F or the majority of visitors to Iceland their knowledge of the town of Keflavik is limited to that being where the only international airport in Iceland is located.
Although frequently that same airport is nowadays misleadingly called Reykjavik airport do not be fooled. Reykjavik is 45 minutes away. The town of Keflavik, a few minutes drive from the airport, is one of the larger fishing towns in the whole country with a population of about eight thousand people and, coupled with the suburbs, around twelve thousand. The official name of Keflavik and neighboring villages of Hafnir and Njardvik is Reykjanesbaer but we, like most Icelanders, will stick to Keflavik.
For its size Keflavik offers little of sightseeing value for the visitor. The attraction will probably be even less after building an aluminum smelter on the outskirts of town. Then again, Keflavik was never going to win any attraction awards.
Entertainment-wise you will find here the usual swimming pool but this time indoors, a movie theater, a few bars and a couple of odd but interesting museums. Rokksafnið, Rock´n´roll Museum, is a relatively new museum dedicated to the local musicians of past fame. Fine and dandy if you are into old Icelandic musicians but otherwise little of interest. The museum is located at Hjallavegur 2 and open daily in summertime.
Here also is a small museum dedicated to viking ships. Vikingaheimar, Viking World, is admittedly very small and the main attraction is a viking boat built exactly the way the vikings did. This very boat actually made a sea voyage from Iceland to New York a few years ago and is worth seeing. Open daily 12 – 19. Admission is 8$ / 6€. Weirdly, this place is at the remote outskirts of town and getting here without a car is far fetched.
For hardcore museum lovers there is also Duushus Museum area at the north end of town close to the small boat harbor. Here in one place are four small museums but none is particularly interesting but entrance is free. There is the Reykjanesbaer Art Museum with exhibitions four or five times a year, a small exhibition dedicated to wooden boat carvings and a small movie theater. Also here is the Byggdasafnið, Town Museum, which is a small museum dedicated to local affairs. Small town stuff here but the bistro is quite nice.
You are much better served when it comes to accommodation. Four decent hotels are found here. Hotel Keflavik, Icelandair Hotel, Hotel Berg and Hotel Keilir. Also a few guesthouses such as B&B Guesthouse, hotel A10 and Gesthouse Alex.
For food you have lots of fast-food options all over. For a more fulfilling meal try leaving town.
» This place is but five minute drive from Keflavik airport. As such it is a fine place to unwind the night before a flight
» Very easy to find. Going from Keflavik airport you drive right by the town. Ditto on the way back 🙂
» Keflavik has been hard hit by recession and you can smell it in the town. Good for a drive-thru but not much else.