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Hotel in Reykjavík

For those who have been to Iceland, I have a cruise planned next August. It ends in Reykjavík. I hope to spend two nights in Reykjavík before flying home.

I am beginning my research early and was looking for recommendations for a hotel for those who have already been to Reykjavík.

I travel alone. I am a senior citizen and am forced to be budget conscious. I am also realistic and aware that Reykjavík is expensive.

I am looking for a hotel easy to get to from the cruise port and then easy to get to the bus station that takes me to the airport when I am ready to leave..

Posted by
3972 posts

I stayed at 4th floor Hotel and found the location very convenient. It was reasonably priced in comparison to what else I found at the time. There is a bus stop just around the corner.

https://4thfloorhotel.is/

Posted by
208 posts

Thank you Jules.

I checked out 4th Floor Hotel and liked what I saw. Reviews are decent. Did you by any chance have the breakfast?

Would you know where the cruise port is or what it is called. Is it Old Harbour?

Posted by
3972 posts

I did have the breakfast. There were good options and plenty to eat. I don't know where the cruise port is. If I had to guess based my walk along the harbor, it could be 1.5-2 miles away by the maritime museum.

Posted by
382 posts

We stayed at the 4th Floor Hotel on our 2015 trip and had no issues at all.

We just got back last night from another trip and stayed at the Hotel Fron this time. The rooms were great and the front desk was very nice and helpful, evening putting us up in the penthouse vs regular room. I will say though that very few of the guests were wearing masks, even as they entered the breakfast room and as they were serving themselves. We went in there the morning we arrived, and stayed only a minute after seeing that. The next morning we didn't even bother. Otherwise we loved the hotel!

Posted by
208 posts

Thank you for your response mikliz

I will also check out the Hotel Fron when the time comes. My vacation is not until next August and who knows what will be happening by next August.

Did you have to test before flying back to the USA? If so, is it easy to find a place to test and how much does it cost.

I am fully vaccinated and have no desire to also test before coming home.

Posted by
382 posts

Bostonphil--Yes, we had to test before coming home. We took the eMed kits with us and then used the laptop and did the proctored test. It was very easy to do, and it was nice to be able to do it at our convenience. I highly recommend it if you still need to test by then!

Posted by
6 posts

We stayed in two places in Reykjavik:
Sand Hotel, which is incredibly comfortable, very Covid safe, and has the best breakfast we had in Iceland. It’s central, probably good bus connections, but I don’t know for sure.
Freya Guesthouse, in a nice neighborhood right next to the church. Cheaper. Shared bath, shared kitchen, very quiet, nice host, some stairs. Bus seems close by, the host can help, very friendly.

Posted by
3222 posts

I stayed at the Radisson Blu, which last summer was $195 but is higher next summer. It's a 4 star hotel within walking distance to everything. I mostly point it out because the cruise around Iceland boats dock just a short walk away, 3 minutes.

Bus stops are numbered and well-known, and the shuttle bus will pick you up at any. There's also a city bus about $11 that picks up at some stops downtown. Most people don't go to one of the two bus stations to get to the airport.

Posted by
208 posts

Continuing thanks to all who responded. Thank you for all your suggestions. I will keep you updated as my cruise draws closer.

Posted by
9993 posts

I've stayed at the Canopy by Hilton three times. It's a wonderful hotel with an amazing breakfast buffet. The location is excellent. The only downside is the noise. There is a lot of outside noise due to its location. But you will find that in a lot of central city Reykjavic hotels. They also have a rooftop deck for looking at the northern lights although not in August.

Posted by
3222 posts

If you are budget conscious then the best value for your days would be to rent a car immediately downtown getting off the boat (e.g. Blue Car Rental) and get out of the city center. Then you could drive the Golden Circle and down a bit in the South Coast seeing Skogafoss and some of the coast. There are cheaper places to stay to base out of. Then you can drive yourself to the airport for a small drop fee, $10, since the airport shuttling methods from Reykjavik are a little fraught (usually double shuttle) and expensive.

