Despite the country’s famous financial collapse in 2008 (and slow recovery that continues even now), prices in Iceland are still high compared to many other cities around the world. A beer in a bar will set you back about $8, a 12-inch pizza costs around $16, and in more upscale restaurants, you’ll have a hard time finding entrees for less than $40.
Those higher costs carry over to the accommodation too, with even bunk bed dorm lodging starting at around $30 per night. If you’re looking for something nicer and more private, the prices just keep rising, particularly during peak summer months when prices can be double the winter rate. The good news is that many hotels and guest houses offer perks like free breakfasts and kitchenettes to help offset some of the cost of dining. Below are some of the best budget options in Reykjavik.
Our House is a cozy guesthouse in the city center. Rooms are simple but comfortable and offer either single or double beds with two single-use bathrooms shared between the five rooms. The bathrooms have showers and tubs and even a sauna, and there’s a shared deck and a welcoming common room stocked with games, books, a TV and a computer for guest use (wifi is free). One of the best aspects about the guesthouse is the shared kitchen; the fridge and cabinets are stocked with staples like bread, butter and eggs to which guests can help themselves, and unlike many hotel kitchens that have tiny fridges and just two stovetop burners and one or two cooking pans, the kitchen at Our House has a full size fridge, stove, oven, microwave, toaster, coffee pot, and plenty of dishes, pots and pans. There’s even a washing machine where guests can do laundry and two bikes available for guest use.
Winter rates for double rooms start at $80 while summer rates are double, starting at $160 per night.
For a livelier stay, Kex Hostel is a perfect choice. Located in a former biscuit factory downtown, the hostel is known for its trendy cafe and bar which often hosts live music performances from local and international musicians. The cheapest double rooms have shared bathrooms, but rooms with private baths are available, as are dorm accommodations. There’s an outdoor patio, gym, laundry room, common room, and guest kitchen. Wifi is free and bikes are available to rent.
Double rooms with shared bathrooms start at $75 in winter and $150 in summer.
Located just steps from Hallgrimskirkja Church in the city center, Guesthouse Sunna is another great value. Though the cheapest rooms are pretty stripped-down (don’t expect more than a bed, desk, a few shelves and a nightstand) there’s free wifi and free parking and the shared bathrooms are only used by two or three rooms. Each floor also has a small shared kitchenette with microwave, mini fridge, and two stovetop burners. Breakfast is served each morning and includes eggs, toast, fruit, cheese, meat, coffee and juice, so you can fill up before heading out for the day.
Winter rates are $80 for a double room while summer rates jump to $145 per night. Rooms with private bath, as well as studios and apartments, are also available at a higher rate.
Room with a View
Room with a View is one of the more upscale accommodation options, and it’s ideal for those who want a bit more privacy and luxury (and don’t mind paying for it). The stylish apartments offer cd players, TVs, hairdryers, irons, free wifi, access to common Jacuzzis and a sauna, and and all have private bathrooms and kitchenettes. Each one has a great view of the city center and some have apartments even have dining rooms and Jacuzzi tubs. The apartments range in size to accommodate anywhere from two to ten people, but the smaller apartments are the most affordable.
One bedroom apartments that sleep two people start at $110 per night in the winter and $150 in the summer. Check rates on Priceline.
Sticking around for a while? You might find a better value with an apartment: Iceland vacation rentals.