Location, location, location. If you, like me, travel without hiring a car and without wanting to spend half your time working out the local transport system, then you’ll want to stay in walking distance of the main attractions whenever possible. In Reykjavik that’s pretty easy – the city center is small, with much of what you’ll want to see nearby, and the tour buses leaving for further flung excursions like The Golden Circle and the Northern Lights do so from the center of town.
The other thing about Reykjavik is the wind. When it blows there is ice in it. The last thing you want is to be having to walk long distances back to your hotel day or night. Trust me, I’ve made that mistake and it is COLD. I once saw a child blown over by a particularly evil gust of wind, seriously. So, here are some centrally located and affordable options:
- Reykjavik Backpackers. Laugevegur 28. This is at the center of the bar, café and shopping action in the main shopping street. My 19 year old nephew stayed here and had a great time.
- Kex Hostel. Skulagata 28. It’s relatively new, a retro-styled backpackers offering both shared dorms or private rooms. It’s a little way from the main drag of Laugevegur, but right on the edge of the harbor and the downtown area so still a good location.
- Our House. Karastigur 12. Up the hill between Laugevegur and the hilltop church Hallgrimskirkja (which you can see from all over town making it easy to find your way home). This is a great location and more guesthouse than backpackers. It even has a sauna.
Because Iceland is expensive, I like to be able to cook at home and therefore sometimes tend towards the apartments rather than dorms. But be careful because they can be tiny – I stayed at Einholt and the room was a fraction the size of that in the photos. They can also be a bit of a cold walk away from the center of the action though Reykjavik is a quiet and safe place to walk around.