The least value for your money is to stay in central Reykjavik, eat in tourist restaurants, and take day tours. Yet this is what most visitors do, then complain about how “eye wateringly” expensive the country is.

BTW: I spent 10 days in Iceland and did not often find things to be expensive, most things were reasonably priced. Lodging can be expensive but it just means being choosy. For example on my last night I stayed at the new Hotel Heidmork in the Reykjavik suburbs for about $110 private bath. Breakfast was $20 extra so I just walked to the adjacent supermarket. There are also small grocery stores in central Reykjavik right in the busy tourist zone Frank mentioned above and prices for food at these and all Iceland supermarkets are the same as the USA. But there is no need to stay in the tourist area unless you want to party, a downtown location like the Radisson Blu I mentioned is better for simple sightseers, but I think for a short Iceland stay of a few days better to just skip Reykjavik.

Posted by
208 posts

Thank you Frank and Tom,

I am old and although I have a driver's license, I have not driven since 1989. I never liked driving and was not a good driver but at least I know it. I knew enough not to drive.

I am a severe insomniac so some noises from the street do not bother me but vehicles might like horns. I have a very strange sleep pattern.

I will keep all that you both told me in mind as I search hotels and get acquainted with iceland. The ship docks early. I will not rush off. I will have a good breakfast and then walk to my hotel or take a shared ride. I will possibly get to my hotel before I am allowed to check in.

I love art and I love live music. I love happenings and events. I love museums. I have no interest in night clubs but if there is live music outside, I would love to catch some Iceland bands and musicians.

I collect costume jewelry so if I should walk by a thrift store or flea market or garage sale, I can not resist stopping.

On my one very free day which will be the next day, I want to go to the public bath / hot springs that begins with an L. This is the one with the amusement park and or zoo. That is one of my must sees.

I have almost 100,000 Rapid Reward Miles with Southwest airlines. I love SW but it never seems to go wherever I am going. As it turns out, I can use it for hotels in Amsterdam as well as Reykjavik. I did some searching but it only goes until January at this time. There were many very good excellent hotels with breakfast and free cancellation.

Posted by
6742 posts

Even if you could rent a car, the car rental plus a hotel in the outskirts would surely cost more than even an expensive hotel in Reykjavik (the outskirts have less inventory available in general, so the prices there are not necessarily good). No way would I skip Reykjavik - it's got terrific museums and things to do, and is very pleasant to walk in. It will be a challenge to find lodging that's not somewhat expensive, especially in August, but consider something simple like renting a room in someone's home. Every place is walkable and feels totally safe, even in the middle of the night (which will still be daylight in August).

As for Southwest, it's definitely my favorite domestic carrier but it's based on a certain business model which means it's not going to serve every place you want to go (and still make money), it's not European-centric but it goes to some nice places in Central America. I was a bit bummed when they stopped flying to Mexico City from my airport becsuse that was on my radar for quite a while. If yoy have that many miles, I would figure out a way to use them by checking out everywhere that they go - that's a lot of miles! Miles constantly get devalued over time (so no point in holding on to them), although Southwest has once of the most straightforward, worthwhile mileage programs available.

Posted by
3222 posts

My idea was to stay for a few nights in Selfoss or nearby and see natural wonders with the limited days.

Reykjavik is quaint and has a gentle vibe. Maybe this year was extra quiet but the central area was almost post-apocalyptic with many times, even on a weekday morning at 10am, it was common to see streets deserted with no people and no moving vehicles— on the main streets downtown.

A suggestion if returning to the US is to fly Icelandair since these planes leave about 5 pm. Delta and United leave in the morning. If your cruise arrives at 9am consider staying just one night and splurging on a central hotel. In your day and a half you have time to walk the whole central area, walk the length of the waterfront all the way to the Sun Voyager sculpture, go up the church tower, read all the numerous historical signs, visit the pool that evening, then spend the second day at the national museum before leaving for the airport.

But I’m not sure if Icelandair works for Austin (maybe JetBlue codeshare from NY?)

