Parking in Reykjavík

The ultimate guide to parking in ReykjavíkSince I know a lot of you are renting a car during your stay in Iceland I’m sure you have a lot of questions about parking in Reykjavík. Is it expensive? How do I know what zone I’m in and where can I find free parking? These are all questions I get regularly and like always, if you ask me the same question often enough I end up finding the urge to write a post about it.

Compared to other cities I’ve traveled to I think parking is fairly inexpensive in Reykjavík. I might be wrong but this is my feeling anyway. I can also tell you that the parking inspectors in Reykjavík are very active (I see them all over on my tours, usually giving out tickets) so even though you see the locals break the law or not pay in the meter it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. We are, apparently, notoriously bad at parking as a nation.

I’m also bad at parking but parallel parking is my arch nemesis. Which is one of the reasons I walk everywhere or take the bus. I don’t hate many things in the this world but I hate parking. And finding parking. Anything to do with parking really.

The parking zones

There are four parking zones in Reykjavík and the way to know which zone you are in is to look at the P-signs that are located on lamp posts around the city and the meters and ticket machine also display which zone they are in. The basic rule is that the closer you are to Laugavegur (main shopping street) and the downtown area the higher the zone.

Where you don’t see any color the parking is free (albeit scarce because the locals living there also park there) if it’s not private.

P-Zone 1 (red and pink)

Price:
275 ISK per hour

Hours: 
Mon-Fri: 09:00-18:00
Sat: 10:00-16:00
Sun: Free

P-Zone 2

Price:
150 ISK per hour

Hours: 
Mon-Fri: 09:00-18:00
Sat: 10:00-16:00
Sun: Free

P-Zone 3

Price:
125 ISK for 1. & 2. hour
30 ISK per hour after  2. hour

Hours: 
Mon-Fri: 09:00-18:00
Sat: 10:00-16:00
Sun: Free

P-Zone 4

Price:
150 ISK per hour

Hours:
Mon-Fri: 08:00-16:00
Sat: Free
Sun: Free

How to pay

In these streets you either have parking meters or ticket machines (pay and display). In the meters you can only pay with certain coins but most of the ticket machines also accept cards. I have heard though that these machines sometimes have troubles with foreign cards so it’s a better to have some coins around.

Also keep in mind that you can add money to the meter if you need to keep your car in the parking spot longer than than you anticipated but you can’t add money to the ticket so make sure you buy enough time in the beginning. The ticket machine always assumes you’ve just parked so if you have half an hour left and you want to add some money you will have to pay twice for that half an hour.

If you are planning on staying in Reykjavík for long term then it might be worth looking into a service like Leggja.is which is an app for residents that you can use to pay the meter.

Parking houses (Car parks)

In addition to the parking zones there are also special parking houses available around the city. There are two different rates for the parking houses, for the ones in Laugavegur and on Vitastígur it’s 80 ISK for the first hour and then it’s 50 ISK per hour after that. In the other houses it’s 150 ISK for the first hour and then 100 per hour after that. The parking houses are open from 07:00 to 24:00 and you pay by using a ticket machine located by the entrances in every house.

Parking tickets

Like I mentioned before the parking inspectors in Reykjavík are busy bees and the love to give out tickets. Below you can see what they give tickets for and how much you have to pay for each fine.

Where to pay your parking ticket

You can take the ticket to the nearest bank and pay it there. If you are a resident in Iceland and you have an Icelandic kennitala and online banking the ticket will automatically show up there. If you think you can just skip paying the ticket because you’re driving a rental car anyway it’s not quite that easy. The car rental agency can and will match the ticket with whoever had the card when it was issued and send you a bill for the ticket (or just charge your card, depending on the rental terms). You can be sure that if they have to spend the extra time finding out who’s ticket it is they will add an extra charge on top of the ticket (plus you are probably in the after 28 days category once it get processed). So you might as well just pay as soon as you get the ticket.

Small cars = no paying for parking

If you happen to book the smallest cars available from the car rental agencies there’s a good chance that it qualifies as a eco-friendly car (an oxymoron if I ever saw one) which will give you free parking in all zones. If your rental car qualifies there should be a sticker in the window that is shaped like a clock and marked by the Reykjavík crest. If you have one of those clocks you can park anywhere for free for up to 90 minutes. After 90 minutes you have to pay though. This doesn’t apply if your car has studded tires.

