Like a really big Christmas present, Iceland is very exciting.

Unlike a really big Christmas present, Iceland is home to live volcanoes, a small stock of killer ice bears, and cannot be returned by letting your mother flirt with Santa.

In short, Iceland is clearly not a really big Christmas present.

Which is where I come in! To save you from the inconvenience of your holiday being anything less than Christmas based, I have written a SEISMICALLY INTELLIGENT guide to where to stay in Icelandfull of all the things you love, like Pringles and Biltong.

Whether you be underachieving arctic photographer, mum on a mission, or a very lost web-surfer, boy have I got an article for you.

Let’s ruffle some feathers…

Iceland landscape in the summer with mountains, river and flowers.
I would not be surprised if a friendly alien appeared and offered me a formal dinner invitation

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Where to Stay in Iceland

Has daddy’s money given you the buying power to backpack Iceland in style? Are you shivering in anticipation of a landscape as harsh, unforgiving and beautiful as an overachieving ex-girlfriend? Has the orbit of Venus sent you a sign to head northwards for good karma?

Wonderful! These are the finest choices of abode in all the land. My 3 best places to stay in Iceland…

Waterfall Lodge | Best Airbnb in Iceland

Waterfall Lodge

Whilst it is certainly not in the most affordable of price ranges, this Airbnb showcases the sheer beauty and luxury of Iceland at it’s finest. Located in Laxfoss, enjoy views of the Norðurá-valley, the Skarðsheiði mountain range and a super cute waterfall. The attraction of this lodge is its isolation in the pristine Icelandic wilderness, and when you return from chasing trails, take a break in the sauna to re-energise. If there ever was a way to break depression…

Bogarnes is a twenty minute drive away, and you can stock up on everything you need there!

Midgard Base Camp | Best Hostel in Iceland

Midgard Base Camp

Iceland is a place that was hand crafted by the Gods for adventuring, and where better to base those raucous escapades than the Midgard Base Camp? It’s family run, has some amazing spaces (included a rooftop hot tub with views of The Northern Lights), and can organise excursions. Located in Hvolsvöllur, it is your key to South Iceland.

Is it any surprise when I tell you they have their own stage as well? Maybe not. Anyway, this hostel slaps harder than an aggressive mink with massive hands. One of the top Icelandic hostels. A definite 9/9.

Siglo Hotel | Best Hotel in Iceland

Siglo Hotel

A surprising winner of my affection, the Siglo Hotel is one that peaks on charm, service, and an unbeatable location. Which I guess are pretty regular hotel criteria. There is a superbly stylish hotel hot tub overlooking the waterfront, and the details of every room make it subtly classy. You will also have access to a number of activities taking place in Siglufjordur, so get ready for hiking, fishing, and… …volleyball?

There are few competitors so well placed, consistent, or comfortably Icelandic.

Iceland Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Iceland

Overall Best Place to Stay in Iceland
Where to Stay in Reykjavik, Iceland
Overall Best Place to Stay in Iceland

Reykjavik

The capital of Iceland is Reykjavik, and is the most densely populated area in all of Iceland. Of course, that means that it’s the city that has the most hostels, hotels, Airbnbs and you’ll find some pretty awesome bed and breakfasts in Reykjavik as well.

Best Place to Stay in Iceland For Families
Where to Stay in Husavik, Iceland
Best Place to Stay in Iceland For Families

Husavik

When looking for the best city to stay in Iceland with kids, we have to recommend Husavik— lovingly referred to as the whale watching capital of Europe! In fact, during the summer, there is usually a 100% chance of seeing a whale each day!

Where to Stay in Iceland for Couples
Where to Stay in Laugarvatn, Iceland
Where to Stay in Iceland for Couples

Laugarvatn

As a positively tiny town, of only around 200 people, Laugarvatn drips charm. Situated in South Iceland, just about 56 miles from Reykjavik, Laugarvatn is actually very close to a lot of Iceland’s top sites such as the Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir.

Coolest Place to Stay in Iceland
Where to Stay in Akureyri, Iceland
Coolest Place to Stay in Iceland

Akureyri

Akureyri is a small city in Iceland that is filled with brightly painted wooden houses and plenty of cozy bars. Little known fun-fact, the stoplights are shaped like red hearts! How darling is that?

