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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 source]

Climate[edit source]

Climate chart (explanation)
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
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 source]

Akureyri Airport viewed from the Ring road

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

See[edit source]

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.

  • 1 Akureyri Art Museum (Listasafnið á Akureyri). Akureyri Art Museum (Q1629739) on Wikidata Akureyri Art Museum on Wikipedia
  • 2 Aviation Museum of Iceland (Flugsafn Íslands). Aviation Museum of Iceland (Q56281072) on Wikidata Aviation Museum of Iceland on Wikipedia
  • 3 Akureyri Botanical Garden. Akureyri Botanical Garden (Q894637) on Wikidata Akureyri Botanical Garden on Wikipedia
  • 4 Akureyrarkirkja. A church Akureyrarkirkja (Q2301279) on Wikidata Akureyrarkirkja on Wikipedia
  • 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. Gásir (Q5625799) on Wikidata Gásir on Wikipedia

Do[edit source]

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,

Buy[edit source]

Hafnarstræti, in the city center, is Akureyri's main shopping street. Shops there include an 1 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 2 Glerártorg, is a short distance north of the city centre.

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.

Eat[edit source]

While you're in Akureyri, be sure to get ice cream from the locally famous 1 Brynja.

Budget[edit source]

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, +354 581 2345. 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, +354 462 1800. Burger joint.
  • 4 Sprettur-Inn, Kaupangur, +354 464 6464. 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. ]

Mid-range[edit source]

  • 5 Backpackers restaurant, Hafnarstræti, +354 571 9050. 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, +354 460 1600. 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, +354 461 4242. Indian restaurant.
  • 8 Hamborgarfabrikkan (The Hamburger Factory), Hafnarstræti 87, +354 575 7575. Icelandic hamburgers.

Splurge[edit source]

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

Drink[edit source]

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..

Sleep[edit source]

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.

Learn[edit source]

Connect[edit source]

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 source]

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  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.