With a variety of neighbourhoods, price points, and vibes to guide your decision to where to stay in Reykjavik, it can be difficult to be sure you’ve gotten the perfect place for you. So, to lend a hand, we’re going to go over a few facts about what you can find in this stunning city. With such tourist boom in recent years, Iceland has now more hostels and guesthouses than ever before. There is a continuous wave of new constructions and new accommodations being built to cater for the overwhelming number of tourists who wish to visit the land of fire and ice.
Where to stay in Reykjavik
Finding where to stay in Reykjavik is all about your needs as a traveller and budget, of course. If you wish to have the freedom to explore, the best choice is to find accommodation somewhere downtown. If you are in need of a base, you can most certainly find cheaper options on the outskirts. Also, don’t forget that Reykjavik can be a wonderful getaway to exploring the whole island with its wonderful landscape and surreal nature.
The main city center often called Miðborg, ‘the 101’, or simply downtown, is known for it’s fun, hip, and spiffy atmosphere. Frequented by both locals and tourists, it is truly the busiest part of the city. Staying here will provide you with quick access to the famous architecture and nightlife that the city has to offer. The flip side of that is the party here may go well into the night on weekends. So, light sleepers or those hoping to turn in early should shy away from this happening neighbourhood.
A favourite hotel in the 101 is the Alda Hotel Reykjavik. Located in the heart of downtown, this hotel provides Icelandic style, spacious rooms for a couple’s escape or a family unit. The room each have their own feel and will give you a taste of the country’s culture. With a myriad of amenities at your fingertips, find new friends at the bar downstairs or enjoy the healthy, hearty breakfast in the lobby before you start your day. This hotel has received spectacular reviews all over the internet, so their hospitality is truly on point.
Heading west of downtown is the more classy and residential Vesturbær. Home to the University of Iceland and surrounded by water on both sides, it is an excellent choice for a more laid-back respite. Walking to downtown for restaurants and museums is less than thirty minutes, and trading the business for the sea view is something many hope for. So, head here for a more relaxed vibe.
If you’re hoping to save a few dollars on the housing to spend elsewhere, check out the Oddsson Hostel. A new player to the housing scene, they offer a fully equipped suite to a bunkroom and everything in between. Starting around $27 dollars, this is incredibly difficult to beat for the quality Oddsson offers. You’ll have free access to the yoga classes offered here, and the Oddsson café is just a moment away. Whether you’d like to grab a beer, enjoy the sea view, or sing karaoke in a soundproof room, Oddsson has it.
For the families hoping to be near the botanical gardens, Reykjavik zoo, or desiring to relax in the hot springs, stay in Laugavegur. This valley section of Reykjavik provides a family-friendly atmosphere with a little less spiff than downtown, but with just as much hospitality. With easy day adventures out your door, this is an excellent choice if you’re bringing along the littles.
A Hotel that is known for its attention to detail and hospitality while still providing a Nordic feel might be the perfect selection for those hoping to stay in Laugavegur, Reykjavik Lights is a uniquely designed hotel still close to downtown. With each room decorated to reflect a different day in the calendar, the rooms are light, airy, and refreshing. Free private parking and breakfast with fresh bread are included, which is rare among Reykjavik hotels.
So, whichever district you choose to stay, you will be close to water, things to do, and magical food. Choose wisely what you’re hoping to get out of your stay in Reykjavik and how much you’re willing to spend.
Ella, Content Manager for trekbible, is a writer and content specialist with a predilection for learning and exploring new places and cultures around the world. With family scattered throughout the U.S. and South Korea, she loves to see cross-cultural influences around the world. Her favourite thing to do on her travels is to taste the local cuisine of each destination.