Where to Stay in Iceland on a Budget
Where to Stay in Reykjavik, Iceland
Where to Stay in Iceland on a Budget

Reykjavik

If you’re looking for the best city to stay in Iceland for the overall health and happiness of your wallet, Reykjavik is the way to go. Let’s be real. Iceland is expensive. When wondering where should I stay in Iceland on a budget, yessiree, the answer is Reykjavik.

Most Unique Places to Stay in Iceland
Where to Stay in Hvolsvollur, Iceland
Most Unique Places to Stay in Iceland

Hvolsvollur

Now let’s talk about tiny… Hvolsvollur is an absolutely teeny-tiny town located in South Iceland. It only has a population of 950 people! What makes staying in Hvolsvollur so unique is not just the sheer novelty of staying in such a tiny town, but also the number of wonderful hiking routes in the area.

Where to Stay in Iceland for Adventure
Where to Stay in Snaefellsbaer, Iceland
Where to Stay in Iceland for Adventure

Snaefellsbaer

Snaefellsbaer is a small town located in Western Iceland. It’s packed with incredible adventures waiting for you to get your adrenaline rush in!

Best Place to Stay in Iceland for Seeing the Northern Lights
Is Iceland safe to travel for families
Best Place to Stay in Iceland for Seeing the Northern Lights

Reykjanesbaer

Staying in Reykjanesbaer means you have easy access to seeing the Northern Lights if you rent a car.

The land of ice and fire is a must-visit. With incredible volcanos, waterfalls, glaciers and fascinating nordic culture, there’s plenty to do in Iceland. However, it’s got a bit of a reputation as an expensive destination and most of the sites are pretty spread out despite it being a relatively small country.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Iceland, as well as the best areas to stay in Iceland we have got you covered! As a sparsely populated country, Iceland has plenty of space and room to breathe. That means that lodging in Iceland can be truly special!

Icelandic geological rock formations and river
Iceland is a real-life version of Jötunheimr, the realm of the Norse giants…

Thankfully there are a few cheap hostels, especially along the golden circle route where most of the top Icelandic attractions are to be found (including many of the magical waterfalls). Backpackers should probably take a warm tent if they still want to be able to make it back to the airport, however.

Iceland’s Top Areas in Just 2 minutes

2 minutes? That’s surely not long enough to take down Iceland’s finest?!!? Well it is definitely not enough time to pack properly for Iceland, I will tell you that for free. Packing is a task that requires great care.

Anyway, here are some towns.

  • Reykjavik: The capital city of Iceland offers the best value for money across the whole country. For me, it also rates as the best place to stay in the whole of the country. Its transport links and access to tours and rentals make it an awesome base for exploring further, especially if you’re a backpacker.
  • Husavik: This small coastal settlement in North Iceland rates as the best place to stay for families in Iceland. The whole country is super safe so that’s nothing to worry about, but as the whale watching capital of Europe, you can keep the kids entertained! There are also some of the best Iceland hotels for families too with heaps of awesome facilities.
  • Laugarvatn: This charming tiny town is home to just 200 people and its laid back vibe is just perfect for couples looking to get away from it all. It’s still only a short drive from the capital too if you fancy a bit more action but the beautiful lake, mountain views and thermal springs make it a romantic spot.
Icelandic waterfalls with time filter to make them look extra cool
Look kids! You might get to go here if you behave extra extra well…
  • Akureyri: If you’re a bit of a hipster looking for the coolest place to base yourself in Iceland then you can’t beat Akureyri. Its colourful wooden houses, understated bars and the opportunity to partake in some epic extreme sports make it a super cool spot.
  • Hvolsvollur: This teeny-tiny town is one of the most unique places to stay in Iceland. It’s got funky rock formations, mountains, caves, waterfalls, and natural hot springs and it’s pretty off the beaten track too and not far from Iceland’s south coast if you want some seaside vibes.
  • Snaefellsbaer: If you’ve come here for adventure then Snaefellsbaer is the place for you. This small town (yeah, another!) has some awesome hiking opportunities and is close to some of the most impressive waterfalls on the island. From here you can also explore the black sand beaches and go caving too!
  • Reykjanesbaer: If seeing the Northern Lights is your main priority when it comes to visiting Iceland, then you’ve got to base yourself in Reykjanesbaer. You’ll still need to get away from the city lights but this area allows the easiest and quickest access to the areas known for the lights.

