Parking in Reykjavík: A Comprehensive Guide

Parking in Reykjavík is easy and secure. But if you’re bringing your rental car into Iceland’s capital, it’s important that you know the city’s local rules and regulations.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about parking in Reykjavík. Discover where you can park, how much you’ll pay, and other essential information.

Reykjavik Harpa

What to know about parking in Reykjavík if you’re new to the city

Reykjavík is the largest city in Iceland, where about a third of the country’s population lives. As such, it’s by far the busiest region in the country.

If you’re driving into Reykjavík, though, don’t let this worry you. As it’s so small, the city is easier to navigate by car than almost all other capital cities in the world. Plus, with plenty of parking options, it’s really easy to find a place to leave your rental vehicle.

Something to be aware of straight away is that the city centre is divided into parking zones, which have different charges and time rules. However, outside of these areas, parking is mostly free.

You’ll have no trouble finding space to park when visiting the city. However, if you’re staying in a hotel or rental accommodation, your host may provide you with specific parking guidance. It can be useful for you to follow their specific recommendations.

That said, before you leave your vehicle anywhere, remember these 2 key rules:

  • Don’t park in residents’ spaces. Like many other cities, Reykjavík has dedicated parking spaces for residents. These are clearly marked—please don’t park in them.
  • Only park in marked bays. In Iceland, it’s illegal to park by the side of the road if there are no marked spaces.

While these are the most important things to bear in mind, please always check local signs before you leave your vehicle. Parking rules can change and the most up to date information will be clearly displayed next to any car parks or parking spaces.

Now, let’s discuss Reykjavík’s parking rules in more detail.

Parking zones in Reykjavík

Reykjavik parking zones(Image source: Reykjavík city)

Central Reykjavík has 4 different parking zones. These are areas, coded by colour, with specific rules. The rules determine how much the parking costs in those specific zones, as well as for how long you can park there.

The 4 parking zones in the capital are:

  • P1: Red and pink. This parking zone is the most expensive and the most central. You’ll pay 600 ISK an hour to park here, for a maximum stay of 3 hours. However, the rules are only valid between 9am and 9pm during the week and between 10am and 9pm at weekends—meaning you can park for free outside these times.

  • P2: Blue. In the blue zone, you’ll pay 220 ISK per hour. Again, these rules are only valid between 9am and 9pm on weekdays and 10am and 9pm at weekends, meaning it’s free outside these hours.

  • P3: Green. In the areas marked as green, you’ll still pay 220 ISK per hour, but only for the first 2 hours. After that, the charge is 65 ISK per hour. This zone applies only between 9am to 6pm on weekdays.
  • P4: Orange. Finally, in the orange zone, you’ll pay 220 ISK per hour between 8am and 4pm on weekdays.

Reykjavík’s parking zones are subject to change, so it’s really important that you check local signs before you leave your vehicle.

You can find the latest information at the Reykjavík city website, where there’s also an interactive map of parking zones.

Free parking in Reykjavík

Parking is free across all parking zones in the city after 9pm. Parking in orange zones is free after 4pm on weekdays and parking in green zones is free after 6pm.

Outside of these zones, on-street parking is free across Reykjavík, as long as you avoid residents’ parking spaces. Remember, though, you should only ever park in marked spaces—not just pull over to the side of the road.

If you cannot find a free on-street parking space, try one of the following options:

  • Ask your accommodation about parking. Often, hotels and rental homes have free parking. Talk to the place you’re staying to find out the details.
  • Drive an electric vehicle (EV) for limited free parking in Reykjavík’s central zones. If you travel in a low-emissions vehicle, you can park for free in any charging space for 90 minutes.
  • Park at the free car park by Reykjavík’s harbour. There is a large free car park between Mýrargata and Rastargata close to the harbour. You can park here for long periods, including overnight.

REykjavik-free-parking(Image source: Google Maps)

Wherever you choose to park, we repeat that it’s really important that you check locally for up-to-date fees and rules. If you do park without the right payment, you can face a fine.

