Where to Stay in Reykjavik in 2024 🇮🇸: Best Places to Stay in Reykjavik

Whether you seek walking trails or nightlife, Reykjavik can surprise you with diverse districts beyond just rainbow-colored architecture. For a peaceful escape, maybe you’ll love a hillside guesthouse with valley views in Hlíðar. If traveling with kids, Laugardalur offers hot spring pools and open recreation spaces. Solo sightseers could nest in downtown’s heart of Reykjavik for world-class museums and late pubs. And couples might swoon for romantic Vesturbær on the harbor with technicolor homes, intimate bistros, and strolling along coastal paths.

Oup pick of the best hotels in Reykjavik 🔝

With this variety of neighborhoods, discovering places to stay in Reykjavik can overwhelm. As a resident for 16 years now, let me be your local guide to match the perfect area and ideal address to launch your own journeys, whether by campervan, car or travel tours. Just picture the mode of exploration and get ready to come home after icy glacier treks…and I’ll take care of the rest!

So where do you see yourself staying as you awaken to Reykjavik and all of Iceland’s wonders at your fingertips?

Quick Guide to Reykjavik Best Places to Stay 📋

1. Downtown District – Best Place to Stay in Reykjavik for the First Time 🔥

Let me tell you, as soon as I started wandering those charming streets, I instantly fell in love with downtown Reykjavik! With its funky cafés, cool galleries, and live music filling the air near Old Harbor, this energetic district completely stole my heart.

💃 City center: Downtown district is extremely walkable and that puts you right in the thick of it. Bustling Laugavegur Street, which is lined with vibrant shops and restaurants near Ingolfstorg Square where you will start your explorations.Stop by the Tourist Information Centre to pick up a map and check out the latest events listings to plan your day.When it’s time for lunch you can either visit Hlemmur Food Hall with its many budget-friendly options or head straight to Kol Restaurant for some best langoustine soup.

🌇 Beautiful views: Make your way north down to the Sun Voyager sculpture for those iconic selfies with the snow-capped peak of Mount Esja as your backgroung. Then climb up their panoramic viewing terrace on the Harpa Concert Hall through an elevator that overlooks the bay and Old Harbor Area – their café makes a perfect hangout spot also.Don’t forget visiting Reykjavik Art Museum windows with sweeping harbor views as well.

🍔 Delicious eats: Brauð & Co bakery has the best coffee and pastries in town, so if there’s a long queue outside its door join it to taste their freshly baked sourdoughs and cinnamon rolls.If you are looking for dinner in a cozy place, book a table at Three Coats Bistro located in Pandora House where rye bread is served together with a fantastic fish stew.

Reykjavik Art Museum
Reykjavik Sanat Müzesi
Reykjavik Art Museum
Reykjavik Sanat Müzesi
Brauð & Co
Brauð & Co
Dillon
Dillon Whiskey Bar
Port 9
Port 9 Wine Bar

🎭 Evenings entertainment: In the evenings, visit Microbar or Port 9 Wine Bar as they offer quite some nice pub hopping experiences and make sure you attend live night performances by local groups such as Dillon Whiskey Bar and Boston bar near Laugavegur.For storytelling nights, visit The Icelandic Sagas Pub.For nighlife adventure go to bars and clubs around Ingolfstorg square!

All hotels in Downtown District →

Best hotels in Reykjavik City Center 🏨

Expensive Hotels (€250 and up)

  • Reykjavik Residence Apartment Hotel spacious, homelike apartments in city center with fully-equipped kitchens and Scandi chic design.
  • Hotel Borg by Keahotels elegant art deco 5-star hotel located in a landmark building downtown overlooking Austurvöllur square.
  • Canopy by Hilton Reykjavikstylish new hotel in the heart of the capital with sleek, modern rooms with local design elements and easy walking access to Harpa Concert Hall.

Medium Price Segment: (€150-250)

  • Heart House Guesthouse – family-owned guesthouse near Hallgrímskirkja church with warm hospitality and homemade breakfasts.
  • Skuggi Hotel – contemporary hotel near Hlemmur with affordable rates and floor-to-ceiling windows offering city views.
  • Hotel Reykjavik Natura  – contemporary hotel near Reykjavik Airport with Scandinavian-inspired decor

Budget Hotels: (up to €120) 

  • Reykjavik Downtown Hotel – cozy boutique hotel in central location offering friendly service with nice breakfast included.
  • Hotel Fron Reykjavik – boutique hotel in central spot with trendy in-house bar and café serving freshly brewed coffees and teas.
  • Travel Inn Reykjavik – budget lodging near BSI bus station with guest kitchen, free parking and good transport links.

2. Laugardalur District – Best Neighborhood to Stay in Reykjavik for Families 👪

From hot springs to excellent art exhibits, Laugardalur District in Reykjavík exposed me to an amazing side of the city! They will fascinate you through their mixed display of urbanity and countryside while unraveling your curiosity.

