Parking in Reykjavík: A Simple Tip on How I Parked My Rental Car Free of Charge

“I haven’t seen any follow-up article regarding parking at this hotel. I will be staying there for 5 nights soon with a rental car so I am very interested in how I can self-park for free!”

Parking in Reykjavík: A Simple Tip on How I Parked My Rental Car Free of Charge

That was this comment which was posted by jasdou — who is a reader of The Gate — in response to the following paragraph written by me in this article pertaining to my stay at the Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre, which was my first stay at a Canopy by Hilton hotel property:

“Self-parking is available at an offsite garage 24 hours per day for 2,450.00 Icelandic krónur; but I was able to park on the street one block away without paying anything. I will detail how I did that in a future article. Valet parking costs 5,000.00 Icelandic krónur 24 hours per day.”

Considering that 2,450.00 Icelandic krónur is almost $21.00 in United States dollars, you should know that other options are available — but that may mean parking further away from the Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre hotel property.

Parking Reykjavik

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The parking spaces on the street near the Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre hotel property are in the P1 zone — which costs 320 Icelandic krónur per hour and is equivalent to approximately $2.73 in United States dollars — and are operated by Bílastæðasjóður. Of the four zones of P1, P2, P3 and P4 in terms of street parking in Reykjavík, P1 is the most expensive.

Parking Reykjavik

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Looking at the meter for the spot at which I parked on the street just a block away from the hotel, one can park for free between 6:00 in the evening and 9:00 the next morning during weekdays. I parked on a Wednesday; so the weekday parking rules were in effect.

As I arrived in Iceland earlier that morning and spent the day visiting sites in the Southern Peninsula area — articles of my experiences of some of them which I have written up to this point in time are listed at the end of this article — I arrived at the hotel and checked in prior to 6:00 in the evening because I wanted to check out this section of Reykjavík and then have a good night’s sleep; so I simply parked my rental car at approximately 5:45 in the afternoon and stayed with it until 6:00.

Parking Reykjavik

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

This is the car I rented in the parking spot I chose for the night, and it remained there until 9:00 the next morning. The Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre hotel property is located on the next block on the right side down the street. This is likely the closest free parking spot to the hotel — although there are others which are close by as well.

Parking Reykjavik

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

From a different point of view facing southwest on the street known as Smiðjustígur, you can see my white rental car parked on the street in the center of the photograph shown above. I believe that the red car you see is parked illegally in a driveway and blocking access to it; but there appears to be someone in the car, just in case.

Parking Reykjavik

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Looking southeast down the street known as Skólavörðustígur, Hallgrímskirkja is easily the most recognizable church at its location in the center of Reykjavik and can be seen in many areas throughout the city — but note that available parking spaces on the street is scarce.

Parking Reykjavik

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Constructed in 1885, Laugavegur is one of the oldest streets in Reykjavík. In the summer season, a stretch of this street is closed to vehicular traffic and is for the use of pedestrians only — so no parking of vehicles is permitted on that street. This is the same street on which the The Icelandic Phallological Museum is located; but it is located further southeast where vehicular traffic is still permitted.

Parking Reykjavik

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

When crossing north of Laugavegur, Bergstaðastræti becomes Smiðjustígur, which is the street on which the Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre hotel property is located.

Parking Reykjavik

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

This view of Smiðjustígur — the photograph of which was taken from its intersection with Laugavegur — facing northeast illustrates the limited parking on the street. My white rental car can be seen in front of the line of vehicles parked on the street on the right; and one can see how narrow are the streets in this part of Reykjavík.

Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Center

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Just northeast of the hotel is the intersection of Smiðjustígur and Hverfisgata. In the distance is more street parking; but again, it is not plentiful.

Paying For Street Parking

Depending on where you park, either parking meters or ticket machines — the ones with which you pay and place a ticket in the window of your vehicle — will be available.

