3 ways to get the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavík

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.

Myvatn Air Iceland (18)

The Nature Baths in Mývatn

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.

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20 thoughts on “3 ways to get the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavík”

  1. Danielle says:

    Aside from my previously mentioned issues with the shower thing – having been twice, I dont feel the need to go again. Kathryn wasn’t too bothered about going on this trip just gone, or the previous one. I also watched a documentary about airwaves festival on the plane & how busy it was made me a little uncomfortable, it reminded me of English people on package holidays in Ibiza….. Maybe I’m just old, ha ha.

    Guess they’ve done a pretty good job on the marketing! I imagine its nice when its not busy though.

    The secret lagoon sounds nice – can you shove mineral stuff on your face and take silly photos too? 🙂

    The first time I went my waterproof camera (the film ones) went AWOL and the stuff were very helpful via email on finding it (it was stuck in a filter grill) and sending it back – the heat buggered up the film a bit & made it mega grainy.

    1. mm Auður says:

      I think you should not shove anything you find in the Secret Lagoon in your face 🙂 But there’s a geyser next to it, where the pool gets its water from, that erupts every now and again while you are there. It’s kind of nice actually.

  2. Beth says:

    having been to Iceland twice and also the Blue Lagoon twice, I was less impressed the second te. However, I agree that it is a once in a lifetime thing and my first visit felt like I was on a different planet. I also feel the need to promote the in water massages, which are a super unique experience. That said, my second visit felt very “eh” so I understand the local sentiment in that regard. I say, go once, splurge a little, enjoy it and take some photos to remember your experience. From then on, check out the local pools instead.

  3. Will says:

    I’m currently in Reykjavik on holiday and I went to the blue lagoon last week. I was surprised at how many people hung around the bar area and probably only went about ten metres into the lagoon. The other side away from the bar was far quieter and much more enjoyable. Certainly one of the highlights of my trip.

  4. Ann says:

    I can see what you’re saying, but having visited the Blue Lagoon twice, and thoroughly enjoyed every second of being there – i would highly recommend a visit to anyone who does not have much time in Iceland. We have visited mid summer and mid winter.
    I hope to come to Iceland again and I would like to stay longer – in that case I would search out some of the lesser well known attractions and secret lagoons and hot springs. I just think that the experience in the Blue Lagoon is so unlike anything else, that it should be done at least once. In the grand scheme of things, when you are holidaying abroad, the cost of the Blue Lagoon is not that bad. I went back for a second visit and it was no less enjoyable the second time around. My adult children also loved it.

    I am sorry that you feel it has become ‘touristy’ but we, (as tourists) have no control over that – if you happen to live in a very interesting and beautiful country, and you continue to advertise it across the world then it will inevitable become a little touristy. Personally I find Iceland very untouristy, beautiful, friendly and extremely fascinating compared to many other places in the world. I hope to come back again very soon and next time I would love to explore many of the out of the way places that you are always blogging about – as well as experience your home cooked meals and some Icelandic lessons!
    Regards

    1. mm Auður says:

      I think what people mean when they say it’s become touristy is that there are other places, like the Nature Baths in Mývatn, that you can experience similar things without having to pay 10 Euros just to look at it. Or that’s what I’m guessing at least. I totally understand why people want to visit the Blue Lagoon even though I don’t find it that interesting myself.

  5. TheGreenPick says:

    Hi Auður , we just came from Iceland and really share the opinion on the Blue Lagoon. First, it is indeed getting crowded so much that you better make sure to reserve at least couple of days in advance. We thought 1-2 days would be sufficient but finally ended unable to visit it as it was completely booked until our departure several days later. We were so eager to visit this “must see” place that we still drove there hoping for a place, unsuccessfully. We even asked for VIP formula just to increase our chances, nothing helped. But honestly, looking a bit backward , when we arrived there we saw tourist crowds and packed pool felt much less exciting than on the pictures. It’s undisputedly a beautiful place but not the kind of authentic experience you might expect out of it. Finally, to do at least some kind of warm bath experience in Iceland we went for the Secret Lagoon instead and were not disappointed. It came out cheaper, receives much fewer tourists and is perfect for enjoying a true Icelandic bath while appreciating the qualities of thermal water. Thanks!

  6. lisa says:

    Hi all, I am going to be in Myvatn April 28th-May 2nd so will go to the baths there. Apart from the crowds, how different is the experience from the Blue Lagoon? I was thinking of maybe going to both, but if very similar may skip Blue lagoon.Cost, scenery, crowds etc.

    1. mm Auður says:

      It’s both different and similar at the same time. I know people that did both and enjoyed both but I also talk to a lot of people, especially in the most recent months, that don’t like the vibe at the Blue Lagoon. It all depends on how much you feel like you need to visit the Blue Lagoon. I personally would choose the nature baths over it any day.

  7. Esteban M says:

    Hi, I am planning to visit Iceland on May and I haven´t decided between blue lagoon and secret lagoon. Will I be missing something by going to secret lagoon instead of blue lagoon?. Thank you

    1. mm Auður says:

      These places are completely different and can’t be compared. One is not necessarily better than the other, you just have to decide which one looks more appealing to you.

      1. Esteban M says:

        Thank you, one last question, If you had to choose between going to LAUGARVATN FONTANA or SECRET LAGOON, which one would you pick?.

  8. Ananda says:

    Hello! I’m planning a trip to Iceland of 7 days with a tiny budget and this Blue Lagoon seems so amazing and so… unaffordable at the same time! Would you have any place to recommend instead, maybe less busy but still beautiful (ok i kind of understood this place was unique but Iceland seems full of unique places) ? We would stay in the south around Reykjavik and then road 1 till the Jökulsárlón. Thank you very much!

    1. mm Auður says:

      There’s nothing like the Blue Lagoon but there are plenty of pools in town that are also very nice and only cost a fraction of what the Blue Lagoon costs.

  9. Mandy says:

    How much does the blue lagoon cost

    1. mm Ásta - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      Hi Mandy,

      at the moment it is from 6100 ISK and up, depending on what is included (slippers, bathrobe, drinks etc.) and at what time of day it is.

  10. Jenny says:

    Hi. I’m going to Iceland next month and I want to go to the blue lagoon. Is there any part of the day that’s a bit quieter? Would it be best to get there earlier rather than later?

    1. mm Auður - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      From what I’m told 8 am is a bit quieter (although it gets busier as the day goes on) and after 18:00. But it’s always fairly busy though.

  11. Hannah says:

    Hi, we have already booked the blue lagoon for a week on Sunday. Whats the cheapest way of getting there? is there a public bus as transfers seem fairly pricely.

    1. mm Auður - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      The bus transfers are the cheapest way to get there.

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