🏞️ Stunning Nature: You’ll totally enjoy dipping yourself into the warm waters of Laugardalslaug pool, which is surrounded by quite park trails.You can also wake up early for a jog or take a casual walk down to the mini local zoo to see Icelandic farm animals. Joggers and cyclists may want to try out the waterfront paths with refreshing sea air. Another choice is driving out to places like Engey Island and see gulls flying around it from Skarfagarður Lighthouse.

🌉 Cool Buildings: The best place for taking photos is Höfði House – its white architecture contrasts sharply with Reykjavík’s colourful skyline.

🖼️ Artistic Treasures: There are many open galleries near Engjateigur’s main stretch as well as loads of sculptures that have been carefully placed in solidarity within nature at Ásmundarsafn exhibitions in Reykjavik Art Museum. Visit Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum which has wealthy bronze and basalt figurative busts and reliefs made by its founder.

⚓️ Harbor Life: At the busy Skarfabakki Harbour just across the bay, chat with fishermen unloading the morning catch while noisy Arctic terns circle for scraps. Pop into Reykjavík Maritime Museum to trace Iceland’s fishing history. Kids love trying on real oilskin sailor jackets and hats!

With great sights and landscapes right nearby, plus enriching culture around each corner, Laugardalur has a lot of memorable stuff for travelers of all types right in Reykjavík’s heart!

Where to stay in Laugardalur District? 🏨

Expensive Hotels (€250 and up)

  • Tower Suites Reykjavik  suites hotel near harbor offering apartment-style accommodation with harbor and mountain views.

Medium price category: (€150-250)

  • Foss Hotel Reykjavik large hotel in convenient location with warm Icelandic hospitality and stylish rooms.
  • Hilton Reykjavik Nordica – Hilton hotel downtown with chic rooms, onsite spa and excellent breakfast selections.
  • Alda Hotel – design focused hotel in Laugardalur with Nordic minimalist décor, friendly service and good value.

Budget-friendly Hotels (up to €120)

  • Lækur Hostel – сontemporary hostel along scenic coastline within walking distance of downtown with affordable private rooms and dorms, shared kitchen, sauna and hot tubs.

3. Vesturbær District – Best Area to Stay in Reykjavik for Northern Lights 🏞️

🌅 Picturesque Setting: As I roamed through the Reykjavik’s Vesturbær, I realized that it was full of life and history with a strong artistic touch and breath-taking sea-view at almost every bend.
Positioned just across downtown Reykjavík, Vesturbær gives you an opportunity to take some great shots of the distant glaciers and mountains. Among other amazing things, you must not overlook epic sunsets on Faxaflói Bay that usually fills up the sky behind Harpa concert hall.

🎨 Colorful Culture: Visitors should consider such attractions as Reykjavík Museum of Contemporary Art, Lucky Records— Iceland’s biggest record store, or Bíó Paradís—an indie film theater. Make sure you go to Fríkirkjan church where there are concerts held at least once in two weeks. For a glimpse into Icelandic sagas – go to the Saga Museum and for some inspiration visit Fiskihöllin Fish Market – a place crowded with artists from all over the country.

🐋 Maritime History: For more information about Vesturbær’s whale heritage, visit Whales of Iceland museum or Reykjavík Maritime Museum.To find out more about this aspect you may take a look at Landakotskirkja Church – the oldest wooden building in Reykjavik which dates back to the 18th century.

🔥 Lively Entertainment: In the evenings, enjoy a traditional Icelandic meal at homestyle restaurant Puffin before catching a glow-in-the-dark Lava Show to experience volcanic eruptions and northern lights through innovative multimedia displays at Aurora Reykjavik Museum. After, relax in the geothermal waters of Vesturbæjarlaug pool under the midnight sun.

All hotels in Vesturbær →

Where to Stay in Vesturbær? 🏨

Expensive Hotels (€250 and up)

  • Hótel Reykjavík Saga –  4 star hotel with nice city views, excellent dining and helpful staff.
  • Black Pearl –  boutique hotel situated in a restored timber home in downtown Reykjavik, offering uniquely decorated rooms blending modern and antique furnishings with an upscale ambience.

Mid-Range: (€150-€250)

  • Refurinn Reykjavik Guesthouse  – cozy renovated guesthouse downtown with shared lounge serving free hot drinks around the clock.
  • Grandi by Center Hotels  – harborfront 4-star hotel in Grandi art district with bright, loft-style rooms showcasing views.
  • Icelandair Hotel Marina – conveniently located on the waterfront with a renowned restaurant serving fresh seafood.

4. Hlíðar District – Best Location to Stay in Reykjavik on a Budget 💸

Reykjavík’s picturesque Hlíðar District charmed me with its hills, valleys, funky architecture, and cultural attractions. With days spent in the area’s art and culture, I left with a deeper connection to Iceland’s landscapes and people. This unique district revealed an intriguing blend of North and East to me in one stunning Nordic location.

