Can I use Lyft or Uber in Iceland?

A lot of the people who read this blog come from countries and cities where Uber and/or Lyft have been established as the preferred form of transportation. Although I’ve only used Uber myself, the app makes it super simple for you to utilize their services no matter where you are. You never have to look up a phone number for the local taxi company – you just open the app and see where the next available vehicle is.

When you’ve gotten used to this, not to mention the prices that are usually lower than conventional taxis, it’s not difficult to understand why people would prefer to continue using this service when they visit a new place like Iceland. It’s convenient and familiar.

Question: Can I use Lyft of Uber in Iceland?

Like so often when I do these quick posts to answer a particular question, this post could be very short: The answer is no – we don’t have Uber or Lyft in Iceland.

I’m not going to go into whether or not that’s a good thing (sometimes things are too good to be true and sometimes they’re just as good as they look) but I’m thinking that if you are wondering about this you probably have some transportation needs and you need to meet them some other way.

So how about going through the ways to get around when you visit Reykjavík (since that’s where most of you would be using said services).

Your own two feet

Reykjavík (and most towns in Iceland for that matter) is very walkable so to see most of the things of interest in the city you don’t need any transportation. You can simply walk and it won’t take you that long. Personally, I think this is also the best way to see Reykjavík and experience its charm.

City Bikes

In the summer (and into the fall and in late spring) you will find the WOW City Bikes in 8 locations around the downtown area. They are fairly cheap, easy to use and Reykjavík is a fairly bicycle friendly city. It shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to get anywhere within central Reykjavík by bike.

Reykjavík City Bus

Although the locals often complain and the public bus system it’s actually fairly simple to use and if you’re not heading the suburbs the buses will get you relatively quickly from A to B. If you buy the Reykjavík City Card the buses are included in that but a single fair is 460 ISK and no change is given.

If you don’t plan to stay in the city for too long (in which case one of the monthly passes and such might be a good idea) and you have access to a mobile phone while you’re in town, I personally think the Strætó App is the best way to use the buses. You can buy tickets, you can see where the next available bus is and you can plan your journey all from your phone.

Taxis

If none of the options above work for you, you can of course also take a taxi. Compared to most places, taxis tend to be quite expensive in Iceland and you don’t flag them down. Instead, you can go to designated taxi stands, call them and one of the companies has an app where you can request a taxi for any given location, even if you don’t know where you are or you can’t pronounce the name of the street ( Google PlayApp Store). I personally find this app confusing and poorly executed but I also know where I am most of the time so calling them makes more sense for me.

 

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