We will be passing through Iceland on our way home from Austria and will have an 18 hour layover between 4:00 pm-10:00 am. I am trying to choose a hotel for the night and wonder if we should stay near the airport, or go further into town. What would you recommended we do activity/site seeing wise in our time frame?
Stay in central Reykjavik and enjoy it, it is very lively well into the night. If you get a chance and the inclination, stop at the Blue Lagoon right after your flight (I think the next morning would be too early, but I don't know the opening hours). There are packages with Flybus that can accommodate a Blue Lagoon stop (or just a drop off in Reykjavik). There is no reason to stay at the airport because there's nothing to do around there, whereas Reykjavik is a really fun place. You're not going to have time to do much of anything other than strolling around, eating, nightlife, etc. (unless some of the museums are open later than I suspect).
If you can even extend your Iceland stay over for more than just 18 hours, then even better. Iceland is such an interesting place. I did a short stopover on the way to Germany and ended up coming back for a standalone visit.
Thank you so much! This is very helpful information. We are looking forward to our short stay. Perhaps we will have the chance to go again and have more time to explore the area better.
The coolest thing will be the very early sunset and sunrise (you can see it by day in the link below), which means a lot more daylight to enjoy your stopover. I was there once in May and I walked very late into the night without any worries.
Ideas of things to do:
Also, check out the Reykjavik and Icelandic tourism websites, and stop at the visitor center once on the ground. They will be very helpful. Strolling around the town is very easy and comfortable.