If you want to have the vacation of a lifetime, head to picturesque and stunning Iceland. This nordic country sits right in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, almost directly between Canada and Europe, and is considered a European country.
Iceland has comparably few people, and you could travel through its incredible wilderness for even hours or days without seeing a soul.
The vast majority of Icelandic residents live in the capital city of Reykjavik. Reykjavik is an excellent place to make your home base if you want to enjoy some incredible hikes or otherwise tour the country.
Why You Should Visit Iceland
Iceland is one of the most naturally diverse countries on the planet, making it a massive hub for nature lovers and adventurous souls. You can find virtually any type of landscape there, including volcanos, mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls.
Since it’s relatively close to the Arctic Circle, temperatures tend to be pretty chilly, even during the summer months. Still, visiting Iceland is an experience like no other. In addition to the natural splendor on the ground, you’ll also see incredible things in the sky.
For example, the Aurora Borealis is breathtaking. There’s also plenty of marine life to see, including whales, and if you travel to Iceland during the summer months, you will enjoy long days drenched in sunshine.
Once you’ve decided to visit Iceland, it’s time to choose the right hotel. Fortunately, we have you covered in that area.
The 15 Best Hotels in Iceland
These top Iceland hotels cover all ranges of budgets and needs. There’s sure to be something that suits your tastes on this list. Plus, you’ll love the traditional hospitality of Icelandic people. Read on to see the best hotels in Iceland.
- Location: Tryggvagata 18, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
- Average Price: $530
The Black Pearl Apartment Hotel is one of the premier hotels in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik, and you’ll enjoy staying right in the lap of luxury when you visit.
It’s exceptionally conveniently located steps away from the harbor, and you’ll enjoy all of the comforts of home, like high-speed WiFi and complimentary amenities. Rooms at the Black Pearl Apartment Hotel come with full blackout curtains, great for the summer months.
Plus, the floors are heated, which is a lifesaver after exploring the tremendous Icelandic wilderness. With restaurants, museums, and attractions nearby, you really can’t get more centrally located than the Black Pearl Apartment Hotel.
- Location: Mosató 3, 801 Selfoss, Iceland
- Average Price: $496
Selfoss’s 360 Hotel & Thermal Baths is a beautiful spot to splurge a little on your Icelandic vacation. It’s also a great place to get some work done or catch up on those emails if you need to because there’s a desk in every room.
Plus, you’ll enjoy a flat-screen television and a complimentary buffet breakfast. As with many of our top picks, the 360 Hotel & Thermal Baths is located just shy of 40 miles away from the airport.
All of the concierges speak multiple languages, including English, and you can get anything you need any time of day. It’s a beautiful place to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the capital and soak up some incredible nature.
- Location: Herjolfsgata 4, 900 Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland
- Average Price: $53
Budget travelers will undoubtedly want to check out the Puffin Nest Capsule Hostel. Although the capsules are smaller than standard rooms, they’re the perfect place to go to relax after a long day of hiking.
Guests will enjoy a shared kitchen and communal lounge to interact with other travelers. You’ll also have plenty of amenities, like electric tea kettles, televisions, microwaves, and even a balcony in some instances.
Check availability to see what’s on offer. Puffin Nest Capsule Hotel is conveniently located just a short distance from Skogar and Hella.
- Location: Kriunesi Vatnsenda, Kópavogur, 203 Reykjavík, Iceland
- Average Price: $200
Hotel Kriunes is another gem located just a few short kilometers outside Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik. Boasting fabulous views of Lake Ellidavatn, this high-end hotel with budget prices has on-site free parking, WiFi throughout the property, and a great restaurant right at the hotel itself.
You will enjoy complimentary tea and coffee, a sauna and hot tub, and a shared terrace with a fireplace.
You can also rent bicycles, kayaks, or boats to explore the stunning lake right outside. It’s relatively close to scenic Heidmork Natural Park, and there’s a golf course close by as well.
- Location: 13 Sólvellir, 350 Grundarfjordur, Iceland
- Average Price: $111
Stoo Guesthouse and apartments are right in the beautiful Grundarfjordur region of the country and are a great place to go if you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking. You can take advantage of their complimentary WiFi and parking when you’re at the hotel itself.
Although all units vary, some of them have kitchens, refrigerators, and microwaves. There are plenty of trails right around the guesthouse, plus a garden where you and your family can unwind in style.
It’s close to Stykkisholmur and Budir, and the airport is about 50 miles away. So although you will be firmly enjoying yourself in nature, you’ll also have access to any amenities you might want or need.
- Location: Nesvegur, 5, 350 Grundarfjordur, Iceland
- Average Price: $159
Grundarfjordur Bed and Breakfast is an excellent spot to home base in Iceland because not only can you stay there, but you can also leave your luggage there when you travel.
In addition, with free WiFi, an on-site bar and restaurant, and individual kettles in each room, you really will want for nothing when you stay at Grundarfjordur Bed and Breakfast. The views are also astounding.
