Your Guide to Keflavik International Airport

Keflavik International Airport (KEF) is the central transportation hub and primary airport for international travel in Iceland. Over two million people from around the world pass through its doors each year to see the natural wonders that this North Atlantic island has become so well-known for. As the point of entry for anyone visiting Iceland, it's not only entrusted with creating an excellent first impression, but also with orienting newcomers to the country before heading to their first port of call.

It's always better to know what to expect upon your arrival at the airport so that you can be fully prepared for your flight to Iceland, your stay in the country, and your onward journey. To help with this, we have created a comprehensive all-you-need-to-know guide to Keflavik International Airport that includes information about facilities, car hire, airlines, terminals, and much more.

Keflavik International Airport in Iceland
Keflavik International Airport

About Keflavik Airport (KEF)

Is KEF Airport the same as Reykjavik Airport?

No. Some might think that Keflavik International Airport is in Reykjavik, but it is not. KEF Airport is located some 50 km / 30 miles from the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavik.


Keflavik is a relatively small airport and so flights to Iceland currently operate out of one terminal. This makes it very easy to know exactly where to check in when departing from Iceland. It also makes it very quick and easy to navigate your way around the airport and find your check-in desks, gates, and other facilities.

The downside of a single terminal is the footfall. Since everyone traveling into and out of Iceland does so via KEF Airport, it can get crowded during peak season causing longer wait times. Due to the continually increasing demand for Iceland travel, the airport is currently undergoing an expansion to cater to the growing footfall.

Read more about Terminals and Maps at KEF Airport here.


Every airline has its own check-in procedures and those should be triple-checked before your flight from Keflavik International Airport. The airport recommends arriving at least 2.5 hours before your flight's scheduled departure to check in, clear security, and find your gate.

Although many airlines now provide online check-in within 24 hours of your flight, Iceland airport provides 60 self-check-in kiosks and numerous check-n desks to make it as fast and simple as possible.

Read more about Check-In at KEF Airport here.

Security and Passport Control

Security and passport control at KEF Airport are generally fast, allowing you to enter the departures lounge or exit the arrival hall fairly quickly. Passengers from Schengen countries can travel to Iceland without presenting their passports. However, a valid ID card must be presented on request during random security checks.

Read more about Security at KEF Airport here.

Read more about Passport Control at KEF Airport here.

KEF Airport: Useful Information

Keflavik Airport Terminal Area With Signs
Keflavik Airport Terminal

KEF Airport Website

ISAVIA Kef Airport is the website for Keflavik International Airport. There you can find arrivals, departures, map of the airport, facilities and more.


The terminal has free unlimited Wi-Fi and numerous charging points for your devices. Simply connect to "Kefairport-FreeWifi", accept the terms and conditions and browse at will. No password needed.

Tax Refund

Opposite to the car rental desks you will find the tax refund provider, Arion Banki. Click the link for info

Children Play Area

By C-Gates in the South Building, there is a play area for the children.


There are strollers for the children located over 60 locations in the airport that you can grab without any charge, so your youngest travelers shouldn't have to walk very far.

Exchanging money

There is a currency exchange desk in the arrival and departure halls as well as ATMs providing foreign currency in departures and Icelandic Kronur in arrivals.

Smoking Area Outside

There are designated areas marked outside arrivals and departures. Some are very easy to spot, they look like bus stops (glass boxes) outside the airport terminal, others are just marked with a sign.

Smoking Area Inside

There a few smoking areas to be found inside the airport, after security. Always be on the hunt for signs, there is a picture of a cigarette and pointing in the correct direction.

Non-Schengen Area:

  1. After security behind Joe the Juice across the toilets, near the bar and restaurant area.
  2. There is one across from passport control towards Gates .

Schengen Area:

  1. After passport control to the lower hall, towards D gates. There is a white door near the stairs that is clearly marked as a smoking area.

PRM Services at KEF Airport

Trained staff in KEF AIrport offers PRM Passengers assistance free of charge.


There is parking available. There is an option to pre-book if you are leaving your vehicle behind but if you are only there for a short stay, then the first 15 minutes are free of charge with then the first hour costing 500kr with all hours after that costing you 750kr.

Where is Keflavik International Airport located?

Keflavik Airport Aerial View
KEF Airport

Keflavik Airport (KEF Airport) is located on the tip of Iceland's southwestern peninsula 3 km (1.9 miles) west of Keflavik.

Here's the distance and estimated time it takes to reach Iceland's main destinations:

Destination Distance km/miles Time to destination
Reykjavik (Capital City) 50km/30 miles Northeast of KEF Airport 45 minutes
Thingvellir 88km/55 miles Northeast of KEF Airport 1hr 10 minutes
Vik 225km/140 miles Southeast of KEF Airport 3 hours
Skaftafell 365 km/227 miles Southeast of KEF Airport 5 hours
Hofn 496km/308 miles East of KEF Airport 6.5 Hours
Akureyri 428km/266 miles Northeast of KEF Airport 5hrs 15 minutes

How to get to Reykjavik from Keflavik

As you can see above, Keflavik International Airport is quite a distance from Reykavik, the capital city and tourist hub of Iceland. Therefore, it's best to decide how you will reach Reykjavik in advance. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to get there determined by your travel preferences and budget.

