I have booked my flight from London to Iceland. The flight ticket says London Heathrow Apt - Reykjavik Keflavik Internationl Apt. I checked on Google Maps; it shows Reykjavik Domestic, Reykjavik International, and Keflavik International - all three as different airports (although the first two are very close or probably the same, whereas Keflavik one is far from the other two; about 41 mins drive according to Google Maps).

Now I need to hire a car from the airport. Which airport should I request car hire from?

  • 3
    Note that the pattern seems to be [City name] [Airport name]
    – Andrew T.
    Feb 14, 2019 at 12:29
  • 6
    As a tip, you should rely more on the IATA airport code than the airport name itself. The latter can change, the former cannot.
    – MooseBoys
    Feb 15, 2019 at 15:55
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    Be aware that there is also a very good bus connection between Keflavik and Reykjavik.
    – Bernhard
    Feb 17, 2019 at 13:11
  • Great tip about IATA codes. Thanks for that. If they had provided IATA code, it would have been very easy for me to know which airport they are refering to. Unfortunately, the booking confirmation email only gave full names of the airports which confused me. Hence the question.
    – User56756
    Feb 19, 2019 at 4:29

4 Answers 4


You will be arriving at Keflavik (KEF), which is a 40-ish minute drive outside Reykjavik. Keflavik is now the main airport for Reykjavik, and all the car hire agencies have a presence there.

  • 1
    Thank you, that's very useful info for me. I just wanted to be sure since I am travelling first time to Iceland and want to avoid any surprises.
    – User56756
    Feb 14, 2019 at 4:07
  • 25
    @Shrilekha Oh, but Iceland is full of surprises; it's fantastic that way.
    – Strawberry
    Feb 14, 2019 at 17:27
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    @Strawberry: As in "Surprise! we're being diverted to Ísafjörður?" Feb 15, 2019 at 10:12
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    @RedGrittyBrick "This is your captain speaking. Due to bad weather at Reykjavík, we've been diverted to Eye-suhf... er, Ee-suh... Um. We're going back to London. Sorry about that!" Feb 15, 2019 at 10:45
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    It's a quite a nice airport too. Feb 15, 2019 at 15:06

Google was wrong. There are two airports "in" Reykjavík: Reykjavík Airport, which is close to town and serves only domestic destinations and Greenland, and Keflavík International Airport, a.k.a. Reykjavík–Keflavík, which is 50km to the west and which has all the international flights.

At the time when the question was posted, if you searched Google Maps for "Reykjavik International Airport", it incorrectly marked a spot within Reykjavík [domestic] airport and labelled it "Reykjavik International Airport". There is no such thing as "Reykjavik International Airport". That map search now takes you to Keflavík International Airport.

In all cases, the way to be sure which airport you're going to is to look at the IATA code, which is a three-letter code that will appear in your booking confirmation and on your boarding pass. Reykjavík Airport is RKV; Keflavík is KEF.

  • 28
    +1 for "teaching to fish" by referring to IATA codes. Feb 14, 2019 at 14:03
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    I guess technically RKV is international (there are flights to Nuuk, which is in Greeenland).
    – xuq01
    Feb 14, 2019 at 19:43
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    RKV has seasonal international flights to the Faroe Isles (Vagar) as well as to Greenland. And isn't any airport in which someone can land their own plane flying in from abroad, technically international?
    – gerrit
    Feb 15, 2019 at 8:19
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    @gerrit One can have a discussion about whether Reykjavík Airport is an international airport. But it certainly is not "Reykjavík International Airport" with a capital I and a capital A. Feb 15, 2019 at 10:38
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    Even so, it has an open border with Schengen, as does Greenland.
    – Crazydre
    Feb 16, 2019 at 8:09

If you are travelling from London, then you are going to land on the International airport not the domestic one. This would be KEF and is approx. 30 miles (49.5 km) away from Reykjavík.
In terms of transportation, you can always hire a car on arrival, the rates aren't high and is economical too.

  • It is nice that you are willing to help with the choice of a rental company but it does not belong on Stack Exchange. We do not do product advise on the site and do not encourage people to contact each other. As your profile says you are connected to a car rental company, NEVER put suggestions about car rentals in your answers without disclosing that fact. I have edited your answer to bring it to what is allowed here.
    – Willeke
    Feb 16, 2019 at 6:15
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    thanks Willeke, I assure you it was unintended. I was trying to be helpful, that is all.
    – Nick
    Feb 16, 2019 at 10:33

In Rvk, there are officially 2 airports. One is called "international" but large planes can't land there because the strip is too short. There's an agency where you can buy plane tickets, though :).

  • 1
    First, it's very confusing to write "Rvk" when one of the airports has code RKV and the other is KEF. Second, it's very confusing to claim that the "international" airport is the domestic one which doesn't have "international" in its name and where no international flights land. Feb 17, 2019 at 13:24

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