The 8 Best Areas & Towns in Iceland

Now it is the time to unleash the detail. Top picks, things to do, and occasional passing comments upon the beauty of the Icelandic. Icelandic topography. Just remember to pick a good time of year to go, because this little piece of rock can get chilly, some say.

1. Reykjavik – Overall Best Place to Stay in Iceland

The capital of Iceland is Reykjavik which is the most densely populated area in all of Iceland. Of course, that means that it’s the city that has the most hostels, hotels, and Airbnbs and you’ll find some pretty awesome bed and breakfasts in Reykjavik as well.

You can find everything from beautiful hotels that overlook the harbour to quaint Airbnbs with cosy kitchens alongside plenty of budget hotels too. There are also quite a few luxury hotels just outside the city centre too if you’re feeling a bit extra. The capital is a great place to start and end your golden circle trip from.

Where to Stay in Reykjavik, Iceland
The Icelandic are so good at Lego they built an entire church out of it (okay not really).

If you’re looking to stay in Reykjavik, then you’ll want to stay in the heart of the capital city in the popular Midborg neighborhood. You’ll keep your pulse on the city and get a real feel for the city’s vibe! Plus, you really don’t want to miss out on any of the action, do you? (ED: Never!!!!!)

In the small, compact downtown neighborhood of Midborg, you’ll get to discover some of the best shops, cafes, and restaurants Iceland has to offer. It’s the best place to stay for nightlife, as it’s the capital’s dedicated entertainment zone! While there are other great neighborhoods worthy of exploring, staying in Midborg ensures a lively stay!

Downtown Reykjavik Studio | Best Airbnb in Reykjavik

Downtown Reykjavik Studio

Offering style, class, and a location that will make you dribble with anticipation, this studio is one of Reykjavik’s best Airbnbs. Offering a superb space for up to 5 guests, the modern and subdued décor offers a surprisingly cosy atmosphere, and the kitchen is well stocked. Despite it’s excellent location, it is quiet and calm, making it perfect for relaxing during your first few days in Iceland. The city centre is literally out the front door!

Loft HI Hostel | Best Hostel in Reykjavik

Loft HI Hostel

Scandi-chic and eco credentials combine to make the Loft HI Megazord, *ahem, hostel. This excellent space is awash with the buzz of travellers, a four hour happy hour (happy evening?) and comfortable bunking. With a rooftop terrace and a love for lively pub crawls, drag events and karaoke, it is one of the most social hostels in town. If you’re looking to kick off an excellent Icelandic trip in style, don’t hesitate to book the centrally located Loft HI…

The Reykjavik EDITION | Best Hotel in Reykjavik

The Reykjavik EDITION

If you’re into dark and mysterious vibes that make you think of romance and movie villains, then the Reykjavik EDITION is the slice of class you’ve been looking for. The sauna and hot tubs are the answer to any long day of exploration, and the on-site bar will resolve any lingering niggles you may have…

Each room is equipped with a private bathroom, flat screen TV and safety deposit box. Rooms are less edgy, bright, and actually pretty cheerful.

Things to Do in Reykjavik

  1. Tour the towering cathedral of Hallgrimskirkja
  2. Be a classic tourist and go watch some whales!
  3. Taking in a show at the Harpa Concert Hall
  4. Investigate the extremely interesting and not at all alcoholic Reykjavic craft beer scene. A pleasant evening for all involved…
  5. Meander around all the curious museums, including the Arbaer Open Air Museum to the more risque Icelandic Phallological Museum
  6. Decide that you would like to see some of downtown Reykjavic after all, so book onto a guided walking tour.
  7. Visit one of Reykjavik’s local heated pools

2. Husavik – Best Place to Stay in Iceland For Families

Boasting exceptionally low-crime rates Iceland is a very safe country. It’s a great place to travel with the family. When looking for the best city to stay in Iceland with kids, we have to recommend Husavik— lovingly referred to as the whale-watching capital of Europe!

