This article offers you options about where to stay in Reykjavik, Iceland, the most northern capital in the world
If you want to explore Reykjavik or perhaps whole Iceland you are at the right place. This guide gives you an insight about which are the best places to stay in Reykjavik, the smallest capital of the Nordic countries.
Tourism in Reykjavik: Overview
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland, but still a small sized city on a world scale. It has approximately 125.000 inhabitants and lays on 273 km2. It is located on the shores of the Nordic sea in the Southwestern part of Iceland.
Iceland has several domestic airports just one major international hub, Keflavík International Airport which is 50 km far from Reykjavik. The Keflavík Airport is growing exponentially in recent years, as low cost airlines are investing in routes to Iceland. Visiting Iceland might also be a good idea if you are traveling from North America to Europe and vice versa. WOW Air is a low cost carrier from Iceland and has great flights connecting Iceland to other countries.
If you are flying to Osaka you can find the cheapest flights on Jetradar. For those looking to rent a car in Osaka, check RentalCars.com.
There are different coaches available from the airport to reach Reykjavik. The other common solution is to rent a car right at the airport. If you are up to an adventure you can take a ferry or a cruise from some of the major cities on the Nordic sea to get to Reykjavik.
Reykjavik welcomed more than 2 millions tourists in 2017 and the numbers are growing. Each year more and more people are interested in the amazing nature around the city and the unique cultural inheritance of the Vikings.
Best Place to Stay in Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik is one of the smallest capitals in Europe, and it is easy to get around by foot. There are 10 districts in the city, but most of the sights and museum are in the Downtown area or very close.
Downtown is the best area to enjoy your stay in Reykjavik. It offers entertainment to everyone by the perfect combination of cultural programs and nightlife joy. The area around the Lake Tjörnin is a good reference to your stay in Reykjavik. This small lake is pretty central, surrounded by beautiful buildings and gives shelter approximately for 50 different types of birds. Its location, right next to City Hall, is not just a sight by itself but the home of the Tourist information centre. Some of the best areas in downtown Reykjavik are 101 Reykjavik and Vesturbær.
If you are interested in Iceland’s culture and history you should definitely visit the National Museum of Iceland. If you are more into modern architecture you cannot miss the Harpa, the full glass concert hall of Reykjavik. You can see the city’s breathtaking view from the tower of the Hallgrímskirkja Church. If you are looking for a great restaurant and a special experience visit the Perlan museum. It offers a real size model of a glacier cave and a 360o panorama of the city.
From the harbour of Reykjavik there are several boat trips available. You can go on a whale watching tour or checking out the puffins at the nearby islands. Perhaps the most famous phenomenon you can see here is the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. Boats are going out almost every night to catch the amazing view.
Budget Accommodation in Reykjavik
Reykjavik Downtown HI Hostel – one of the best budget accommodation options in Reykjavik.
Hotels in Reykjavik
Kvosin Downtown Hotel – just a short walk to the Lake Tjörnin, this property is an excellent choice to stay in Reykjavik.
Hotel Ódinsvé – another excellent option to stay in a very central area of Reykjavik.
Cost of Travel in Reykjavik
The prices in Reykjavik are above average but the city is also extraordinary. The cheapest option is staying in a hostel, and you can expect prices similar to those in other Nordic capitals. There are, however, hotels in all price ranges, including luxurious ones.
A lunch menu in the city can cost around 2500 ISK. A la carte choices and dinner courses are more expensive, but also cheaper meals are available in street food trucks and fast food restaurants.
Public transport is fairly priced for its reliable services. A day ticket costs 1700 ISK a 3 day pass is 4000 ISK. However most of the tourists just walk around the city or take a bike during the summer months.
You can consider purchasing a Reykjavik city card which contains the public transport and free entrance of some of the sights and the thermal pools. Some of the sights are free anyway, but others require 1500 kronors or more for entrance.
Best Months to Visit Reykjavik
Reykjavik’s winter is not as cold as you would imagine the average temperature is around 0 0C normally. However it could go down under -15 celsius degrees time to time. On the other hand the summer is not really hot, with the hottest days hovering around 25 celsius degrees but it is more likely around 15 oC. The climate of the autumn and spring stays somewhere in between.
As in most of the nordic cities during the summer there are extra long hours of sunshine and never ending felt darkness in the winter. But these long dark hours let you admire the amazing Northern Lights and enjoy all the winter activities such us the glacier caves.
In the summer you can participate in great programs like Icelandic pony riding and hiking around the wonderful national parks of the island. All of them are easily reachable from Reykjavik after you discovered the museums and the harbour.
Other Resources for Traveling in Northern Europe
If you are traveling in Northern Europe you may want to check our guides to this region. Check where to stay in Oslo and the best places to stay in Stockholm.