Public transportation takes you there in Reykjavík

Magazine Public transportation takes you there in Reykjavík

There´s a certain threshold when it comes to taking public transportation in a new country for the first time. It´s a bit intimidating: where to buy a ticket, what kind of a ticket, how much does it cost and who and how do you need to show it to? And how to stop a bus in the first place?

Iceland and Reykjavík aren´t especially known for their public transportation system but there is one – called Stræto – and especially in the winter time it´s a viable option to get around if you haven´t rented a car.

First, here are a few key tips from Stræto service representative Hilmir Guðlaugsson on how to get around by bus in Reykjavík:

 1.    You can buy a 1- or 3-day bus pass in advance from the 1011 conveniene store in the corner of Hlemmur Square and always show it to the driver. Or have 400 ISK in exact change to buy a single ticket from the driver. Put the money in the box next to the driver, he will give you a ticket and it will be valid for 1 hour.

2.    Hail a bus by getting up from the bus stop and closer to the side of the road so the driver will know you want to get on.

3.    Press a button inside the bus when your stop is approaching. You will see the names of the stops on a screen inside the bus. If you´re not sure which is the closest stop to your destination, ask the driver. They speak English.

4.    Download the Stræto app on your phone. It´s free and will show you the best routes to get around.

 Hilmir also wants to remind tourists to be careful with their belongings when taking a bus. Not because there would be a lot of pickpockets, but because foreigners often seem to leave personal items behind. It can be hard to track down owners of forgotten items, especially if they´re not locals.

 -       We have had a foreign lady who once forgot her baby on a bus in the stroller, Hilmir recalls. – And one wallet that was left behind contained over 1 000 000 ISK in cash. We could only figure out the owner was British and his first and middle names. So I called the police in London, but they couldn´t help, so I ended up contacting the Scotland Yard. After that, in 10 minutes, the owner of the wallet called me saying you seem to have something belonging to me.

 That is some customer service right there.

 Icelandair Hotels guests should note that you can get to Hotel Natura with Stræto line 5 and to the Reykjavík Marina with line 14.

 And here are a few destinations outside the downtown area you can access by bus:

Nauthóll beach – line 5

Kringlan Shopping Mall – lines 3 & 6

Domestic Airport – line 15

Viðey Island ferry – line 16

Perlan – line 18

The President´s House – line 1 from Hlemmur to Ásgarður, then 23 to Bessastaðir

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