In fact, during the summer, there is usually a 100% chance of seeing a whale each day in this area of North Iceland! Now that’s a statistic we can get behind… Nothing is worse than going whale watching with the kids and leaving with nothing but disappointment.

Husavik port with a big green hill and rain clouds. Great for families!
Looks fine for a swim. You want to go first?

As Husavik is a tiny settlement in North Iceland, you definitely want to get your accommodation secured well in advance. There aren’t a ton of options out there! But we dug deep and found the best ones for you and your family.

2 bedroom cottage cuddled into nature | Best Airbnb in Husavik

2 bedroom cottage cuddled into nature

This two-bedroom/ one-bathroom apartment has a total of three beds. That means that sleeping up to four people is easy. There’s also a porch area with epic views of the mountains from this cute cabin. Perfect for families and small groups! Expect a short walking distance to all local attractions. And enjoy whipping up family meals in the fully equipped kitchen!

Arbol Guesthouse | Best Guesthouse in Husavik

Arbol Guesthouse

This historic house in the centre of Husavik offers simple and clean rooms. However, you’ll love the nearby scenery! You’ll be situated just a short walk from the harbour, close to a wonderful spa. In fact, the Husavik Whale Museum is just 1,650 feet from the guesthouse. You won’t be complaining about sore feet when staying at the Arbol Guesthouse.

Fosshotel Husavik | Best Hotel in Husavik

Fosshotel Husavik

A pet-friendly hotel in the heart of Husavik, this gem features an in-house restaurant and a large, stylish lounge. You can easily walk to the port, where boats depart for engaging in whale watching. If you’re a lucky boy, you may even get a room with marine themed décor. The tour desk can help you out with any other excursions you fancy doing whilst in the area.

Things to Do in Husavik

  1. The whole family will be dazzled watching the humpback whales swim through the frigid waters of Skjalfandi Bay
  2. Walk around Husavik and soak up some local knowledge. History & facts. Love it.
  3. You can always add a puffin-watching tour to your trip too. Those quirky little birds sure are entertaining!
  4. There’s also the Exploration Museum that focuses on space missions
  5. Get even closer to those giant mammals by grabbing your own whale watching boat, perfect for seeing them in their natural environments!
  6. Walk around the beautiful Lake Myvatn and explore the surrounding areas

3. Laugarvatn – Where to Stay in Iceland  for Couples

As a positively tiny town, of only around 200 people, Laugarvatn drips charm. Situated in South Iceland, just about 56 miles from Reykjavik, Laugarvatn is actually very close to a lot of Iceland’s top sites such as the Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir.

What makes Laugarvatn where to stay in Iceland for couples is the romantic environment. Of course, there is plenty of privacy in this isolated settlement. However, it’s the natural surroundings that truly shine. Surrounded by hills, forests, fertile countryside, and even lava fields, Laugarvatn is a natural paradise and some of the most wonderful Iceland hotels are located here.

Where to Stay in Laugarvatn, Iceland
Photo: Diego Delso (WikiCommons)

When comparing this geothermal pool to the more popular Blue Lagoon, you’ll find that Laugarvatn’s Fontana Spa is smaller, more intimate, and much more affordable. You and your loved one will be swept off your feet, and plopped down into geothermal bliss, in Laugarvatn.

As we’ve already mentioned, Laugarvatn is a tiny settlement. That means that it is clearly the smart call to book in advance to secure your spot at your favourite Iceland hotels listed below!

Golden Circle Green Lodge | Best Airbnb in Laugarvatn

Golden Circle Green Lodge

You and your loved one can enjoy this spacious apartment all to yourselves. While there are quite a few rooms to rent in Laugarvatn, soak up some privacy in this dreamy Airbnb. As an added bonus, you’re just a one-minute walk to the rejuvenating waters of the Fontana Geothermal baths, but if you want something more private you’ve got your own hot tub.

