Iceland transport strike -- can we see the Northern Lights another way?
March 27, 2019 9:22 AM   Subscribe

Some friends and I are flying in to Reykjavik tomorrow for a long weekend that includes a Northern Lights tour, but it looks like this two-day transport strike is going ahead, and that will seriously mess up our plans.

The bus company just emailed me this:

On Thursday and Friday, the 28th and 29th of March, unionized drivers and customer service staff attached to their operations across Iceland will participate in a planned work stoppage. Due to these plans, Gray Line Iceland will unfortunately have to cancel all its day tour departures and airport transfers scheduled for these days.

So our Northern Lights bus trip is cancelled, and that probably means we can't get to the Secret Lagoon either. We'd be happy to visit any pools that won't be too crowded that we can get to from downtown Reykjavik.

Are we out of luck on our trip, because none of us can drive (and none of us wants to break the strike anyway)? Will this lead to car gridlock on the streets?
posted by vickyverky to Travel & Transportation around Iceland (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I can't help a lot because I rented a car when I visited, but Reykjavik is a scenic, walkable city. It's super touristy and doesn't have the stunning beauty of rural Iceland, but I think you'll still have fun.

Here are some possibilities for seeing the Northern Lights from Reykjavik. I didn't go to any pools in the city, but there are lots of options.

How are you getting from the airport to the city? It's a 50 minute drive to the capital. If you have non-strike-breaking transport, perhaps you can use it to explore the Reykjanes Peninsula?

Or if you have infinite money to throw at this problem, you could always fly from Reykjavik to, say, Akureyri, which is a super cute small city with many attractions nearby and doesn't seem affected by the strike(??)
posted by toastedcheese at 10:29 AM on March 27, 2019 [1 favorite]




Best answer: I highly recommend the Laugardalslaug (pronounced something like LOO-gur-dolls-loog) public pool in Reykjavik. It's a huge facility with heated pools, jacuzzis at various temperatures, saunas/steam rooms, and a fun water slide. It's super relaxing and also very affordable compared to most things in the country, and a fun way to feel like a local. You can rent towels there for an extra fee. It would be a long walk (40 minutes) from downtown Reykjavik, or a short cab ride. They're also open very late compared to most things in town, so it's a fun place to hang out late at night after dinner.

The Secret Lagoon is nice, but it's basically the same as Laugardalslaug or other public pools throughout the country, just in a more scenic setting. You won't be missing out too much if you can't make it.
posted by Pfardentrott at 2:24 PM on March 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


You can also get the no 12 or no14 bus to Laugardalslaug, there's a stop right outside. Try the increasingly hot row of hot tubs, carefully.
posted by biffa at 3:50 PM on March 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: Thank you, everyone, for your answers -- the strike was postponed, so our trip is on. I love the recommendation for Laugardalslaug, too!
posted by vickyverky at 10:29 PM on March 27, 2019


Laugardalslaug and the other public pools take the Reykjavik City Card, and with it you also get free entry to some museums, free city bus rides, and some discounts. You can buy cards that are good for 24, 48, or 72 hours. For price comparison, adult entry at Laugardalslaug is 1,000 kr, and towel rental is 600 kr. There's also a hot dog stand right in front of Laugardalslaug, so if you wanted to try an Icelandic hot dog while you're there, you can cross two things off of your list in one go!
posted by amarynth at 7:22 AM on March 28, 2019


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