Download GPX file for this article
65.6833-18.1000Map mag.png
Europe > Nordic countries > Iceland > North Iceland > Akureyri

Akureyri

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Akureyri, with a population of around 18,000, 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)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
55
 
 
−2
−6
 
 
 
43
 
 
−2
−5
 
 
 
43
 
 
−1
−4
 
 
 
29
 
 
2
−2
 
 
 
19
 
 
6
2
 
 
 
28
 
 
9
6
 
 
 
33
 
 
11
8
 
 
 
34
 
 
10
7
 
 
 
39
 
 
6
4
 
 
 
58
 
 
3
0
 
 
 
54
 
 
0
−4
 
 
 
53
 
 
−2
−5
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
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
2.2
 
 
28
22
 
 
 
1.7
 
 
29
24
 
 
 
1.7
 
 
30
24
 
 
 
1.1
 
 
35
29
 
 
 
0.8
 
 
42
36
 
 
 
1.1
 
 
48
43
 
 
 
1.3
 
 
51
46
 
 
 
1.3
 
 
50
45
 
 
 
1.5
 
 
43
38
 
 
 
2.3
 
 
37
33
 
 
 
2.1
 
 
31
26
 
 
 
2.1
 
 
29
23
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

The weather in Akureyri and in Northern Iceland in general is often colder than in the capital, Reykjavík. 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.

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. Buses between Reykjavík and Akureyri are operated by Sterna, while buses from Egilsstaðir and various other towns to the east of Akureyri are operated by SBA.

By plane[edit]

Akureyri has an airport with flights to and from Reykjavík Airport on domestic carrier Air Iceland several times a day. Air Iceland also has flights from Akureyri to 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).

The airport is about 3.5 kilometers from the city center. 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 1900 kr. to the city center. There are no busses 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 traveller.

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 11pm on weekdays and only run between 12 and 6pm on weekends and holidays, but when they're free why complain?

BSÓ is the only taxi company in town, and they have a taxi rank in the city center.

For those who prefer to cycle, it's possible to rent a bicycle at the souvenir shop The Viking in Hafnarstræti (tel.: +354 461 5551). The price is 1000 kr. for 6 hours, or 1800 kr. 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 center, 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 1200 kr. 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 2000 kr. Better yet, a year's pass for all five costs only 3000 kr. 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 a 10-11 convenience store, 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 center. You'll find a Nettó supermarket there, among other things. There is also a Bónus supermarket nearby, just a little further north along Glerágata/Hörgárbraut.

A Hagkaup supermarket can be found near the harbor, at Hjalteyrargata.

Eat[edit]

If you just want a quick snack, there's a hot dog stand on Hafnarstræti, opposite The Viking (souvenir store). Do as the Icelanders do and ask for eina með öllu: one with everything.

While you're in Akureyri, also be sure to get ice cream from Brynja (Aðalstræti 3, +354 462 4478, brynjaehf@simnet.is). You'll never want to eat other ice cream again.

Splurge[edit]

  • Strikið, Skipagata 14, +354 462 7100. High quality restaurant with an good chocolate cake. Mostly fish and lobster on the menu.
  • 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's worth trying.

Drink[edit]

A nice bar is across the street from the main movie theater. It seems that people in the city enjoy an 'early' movie theater around 8pm or so, and, as customary in Iceland, go clubbing/barhopping after midnight. However, the clubs close at 1AM, at least during the weekdays. A strange wheel-of-fortune with shots, beer, and nothing, is there, for 1500 kr.

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 8000 kr double and 5000 kr single.

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 300 kr./hour.
  • FAB Tourist Center, Strandgata 49, +354 820 0980. 07:30-23:00. Internet access, wireless hotspot, VAT refund, currency exchange, information center, 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 (1h30m) 2400 kr. / €16
  • Akureyri to Egilsstadir (3h30m) 7600 kr. / €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.