Héradsskolinn Guesthouse | Best Hostel in Laugarvatn

Héradsskolinn Guesthouse

Ok, so it’s not a hostel but there aren’t many so budget hotels are gonna cover this gap in Laugarvatn! The Héradsskolinn Guesthouse is actually built into a 1920s school building and so has some great large spaces!

You’ll love the stylish, brightly decorated rooms. And the lake and mountain views are to die for! There also is a bistro, cafe, and bar located inside the hotel itself, which makes everything oh-so-very convenient. You and your significant other are sure to remember your stay here at the memorable Héradsskolinn Guesthouse.

Farmhotel Efstidalur | Best Hotel in Laugarvatn

Farmhotel Efstidalur

This hotel is set on a farm in the Golden Circle. Expect a very nice and unique stay on this farm! You’ll love the rustic, wooden cabins and the views of the cows out in the barn. When you’re not distracted by the cute cows, you’ll be dazzled by the views of the surrounding mountain! Our favourite part about the Farmhotel Efstidalur is that during the summer, this hotel offers horseback riding and traditional cooking classes! Talk about memorable!

Things to Do in Laugarvatn

  1. Lake Laugarvatn is great for romantic strolls or a spot of fishing
  2. There is even a spa at Lake Laugarvatn where you can relax in the rejuvenating geothermal baths
  3. Hunt out the off-the-beaten-track Bruarfoss Waterfall, it’s well worth the effort!
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4. Akureyri – Coolest Place to Stay in Iceland

Akureyri is a small city in Iceland that is filled with brightly painted wooden houses and plenty of cosy bars. Little known fun fact, the stoplights are shaped like red hearts! How darling is that?

The population of Akureyri sits at around 18,000, so it is larger than other settlements, but a bit smaller than the capital. Given its middle size, it’s easy to explore on foot. You’ll definitely be charmed by the traditional houses on Hafnarstræti Street! Of course, a trip to Akureyri wouldn’t be complete without taking a dip in the Akureyri geothermal pools. We could sure use a dip in those relaxing waters ourselves right about now…

Where to Stay in Akureyri, Iceland
18000 people means there is at least one shop! Stock up while you can 🙂

What we really adore about Akureyri, and what massively adds to it being the best city to stay in Iceland for the cool factor, is the opportunity to do some extreme sports!

It’s hard to go wrong with the darling hotels in Iceland’s treasure-of-a-town Akureyri. Things are pretty tightly placed together too, so you won’t have to stress about being too far from where you want to be. You’ll pretty much always be right in the middle of the city! Very convenient for those of us who are bad with maps…

Day Dream K19 | Best Airbnb in Akureyri

Day Dream K19

This airy two bedroom apartment can hold up to 6 guests, and has natural light that the outside is envious of. With an understated yet delicate décor, guests can rely on the available amenities to make sure their stay is suitably straightforward. Blessed with an excellent Akureyri location, you can stumble to the majority of local attractions within minutes. It even comes with 2 free parking spots. What a treat!

Akureyri Backpackers | Best Hostel in Akureyri

Akureyri Backpackers

In this highly functional, and ever-so cosy backpacker hostel, you’re sure to enjoy a great atmosphere and budget-friendly rates. There is a small bar inside the hostel which encourages socialization and making friends fast. Also, there is a washer and dryer that guests can use for an additional charge.

Hotel Akureyri Dynheimar | Best Hotel in Akureyri

Hotel Akureyri Dynheimar

If you want to feel rather special whilst staying in Akureyri, this is the place to do it! Every room has a unique movie theme, and rather than being tacky, it makes this hotel quirky and exciting. They’re also growing some herbs downstairs in a big lab. Service is superb, there is an onsite bar, and just next door is a restaurant where you can find a superb dinner.

Things to Do in Akureyri

  1. A trip to Akureyri wouldn’t be complete without taking a dip in the Akureyri geothermal pools
  2. Discover Akureyri’s zipline infrastructure and soar above a glacial river like an albatross.
  3. Be charmed by the traditional houses on Hafnarstræti Street
  4. In the winter, you can take snowmobiling tours around the mountain, or you can even go skiing down Hlidarfjall
  5. Head out to the gems of the area on a Lake Myvatn & Godafoss Waterfall tour.
  6. If you’re here in the summer, check out the awesome whale watching opportunities too.
  7. Indulge the fantasy you have always had of being pulled along by a pack of gorgeous huskies iwith a taste of husky hiking!

