My friend and I are travelling to Amsterdam via Iceland Air and have a 1h30m layover there starting around 9am. Is there anything interesting to do to fill that time? This is not limited to the airport - if it is possible to get into the city quickly enough, we wouldn't mind the trip. Anything interesting inside of the airport would also do just as well.

6 Answers 6


There's no way you can get to the capital and back and make your flight. 1 hour 30 should be plenty of time to get to your departure gate. Keflavik is a well laid out airport which has all the gates within about 15 minutes walk. If I remember there are less than 40 gates in the entire place. My suggestion would be to explore the shops in the departure lounge.

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    Indeed, this was in fact the right thing to do. An hour and a half was more than enough time to eat, shop, and explore the airport with time to spare. Apr 30, 2014 at 12:06

1:30 is not a layover. It's a mad rush between gates.

Remember, practically all flights board at least 30 minutes prior to departure, and on large aircraft it's often an hour or more ahead of departure.

This means that once you land, you'll have time to run to your departure gate in time to board, and if you're lucky, hit a restroom on the way.

Do not plan anything. If you get to your departure gate before they leave (most likely due to a delay), then look for something in that immediate vicinity to do--such as a cafe for cup of coffee, or a gift shop to browse.

An hour and a half is not time to be a tourist--unless you intend to miss your flight.

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    Sure, 90mins isn't enough for touristing but, assuming the incoming flight is on time, it shouldn't be any kind of a rush at a relatively small airport like Keflavík. Apr 24, 2014 at 20:32
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    Keflavik is a small airport and the Boeing 757 is a fairly small airliner (relatively speaking I guess; it seats 200 people, and it's narrow body).
    – ntoskrnl
    Apr 24, 2014 at 20:54
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    I totally agree here; in my experience, 60 minutes is just about enough if everything is on time, and 90 minutes still require quite some hurry. In most airports, some 20 to 30 minutes have passed between the time travellers have left their seat on the plane and the time when they have arrived at the airport and walked to an airport area meant for staying (as mostly, the first action after entering the airport building is following a lengthy maze of corridors from the gate to the actual shopping-and-waiting areas). Might be mitigated by a small airport, but still it's not much time. Apr 24, 2014 at 23:04
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    @ntoskrnl: The 757 is the largest current narrowbody airliner, though, meaning that boarding and deboarding are slow because everyone is passing down a single long aisle. It may well be slower to board than many larger aircraft. Apr 26, 2014 at 0:23
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    @MatthewNeuteboom: I'm glad you enjoyed the journey!
    – Flimzy
    Apr 30, 2014 at 13:59

Yeah, 1.5 hour is not much time. I had a similar layover in Reykjavik to Amsterdam before too.

I killed some time by having some coffee and looking around some shops at the airport. There is a souvenir shop with interesting things like Icelandic troll figures. There is also a nice sculpture, which I saw a video of on my flight on Iceland Air. It is a just a bit annoying buying anything there because you get change in Icelandic kroners.

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    Pay by card and you don't have to get change in anything at all. Apr 24, 2014 at 21:00
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    @DavidRicherby Depending on your card issuer and the amount you're spending, it might be cheaper to pay in cash and throw the change in the bin than pay the card fees for doing a small foreign transaction.
    – JBentley
    Apr 25, 2014 at 13:36
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    @JBentley Or throw the change in one of the donation boxes for unwanted currency that are common at airports. Apr 25, 2014 at 13:49
  • We paid by card and had no issues. If there is a fee, I can deal with it either way. Most people spoke English too. Apr 30, 2014 at 12:14

I'm surprised no-one's mentioned it, but Reykjavik is at least 1 hour's drive away from Keflavik airport, so I don't think sight-seeing is on the cards.

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    Nobody's mentioned the time explicitly but everybody's said that it's infeasible. Apr 25, 2014 at 8:10

just got back last weekend from doing a similar layover in Iceland - the area where you get off the plane after customs drops you right into a crowded waiting area, so go explore the airport past the waiting area and you'll find lots of shops and a nice place to get a great coffee, Kaffitár.

I wish I changed some money because I like having a couple bills in foreign currency as souvenirs, but didn't need to by paying for everything with the card.

I think you'll find an hour and a half is barely enough time. You need 20-30 min or so getting off the plane and going through customs. Queueing for the next leg, you'll want to be boarding at the gate 40 min before takeoff. This only leaves you with a half hour for that coffee. Assuming everything is on time.

As mentioned, Reykjavik is 40 min by bus, and then only every hour. Take a full day for your stopover (especially since Iceland Air doesn't charge anything extra) next time - visit the blue lagoon and Reykjavik then - totally worth it!


An hour and a half isn't enough time to go touristing from any airport, of any size, anywhere. You need to be back at the airport for your onward flight at the absolute minimum one hour before its scheduled departure, and often an hour and a half to two hours. Add to that the time it takes to get off the plane, get through immigration, travel to the city and travel back to the city and you need a layover of multiple hours before you can consider doing anything outside the airport.

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