Posted by
208 posts

Hi Tom,

Norwegian Cruise Line books my air. I have no choices in the matter. I do not even get my information until soon before I fly to Amsterdam. I can use my own money and upgrade or maybe even rewards depending upon the airline.

I got a great rate. less than $500 round trip. If i booked it myself, it would be more like $1,600.00.

Some guests who let NCL book the flight are very happy and other not so happy.

Posted by
3222 posts

Phil: checking your dates I see your cruise. Suggest you pick a shore excursion in Akureyri that includes Godafoss and the pseudocraters on the south edge of Lake Myvatn.

You can certainly do the trip from Zeebrugge to Bruges/Brugge, Ghent/Gent, and Brussels on your own, easy by train.

Posted by
32 posts

Have you ever used Airbnb? We stayed in Airbnbs last month when we were in Iceland, and found them much more affordable than hotels, especially in Reykjavik. You should be able to find something in the area you are hoping to stay in, but you should try to book now (many are flexible/refundable, but read the fine print) as they will fill up quickly as the date approaches.

Posted by
9993 posts

If you are looking for something to do look into the Golden Circle tour. It's a full day tour of some of the most visited and interesting sights near Reykjavik. It's the most popular local tour with visitors. Your hotel will be able to book it. Numerous companies give it. They are all pretty much the same.

If you want to stay in Reykjavik, there is a hop-on/hop-off bus that takes you to the most interesting sights in the city.

https://city-sightseeing.com/en/49/reykjavik

Posted by
208 posts

Hello to all,

Thanks for all the suggestions. Right now, I am getting acquainted with Amsterdam which is where I will be cruising from.

I looked into AirBnb but I think that you have to pay to reserve your room right up front. You can cancel but you have to request your money back.

With hotels, I book one and then continue to look for a better deal. I have no upfront payment and it is done all the time. I usually change several times before I settle on the right one. I use booking.com and this is done all the time.

To be continued

Posted by
3222 posts

I never saw a hop on hop off bus in Reykjavik and am pretty sure one doesn’t exist. There aren’t enough tourists to run one.

Edit: Reading the website it says “suspended until October 1.” I’ll bet October 1 is says “suspended until November 1.”

can cancel but you have to request your money back

Not really, the money comes back automatically and immediately as a credit on your card.

An advantage of Airbnb is that you know the exact price up front. Booking.com follows the local convention of pricing in euros, not Icelandic Crowns (inconvenient for UK, North American, or Scandinavian tourists). Some hotels like the Radisson Blu scrupulously convert the euros to Icelandic crowns to 3 decimal places. I know the other Reykjavik hotel I mentioned rounded up rather severely to the next even 1000 crowns costing me a few extra dollars. I know enough Norwegian words to follow along as they were discussing what to actually charge me.

Posted by
9993 posts

I've taken the hop on hop off bus. The OP is traveling next August.

Bostonphil......you have plenty of time to find what's right for you. Unfortunately, you won't know your flights until close to your departure so you won't know your actual amount of time in Reykjavik. Remember, what may be available today may change by next summer. That's the world with Covid

Posted by
26 posts

We stayed at this airbnb unit on the main shopping street. Only $90/night with a kitchenette. Elevator to upper floor. Owner was super nice.

Search Air B&B with this title:

Beautiful Reykjavik - Studio - 350
Entire home/apt hosted by Arni
Laugavegur 15, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

Posted by
208 posts

Another thanks Marcia.

I have found a hotel in Amsterdam that I am very happy with.

Now I am seriously looking at Reykjavik. This far, I have not found anything that quite meets my needs. The hotel sounds very good but then there are some questions after reading the reviews.

I am going to be there late August, during the season, so prices are going to be much higher especially as COVID restrictions, hopefully, loosen up.

For me, the cleaning fees associated with AirBNB's sometimes add on too much to my stay.

I like to book a hotel that requires no paid up front or pay at hotel coupled with free cancellation. Even after booking, I like to keep shopping around and often book another room and then cancel the first one. I sometimes do this more than once.

I have used booking.com so many times that I am Genius I and get a 10 percent discount on many hotels. Getting closer to Genius II which will give me a higher discount.

