Best Things to Do Near Keflavík Airport

Being stuck in an airport on your layover is not how you’d want to spend your vacation. Or maybe you’ve been anticipating an Iceland trip for so long that you can’t wait to start exploring the minute you land in Keflavík. Either way, Reykjavík’s international airport is located near an exciting array of attractions that can be explored in a rental car. Keep reading to know more.

Step Into Viking World 

Embrace Iceland’s Viking heritage right after you’ve touched down at Keflavík. Housed inside this museum is a replica of the Gokstad ship, called Íslendingur (the Icelander). Following its excavation in Norway over a century ago, Icelandic artist, Gunnar Marel Eggertsson, created the exhibit that now sits in Viking World.

The museum takes a deep dive into Viking history with boats and artifacts documenting their epic voyages. But that’s not all. Alongside history, the museum’s location is also a viewpoint showcasing Iceland’s stunning sea views.

Location: Reykjanesbær, Víkingabraut 1, 260 Njarðvík, Iceland

Distance: 11-minute drive via Reykjanesbraut/Route 41

Opening Hours: 10 am to 4 pm (Sunday to Saturday)

A pair of Viking battle axes laid in a cross position on sheep’s fur

Visit the Giantess in the Cave 

Tales from Icelandic folklore never cease to captivate. One such fairytale has been brought to life with a life-sized effigy of a dormant giantess cradled in her cave. The cave itself offers an immersive experience allowing visitors to step into a storybook, and the giantess’ legends add to its mystique. This whimsical stop near Keflavík Airport adds a touch of magic to your Icelandic exploration.

Location: 2C5W+H6X, Bakkavegur, 230 Keflavík, Iceland

Distance: 8-minute drive via Route 45 or Route 41

Opening Hours: 10 am to 5 pm (Sunday to Saturday)

Have a Bite at Kökulist Bakery 

Kökulist has been around for decades and for good reason. You can devour gourmet sandwiches, tear apart freshly baked goods, or snack on some ice cream and sweet treats. The locals can’t get enough of this place, and its proximity to Keflavík Airport means visitors can find out why it’s a favorite. 

Location: Reykjanesbær, Hólagata 17, 260 Njarðvík, Iceland

Distance: 9-minute drive via Reykjanesbraut/Route 41

Opening Hours: 7 am to 6 pm (Sunday to Saturday)

Close-up shot of sweet baked goods

Rock N’ Roll at Icelandic Museum of Rock 

Rock and pop music have quite a history in Iceland with the fishing town of Keflavík nicknamed ‘Beatle Town’ in the ‘60s and ‘70s. You don’t have to be a pro like Björk, Sigur Rós, or Daði Freyr to belt out your favorite tunes at the museum’s karaoke booth. Just remember to grab a T-shirt from the Rock N’ Roll souvenir shop. It’ll have locals talking as you tour the country.

Location: Reykjanesbær, Hjallavegur 2, 260 Njarðvík, Iceland

Distance: 9-minute drive via Reykjanesbraut/Route 41

Opening Hours: 11 am to 6 pm (Sunday to Saturday)

Step on The Bridge Between Continents 

You don’t have to wait for your Golden Circle trip to step on the tectonic plates between continents at Thingvellir. Less than half an hour from the airport lies a metal bridge that straddles the gap between the Eurasian and North American plates. This massive fissure has been growing by 2.5 cm every year. 

Don’t forget to snap a souvenir photo on this footbridge across the mid-Atlantic rift!

Location: V89F+8QH, 233 Hafnir, Iceland

Distance: 21-minute drive via Hafnavegur and Nesvegur 

Opening Hours: 24/7

The metal bridge between continents on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland

Unwind at the Blue Lagoon

Whether you’ve got a couple of hours on your layover or would like to start your Iceland trip by relaxing at the Blue Lagoon, the latter’s proximity to Reykjavík airport means visitors can easily take advantage of it. Lather on a silica face mask and soak in these mineral-rich milky waters. Even the entry-level package offers a complimentary drink and luxury toiletries so you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy its perks. 

Location: Norðurljósavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland

Distance: 22-minute drive via Grindavíkurvegur

Opening Hours: 8 am to 10 pm (Sunday to Saturday)

Milky waters of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Most people associate Keflavík with the international airport alone. And given that it’s the largest airport in Iceland, it’s not surprising. But Keflavík is also an incredible town with lots of things to do. You can even take day trips from Reykjavík and explore these fascinating attractions. Hit the Icelandic roads in your rental car!