Taxis At Keflavik International Airport
Taxi Service at KEF Airport

Cheap: Public Transport

The number 55 bus travels directly from the airport bus stop outside arrivals to Reykjavik BSI Bus Terminal. They depart once an hour and take around an hour to reach Reykavik. Expect to pay between 7-12 euros/USD (£6-10).

Fairly cheap: Airport Coach Transfer

The Flybus travels directly from the airport bus stop outside arrivals to Reykjavik BSI Bus Terminal. They take around 45 minutes to reach the terminal. Tickets cost around 33 euros/USD (£29) and can be purchased here or at the airport on arrival.

Expensive: Taxi or Private Transfer

Taxis can be hailed from outside airport arrivals. They take around 45 minutes to reach Reykjavik from Kef Airport and cost around 120 euros/USD (£100). Private airport shuttles for up to six people cost 140-160 euros/USD (£120).

Recommended option: Iceland Car Rental

Hire your own car and eliminate the hassle and costs of public or private transfers from KEF Airport to Reykjavik! Prices for a high-spec 4x4 (the ideal car for Icelandic road trips) start at just 60 euros/USD (£50 per day).

Remember, the prices are effected by either seasonal or supply & demand factors.

How to Rent a Car from Keflavik International Airport

There are Iceland car rental services in the arrivals hall at KEF Airport where you can rent a car upon your arrival, but it can be very expensive if you don't book in advance. Plus, your vehicle choices will be limited by what's left at the time which can often lead to disappointment. Renting the right vehicle for you is especially important in a place like Iceland that requires visitors to drive long distances.

Beat the crowds and get the first choice in top-quality vehicles by booking ahead with Iceland4x4Rentals, Iceland's leading car hire provider for 4x4's. Their choice of high spec performance-driven vehicles ensures your Iceland travel adventure is done right.

Iceland4x4Rentals provides free airport pick-up/ drop-off and drives you to their headquarters beside the airport where you will collect your car. So, from the moment you step out of Keflavik Airport arrivals to the moment you return to its departure hall, your transport needs are taken care of.

Keflavik Airport Destinations

Keflavik Airport provides non-stop flights to and from 81 destinations in 24 countries across Europe and the USA including Iceland itself. Between each of its operating airlines, the airport offers flights to some of the world's largest and most well-connected airports including London Heathrow, JFK New York, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, Milan, and Zurich. This means it is easy to get a connecting flight to Iceland from non-European or US countries too.

Airlines Operating at Keflavik Airport

Keflavik Airport (KEF) Airlines
Keflavik Airport (KEF) Airlines

24 different airlines operate flights to Iceland through Keflavik Airport including British Airways, Delta, Lufthansa, Norwegian, and United. It also operates budget airlines such as Wizz and, which makes it accessible to visitors with a shoestring budget too. However, Icelandair, Iceland's own airline, is the main carrier at the airport and provides most of the scheduled flights.

Domestic Flights in Iceland

Keflavik Airport (KEF) does not provide domestic flights to other parts of the country since all domestic flights are handled from Reykjavik Airport (RKV). Those taking a domestic flight upon arrival in Iceland from Reykjavik will therefore need to take the regularly scheduled shuttle that runs between KEF and RKV.

Facilities at Keflavik Airport

Although limited by its size, Keflavik Airport boasts a full range of modern facilities that cater to all needs. These include:

Shops and restaurants

Rather than filling the departures lounge with many of the typical airport brands at KEF, the Iceland airport focuses on Icelandic products and brands which create a more culturally immersive experience. These include Icelandic skincare brand Blue Lagoon, designer jewellery store Jens, and designer homeware store Epal.

Meanwhile, the bars and restaurants cater to all cravings. Find everything from Joe and the Juice to the classy Loksins Bar and MaiKai which serves deliciously healthy Akai bowls.

Duty Free Shopping

You can't have an airport without the duty free experience. The Duty Free shop in KEF Airport is catered to attract shoppers from all around the world, offering the usual suspects in cosmetics and wine, while also offering some wonderful Icelandic local souvenirs.

If you are traveling on a budget we recommend picking up your alcohol from the arrival Duty Free Shop as it is much cheaper than purchasing it from the Icelandic Liquor store (ATVR).

Top Things to do Near KEF Airport

There are plenty of attractions near the airport that you can visit if you are arriving late and have a one night stay planned in the local area.

For example:

  • Blue Lagoon
  • The Icelandic Museum of Rock and Roll
  • The Bridge Between Continents
  • The Local Swimming Pools

We recommend using GPS Navigation and visiting some of the towns that surround KEF Airport. There is plenty of beautiful landmarks near by.

Covid Regulations

Keflavik Airport and Iceland in general have lifted all Covid-19 measures allowing all passengers, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to enter the country. This also means passengers are no longer required to wear a face mask in the airport or other public spaces in Iceland. However, it is advised to take caution with hygiene when travelling internationally.


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