10 Best Alternatives to Uber for Solo Female Travellers in Iceland
We have become a little spoilt for choice with Uber, haven’t we? Gone are those days of booking transports in advance or thorough planning about transportation, all thanks to Uber!
But Iceland is unique that way! It does not have Uber yet. But you have nothing to worry about. The lack of Uber won’t stand in the way of you traversing across the country like a pro!
Iceland has plenty of alternatives to take care of its tourists! In fact, you may end up enjoying the break from Uber for once!
1. Taxis in Iceland
Now you are already aware that you cannot Uber to your destination in Iceland. But on the brighter side, you can use Iceland’s indigenous taxis!
One of the reasons why I always prefer Uber is I am super scared about being taken for a ride and being overcharged! Falling prey to random charges is the most common story for tourists. But in Iceland, most taxi services have official meters. Hence you need not worry about being misguided.
If you are looking for super luxurious services and want to travel in a limo or fleet of exotic cars, you can check out Icy Dreamland Luxury Travel, Iceland in Luxury, Icelimo Luxury Travel, and Prime Tours.
For regular cab services, you can use Reykjavik Private Car, Snæland Travel, BSR, Taxi Iceland, Borgarbílastöðin, and Hreyfill. Most of these cab services have been operating in Iceland for years and are trustworthy.
Airport transfers are the most popular ones, and taxis are easily available. If you are planning to move around in Reykjavik, last-minute cabs are no headaches either. However, if you are planning to go to off-beat locations, it is advisable that you book the cab in advance in order to have a hassle-free trip! You would not want to postpone your plans just because of the lack of availability of cabs!
Drivers are friendly and also very professional
Many cab services are family-run businesses and pay a lot of attention to customers’ needs. The drivers are usually extremely polite and professional and even graciously help you out with the luggage. So if you are not worried about spending some money shuttling in cabs, Iceland’s taxi services are a great option to move around.
Some tourists worry about language barriers. Well, the drivers are well trained and speak English! So trust me, you would not miss Uber! You can sit back and enjoy the ride. The plus is, you can even have a great conversation with the drivers who can give you great local suggestions!
You will have access to wi-fi on most cab services which is a bonus!
2. Iceland’s public bus
Public buses are a saviour when it comes to touring Iceland on a budget. Considering you are on a solo trip, you would want to save money on transport! Iceland’s public bus network is called Stræto bs. You can download the app in advance in order to acquaint yourself with this bus network. While it has 27 bus networks inside the town of Reykjavik, there are 21 networks outside it.
Try to use the route planner where you can choose your pick-up point as well as your destination. You can also put the departure or arrival time, and you will find a list of services that you can access. The bus service also has wi-fi! So even if it takes you a little longer to reach your destination, you can continue to Skype with your friends or family and enjoy the bus ride.
You can opt for a bus passport if you are visiting Iceland between June to September. It will make it super convenient for you to move around. Buses typically last from 7 am to midnight.
Mosfellsbær, Seltjarnarnes, Hafnarfjörður, Kópavogur, and Garðabær are the areas which are easily accessible by bus from Reykjavik.
3. Other bus services
There are other bus services which you can book well in advance, and it will help you with different tours. You must remember these services may not cover some legs of the country.
For airport transfers, some other options are Flybus, Airport Express, and Airport Express Door to Door.
Sterna buses, Reikevic excursions, and TREX Travel Experience are some of the other services that you can rely on for airport transfers or guided tours. A lot of people prefer Trex Travel Experience for the extra legroom! This service offers trekking and hiking tours along with a daily highland bus to Thorsmork and Landmannalaugar! They also offer Northern lights tours.
4. Walk around the main city and unknown roads
Your overreliance on Uber would be put to the test in the absence of it! I was surprised at how many unnecessary rides we took when I started exploring the city on foot. Walking is an unparallel option if you want to know the nooks and corners of a city. You can walk around downtown amid the endless number of cafes, restaurants, bars, and boutiques!
Walking will ensure that you are not adding the extra pounds of bakes that you are eating while on the solo trip and also help you not overshoot your budget!
You would be surprised how many obscure beautiful corners you end up discovering while walking that you would not have stumbled upon otherwise! Iceland is also a safe tourist destination for women, which makes it easier for solo travellers to go around without a worry in the world!
5. What about the good old bicycle as a mode of transport?
Now do not laugh at me because I am going to give away a secret. Growing up, I never learnt how to use a bicycle! It was on one of the solo trips that I realised riding a bike was one of the most affordable and joyous ways of exploring a new country. Not to mention the reduced carbon emissions of this green mode of transport!
You can rent one in Reykjavik for around $40 a day if you are opting for one.