However, I do plan to keep your recommended AirBnB on file.

Thank you

Posted by
208 posts

I am seriously researching hotels in Reykjavik now.

I checked out Hotel Fron and it looks good from a casual look.

Radisson Blu was over $600 with breakfast and something like $550 without breakfast. This was for just me for two nights. Maybe more rooms will become available as I get closer to my trip.

Going to look at some more suggestions and do my research. I will be back with updates.

Posted by
208 posts

Sand Hotel was over $700 for two nights just for myself.

Freyja Guesthouse gets very high reviews, over a 9 total. Price was reasonable enough. I will go back later and check it out more thoroughly.

Posted by
382 posts

bostonphil--As I mentioned earlier, the Hotel Fron rooms were wonderful. They upgraded us to the penthouse for 3 of us, but the other 2 had a regular room which was just fine too. Their service was excellent.

Posted by
208 posts

mikliz97

On your recommendation, I checked out Hotel Fron and really liked it best of all, thus far.

It meets all my needs and expectations . A little bit out of my budget but that is what happens when you travel during the season and are traveling Iceland.

I am keeping it in mind as I continue shopping. However, I also book with free cancellation and pay at hotel so I may do it today or tomorrow.

Question: About how many rooms are there? Do I need to take any stairs either going into hotel or to room

. I am a walker and travel light but like to know in advance.

I think that I am going to be able to walk to hotel from cruise port and then to BSI to fly home. it will be a good walk but I will take my time and enjoy the scenery.

My ship will arrive at the port about 8 am so I will take my time leaving the ship and take my time getting to the hotel. Usually I have to rush off the ship to catch a bus to take me to the airport. This will be a very pleasant difference.

Thanks for the reference.

UPDATE: I booked Hotel Fron. Total was $330 for me for two nights. I am traveling in August in Iceland.

The ship is still being built. I am hoping that maybe it will not be ready by August and we have to sail in September.

Posted by
382 posts

bostonphil--I have no idea how many rooms there are. The hotel is on the main street and then our rooms were in a building behind the main one. Once in the other building, there is an elevator as well as stairs, so you can decide what you want to use. Between the two buildings was just a slight uphill walk, maybe 100 feet if that.

Posted by
3222 posts

I think that I am going to be able to walk to hotel from cruise port and then to BSI to fly home

Your cruise ship is ENORMOUS and won't be able to dock alongside the downtown area. You will probably dock here-- it's about 2 miles/3 km. The path along the water is flat and wide, it will be uphill to the hotel once you leave the water.

The BSI station is uphill then downhill from your hotel, certainly at least a 20 minute walk. I would pay the extra for hotel pick up. Weather is changeable in Iceland, and often very windy.

Posted by
506 posts

Phil:
We just returned from 2.5 weeks in Iceland. We stayed at the Hotel Eyja Guldsmeden in Reykjavik both at the start of our trip and at the end. Very quiet hotel with a good breakfast and near the center of the city. As for the cruise port, it is about 4 to 5 km from the city center. Probably you would need a taxi, uber or hotel transportation.

Posted by
208 posts

I will check out your hotel, Ed.

I travel light and am quite a walker.

In my younger day, I walked about 10 miles each day. Now, I walk about 2 miles even though I am an old lady. I love walking.

But again, I will take a wait and see attitude.

There is public transportation and a shuttle.

Posted by
208 posts

Tom_MN

Thanks for the info. I will be docking near The Ferry terminal.

I love walking but uphill is something else.

When you say uphill, is it really steep. Is it like San Francisco? Is my hotel at the top of a hill?

I am staying at Hotel Fron.

Posted by
3222 posts

Phil: I think your hotel is a couple blocks up from the harbor, not too steep but uphill. You can look on a map, it’s flat along the water which is most of the trip.

Posted by
9993 posts

Let me chime in......I've been to Reykhavik a few times and have stayed at the same hotel each time about 2 blocks from Hotel Fron. (It's more expensive than your hotel.)

Hotel Fron is situated on Laugavegur.