5. Reykjavik – Where to Stay in Iceland on a Budget

If you’re looking for the best city to stay in Iceland for the overall health and happiness of your wallet, Reykjavik is the way to go. Let’s be real. Iceland is expensive. When wondering where should I stay in Iceland on a budget, yessiree, the answer is Reykjavik.

Not only will you be close to the airport and to great public transportation options, but you’ll also have the cheapest choices for lodging in Iceland available to you. Plus, there are a lot of free things you can do in Reykjavik too!

Icelandic Sculpture by the sea
Not sure this would work as a boat to be honest

While Iceland isn’t exactly known for having lots of great budget options, staying in Reykjavik means you don’t have to break the bank. There are plentiful hostels and affordable accommodation options. Don’t worry, we chose the best of the best for you!

Ok, so you might end up paying the same price for a hostel here as you would for most luxury hotels in Thailand, but hey, we’re working with what’s available!

The Old Bicycle Shop | Best Airbnb in Reykjavik

The Old Bicycle Shop

While there certainly are more fancy Airbnbs out there, this one is perfect for budget travellers. It’s for a one-bedroom rental inside an apartment with a shared bathroom. However, this central located Airbnb will save you lots of transportation woes and worries all while saving you some dough!

KEX Hostel | Best Hostel in Reykjavik

KEX Hostel

Whilst I would still be tempted to book into Loft HI, for variations sake, you could also try the enigmatic KEX Hostel. Any hostel who have uploaded a picture of a beer are on the right track in my view. They have an excellent location in the heart of the Reykjavik city centre, which means great access to pubs, clubs and live music venues. It is also a ‘painless’ distance from late night munchies. Whatever that means. There is a heated outdoor patio, bar, lounge and café onsite too. Another of the top tier Reyjkjavik hostels.

Exeter Hotel | Best Hotel in Reykjavik

Exeter Hotel

With an onsite restaurant, sauna and bakery (a definite underrated trinity) the Exeter Hotel has clawed it’s way into a prime spot in the hotel hierarchy. The Solfar Sun Voyager and Hallgrímskirkja Church are easily reachable on foot, as well as the Laugavegur shopping street. If you want one of the best hotels in Reykjavik, you don’t need to look any further!

Things to Do in Reykjavik On a Budget

  1. Take the free walking tour around the capital city
  2. Discover the beaches of the south on a south shore adventure!
  3. Hike up the nearby Mount Esja, one of the closest trails to the city
  4. Wanna hit the beach, head to Nautholsvik… just maybe pack a wetsuit!
  5. Get further afield and pump a little adrenaline with a fiendishly exciting quadbike experience.
  6. Check out the website Hotpot Iceland for information on the many other cheaper and often free geothermal baths as a budget alternative to the blue lagoon.
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6. Hvolsvollur – One of the Most Unique Places to Stay in Iceland

Now let’s talk about tiny… Hvolsvollur is an absolutely teeny-tiny town located in South Iceland. It only has a population of 950 people! What makes staying in Hvolsvollur so unique is not just the sheer novelty of staying in such a tiny town, but also the number of wonderful hiking routes in the area. One of our favourite hikes involves seeing the strange rock Drangurinn that sits by the farm Drangshlíð, which is under the towering Eyjafjöll mountains.

Hvolsvollur is also just a hop, skip, and a jump away from some of Iceland’s other beautiful sites like natural caves and lovely waterfalls as well as being on the south coast of the country. If you’re looking to take some epic photos in Iceland, then this is a great base.

Where to Stay in Hvolsvollur, Iceland
Photo: Diego Delso (WikiCommons)

So choosing to stay in the tiny town of Hvolsvollur will bring you even closer to your travel companions, and to some of Iceland’s most beautiful landmarks. Stay off the beaten path in Hvolsvollur, and cosy up with all that is, well, incredible!

