I'm researching an excursion to America (I'm a British Citizen) and planning to fly out using reward points, which means I will be subject to one-way-tax on the way back with BA/AA (Reward points).

As a result, I was looking at alternatives and found IcelandAir to provide a reasonably priced service (ableit with a 16 hour stopover in Keflavik International Airport). I was wondering - during this 16h stopover, will I be able to leave the airport and explore a little, or is this frowned upon? I don't normally get connecting flights.

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    I think it is even encouraged by Iceland Air policy of offering 24-hour connections.
    – Vince
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 13:53
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    There is a reasonably-priced a very frequent airport bus (for a group of 4 a taxi would be comparable). Icelandair also encourages stays of more than one day, generally without increased air fare, and FWIW, I recommend Iceland as a destination in its own right. Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 18:36

2 Answers 2


Yes. You can leave the airport. Iceland is part of the Schengen Area. Thus, as a British citizen you do not need a visa to visit Iceland. Just be back in time to get through security and border control (if flying outside Schengen) before your flight leaves. You'll need to be back at the airport at least one hour before departure.

Update: When I originally wrote this answer, an hour was plenty of time for a passenger who already had a boarding pass to clear security and border control. Today, however, with the airport having become much more busy, you may need more than an hour if departing during peak travel hours. Especially during the summer months.

  • Thanks for that - I'll fly back via Iceland and have a day there! Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 11:00
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    It should be 1.5 hours prior to the flight departure time. That is to handle situations of passport control/doc checks/security. KEF may not be that strict but its a general rule to keep.
    – monksy
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 19:06
  • @Kris Do you have any supporting documents to back this up? I can't seem to find any from Icelandair or Keflavik airport.
    – medina
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 12:42
  • @davidb I'm not sure what kind of documentation you are looking for. Basically, Iceland is in Schengen (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area). So if you are flying to/from another Schengen country or are allowed to enter Schengen you can leave the airport between flights if you like, time permitting.
    – Kris
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 14:10

You can leave the airport and go to Reykjavik or Blue Lagoon. It takes 40 min to drive to Reykjavik.

For information about stopover in Iceland you can check this Icelandair page and video

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