Handicap parking

If you have an official handicap tag from the EEA you can park for free in any of the parking zones in the streets. Parking in the parking houses is not free with a handicap tag, but you can make use of the conveniently located handicap spots.

Updated May 2017

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76 thoughts on “Parking in Reykjavík”

  1. Jan says:

    What about motorcycles? Can they be parked on sidewalk? Do they pay for parking on streets?

    1. mm Auður says:

      I’m not 100% sure but I believe motorcycles follow the same rules as cars when it comes to parking. If you want to be really sure you could post a question on this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bifhj%C3%B3lasamt%C3%B6k-L%C3%BD%C3%B0veldisins-Sniglar/184482661581681. This is the association of motorcycle owners in Iceland.

  2. James says:

    Do you know if the car parks stay open past the operating hours, and is this time free?
    I’m planning on renting a car and I’ll be out and about during the day, but will need to park overnight near my hotel near the Harpa, if the car park charges to park between 09:00 and 18:00, can I park there from 19:00 to 08:00 and get free overnight parking?

    Hope that makes sense 😀

    1. mm Auður says:

      The zones I mention are not car parks, just streets where you have to pay for parking. And you can park there 24/7 but you only pay for the hours mentioned. The parking houses on the other hand you can leave the car overnight but you pay for the whole time and you can’t get out after closing time. If you are staying at Centerhotel next to Harpa there are parking spaces there where you can park after hours for free.

  3. Laura says:

    Just read your Happy New Year post. We are so happy for your success Audur, you are a clever and hard working person and are so deserving of all the good things that went your way in 2014. Wishing you continued fun and success with your tours and writings. Best wishes, Laura and Tom Herring.

  4. Dana says:

    Hi, Thank you for all the helpful information – i’ve been scouring your blog this morning in readiness for my trip at the beginning of Feb!
    Can you advise if there are full day rates available at the parking houses or if it is just a pay per hour thing? I’ll be looking to spend a full day or two in Reykjavik touring around (staying near Kopavogur so will be driving in) and am unsure which is the best option for a full day?
    Thanks!

    1. mm Auður says:

      According to their website there’s only the hourly rate and then a monthly rate for 24/7 access. You end up paying 660 ISK for 12 hours, that’s not a lot. Less than you pay for one beer (and less than paying for the bus back and forth) 🙂

  5. sunny says:

    This is very helpful. Thank you.

  6. Megan Hull says:

    Hi, there. It’s Megan, Pippa’s mom. Jón Gunnar from Iceland Unlimited advised me that if you have an official handicap tag (we brought ours from the US) that parking is free in all zones. I thought that would be helpful for any of your disabled readers. I was sure glad to learn that on our first day!

    1. mm Auður says:

      Thanks for the tip. I wasn’t aware that you could use handicap signs from other countries – that is helpful! 🙂

    2. Katie Orem says:

      Thank you so much for this! I was just about to google “handicap parking in reykjavik” when I saw your comment! We are traveling to Iceland in May and staying in Reykjavik May 25-30. Did it work out well to use your US tag in Iceland? We have used ours successfully in France & Germany as well, in case you are wondering about other places. =)

  7. pilar martinez says:

    Hello I take a bus from Harpa on saturday 11/07 at 7:30 a.m. is possible to park for free at that area?? I will leave my car there untill sunday evening.
    Please tell me what do you recomend

    1. mm Auður says:

      Parking is usually free everywhere on Sundays except in the parking houses

  8. Rhonda says:

    Thanks for this info! Today we got a parking ticket 🙁 not a great start to our trip!
    We parked behind another car, didn’t see any signs indicating it was not allowed, and weren’t over any driveways or anything. But, the fine is for 10,000 ISK. It’s definitely not a disabled spot though (it was on Suòurgata – not spelled correctly I know but I can’t get the correct symbol on my phone). Is there a way we can dispute it? Or is it not worth it? It’d be good to know what we actually did wrong too! Thanks! 🙂

    1. mm Auður says:

      Successfully disputing a parking ticket is a likely as finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

      You would have got this ticket for what is called Stöðubrot so you must have parked on the sidewalk, to close to a corner, by a yellow line, in a no parking zone or in front of a fire hydrant or anything of that sort. Icelandic people are notorious for bad parking so just because there’s a car there already doesn’t mean it’s actually a legal parking spot.

  9. Ada Chavez says:

    Only between the designated times for the parking zones I have to pay correct? So is it safe to assume that after those times it is free parking (ex. P-zone 1 is free parking mon-fri from 18:00-9:00)?