Information for parking on the street is as follows:

Parking Zone Pay Parking Hours Pay Parking Rates
P1 09:00-18:00
Monday-Friday; and 10:00-16:00
Saturday
320 Icelandic krónur per hour
P2 09:00-18:00
Monday-Friday; and 10:00-16:00
Saturday
170 Icelandic krónur per hour
P3 09:00-18:00
Monday-Friday; and 10:00-16:00
Saturday
170 Icelandic krónur per hour for the first hour and the second hour; and 50 Icelandic krónur each hour thereafter
P4 08:00-16:00
Monday-Friday
170 Icelandic krónur per hour

The parking meters accept MasterCard and Visa credit cards and debit cards — forget about American Express and other bank cards. If you want to pay with cash, the denomination of coins which are accepted include 5, 10, 50 and 100 Icelandic krónur. Keep enough coins with you — just in case the machines do not accept your foreign credit card or debit card.

If you do use coins, you can certainly add them to the parking meter to extend the amount of time you can park on the street. However, keep in mind that if you use a ticket machine, you cannot extend your time to park — rather, you must wait until just prior to the expiration of the ticket before purchasing additional time to park. Otherwise, you will wind up paying twice to park on the street.

You might notice that you can also pay for parking with a portable electronic device — but this option is primarily for residents of Reykjavík.

Parking Violation Fines

Regardless of what natives of Reykjavík may do, violating parking laws is never a good idea, as enforcement is known to be rather strict. Know that you very well may be fined for disobeying those parking laws.

Additional information pertaining to the procedures regarding what to do if your vehicle has been fined for either parking illegally or parking without paying the rate are found here.

The two types of parking violation charges are as follows:

  • Parking Meter Citations — Also known as extra parking fines, this fine is imposed on vehicles whose drivers did not pay for paid parking areas or for short or extra parking time. The amounts of the fines are:
    • 4,500 Icelandic krónur
    • 3,400 Icelandic krónur if the citation is paid in full right away
    • 6,750 Icelandic krónur if the charge is not paid within 14 days after the citation date
    • 9,000 Icelandic krónur for charges which remain unpaid after 28 days following the date of citation
  • Parking Violation Charges — These fines are imposed on vehicles where a parking violation occurs — such as parking in a marked no parking zone, parking on a curb or too close to a walkway, or other more specific offenses — when vehicles are parked illegally. The amounts of the fines are:
    • 10,000 Icelandic krónur
    • 8,900 Icelandic krónur if the citation is paid in full right away
    • 15,000 Icelandic krónur if the charge is not paid within 14 days after the date of the citation
    • 20,000 Icelandic krónur for charges which remain unpaid after 28 days following the date of citation
  • Parking in a Handicapped Parking Space — This fine is imposed for parking in marked handicapped parking spaces without a valid disability card. The amounts of the fines are:
    • 20,000 Icelandic krónur
    • 18,900 Icelandic krónur if paid in full right away
    • 30,000 Icelandic krónur if the charge is not paid within 14 days after the date of the citation
    • 40,000 Icelandic krónur for charges which remain unpaid after 28 days following the date of citation — and keep in mind that the amount of this fine is equivalent to approximately $342.00 in United States dollars

Summary

Parking on the street in Reykjavík is possible; but the cost and availability depends on where in the city you park. Parking can be rather scarce on the street, so if you plan on doing so, find a space prior to when the pay hours conclude — which is basically the same rule as in many other cities around the world where you pay for parking on the street.

Parking on the street on Sundays in Reykjavík is always free of charge; so you can technically park on the street from 4:00 on a Saturday afternoon until 9:00 on Monday morning. You may want to keep that in mind if you are able to maneuver your schedule when you travel to this city and have a vehicle to drive.

You can park for free on a Saturday in zone P4 — meaning that you can park for an entire weekend without paying a single Icelandic króna — if you do not mind walking to the center of the city.

Parking on the street in Reykjavík can be easy or difficult, depending on where you park and the time of day. If you cannot park on the street in Reykjavík, parking lots and garages are available.

The following list is of articles in generally chronological order of my trip to Iceland which I have written:

All photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Parking in Reykjavík: A Simple Tip on How I Parked My Rental Car Free of Charge”

  1. jasdou says:

    Thanks! Very useful, I ‘ve printed a map and marked down these spots. I am very much looking forward to my stay in Iceland!

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