Things to do in Reykjavik when you're too early for check-in
June 30, 2016 3:50 PM   Subscribe

As seems to be the trend around here, my wife and I will visit Reykjavik in October. However, our flight gets in to Keflavik very early. Any suggestions for entertainment in the mean time? Additional questions inside.

We'll be arriving around 5 a.m. on Oct. 11. We're all set with a bus ride from the airport to our hotel, and the hotel will let us drop our bags there while we wait for check-in time.

How long can we expect to spend getting bags, going through customs, etc.? Let's say we get to Reykjavik by around 7 a.m. (is that feasible?) What would you do if you had a few early morning hours to kill upon your arrival there?

Sneak attack bonus questions: We'll arrive on my wife's birthday and the hotel will hold mail for pickup when we get there. What would be the proper way of addressing an envelope to a guest staying in an Icelandic hotel? Should the envelope mention "Hold for pickup Oct. 11" or something similar?
posted by emelenjr to Travel & Transportation around Reykjavík, Iceland (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When we went to Iceland last fall we got in very early, so we stopped at The Blue Lagoon. There's a swim up bar! If you're feeling fancy you can have lunch in their upscale restaurant in your bathrobe!

You can catch a shuttle there directly from the airport and then another one into Rekjavik when you're done.
posted by smartyboots at 3:55 PM on June 30, 2016 [4 favorites]

I have checked in to hotels in Reykjavik after a flight that got in that early, twice. Went to drop off my luggage and they were like, oh, you can check in now if you like. This was in the off-season, but still, you might be able to check in much earlier than you think.

Oh and yes, I would expect you to be in Reykjavik by 7AM. Customs is quite fast and efficient.

Blue lagoon opens at 9 in October, and is close to the airport, so you'd have to wait around for a couple hours.
posted by mskyle at 3:59 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah you could email to ask about early check in or at least dropping your luggage off. We arrived early in Reykavik, about 6am at the airport and we got to the city around an hour or so later. We swung by Sandholt for a delicious breakfast, they have great sourdough and they're open early.
posted by inevitability at 4:06 PM on June 30, 2016

Wait, sorry, Blue Lagoon opens at 8 in October! But still, you would have to spend like two hours at the airport waiting.
posted by mskyle at 4:25 PM on June 30, 2016

I've gotten there that early and was able to check in. You should just ask the hotel if you can check in early.
posted by pravit at 5:01 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

I haven't done this yet myself, but it looks like a decent itinerary: How to survive a 5am arrival in Reykjavík
posted by sea change at 6:57 PM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

We were just in Reykjavik in April, and had our flight been on time, I expect we would have been at our hotel by 7. Instead, we arrived around 8 and were able to "pre" check in, meaning we pretty much did everything for check in except actually take our bags up to the room. We stayed at the Reyjkavik Natura which is just outside of downtown, so we hopped on the bus and went looking for some breakfast. Like inevitability above, we ended up at Sandholt and I second the recommendation!

We had a friend in Reykjavik who took us around the city after breakfast, but I think a walking tour as suggested in the "How to Survive" I Heart Reykjavik article linked by sea change would be a great idea.

Also, see if your hotel provides a bus pass during your stay! And make sure to stop at the duty free shop on your way into the country if you want to pick up any libations to enjoy while you are there. Alcohol is expensive, so we tended to enjoy a post-dinner drink back at our hotel. We had a delicious Cuban rum that we cannot have at home! (And if you want to take any boozy souvenirs home, there is an even bigger duty free store at the airport that you can visit on your way out of the country!)

Have a great time! We LOVED Iceland and cannot wait to go back someday!
posted by hetobeto at 7:25 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

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