    1. mm Auður says:

      Yes, that’s correct 🙂

  10. Hi Audur

    Thank you sharing this post. It is really helpful. Could you please help me with one more querya round parking. We are staying in Hafnarfjordur, but for Northern lights tour we will have to drive to Reykjavik. Company has specified BSI terminal as the best pick up place for us. Could you please recommend the parking area around BSI, where in we can leave the car at night and can take it out while we return back from tour.

    Cheers
    Aanchal

    1. mm Auður says:

      There is a parkinglot next to BSÍ that you don’t have to pay for

  11. Ali says:

    Hi Audur,

    Again thanks for this post, it’s exactly what we’ve been searching for!
    Going to be staying at the Fosshótel Reykjavík which has no parking for guests, was wondering where you would reccomemnd for best availability of spaces?

    Thanks again

    1. mm Auður says:

      I’m not sure about this area actually because it’s known among the people that work there for not having any spots available at all. It’s worse during the day than at night though. There’s a paid parking spot underneath Höfðatorg but I’m not sure it’s open all day and night or how much it costs (since it’s private – or at least I think it is).

    2. Ashley says:

      Hey Ali/Audur,
      We are staying at the Fosshotel Reykjavik in April! Wondering what kind of parking you ended up going with and what the cost ended up being? Any information would be helpful, thanks!

      Ashley

  12. Rachel says:

    Hi

    I have already booked my accommodation staying neat The Culture House (Lindargata).
    Am I correct in assuming that the areas that aren’t highlighted are free to park?

    Thanks

    1. mm Auður says:

      You can’t trust it 100% – there might be some restrictions because that area is full of governmental buildings. But if you don’t see any signs it should be fine.

  13. Brian says:

    Hi, Auður.

    I’ll be arriving on this coming Sunday and hope to park on the street. I know street parking is free on Sunday. On Monday morning I’ll get a ticket at a ticket machine. My question is: Is there a limit as to how many hours I can pay for? That is, will I be able to buy a ticket that will last until 18:00, when the parking is again free?

    Thanks,
    Brian

    1. mm Auður says:

      No, you can pay for the whole day at once. Just make sure you’re in a zone that is a bit cheaper or maybe a parking house – if you park the whole day in zone 1 it’s going to cost you more.

  14. Stu says:

    Hi Auður,

    Do you need to pay for parking on public holidays? I’m going to be in Reykjavik over Easter so I was wondering if I’ll need to pay on Friday and Monday.

    Thanks!

    1. mm Auður says:

      No, those days are like Sundays so you don’t need to pay for parking.

  15. pilfra says:

    I need to find a long term storage for my camper in Reykjavik area or near Keflavik airport.
    I know the parking in KEF.
    It’s expensive.
    Any other idea?

    1. mm Auður says:

      I’m sorry, I’m not sure where you could find such parking. If you live here in Iceland I would try to find someone that has a camper and ask them where they store theirs. That’s usually the best way to find these places – just asking around.

      1. pilfra says:

        Thanks for your answer.
        I will not be living in Iceland but spent few months….
        Just need to fly back in France for few weeks sometime.
        I already contact camper rental societies ,if I have an answer I will share it with you.
        Sorry for my english….not very good.

  16. Carolyn says:

    Hi there, we will be staying on Ásvallagata in the neighborhood of Vesturbær. Do you know what the parking is like around this area for street parking? We will be arriving after midnight on Friday night (so technically Sat) and I am worried about where to park. What do you recommend?

    1. mm Auður says:

      There should be free parking somewhere close to where you are staying. I might need to circle around the neighborhood a bit to find it but it shouldn’t be too difficult.

  17. Koala_ says:

    Hello Auður,

    I need to know if this post is still valid today. Is there any official site of Reykjavik city to get the latest info?

    1. mm Auður says:

      This post is recently updated.

  18. Michael says:

    Hi Auður,

    I have a ticket for 2 days in a P3 zone (by accident). Can I use this ticket for any P3 zone or must I only use the ticket where I had bought it. Also, is it okay to park in any zone over night as long as you have a ticket?

    Thanks,
    Michael

    1. mm Auður says:

      It should be valid in any P3 zone in Reykjavík. You don’t have to pay for the times outside of what is specified for each zone and unless there’s a gate or something you’re welcome to park there at night.