Parking in downtown Reykjavík

As you’ll have seen from the maps above, downtown Reykjavík is largely covered by the city’s parking zones. That means that you should expect to pay if you’re hoping to leave your vehicle in the area.

However, you can also make use of free on-street parking nearby. Visit the Reykjavík city’s website to see an up-to-date map of local parking zones. In some cases, you may be able to park in free spots close to specific attractions.

For example, the streets west of Stýrimannastígur are not covered by Reykjavík’s parking zones. This may be a convenient option if you’re visiting the Saga Museum or Reykjavík harbour.

Similarly, many of the streets to the south of Hallgrímskirkja are outside of the parking zones too. You can often park here if you’re visiting the iconic church.

How to pay for parking in Reykjavík

You have a choice of ways to pay for parking in Reykjavík:

  • Pay with parking apps such as Parka and EasyPark. You can pay to park in any of Reykjavík’s parking zones with Parka. Download it onto your device, provide your payment and vehicle details, and use the app whenever you park. You can use Parka in many other car parks across Iceland too.

  • Use cash or card to pay at parking metres. You’ll also be able to pay locally at parking metres located close to where you leave your car. These work like payment metres the world over. Simply tell the machine how long you want to stay, add your vehicle registration number, and insert coins or pay with card.

Payment rates are standard across Reykjavík’s on-street parking zones. However, if you park in private car parks, including multi-storey car parks, rates will likely differ. Check them and pay before you leave your car.

Reykjavik Perlan siteseeing

Parking regulations and fines in Reykjavík

When you’re travelling, you don’t want to ruin your trip by getting a parking fine. It’s really easily avoided, by checking local signs, paying for parking when you need to, and following the rules of the road.

The most common way to get a fine is by overstaying. That’s why we recommend that you pay for parking using an app, as you can often use it to make payment for additional time remotely.

In general in Reykjavík, there are 3 types of fines that you can be charged:

  • An extra parking tariff. This is when you’ve left your car somewhere for longer than the period that you’ve actually paid for. It includes cases where you haven’t paid at all. The initial fine is 4,500 ISK (about €30).

  • A parking violation charge. This is levied in cases where you’re parked illegally. For instance, if you park outside of a parking bay or against oncoming traffic, you’ll receive a fine. The initial cost is 10,000 ISK (about €70).

  • Charge for parking in designated spaces. You’ll receive a much steeper fine if you park without a permit in a space for people with disabilities. You’ll have to pay 20,000 ISK (or about €140) in this case.

Whichever fine you get, you will receive a discount of 1,100 ISK if you pay for it within the first 3 days. If you don’t pay within 28 days, though, the fine will double.

At that time, the bill will be sent to the owner of the vehicle. If you’re renting your car, the rental company will receive your bill—and they’ll likely add an additional fee for you to pay.

Parking for people with disabilities in Reykjavík

Iceland follows the same rules and systems as the rest of Europe when it comes to parking for people with disabilities. Designated spaces are marked with a wheelchair icon, and you can use them if you have a registered disability.

You are also entitled to park in any of the paid parking zones for free. You just need to have your parking card or “blue badge” with you.

Parking campervans in Reykjavík

You won’t be able to sleep in your campervan in most parking spaces or car parks in Reykjavík. You can’t just sleep in your van by the side of the road, and most private car parks will be closed overnight.

Instead, it’s best to park your campervan in a campsite. For instance, you can stay in the Reykjavík Campsite, which has a capacity of 600 residents.

If you’re not intending to sleep in your campervan during your stay in Reykjavík, you can leave your vehicle according to the specific car park’s rules.

Parking electric vehicles in Reykjavík

Iceland has a very developed infrastructure for electric vehicles. If you’ve hired one for your trip to Iceland, you won’t have any problems finding charging opportunities in the city.

Visit a site such as Chargemap for details of where to find charging stations. It’s worth remembering that many hotels have private EV charging stations that you may be able to use as a guest.

