I think most Icelanders have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Blue Lagoon. We appreciate it for what it is and understand its attraction to visitors but we also moan about how expensive it is, how busy it is and how, well, touristy it has become. We remember a time when it was simpler, less fancy, and when it didn’t cost the white of your eye to visit it. OK, it’s not that expensive but that’s what many Icelanders feel none the less.
The Blue Lagoon is the most visited tourist attraction in Iceland but they got over 700.000 guests last year. In comparison Iceland as a whole got just under 1.000.000 guests. In fact, they are so busy that they have now introduced a booking system on their website where you have to book your ticket in advance if you want to be sure to get in. We even had some weeks in February where the lagoon was more or less booked out. So to say it’s popular is an understatement.
The Blue Lagoon is not my favorite place because I’m not a fan of big crowds. I always tell people, when they ask me, that they should consider visiting The Nature Baths in Mývatn instead or maybe just enjoy a dip in one of our many outstanding geothermal pools, either here in Reykjavík or out in the countryside. Or if you want a mix of our typical pools and something more natural you might also want to check out The Secret Lagoon in Flúðir. But I also totally understand why you might want to visit the Blue Lagoon anyway and now that they are offering different types of packages and lower prices in winter you can choose whatever option fits your budget best. I guess when you think about this as a once in a lifetime type of thing the cost maybe is not the most important factor. You just have to decide how much you want to visit the Blue Lagoon.
You should also know though that it is possible to visit Iceland without going to the Blue Lagoon and that is a totally valid way to do things too – don’t let anyone convince you that you HAVE to visit it (like many travel agents and friends and family that loved it often try to do). I was quite old when I visited the Blue Lagoon for the first time and I never once felt I was missing out on something.
Jeez, I didn’t mean for this post to sound like some sort of self-help empowerment “gogetemtiger” pep talk. Go to the Blue Lagoon or don’t but if you do decide to go: here are 3 ways how to get there from Reykjavík.
Book a tour including the entrance fee
The easiest way to get from Reykjavík to the Blue Lagoon is to book a tour that includes the entrance fee. You can get a pick up from most hotels and guesthouses in Reykjavík and you book your stay in the lagoon simultaneously. Most of the transfers include the cheapest package to the lagoon but I’m sure if you look hard enough you can find a bus transfer with the more expensive packages.
You can usually book this option at the reception at your hotel or at any tourist information center downtown. I would though recommend you book it at least few days in advance so you don’t miss out on your preferred time at the lagoon. You can also book this tour to and from Keflavík Airport if you want to visit the Blue Lagoon on your way to or from the airport. Please note that you’ll have to pay an extra fee of around 500 ISK per bag for storing your luggage at the lagoon.
Book a private transfer
The obvious advantage of booking a private transfer is that you can skip all the waiting time that comes with traveling on a bus. You will be picked up where ever you want so if you are staying in an apartment somewhere you don’t have to go through the hassle of getting to the BSÍ or finding the closest hotel. You also don’t have to wait on the bus while everyone else is dropped off on the way back. Your driver will drive you to the lagoon, wait for you while you soak in the lagoon, and then you leave when you are ready.
This is of course more costly but you also get the added flexibility and comfort. You can also book a private transfer to and from the airport that includes the Blue Lagoon. Then you leave your luggage in the car while you enjoy the lagoon without any extra fees.
Drive there yourself
If you have a rental car you can of course drive to the Blue Lagoon yourself.It’s an easy drive and it only takes about 40 minutes from Reykjavík. You can use the opportunity and explore the Reykjanes peninsula while you are at it or you can even drive into Keflavík to visit the Icelandic Museum of Rock and Roll.
Like with the tour and the transfer you should probably book ahead if you want to visit the lagoon during peak hours. If you go there really early in the morning or late afternoon and evening it’s not as important to book ahead although you never know.