  19. Krystal says:

    Hello, do you know of a website or anywhere that explains parking rules on residential streets? We are renting an apartment in Reykjavik and are wondering about how close to corners you’re allowed to park, etc.?

    1. mm Auður says:

      No, I don’t know of a website like that but you have to park at least 5 meters from a corner (The laws in Icelandic are her: http://www.althingi.is/lagas/nuna/1987050.html)

  20. Marco says:

    Wow, this is an amazing and very useful article… I’ll be in Iceland next week. Thank you so much for putting this together.

  21. Mary says:

    Hello,
    We are staying at Room with a view hotel. Is there a parking house near there that we can park for the night for a few days? How far would we have to walk specially if you have our luggages with us?

    1. mm Auður says:

      You can use the parking house map and see how far it is away from your hotel.

  22. Volker Hampel says:

    I do not know if that is the right spot to ask, but after our first travel to Iceland a few years ago we want to come back in 2017 with our own camper van. Now I am looking for a possibility to leave our car for 6 weeks in Island (Reykjavik/ Keflavik). We split the trip in two parts a will return to Germany in between between. At the I found only the longterm parking at the airport.

    1. mm Auður says:

      I believe the parking houses offer long term rental – you can send them an e-mail to bilastaedasjodur[at]bilastaedasjodur.is

  23. Andy says:

    Hi there, Can we park motorhomes in parking houses? Want to spend an afternoon in Reykjavik tomorrow but not where the best place to park

    1. mm Auður says:

      I know it’s too late now but many of the parking houses have limits to the height of cars that they can accommodate.

  24. Susan says:

    Hi,
    We got a parking ticket in iceland but didn’t see that we could pay it at a bank and planned to just pay online. Now we are back home and went to the website and it’s all in icelandic and I can’t read anything. Not sure what I should do or how can I pay it now that I’m home?

    1. mm Auður says:

      I would recommend you contact bilastaedasjodur@bilastaedasjodur.is. It’s also possible that your car rental company will charge you for the ticket once it has been processed so it might be worth contacting them also.

  25. Leonie says:

    Thank you so much for this amazing blog! 🙂
    I’ll be coming to Iceland in less than two weeks and I’m really excited about it. Can’t wait for your walking tour! 🙂
    Parking in Reykjavík seems pretty clear to me, but how about parking in the countryside? Can I just pull over and stop to take photos or do I have to wait for a parking spot to do that?
    Thanks in advance for your answer, and see you in two weeks. 🙂

    1. mm Auður says:

      Hi Leonie,

      You will discover that in some areas there are not a lot of places to stop the car to get out to take pictures and in these areas people tend to just stop the car on the road. This is very dangerous and you should abseloutly not do this – we’ve already have one death that happend this way so far this year. So only stop the car where it’s safe for you and other drivers. Most of the tourist spots will have a parking spot and in places like Þingvellir, for example, you have to pay for parking.

      1. Leonie says:

        Thank you! So it’s the same as in Germany where I live – I just wanted to be sure. Good to know, I’ll be extra careful then. 🙂
        (Also, sorry for posting two similar comments here, I was stupid enough to think that the first one had somehow disappeared.)

  26. Sayan says:

    Amazing informative article! We will be putting up at a airbnb in leifsgata( some Street near to Hallgrimskirja). Is it a free parking zone? If not which is the nearest free parking spot?How difficult it is to find a parking spot there?

    1. mm Auður says:

      Everything that is not marked as a parking zone where you have to pay is free to park. I can’t tell you how difficult it is to find a parking spot on Leifsgata since I’m never there. Maybe this is something you could ask your AirBnB host?

  27. Jodi says:

    Hi there! We are staying at the Centerhotel Plaza in March. I assumed the hotel had parking on site, since the details in the website said “surcharge for parking”. Glad I emailed them and found out there is no parking onsite. They mentioned metered street parking and a parking garage behind the hotel. Can a car be left in a metered space after the paid hours (overnight)? Same question for the garage….can a vehicle remain overnight? Thanks in advance!

  28. Kevin Condron says:

    Great article, just running down to move my rental car as I parked it in a free parking area near lindargata, but realised from the comments that it maybe less than 5 metres away from the corner! Thanks.

  29. Jessie Davido says:

    We are traveling by motorhome and want to visit the main areas in Reykjavik. Do you know of some parking accommodations for larger vehicles?

    Are we also able to park on the street using the meters?

    Do you have any other advice?

    Thank you for your blog and for your help!