Tesla Y parked in downtown Reykjavik Iceland

Other tips for parking in Reykjavík

While it may be the busiest urban area in Iceland, Reykjavík is a laid back and quiet city, without many of the stresses of driving in other major European cities.

However, there are some things that you should bear in mind when driving and parking in the city:

  • If you don’t park by the rules, you should expect to be fined. While you might think you can get away with not paying for parking, it’s not a clever idea. Many car parks operate with automated number plate recognition systems, where cameras can read your number plate.
  • Make use of hotel parking if you have it. The best place to park your car is in hotel spaces reserved for guests. It’s likely free, and you can easily get around the city on foot or public transport.
  • Avoid looking for parking during the day. Like in most capitals, many people come into the city during the day to work. As such, there may be fewer spaces available if you’re looking for parking during this time.
  • Don’t park facing oncoming traffic. A rule that might be unfamiliar to you in Reykjavík is that it’s not permitted to park facing traffic when parking on-street. You may face a parking violation charge if you do.
  • Pay fines quickly to avoid higher costs. If you pay for any fines within 3 days, you’ll pay substantially less. It makes sense to save yourself some money.
  • If you’re driving a campervan, don’t sleep in it in the city. Instead, use designated areas, such as campsites.

Frequently asked questions about parking in Reykjavík

Have more questions about parking in Iceland’s capital? We answer them here.

Can you park for free in Reykjavík Iceland?

While downtown Reykjavík is mostly covered by paid parking zones, you can find plenty of free parking in the city. For instance, you can find free spaces outside in less central locations. Just make sure you don’t park in spaces reserved for residents.

How much is parking in Reykjavík?

The cost of parking in Reykjavík differs between private car parks and specific parking zones. Some areas are even free.

For instance, if you park in the most expensive zone in downtown Reykjavík, you will pay 600 ISK an hour.

How do you pay for parking in Reykjavík?

You can pay for parking using an app such as Parka, or by cash or card on a parking metre. Whichever method you choose, it’s useful to know your vehicle registration number, as you may be asked for it.

Where to park a campervan in Reykjavík?

If you’re intending to sleep in your campervan, the best place to park it is in a campsite. In Iceland, you can only overnight in your vehicle in designated areas. In the capital region, the best place to do that is at Reykjavík Campsite.

What is the fine for parking in Reykjavík?

There are 3 types of parking fines in Reykjavík. If you don’t pay or you overstay, you’ll be fined 4,500 ISK. If you park illegally, the fine is 10,000 ISK. And, if you park in a space reserved for people with disabilities, the fine is 20,000 ISK.

Is it hard to park in Reykjavík Iceland?

No, it isn’t hard to find parking in Reykjavík. Outside of the very centre, on-street parking is free. However, if you’re happy to pay for parking, you can choose between the 4 parking zones or private car parks.

How to pay a parking ticket in Reykjavík?

If you receive a parking fine in Reykjavík, there are 2 ways that you can pay it:

  • Go to a local bank. If you take your parking ticket to a bank, they’ll help you make the payment.

  • Pay online. You can also visit the Reykjavík city website and make payment online. Simply follow the instructions on how to pay.

Remember, if you pay within 3 days of receiving the fine, you’ll get a 1,100 ISK discount. It’s worth doing.

Rent a car in Reykjavík with Höldur

Many visitors rent a car in Reykjavík before taking a road trip to see Iceland’s many natural wonders. If you’re considering driving in Iceland, another convenient option is to hire your car directly from Keflavík Airport.

Whichever you decide, choose Höldur for your rental vehicle. We’re Iceland’s largest rental car operator, with over 7,000 vehicles and outlets across the country—including at Keflavík and in Reykjavík.

You can trust our longstanding reputation and experience. And with our range of EVs, 4x4s, campers, and luxury vehicles, you can rent exactly the vehicle that’s right for you.

Discover more at Höldur.