Honestly, I found it therapeutic to cycle around amidst the beautiful landscapes of Iceland. What I found slightly challenging was to negotiate the difficult terrain in phases. I suggest you plan out the routes where you can ride your bike if you are not a pro! If you are moderately confident, then do not stress yourself with a bicycle on difficult terrains. Stick to the mainland, and you will be fine!
If you are using your cycle, make sure you throw in a raincoat or a jacket as the weather changes rapidly. You would not want to end up drenched in your hostel room. I would also recommend you check the tyres are thick if you are venturing out with your cycle and carry all tools to fix the cycle. The last thing you want on a solo trip is to get stuck without any help!
6. Domestic air routes
The common air routes within Iceland are Egilsstadir to Akureyri, Isafjordur, the Westman Islands, and Husavik. This may sound like an expensive option, but you need to plan well in advance and keep an eye for the tickets when the prices go down. Domestic flights definitely remain one of the quickest ways of travelling around Iceland—cover more in less time! Some of the domestic airlines that you can check out are Air Iceland Connect, Eagle Air, Norlandair.
Though flight cancellations are common with the rapid change of weather in Iceland, they are still actually a great option in winters when the extreme climate can keep some routes out of bounds!
Make sure you are not carrying a lot of luggage while you are taking domestic flights.
7. Car rental
Car rental is one of the best options if it does not burn a hole in your pocket. It gives you flexibility in timings to plan the day’s travel, leaves plenty of room for a last-minute change in plans, and saves you time! If spontaneity is your go-to thing, then just rent a car!
You may also try to take a couple of like-minded fellow travellers on board who may be heading for the same sightseeing tours so that you can split the cost. Plus, some good company never hurts!
It is best that you take a car rental from within the Reykjavik airport for slightly cheaper rates. You will also find some rentals barely five minutes away from the airport.
There is a range of car rentals that you can choose from. Since safety is always the first concern during solo trips, you would be relaxed to know most of the car rentals are verified. Also, make sure to read the reviews before you choose the rental!
Let me just give a disclaimer here—self-driving can get a little hectic if you are driving for very long hours. So make sure you make some stops, have plenty of snacks to munch on, and are carrying a water bottle. I always keep a playlist handy for the car ride during long driving hours to keep monotony away!
Also, make sure your phone is well charged so that you navigate using the GPS, and do not forget to throw in a copy of a map!
8. Boat rides
The wanderlust that you feel with boat rides in Iceland is a superlative experience! If you are a quick-paced tourist, then this mode of transport is probably not a good option for you. But if you have the luxury of time, then do consider a ferry route. The ferry rides will provide an original experience that will bring you closer to nature.
The advantage of ferry rides is they will help you explore the hidden gems in Iceland.
Westfjords Ferry Iceland, Hornstrandir Ferry, Grimsey Iceland Ferry, Hrisey Ferry Route, Papey Ferry, Videy Ferry are the routes to get around by ferry in Iceland.
Now, this option may seem out of a movie but worth it if you are in Iceland! Considering Iceland is one of the safest places in the world to be a woman, taking random car rides with strangers is pretty much a norm here!
If you have never hitchhiked in your life and are not feeling too confident about it, just stick to the regular routes for this option. Consider a hitchhike from a gas station, or even better, the ring road, or from a tourist spot. When you consider taking a lift, keep your travel etiquette intact! The car will be unable to pull up if the traffic is not slow or there is no room! Also, do not forget to thank the locals or fellow tourists for the ride!
It may take you quite long before you manage to find a lift if you are looking to hitchhike on the not-so-busy routes.
You can also carry a tent to be on the safe side so that you can camp at a safe place if you are relying on hitchhiking as your only mode of transport.
You will return with a bagful of interesting stories to share and local insights after hitchhiking!
10. Packaged tours
Some of us do not like to be in charge while on trips and would prefer someone else do it for us! And that is completely okay! What’s the harm in relaxing while a tour operator helps you plan the itinerary and takes you around?
Iceland offers a range of guided packaged tours—these can be one day long or a week-long or more, depending on your choice! I suggest you find out what is the right fit for you. You may even want to do a nine-day volcanic hike trail. Go for what your heart wants, and the tour operator will help you plan it.
One of the advantages of packaged tours is you can be among people despite being on a solo trip. I always love making new friends on a solo trip, and hence packaged tours are often blessings!
For those of you where money is not a constraint, packaged tours are possible in solo cars and even in limousines! For others, you have to rely on tourist buses which are pretty comfortable and have ample legroom.
I hope now you are convinced that Uber is not a constraint when it comes to moving around Iceland. In fact, the lack of Uber will help you mix and match the best of transports and have an authentic experience! The only thing is it may need a bit of thorough planning!
Be it the ferry rides or the self-driven car rides, a bicycle ride, or walking around, Iceland will leave you spellbound!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.