Enjoy stunning views of the mountains or sea, and even go out whale watching on one of their tours. If you love nature and animals and want an authentic and idyllic slice of Iceland, it doesn’t get much better than this.
- Location: Dalbraut 2, 780 Höfn, Iceland
- Average Price: $115
The Milk Factory in Hofn, Iceland, is a beautiful place to go if you want to see the Vatnajokull glacier. Many of the rooms at the Milk Factory feature stunning views of the glacier itself, while others overlook the gardens or the mountains nearby.
You’ll enjoy free parking and WiFi when you visit, and every room has a nice, private bathroom. Nature and outdoor activities are the name of the game at The Milk Factory, specifically golfing, horseback riding, and bicycling.
You can rent bicycles for free right on-site. If you want to explore the best that Iceland has to offer on your own, try the Milk Factory.
- Location: Hrífunes, 880 Hrífunes, Iceland
- Average Price: $251
Glacier View Guesthouse in Hrifunes is situated right near an immense glacier and provides luxe rooms and fun common areas where you can meet other guests and even organize hiking trips.
There’s a sun terrace and a garden, plus free WiFi and continental breakfasts for all guests.
The Glacier View Guesthouse is reasonably close to both Skogar and Vik, so that you can split your time between the many hikes in both of those areas. Plus, their staff is super friendly, so you can always get good tips on where to hike from them.
- Location: Svínafell 1 Nýjatún Langatorfa, 785 Svínafell, Iceland
- Average Price: $309
The Potato Storage is one of the most charming guesthouses in all of Svinafell, and as with many of our top choices, you’ll enjoy free parking and WiFi when you go there.
Each guest room is artfully decorated and has a kettle, private bathroom, and stunning views of the nearby mountains. You can also have a microwave if you wish.
The Potato Storage is pretty close to Hof. You can even hike there if you’re feeling ambitious. It’s also an excellent place for couples to go for a romantic getaway.
- Location: Héradsskóli, 840 Laugarvatn, Iceland
- Average Price: $82
The reasonably priced Heradsskolinn Historic Guesthouse also has an excellent location on the Golden Circle. If you love hiking, you should definitely consider putting this guesthouse on your list.
It doesn’t get better than this historic gem with amazing views of Lak Laugarvatn and the Hekla Volcano.
There’s also a cafe, bar, and concierge right on-site, and you’ll find complimentary WiFi all around the facilities. You can stay in a shared dorm room to save some money or opt for a private room for just a little bit extra.
- Location: Hafnarstræti 98, 600 Akureyri, Iceland
- Average Price: $100
Located right in Akureyri, Akureyri Backpackers is a good budget option for people who want to stay in a slightly more luxurious place but still save money and enjoy a friendly community.
There’s complimentary WiFi, a swimming pool, hot tubs, and an on-site cafe and bar. You will also be able to use a communal kitchen for your meals.
Akureyri Backpackers rents out cars, and their staff can organize different tours. Ask them about horseback riding, rafting, or sightseeing when you arrive. They’ll be happy to set up something unique for you.
- Location: Bankastræti 14, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
- Average Price: $165
B14 Apartments & Rooms is an affordable option right in lovely Reykjavik. If you’re looking for a pretty close spot to everything, this hotel has you covered.
It’s a few steps away from the Laugavegur shopping district, and you’ll be very close to plenty of other attractions too. As with most of our top picks, there’s complimentary tea and coffee, and you can get high-speed WiFi virtually anywhere on the property.
With private bathrooms, beautifully decorated rooms, and excellent staff, B14 Apartments & Rooms are a fabulous option for all travelers.
- Location: Snorragata 3, 580 Siglufjörður, Iceland
- Average Price: $397
Siglo Hotel is an excellent four-star option with everything you might want from home right at your fingertips. You’ll find an excellent on-site restaurant, concierge, and room service any time of day or night.
Plus, there’s complimentary WiFi anywhere on the premises. One of the things that really sets Siglo Hotel apart is the fact that it has a multitude of different rooms.
So whether you need a family-style space or prefer to stay in a smaller area, you’ll find it right at the Siglo Hotel. Plus, the vast majority of the rooms have exceptional sea views, and you can get a hot breakfast every day.
- Location: Fákafen 11, 108 Reykjavík, Iceland
- Average Price: $66
Reykjavik’s B14 Hostel is a good budget option right in downtown Reykjavik. If you don’t mind sharing a room with other people, you can get great deals on dorms, but they also have private options.
In addition, it’s exceptionally close to all kinds of attractions, including shopping and museums.
With a shared kitchen, complimentary WiFi on the premises and shared lounge space, B14 Hostel is one of the best places to meet fellow travelers. You can also learn a lot about hiking in the region from their concierge.
- Location: 2 Seljavegur, Vesturbær, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
- Average Price: $215
Another exceptional option right in Reykjavik itself, Grandi by Center Hotels, is reasonably close to all main attractions, plus has an on-site restaurant, front desk service, a tour concierge, and a place for guests to store their belongings while on long hikes and treks.
