Practical information

We have two conference venues for this year's Omentielva.

We will meet on campus at the University of Iceland on August 1 for the opening of Omentielva, and on August 2 for the morning and afternoon programme. The classroom reserved for our use is room 306 in the Árnagarður building, located on Suðurgata in 101 Reykjavík area (there is no designated street number for it, see below for details).

Our second venue is Gröndalshús, a historic 19th-century house that was the home of Icelandic poet Benedikt Gröndal (1826–1907) and is now his museum. Its address is Fischersund 101. We will meet at Gröndalshús on August 1 and 2 for our evening events, as well as for the entire programme of August 3 and 4. Our stay at Gröndalshús is very kindly sponsored by Reykjavík bókmenntaborg UNESCO (Reykjavík City of Literature - UNESCO).

Our conference lodging is Capital-Inn Hostel (address: Suðurhlið 35d, Reykjavík).

Arriving in Iceland

At the airport
It is highly recommended to travel without checked luggage, if possible, to avoid the crowded baggage claim area. Early August is the height of tourist season in Iceland, and there have been increased cases of lost luggage at Keflavik airport in summertime due to massive overload of travelers and staff shortages. (In all cases, all reported lost luggage has been found and delivered to owners, but this process may take over a week.)

For anyone wishing to obtain alcoholic beverages (for evening events or generally), taking advantage of the airport Duty Free shop is most advisable, as alcoholic beverages are heavily taxed in the city and the difference in prices is dramatic.

Clearing passport control
No visas are needed for anyone outside the EU if staying in Iceland less than 3 months. Anyone with an outside-of-EU passport may be asked basic questions like the purpose of visit, in which case mentioning you are attending a conference at University of Iceland (thus a very brief visit) may suffice.

Getting to Reykjavik from the airport (and back)

Keflavík International Airport is 40 km away from Reykjavík. The most efficient way to travel to Reykjavik and back is by a bus shuttle, which several different private companies provide. They depart every 30 minutes from the airport, and their schedules run parallel with airport flight schedules, so there's no risk of getting stranded. They are usually timed to depart 40 minutes after each arriving flight, but no matter when your flight arrives (including possible delays, crowds, prolonged shopping at Duty Free, etc) there will always be a next bus waiting.

Airport bus shuttles:
There are three bus companies offering direct rides to Reykjavik: Flybus, Gray Line, and Airport Express. Prices vary slightly, but it's roughly 2300 ISK one way. All three companies offer additional drop-off service directly to the hotel of your choice. This service is termed hotel transfer and costs an extra 900 ISK on top of basic ticket, but is strongly recommended for convenience. When ordering a hotel transfer along with your bus ticket to Reykjavik, specify your transfer destination, Capital-Inn Hostel.

If only basic ticket is purchased, you will end up at the city bus terminal of each respective company (more on this below).

Travel time between airport and Reykjavík takes around 40 minutes if driving nonstop. It takes about 45 or 50 minutes if the bus is making some extra hotel stops on the way.

The only big difference between these three bus companies to be aware of is the final location where you end up if not buying the hotel transfer. This final location might matter to anyone arriving days earlier with a different lodging arrangement prior to Capital Inn availability.

Flybus terminal is the so-called BSI Bus Terminal just on the outskirts of city center (101 area code), within walking distance to anywhere within 101 area. Airport Express bus terminal is not far from the Perlan building in the 107 area code, with a budget accommodation on premises called Bus Hostel. Gray Line bus terminal is directly in city center (101).

Cab prices are exorbitant and one-way ride on a city bus is 460 ISK, so buying the hotel drop-off transfer together with the airport-Reykjavík bus ticket is strongly recommended.

For traveling back to airport:
All three bus companies offer hotel pick-ups, for which allow an extra 30 minutes in addition to intercity travel time, as these pick-ups take passengers to the main bus terminal from which the actual bus between Reykjavik and airport is then boarded.