☀️ Golden Shores: Walking the golden sands at Nauthólsvík beach with its geothermal springs and views of snowy Esja mountain was the ultimate way to spend a bright summer afternoon. You’ll dig the Icelandic innovation on display at the artificial beach where hot spring water keeps swimmers cozy no matter the weather!

After, stop into the cute hut cafe onsite for en_reykjavikdrinks or a seaside snack. And check the events schedule – you may get lucky and catch a summer concert right on the beach!

👀 Sweeping Views: Perlan museum’s crazy cool glass dome seems to hang in midair as it clings to Öskjuhlíð hill overlooking Reykjavik. From the circular viewing deck, check the stunning 360 degree panoramas of the capital with icy fjords and glaciers sparkling on the horizon – the views will stick in your memory for sure! The natural ice cave carved inside the hill makes for an unexpected subterranean delight to escape summer heat.

🎨 Artistic Wonders: Prepare to have your mind blown by the massive modern art collections exhibited at Kjarvalsstaðir museum. Epic canvases by renowned painter Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval depicting Iceland’s landscapes and folktales will occupy you for hours. And the museum stays open late into the evenings!

Perlan museum
Perlan Müzesi
Perlan museum
Perlan Müzesi
Perlan museum
Perlan Müzesi
Kjarvalsstaðir museum
Kjarvalsstaðir müzesi
Kjarvalsstaðir museum
Kjarvalsstaðir müzesi
Reykjavík's Grand Mosque
Reykjavíks stora moské
Reykjavík's Grand Mosque
Reykjavíks stora moské

🕌 Cultural Gems: In this country of Lutheran Christian churches, an Ottoman-style mosque is an eye-catching surprise! Reykjavík’s Grand Mosque built in the 1990s warmly welcomes respectful visitors who want to quietly observe the unusual Islamic architecture and décor up close – be sure to dress appropriately of course.

With awesome art immersion, stunning nature, and cultural surprises all in its beautiful setting, days spent wandering Reykjavik’s Hlíðar District will stick with you long after your wanderlust draws you away!

Best Reykjavik Hotels in Hlíðar 🏨

Expensive hotels (€250 and up)

  • 22 hill Hotel – modern elegance and panoramic Reykjavik views from stylish rooms atop this centrally located boutique hotel.
  • Hotel orkin –  hotel with Nordic-style rooms, friendly service and good breakfast.

Mid-Range (€120-€250)

  • Hotel Klettur – a modern business hotel with bright rooms, located near companies like CCP Games and attractive to tech and business travelers.
  • Alba Guesthouse – affordable family-run guesthouse near Laugardalur Park with shared kitchen and nice outdoor area.

Budget Hotels (up to €120)

  • Bus Hostel Reykjavik – hostel near the central bus station with private and dorm rooms, free WiFi and lively social atmosphere.
  • Igdlo Guesthouse – affordable guesthouse with shared dorms and private rooms and communal kitchen.

Best Districts & Hotels in Reykjavik on a Map 🗺

FAQs about Visiting Reykjavik ❔

What are the best areas to stay in Reykjavík?

The best areas to stay in Reykjavík are the downtown area, which puts you steps from top attractions, nightlife and dining, or quiet yet accessible neighborhoods like Vesturbær by the coast, offering scenic harbor views within a residential setting. More budget lodgings can also be found further from the city center such as near Laugardalur Park.

Where do most people stay when visiting Iceland?

Most visitors to Iceland opt to stay in the capital city of Reykjavik, which offers the greatest variety of hotel and transport options, in addition to being the international flight hub and kick-off point for Golden Circle tours and other popular regional day trips. Other common places to stay are quaint towns along the scenic South Coast like Hvolsvöllur or Vík.

How many days do I need in Reykjavík?

You need a minimum of 2-3 days to see Reykjavik’s top attractions like Hallgrímskirkja Church, Harpa Concert Hall, the Sun Voyager sculpture, and excellent museums while also having time to experience highlights of Icelandic culture, cuisine, and energetic nightlife in the city.

How long is the drive from Reykjavík to Blue Lagoon?

The drive from Reykjavik to the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is approximately 45-50 minutes covering around 35 miles, heading southeast from the capital mostly along scenic Route 41with epic landscapes including mountains, lava fields, and the stunning Blue Mountains peninsula.

How do I get to the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik without a car?

Getting to the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik without your own car is convenient via direct shuttle buses. Several bus tour companies like Reykjavik Excursions and Gray Line Iceland provide transfers to the lagoon throughout the day, handling the roughly 45-minute drive each way. Booking ahead online is recommended as the shuttles can fill up. But with numerous daily departure times, grabbing a Blue Lagoon bus suits travelers without cars who want easy transportation directly to and from the famous spa.

Where do most people go in Iceland?

Most visitors to Iceland travel the scenic «Golden Circle» route in the country’s south, which connects Reykjavik to top attractions like Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and the geothermal Haukadalur valley with erupting geysers. The route packs stunning landscapes into a convenient day trip loop by car or bus tour.