

  • 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 Air Iceland several times a day. Air Iceland 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). Akureyri Airport (Q1430749) on Wikidata Akureyri Airport on Wikipedia

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 center. There are no buses serving the airport.

Get around[edit]

Waterfront

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, 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.

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 ( +354 461 5551). The price is kr 1000 for 6 hours, or kr 1800 for the day.

See[edit]

Akureyrarkirkja and rainbow in Akureyri

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.

Do[edit]

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, +354 558 8888, sagatravel@sagatravel.is).

Buy[edit]

Hafnarstræti, in the city center, is Akureyri's main shopping street. Shops there include an Eymundsson book store with a café, several souvenir shops and the curiosity shop Frúin í Hamborg.

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.

A small shopping mall, called Glerártorg, is a short distance north of the city centre. There is a Nettó supermarket, among other things. There is also a Bónus supermarket nearby, just a little further north along Glerágata/Hörgárbraut.

There is a Hagkaup supermarker near the harbour, at Hjalteyrargata.

Eat[edit]

While you're in Akureyri, be sure to get ice cream from the locally famous Brynja (Aðalstræti 3, +354 462 4478, brynjaehf@simnet.is)

Budget[edit]

Eating on a budget in Akureyri is about as hard as in the rest of the country, though there are some options.

  • Domino's Pizza, Undirhlíð 1, +354 581 2345. World's northernmost Domino's pizza that is popular with the locals. On Tuesdays you can get a medium pizza for kr 1000; be prepared to wait if ordering in the evening.
  • DJ Grill, Strandgata 11, +354 462 1800. Burger joint.
  • Sprettur-Inn, Kaupangur, +354 464 6464. Pizzeria and grill. You can eat at the restaurant or order via phone or the web,

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.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Greifinn, Glerárgata 20, +354 460 1600. 11:30-22:30 (Sun-Thu), 11:30-23:30 (Fri+Sat). Famous for its pizza, but everything on the menu is worth trying. For a unique take on pizza consider ordering the salt-fish pizza.
  • Indian Curry Hut, Hafnarstræti 100b, +354 461 4242. Indian restaurant.
  • Hamborgarfabrikkan (The Hamburger Factory), Hafnarstræti 87, +354 575 7575. Icelandic hamburgers.

Splurge[edit]

  • Strikið, Skipagata 14, +354 462 7100. High quality restaurant with a good chocolate cake. Mostly fish and lobster.
  • Rub23, Kaupvangsstræti 6, +354 462 2223. Fish restaurant.

Drink[edit]

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. However, 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.

Sleep[edit]

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.

Learn[edit]

Connect[edit]

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, +354 820 0980. 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]

Pseudocraters in Mývatn with the volcano Vindbelgjarfjall in the background

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
ReykjavikBlönduós  W ISL 1.svg E  ReykjahlíðEgilsstaðir



This city travel guide to Akureyri is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.