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Visitors fall instantly in love with the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. Travel here in the long summer, when the days and nights are filled with sunshine, or wrap up warm to visit in winter: the small-town charms and big-city attractions of Reykjavik do not diminish, even in the most inclement weather.
You’ll be treated to welcoming bars, cosy restaurants, world-class cultural attractions, a wild music scene, and the chance to hop into geothermal pools to shake the chills from your bones.
Sitting in Faxaflói Bay, this city has real soul. Families, groups, singles, and couples will all find something special to attract them back again and again.
Reykjavik hotels also provide an ideal base from which to explore southwestern Iceland, where many of the country’s prime attractions are located. The Blue Lagoon, Geysir, and the thunderous falls of Gullfoss are all within a 90-minute drive of the city. Organising car hire in Iceland is the best way to get around. But, by staying in a hotel in Reykjavik, you can also take one of the many day trips that run from the capital.
Once you’ve booked your cheap flights to Keflavik International Airport (KEF), you can start looking for hotel deals in Reykjavik. With one search on TravelSupermarket, you can compare prices on a range of hotels in the capital, using the filters to find the perfect place to stay.
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Hotels in Reykjavik are a mixed bunch. There are fairly bland but good-value budget hotels, and fairly bland luxury hotels too. Then there are divine palaces of hospitality and pleasure, with a price tag to match. In between, there is everything from cheerful and cheap to glorious and wickedly expensive...
The city centre, or downtown, offers the easiest access to the best sights, sounds and smells of this tantalising destination. Open our map view and you’ll see the majority of hotels clustered around downtown’s Austurstraeti and Laugavegur Streets. The location of most of Reykjavik’s best bars, shops and sights, plus the frequency of day-trip departures from this area, makes downtown the ideal location for tourists.
The harbour is part of downtown and a pleasant place to stay, though sea-view rooms demand premium prices.
And the downtown end of Laugavegur Street is an ideal place to stay if you want to mingle with the locals and sample the best of Reykjavik’s nightlife. Pack earplugs if you book hotels around here though, as late-night noise could be tiresome.
Many visitors are drawn to the long days of summer (and when we say long, we mean long: the sun doesn’t set until after midnight for most of June, rising again before 3am). The summer months command premium hotel prices as a result. However, locals will tell you that you don’t know what you’re missing if you avoid winter, as cheap hotel deals and the chance to see the northern lights are worth the cold, the short days, and occasional snow.
Search for hotel deals in Reykjavik on TravelSupermarket. Filter by price, facilities and star rating, and check guest reviews at a glance. Find the ideal hotel. Book direct with the provider. It’s that simple.
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The lively nightlife in Reykjavik belies the range of peaceful activities on offer. Check out some of the best…
Top five attractions
A mineral-rich, geo-thermal spa with warm bathing waters that are said to heal many ailments, the Blue Lagoon is easily accessible from Reykjavik. Once there, slip into the water, slap on a mud mask and relax.
The Pearl (Perlan)
This landmark building is worth the half-hour stroll from downtown. The dome-shaped structure offers shops, eateries, a fascinating museum, plus great views of the city and beyond from the outdoor terraces.
Hop on an excursion or hire a car to make your own way around this hugely popular tourist route that loops from Reykjavik and takes in 300km of Icelandic beauty. Highlights include Strokkur, a dramatic geyser that spews water and steam some 40m skywards every five minutes.
Grasagardur (The Botanic Garden)
You might not expect a botanic garden in chilly Iceland, but this diminutive Reykjavik beauty showcases some of Iceland’s most unusual plants. Taste local treats in the greenhouse at Café Flora (open between May and September).
Reykjavik’s eye-catching cathedral looks like an elaborate fountain-pen nib, uprooted from its shaft and plonked at the top of a hill. It’s quite expensive to climb the tower (around £5), but the elevated views of downtown Reykjavik and the bay are worth it.
Reykjavik is cool – and we’re not talking about the weather. Here are just a few of the annual happenings…
Hafnarfjordur Viking festival; June: Drinking horns at the ready for six days of celebrating like a Viking at this port town, just ten minutes from Reykjavik. Ancient arts and crafts are sold alongside sword-fighting and archery demonstrations. The traditional Viking restaurant is not to be missed.
Reykjavik Jazz Festival; August-September: Mark the end of the summer with the smooth sounds of jazz. Contemporary and traditional jazz sounds can be heard for five days as Reykjavik attracts some of the biggest names in the genre.
Iceland Airwaves; October/November: Winter brings an urban beat to the streets of Reykjavik, with a host of hip artists playing at venues around the city. Local and international talent, served over ice. It doesn’t get cooler than that.