As for walking, the last few blocks from the harbor to your hotel is uphill.

Walking to the bus station is also both up and down hill.

I would reconsider trying to walk. If the airport shuttle offers a hotel pickup--which is near your hotel and if I remember, slightly downhill--take it. The same for a shuttle from the cruise port.

Reykjavik is a hilly city. It's also a very expensive city.

If you decide to stay at Fron, and want to save money, there is a Subway sandwich shop about two blocks in one direction, and a Bonus supermarket, with some preprepared sandwiches and salads, in the other direction. Both will save money over restaurants.

Posted by
3222 posts

I'm giving you some graphic info and my opinion. I think you should choose lodging as close to the red circle on my map as possible. The tourist zone is hilly and there isn't much to see there. If you are sightseeing the sights are in the Centre (downtown) or along the water for the most part. The main transit corridor with numbered bus stops everyone in the city knows are here inside the red circle. I know how to spell completely but am not a photoshop expert so can't edit it.

Map of central Reykjavik

Have you considered this place? I don't know it but the location is good for you, and the price. Note that the bath and toilet is shared, but that's common in Iceland.

https://www.booking.com/hotel/is/guesthouse-flying-viking.html?aid=304142;label=gen173nr-1DCAEoggI46AdIM1gEaJwCiAEBmAExuAEXyAEM2AED6AEB-AECiAIBqAIDuALeqeWLBsACAdICJGU3NmQ5OTU1LWQ5MTAtNDUyMi05NzcyLTMxNjkyZTEyMDE4ZdgCBOACAQ;sid=0cfa98a5f37319514566d1bf24aa29aa;atlas_src=sr_iw_btn;checkin=2022-08-17;checkout=2022-08-19;dest_id=-2651804;dest_type=city;dist=0;group_adults=1;group_children=0;highlighted_blocks=9882604_336344947_2_0_0;nflt=pri%3D3;no_rooms=1;room1=A;sb_price_type=total;type=total;ucfs=1&

Posted by
208 posts

I believe there is public transportation from the cruise port to other places in Reykjavik. It is a regular bus line but i think that I also read that shuttle buses are available when a cruise ship comes in.

Because of COVID, Reykjavik Visitors Site was very limited but perhaps it has opened up now with COVID getting better managed and visitors increasing. Possibly there is a contact for public transportation. I will write both.

I am on a tight budget but I have some wants for a hotels. One must is good wi fi and free. Preferably I want a very good breakfast. And preferably I want a private bathroom if at all possible.

Hotel Fron meets my expectations very well.

Posted by
208 posts

Tom MN

I had already checked out the guest house that you recommended and the problem was the shared bathroom. Many reviewers felt that there were not enough bathrooms for the number of rooms. There were a lot, too many, reviews that cited the shared bathrooms as a negative.

I do not mind sharing a bathroom as long as there is privacy and a sufficient number of bathrooms.

Posted by
208 posts

Frank,

I want to try to eat regional and local food as much as possible.

Does Subway Sandwich offer food of the area or is it American food.

Sometimes you can get very good prepared foods in a supermarket

being on a budget, buying from a Supermarket might work very well.

I am not interested in Sheep's head.

Posted by
33 posts

I did not enjoy my stay at Hotel Frón (I did not book it - my tour company used it). My room was cold & right over the active nightlife of Laugavegur (pulsing bass every night, all night). It was in the back, facing a cobbled parking lot that amplified the noise of every wheel moving over it (cars, suitcases, garbage bins). Huge tour groups frequently milled around reception & the hotel didn't seem to be capable of stowing their luggage out of the way. I don't know where the cruise port or bus station are, but I can't believe there aren't more convenient hotels in Reykjavík. I did enjoy the restaurant (esp. the breakfast) & it was conveniently located for my needs. The excellent Mál og Menning bookstore is almost next door. (I was there daily) And I even liked the whiff of sulfur each time I turned on my hot water. Góða ferð/gangi þér vel (Bon voyage/good luck)!

Posted by
9993 posts

Subway is subway. Basically, the same as the U.S.