The rooms at Grandi by Center Hotels are very well appointed too, with flat-screen televisions and plenty of plugs for all of your devices. Some of them even have balconies. Stay at Grandi by Center Hotels and enjoy their delicious buffet breakfast.
Making the Most of Your Iceland Hotel Stay
Choosing the right hotel is only one piece of the puzzle. If you genuinely want to make the most of your Iceland hotel stay, you should learn a few essential tips and tricks.
Getting to the Hotel
Although Iceland is a smaller country, it’s pretty spread out, and it can be challenging to determine how to get around. Fortunately, the Icelandic public bus system, or Straeto, is pretty robust and runs through the airport.
If you want to get to the capital, find the number 55 bus. Alternately you can take a taxi from the airport to Reykjavik or wherever else you’re going.
But it will be more expensive. Expect to pay between 200 to 250 euros for a taxi to Reykjavik. So if you can, take the bus or share a taxi to save costs.
Crime and Safety
Iceland is very safe, but there is always the chance of becoming the victim of a petty crime. As such, it pays to be vigilant and take basic safety precautions into account.
For example, don’t flash valuables or leave your hotel room unlocked. If your hotel has a safe, make sure that you leave at least one bank card and your passport there.
Keep these tips in mind to make the most out of your trip to Iceland:
- Remember that tipping is not customary or expected in Iceland and may come across as rude.
- Iceland is a very safe country so make sure you take advantage of nighttime exploration.
- Dress in layers because you never know what kind of weather you might encounter.
- Be realistic about your athletic ability and stamina when choosing hikes.
- Make a list of “must-visit” destinations for your trip.
If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll have a fantastic time exploring Iceland. Additionally, talk to locals and your hotel staff about great places to visit. They might be able to provide some insider information that you can’t find in guidebooks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most people have questions before embarking on their Iceland adventure. These frequently asked questions will help you to make the most out of your trip.
Do I need an adapter?
Americans will need an adapter to visit Iceland. This is because Icelandic plugs conform to Northern European standards, and the voltage is different. You can generally find multi-purpose adapters online or ask which ones are suitable for European travel.
You will be in good shape if you find an adapted with two round prongs. If you have a laptop, make sure that it has some kind of surge protection on it.
While many hotels will have USB ports for your phone, it doesn’t hurt to bring a converter for that as well. Also, pack a power bank for those long hikes in the wilderness.
Do U.S. citizens need a visa to visit?
U.S. citizens do not need a visa to visit Iceland, although you might want to check on any changes right before your visit. There is information online that will give you up-to-date details on what you need.
Make sure that your passport is valid for at least half a year and that you have ample pages for passport stickers and stamps. You might also need a negative COVID-19 test, proof of vaccination, or other documentation before traveling to Iceland.
How long should I plan on staying?
How long you stay in Iceland is really up to you and hinges a lot on what you’re planning on doing while you are in the country. A safe amount of time for a fun and productive visit might be between one to two weeks.
But you should look at your schedule and work from there. Make sure that you factor in at least a few rest days, especially if you’re going to be doing some heavy hiking.
Is Iceland safe?
Iceland is relatively safe. You will be able to go out at night to enjoy the Aurora Borealis without fearing for your safety. Hiking alone is also okay. The only really big thing that you need to worry about while you’re traveling in Iceland is petty crime.
There are very opportunistic people who will take advantage of apparent tourists, so keep your guard up and lock up your valuables. One element that makes Iceland a little bit risky is the weather.
Since this country is so close to the Arctic Circle, you can expect severe storms and weather, depending on what time of year your visit. So always check the weather before you head out hiking, and if you have reservations, don’t go.
What’s the best way to get to Iceland?
You can fly directly to Iceland from plenty of American and European large cities, and you’ll probably fly right into the primary airport south of Reykjavik. Plan your flight at least two months in advance to get the best deals.
Although there are plenty of airlines operating between Europe, the United States, and Iceland, Icelandic Air is one of the best ones. You can usually find deals on their website, especially in the off-season.
Overall, just enjoy yourself and have fun! Iceland is a fabulous place to visit, and you can’t beat nature or wildlife. Remember that you are a guest in another country and act respectfully.
Do this, and you shouldn’t have any problems whatsoever, but just in case you do, make sure that you take down the name and number of your embassy.
If you’re American, it’s also a good idea to enroll in STEP, a program run by the U.S. State Department that gives you updates on any instability or problems in your chosen travel destination.
Always give people back home a copy of your itinerary and passport, too, so that they can help you out in the event of an emergency.
So, What are the Best Hotels in Iceland?
There are tons of fantastic hotels all over Iceland, and what constitutes the best one for you really hinges on what you’re looking to do.
You can find gorgeous bed and breakfasts that overlook natural formations, accommodations right in the heart of the capital, or luxury experiences that will blow your mind. One thing is for sure: it’s all waiting for you in Iceland!