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Where to Stay in Reykjavik? 2 Great Hostels

Reykjavik is expensive and that includes the hotels and hostels. We traveled at the ages of 24 and 27, so we decided to stay in hostels for a more social atmosphere. Though we did choose private rooms in the hostels for a bit more privacy. We chose two different hostels to stay at so that we could get different experiences and be in two different parts of the city. Our choices were based on the top rated hostels from various hostel review websites. Overall we were happy with this decision, but a private room, even in a hostel will cost you about $150 per night. We stayed several nights in the Downtown Reykjavik Hi Hostel and then Kex hostel. These were the best hostels to stay at in Reykjavik. 

Downtown Reykjavik Hostel:

If you're looking for a calm, quiet place to stay this hostel is ideal! It was definitely clean, comfortable, and quiet with relatively spacious rooms and a private bathroom in the room. Sheets and towels are provided, though you do have to make the bed yourself. It's important to note that shampoo, conditioner, and body wash were not provided, and breakfast is not included. The staff was friendly and helpful, they provided us with things such as clean towels and cups when we asked.


The kitchen has everything you need to store food and cook, but it is detached from the rest of the hostel and rather cold in there making it not exactly ideal for hanging out beyond just cooking and eating. The reception area has a warm, comfortable seating area ideal for hanging out, but overall there was not a lot of social interaction. Both the kitchen and the reception area were mostly empty and when there were people, no one really spoke. We were not sure if this was because of the time of year or if it's just a more low-key hostel. If you have a lot of early mornings and are not relying on a hostel to meet people, this is a perfect place to stay!   

Kex Hostel:

This is a very cool, trendy hostel with a much more social atmosphere, but you do have to know what you're getting yourself into. There is a lot going on at this hostel and it is not the best place to get good sleep. The location is good for the most part since you can walk to the city center easily and buses will pick you up and drop you off right out front. The hostel is an old biscuit factory- it's a bit dingy, making it feel somewhat dirty. The decorations are really cool, I would classify it as hipster. It's not the most traditional hostel. The first floor has an upper-scale, trendy bar/restaurant so it brings in a separate crowd from those staying at the hostel including locals. Most people staying at the hostel will not be paying those prices to eat and drink at the restaurant. Additionally, there is an event space in the back that people rent out that has even more people coming through. There was a baptism party one of the nights we were there. AND on the very first floor there is another event/art studio.


On Saturday night there was a concert going on downstairs on the first floor until at least 1:30am and we could hear every bit of it from our room. Each floor has their own kitchen where people will cook and hangout, and some people will hang out on the first floor in areas away from the bar/restaurant since it did not seem to be an issue to bring your own alcohol down. The hostel is a contrast between typical hostel and the hostel trying to be some swanky upscale casual all-in one type of place. We are more accustomed to hostels where everyone in the hostel is staying there and hanging out, this is not the case here. We really did enjoy meeting and hanging out with people at this hostel, a welcome change from Downtown Hi Hostel. Regarding the rooms themselves, they were on the smaller side, but the beds were already made for us which was nice! We did not have our own bathroom in the private room, but there were a variety of bathroom options including locker-room style open showers and private bathrooms with showers.

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