    1. mm Auður says:

      Many parking spots in downtown Reykjavík are quite tight and narrow so a big motorhome would be too big. There are some spots around Hallgrímskirkja church where you might be able to fit it.

      However, if you are planning on sleeping in the car you will have to park it at the Reykjavík campsite.

  30. paige says:

    Hi,
    I’m staying at Centerhotel Skjaldbreid, I’m looking at renting a car. where about’s could I leave the car over night? When leaving the car parked on the street in the none operating hours do you still have to pay the hourly rate?
    Thanks a lot for your help,
    Im so excited!!

    1. mm Auður says:

      You don’t have to pay outside of the operating hours but I would suggest you contact the hotel and see if they have any arrangements regarding parking.

  31. Natalie Marionneaux says:

    I got a parking ticket in Reykjavik as I stopped to buy one last item and am now back in the USA. I want to be good and pay it. But the website listed on the ticket is, of course, in Icelandic. Any suggestions? Thank you for you help. Iceland was a trip of a lifetime but now I hope I can go back in the summer!!!

    1. mm Auður says:

      I’m just not sure how to pay – you can contact the parking authorities by sending them an e-mail to bilastaedasjodur(at)bilastaedasjodur.is

      1. Natalie Marionneaux says:

        Thanks for your response. I finally found a couple of emails to send and inquire.
        Come to find you… you CANNOT pay your parking ticket once you leave the country. Supposedly you can pay it at the airport but we didn’t have time to even ask where to do that. And like a previous poster said, apparently you can pay it at any bank, which one was, of course, right across the street from where we got the ticket. But you don’t know what you don’t know, right?
        So instead of it being $5-10, the car rental charged us $25 for the ticket and $45 processing fee. Expensive lesson learned.
        BTW, love your blog. Have forwarded to friends to follow. All the best.

  32. Stefania says:

    Hi! Is it typically difficult to find parking in Reykjavik? Here we have parking meters but they tend to always be occupied so finding parking is difficult.

    1. mm Ásta - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      It can take a bit of time, but it is easier after business hours and the parking houses are also a good option.

  33. TerryM says:

    This article (and especially the parking map) have been exceptionally helpful during our stay here. Very limited hassles as long as I track the time. (And remember where I parked.) Thank you.

    1. mm Auður - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      Glad to hear it 🙂

  34. scott says:

    Hi. I was wondering if you knew the cost/availability of parking near Reykjavik campsite. Thanks.

    1. mm Ásta - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      Hi Scott,

      There is parking in front of the Campsite and next to Reykjavik City Hostel, next door to the campsite, and I think it’s free of charge. Parking inside the camping area is very limited and is closed off from 23:00 – 07:00 according to their website.

  35. Lisa says:

    hi
    Thanks for your informative blog.
    we will be staying at Blue Mountains Apartments. Could you please advise where we can park our car overnight?
    Would there be parking houses nearby ?
    Thanks

    1. mm Auður - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      I would suggest you contact Blue Mountain Apartments and ask them since I’m not sure where they are located.

  36. Hemadri says:

    Hi
    may I know if we require to pre-book for the Parking Houses?

    1. mm Auður - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      No, you don’t need to pre-book – they operate on first come first serve basis.

  37. Jo Maxwell says:

    Thank you so much for this information – we have just been informed by our AirBNB hosts that the apartment we had booked in Kopvagur is no longer available and they are now offering us a bigger apartment but it is in Reykjavik not far from the Old Harbour – on Mjölnisholt. We have already hired a car so now need to find parking – the hosts say there is free parking there but we have noticed some of the reviews of this apartment state they had trouble finding spaces. Do you know if this is a relatively quiet area? We had purposely booked the other apartment outwith Reykjavik because it had its own off-road parking!

    With many thanks,
    Jo

    1. mm Ásta - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      Hi Jo,

      There are quite a few apartments close to Mjölnisholt, so it might be tricky to find street parking in the area. Stjörnuport multi storey car park is close by, if that helps. And while Mjölnisholt is closer to the harbour than Kópavogur, I still wouldn’t say that it is close by… it is very close to a great new (but small) food hall at Hlemmur though, and to my favourite record shop, Lucky records!

  38. tina says:

    Hi! Thanks for all the info. about parking. is this accurate until now ? the zone time and prices.. we are going on november this year.
    Thank you

    1. mm Ásta - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      Hi Tina,

      We updated the information this summer, and it hasn’t changed since then, so this should be correct. Happy travels!

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