Surprise, surprise. Hvolsvollur is a tiny town with very few places to stay. Obviously, you won’t find a Marriott or a Hilton in sight! That being said, these special accommodation options are where true memories are made. We love the unique factor and the charm!

Villa on the South Coast with a Volcano View | Best Airbnb in Hvolsvollur

Villa on the South Coast with a Volcano View

This two-bedroom villa sits on the outskirts of Hvolsvollur near the volcano itself. From outside your kitchen window, you can bask in the views of Hekla, the most active volcano in all of Europe! Plus, there is a hot tub where you can cosy up and watch the Northern Lights. It’s also not far if you want to explore Iceland’s south coast as well. Talk about special!

Midgard Base Camp | Best Hostel in Hvolsvollur

Midgard Base Camp

Midgard Base Camp is more than just a hostel— it’s an experience! With everything from a rooftop hot tub and sauna, to views of the grazing horses and volcanoes, Midgard is where the magic happens. A shared kitchen is available, and laundry facilities are available for an additional fee.

Hotel Hvolsvollur | Best Hotel in Hvolsvollur

Hotel Hvolsvollur

Hotel Hvolsvollur sits in the ideal location, near the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall and the Helka Volcano. The rooms are nice and spacious, and the hotel is within walking distance of a restaurant and supermarket. Breakfast is included!

Things to Do in Hvolsvollur

  1. Spend the day relaxing at Seljavallalaug, Iceland’s oldest swimming geothermal pool.
  2. Decide that you would like to spend the day in a car, and join a Landmannalaugar jeep tour, which is actually pretty cool.
  3. One of the country’s most famous waterfalls, Skogafoss is just a short drive away
  4. Another well-known waterfall nearby is the 200ft Seljalandsfoss.
  5. Take part in one of the best evenings on the island by dining with a Viking and going horseback riding!
  6. Head out to the coast and marvel at the mysterious volcanic sea stacks and basalt columns of Reynisdrangar.
  7. If you want to go glacier hiking then this is a great place from which to book your adventure
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7. Snaefellsbaer – Where to Stay in Iceland for Adventure

Snaefellsbaer is a small town located in Western Iceland. It’s packed with incredible adventures waiting for you to get your adrenaline rush in! You sure won’t be bored in Snaefellsbaer.

Where to Stay in Snaefellsbaer, Iceland
Every landscape in Iceland hits like a brick from 6 metres.

Snaefellsbaer is a tiny municipality that has a population of just under 1,700. Accommodation is sparse, so make sure to book well in advance so you don’t throw a wrench in your adventure plans!

The Freezer | Best Hostel in Snaefellsbaer

The Freezer

The Freezer Hostel is actually an award-winning hostel that is known for its huge lounge and tiki bar! With room for 22 people spread across four dorms, it’s a happy hostel that hosts regular programs and activities from karaoke to live music to pub quizzes! The Freezer is the perfect hostel for those who are looking for an adventure buddy or to team up with other people for hikes or adventures.

Gotuhus: Sea View Apartment | Best Rental in Snaefellsbaer

Gotuhus: Sea View Apartment

The Gotuhus Sea View Apartment sits just outside of Snaefellsbaer, technically in the tiny village of Hellissandur. Since, Snaefellsbaer is so tiny, sliding over into the neighboring settlement is to be expected to find the best places to stay. This sea view apartment is set right on the beachfront. We love that it also features free bicycle rentals for guests!

Gamla Rif | Best Hotel in Snaefellsbaer

Gamla Rif

Gamla Rif is a guesthouse sitting in a 120-year-old farmhouse. It is simple, rustic, and charming. There is also a shared kitchen and lounge for guests to take advantage of. So, the best part of Gamla Rif is the large sun terrace that has great views of the harbour along the glacier!