Airport bus tickets:
Only the hotel pick-up back to airport has to be pre-ordered, anything else can be purchased directly on arrival to airport, or if departing from their central bus stations. There are Flybus and Airport Express ticket booths in the main airport hall, which you exit into after clearing customs. All three companies are equally punctual and decent (Flybus is the most established, Airport Express is newest). If budget is no issue, Flybus is recommended for the added convenience of enabling Icelandair passengers to buy bus transfer tickets during the flight; this is of course moot if not traveling by Icelandair. For a more affordable option, it is recommended to pre-buy bus tickets + hotel transfer from Gray Line (and either printing them out, or having them on the smartphone). These can be ordered online. Gray Line tends to be less crowded than others due to not having a physical ticket booth. All the Gray Line airport departures need to be pre-booked. There will be Gray Line representatives in the Meet & Greet area to direct arriving travelers to their buses. Everyone speaks English and are very informal; if the bus boarding area or bus representatives are not in sight, the folks manning the bus ticket booths can be approached with any bus-related questions and they'll sort everything out.

Bus 1

In town, the only bus line we will need is bus 1. It will referred to repeatedly below.

Getting to and from Capital-Inn

To Capital-Inn from downtown Reykjavik
The most expedient bus stop is at Lækjartorg square. To catch a bus in the right direction, make sure that the bus 1 timetable indicates Hlemmur → Klukkuvellir. Board bus 1 that displays Vellir on the overhead digital board. The stop to get off at is Kringlumýrarbraut / Kringlan — across the street from Kringlan shopping mall.

Walk south along Kringlumýrarbraut avenue. The pedestrian path running parallel to road traffic does not have its own name, but keep following it walking south and it will take you right up to Capital-Inn, which will be easily visible from Kringlumýrarbraut avenue. As you walk closer towards Capital-Inn, but before you apprach it, you will see another pedestian path turning right, away from Kringlumýrarbraut avenue and leading into a residential area. Turn right on this path, and it will lead you to Suðurhlið street whence you can acces Capital-Inn from the main front entrance.

Satellite images of the walking route between bus stops and Capital-Inn

The walk takes approximately 13 minutes.

From Capital-Inn to University of Iceland campus
Board bus 1 from Kringlumýrarbraut / Kringlan bus stop on the same side as the shopping mall (i.e. you have to cross the street). Make sure bus 1 overhead digital board says Hlemmur. Disembark at the stop Háskóli Íslands (University of Iceland), near the National Museum. Cross the street towards the National Museum, and walk around it heading northwest on Hringbraut street towards the traffic roundabout. At the roundabout, turn left on Suðurgata and keep following it southwest, walking past the National Museum, then past the University Main Building (from behind), until Árnagarður appears on the left. It is a white ruffled rectangular building and there will be stairs descending towards its main entrance off Suðurgata. There is a plaque announcing it.

From Capital-Inn to Gröndalshús
Board bus 1 from Kringlumýrarbraut / Kringlan bus stop on the same side as the shopping mall (i.e. you have to cross the street). Make sure bus 1 overhead digital board says Hlemmur. Disembark at the stop Lækjartorg. Follow Austurstræti heading northwest for two blocks until you reach Ingólfur Square. Just across from the burger joint on the square is the small narrow alley Fischersund leading northwest away from the square - take this alley and you will see Gröndalshús in a few moments appearing on the right side. There is a plaque announcing it.

For expediency and convenience, we intend to make our morning departures from Capital-Inn as a group (and same for route back); no need to worry about bus tickets as these will be distributed.

Getting from the University to Gröndalshús

Our two venues are within walking distance of each other (approximately 15 minutes but likely closer to 20 minutes at a group pace), and we will make our way from the former to the latter on foot.

In the case anyone is unable to cover this distance on foot, bus 1 offers a route between the University campus stop and the Lækjartorg stop, but getting to Gröndalshús from there will still require moderate walking (see above for directions).

Sunrise and sunset in Iceland

In the first days of August, the sun breaks horizon line at approx. 4:30 and sets at approx. 22:30. With the long times of twilight, it will only be dark for circa 3 hours the first night, increasing to circa 3.5 hours the last night. For precise calculations of day lengths in Iceland in August, the Time and Date website may be consulted.

Should any questions or concerns arise over practicalities, please contact the chairman, Miriam Mayburd.