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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.



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

By car or bus

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

  • 1 Akureyri Airport (AEY IATA) (about 3.5 km (2.2 mi) from the city center). 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).

    There is even the odd international flight on Transavia to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport or Rotterdam.  

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 buses serving the airport.

Get around

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?

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 1000 kr. for 6 hours, or 1800 kr. 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 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.

  • 1 Akureyri Art Museum (Listasafnið á Akureyri).  
  • 2 Aviation Museum of Iceland (Flugsafn Íslands).  
  • 3 Akureyri Botanical Garden.  
  • 4 Akureyrarkirkja. A church  


  • Akureyri Drama Society (Leikfélag Akureyrar), Strandgata 12, ☏ +354 460 0200. The only professional theatre in Iceland outside of Reykjavík. 
  • Akureyri Swimming Pool (Sundlaug Akureyrar), Þingvallastræti 21, ☏ +354 461 4455. 28 228 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, a water slide and a children's pool. Close to the city centre. 450 kr.. 
  • Hof, Strandgata 12, ☏ +354 450 1000. Akureyri's house of culture, home to the North Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Sinfóníuhljómsveit Norðurlands) and regularly host to other performances. 
  • Skautafelag Akureyrar, ☏ +354 461 2440, ✉ skautahollin@sasport.is. Indoor ice rink (ice hockey, figure skating and curling).  
  • Græni hatturinn, Hafnarstræti 96, ☏ +354 461 4646, +354 864 5758, ✉ haukur@graenihatturinn.is. Night club, live music. 
  • Borgarbíó, Hólabraut 12, ☏ +354 462 2602. Cinema, keep an eye open for Icelandic films such as Hrútar. 
  • SAMbíó, Ráðhústorg 8, ☏ +354 575 8900, ✉ akureyri@samfilm.is. Another cinema. 
  • Flugsafn Íslands (Icelandic Aviation Museum), Akureyri Airport, ☏ +354 461 4400. 11:00 to 17:00 from 1 June to 30 September. Aviation museum next to the airport.  
  • Iðnaðarsafnið (Industrial Museum), Krókeyri, ☏ +354 462 3600, +354 897 0206, ✉ idnadarsafnid@idnadarsafnid.is. 10:00 to 17:00 from 1 June to 14 September. 1000 kr. (adults, 18+); free (17 and younger). 
  • Ambassador Whale Watching, Torfunefsbryggja, ☏ +354 462 6800, ✉ info@ambassador.is. Whale watching, midnight sun cruises (summer), northern lights cruises (winter). 10 990 to 17 990 kr. (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, ☏ +354 558 8888, sagatravel@sagatravel.is).


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 center. There is a Nettó supermarket, among other things. There is also a Bónus supermarket nearby, just a little further north along Glerágata/Hörgárbraut.

A Hagkaup supermarket near the harbour, at Hjalteyrargata.


  • Nætursalan, Strandgata 6, ☏ +354 462 4020. MacGratsky hamburger shop. (updated Mar 2015)
  • Domino's Pizza, Undirhlíð 1, ☏ +354 581 2345. World's northernmost Domino's pizza. (updated Mar 2015)
  • Rub23, Kaupvangsstræti 6, ☏ +354 462 2223. Fish restaurant. (updated Mar 2015)
  • Indian Curry Hut, Hafnarstræti 100b, ☏ +354 461 4242. Indian restaurant. (updated Mar 2015)
  • Hamborgarfabrikkan (The Hamburger Factory), Hafnarstræti 87, ☏ +354 575 7575. Icelandic hamburgers. 

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, be sure to get ice cream from Brynja (Aðalstræti 3, ☏ +354 462 4478, brynjaehf@simnet.is).


  • Strikið, Skipagata 14, ☏ +354 462 7100. High quality restaurant with a good chocolate cake. Mostly fish and lobster. (updated Mar 2015)
  • 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. 


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 1500 kr.


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.

  • Hostelling International. Dorms from 2900 kr. (updated Apr 2015)
  • Gista, Gránufélagsgata 43, ☏ +354 694 4314. Company that rents out apartments. (updated Mar 2015)
  • Hotel Kea, Hafnarstræti 87-89, ☏ +354 694 4314. Hotel in Akureyri centrum. Around 15 000 kr. in the winter and 30 000 kr. in the summer.. 
  • Icelandair Hotel Akureyri, Þingvallastraeti 23, ☏ +354 444 4000 (booking), +354 518 1000 (hotel), fax: +354 444 4001, ✉ akureyri@icehotels.is. 
  • Akureyri Backpackers, Hafnarstræti 98, ☏ +354 571 9050, ✉ akureyri@backpackers.is. Rooms, showers, guest kitchen, lockers, washers/dryers, bar/restaurant, hangout, and more. 
  • Acco Hostel, Skipagata 4, ☏ +354 547 2226, ✉ acco@godo.is. Very basic, very cheap (€28 in an 8-person dormitory). Don't confuse the hostel (entrance B) with Acco guest house (entrance A) (updated Aug 2016)
  • Hotel Akureyri, Hafnarstræti 67, ☏ +354 462 5600, ✉ hotelakureyri@hotelakureyri.is. Attractive exterior, nice clean rooms inside with views of the fjord. Breakfast included with room. €125. (updated Feb 2018)


  • 1 University of Akureyri.  


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 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

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) 2400 kr. / €16
  • Akureyri to Egilsstadir (3 hr 30 min) 7600 kr. / €51

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