Things to Do in Snaefellsbaer

  1. Make sure to hike out to the Svodufoss waterfall on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It’s a fairly powerful 10m high waterfall that cascades down from a cliff of basalt columns.
  2. Flex your cash by designing a private Snaefellsnes peninsula adventure, perfect for getting offbeat and natural…
  3. Take a tour of Vatnshellir Cave and travel down into the East to explore an ancient lava tube!
  4. Visiting the black-sand beach of Djupalonssandur complete with its own shipwreck.
  5. Set eyes on the magnificent Snaefellsbaer volcano in Snaefellsjokull National Park

8. Reykjanesbaer – Best Place to Stay in Iceland for Seeing the Northern Lights

Reykjanesbaer is a municipality right on the Southern Peninsula of Iceland that includes the towns of towns Keflavík, Hafnir, and Njarðvík. Situated close to Reykjavik, Reykjanesbaer has great public transportation and has some awesome museums too!

Staying in Reykjanesbaer means you have easy access to seeing the Northern Lights if you rent a car. Keep in mind you’ll need to get away from the city lights and park and wait to see the infamous and oh-so-glorious Northern Lights! Just find a spot between Keflavik and the Blue Lagoon and just sit and wait.

where to stay in iceland for the northern lights
Look! The Aurora Borealis! It is green.

On the other hand, if you’d rather head someplace special, you can always drive up to the Thingvellir National Park and hope for a great show! Expect about a little more than a one hour drive.

Reykjanesbaer is a fairly big municipality in Iceland, relatively speaking. So accommodation is abundant. We selected the crème de la crème to ensure a pleasant stay for all you Northern Light hunters out there!

2 bedroom condo in Keflavik | Best Airbnb in Reykjanesbaer

2 bedroom condo in Keflavik

Rent an entire apartment all to yourself in Reykjanesbaer. This two-bedroom apartment has a total of three beds, so sleeping four people is a breeze. Also, you’ll be just ten minutes from the Keflavik airport, and just a twenty minutes drive from the marvellous Blue Lagoon!

Start Hostel | Best Hostel in Reykjanesbaer

Start Hostel

Start Hostel is a new airport hotel located close to the Keflavik airport. It’s a modern hostel that has spacious facilities that are known for comfort! You can expect a peaceful and quiet stay at this hostel. Perfect for stocking up on rest after staying up late at night looking at the glimmering Northern Lights.

Hotel Duus | Best Hotel in Reykjanesbaer

Hotel Duus

Hotel Duus is a beautiful 3-star Iceland hotel that has a bar and a spacious terrace. At Hotel Duus, you get great value for your money! We love that it’s situated close to the small harbour too so you can enjoy a nice stroll along the water. Also, you can’t beat a hotel that offers a free shuttle drop-off service to the Keflavik international airport.

Things to Do in Reykjanesbaer

  1. Check out the Icelandic Museum of Rock n’ Roll and the Viking World Museum, great if you want to get out of the cold!
  2. Go Northern Lights spotting of course! Good places include Thingvellir National Park and the area between Keflavik and the Blue Lagoon.
  3. Visit Stekkjarkot, a century-old fisherman’s cottage
  4. Cross the bridge between where the North American and European tectonic plates meet.
Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

FAQs on the Best Places to Stay in Iceland

Here’s what we’re usually asked about where to stay in Iceland, the top areas and accommodation in general.

What To Pack For Iceland

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Iceland

In the land of ice and snow, there is a small chance that you may be consumed by a savage land mammal or fall into a large ice hole. Make your mum happy and pretend your ready for either situation by purchasing a healthy glob of insurance. It is the only way…

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Where To Stay in Iceland

The “Land of Fire and Ice” sure is filled with wonders that far surpass the word “nice.” Iceland is brimming with natural wonders, from geothermal pools to glaciers, to waterfalls that are sure to take even the most humdrum of travellers’ breaths away.

While staying in Reykjavik is perfect, especially for budget travellers, there are so many other beautiful spots in Iceland waiting for you to explore! From the adventures that await you in Snaefellsbaer, to the charming 1920s schoolhouse Héradsskolinn Guesthouse that is ready to welcome you in Laugarvatn, there are so many beautiful places to go and wondrous things to do in Iceland!

Looking for more info on travelling to Iceland?
Glacial waterfall and bizarre geological rock formations in Iceland
I sincerely hope you brought enough clothing. Good luck!