The prepared food in the supermarket is more local. I suggest going in anyway as they are different than U.S markets. (There are no refrigerated cases. The entire room where cold items are kept is refrigerated.

If you want to try something (food wise) very popular with folks in Reykjavik.....

https://www.google.com/amp/s/theculturetrip.com/europe/iceland/articles/how-this-reykjavik-hot-dog-stand-became-a-popular-tourist-attraction/%3famp=1

I'm not kidding. There is always a line.

I didn't want to say anything but since it was brought up...the area around The Fron is filled with clubs and bars. Very noisy.

Posted by
208 posts

I checked out Bonus Supermarket . Who knows? I might crave a Subway Sandwich in Reykjavik but my preference is to eat local when traveling. I like Bonus.

I have read that hot dogs are very popular in Iceland as well as ice cream.

I appreciate the bad news about the Fron. I went back to the reviews on booking and others mentioned the noise. I will keep that in mind as I continue shopping for hotels but still keeping my reservation at the Fron. I am going to write and request a quiet room.

Hotel Fron has 96 rooms. Surely there is a room that is quiet or quieter.

None of the hotels in Reykjavik meet my needs and expectations 100%. I am going to have to make allowances.

Posted by
9993 posts

There used to be a Dunkin Donuts across from the Subway but it went out of business. I never bought anything but I have a friend in the U.S. who is addicted to their coffee. He always wants to know what DD charges for a regular sized coffee in other places. In 2016, in Reykjavik it was about $4.50.

You need to realize that everything in Reykjavik is more expensive than what you are used to. It's even worse in other areas of Iceland.

Posted by
33 posts

I enjoyed eating at Café Loki - they have traditional food samplers that are 'reasonably' priced (for Iceland). It is across the street from the sublime Hallgrímskirkja Church. I liked my open-faced fish sandwiches & rye bread ice cream. One was cold, pickled herring with hard-boiled eggs & the other some sort of smashed fish looking like egg salad served hot. No one around me who selected the 'rotting shark' took to it, The Sea Baron on the harbor had excellent lobster soup, served in a bread bowl. It, too, was not too spendy.
I would be willing to stay in Hotel Frón again - just not on a second floor room directly over the clubs or maybe in a windowless, interior room.

Posted by
1553 posts

sounds like you've landed on a hotel selection, but I will mention I stayed 5 nights at Center Hotel Plaza and found it clean, comfortable, and accessible. Breakfast buffet was generous. Hotel staff were very helpful with recommendations and helping to confirm reservations/details for my pre-booked tours. Hotel is a three block walk to stop #1 (city hall) where you can catch the bus to the bus station and on to the airport. BTW this is also the process for most of the day trips on the big or small bus tours, most use the bus station as the hub (I did both big and small bus tours, PM me if you want suggestions).

I also recommend this food tour with Your Friend in Reykjavik. You get a little bit of local walking tour and tastes of all kinds of local foods, including the hot dogs. Since I also travel solo this was a great way to check out a lot of places without dining alone, as well as not having to order full meals at each place. I did the lunch tour and was so stuffed I ended up skipping dinner. And as I was traveling mid week I was the only participant on the tour, so I had a wonderful visit with my guide Snædís. It was really quite a delightful way to spend an afternoon.

Edited to add other food choices I enjoyed: Laundromat Cafe (for breakfast and lunch), shawarma from Mandi (cheap and filling), and craft beer at Skuli.

Posted by
382 posts

bostonphil--Yes, the Sægreifinn (Sea Baron) is good and not expensive at all. They have a wall that showcases the dishes and you just tell them what you want, pay and go sit down. Between 4 of us, we shared one lobster soup, had the ling cod and scallops on skewers and then veggies on skewers and we had more than enough food! It was excellent. Another place we felt was inexpensive was Íslenski barinn which was very close to the hotel. The five of us had dinner there on Friday night and three had the lamb soup and two had the lamb dogs, all very good! FWIW, we did nit have any noise issues at Hotel Fron and we were there on a Friday night. We were in the Penthouse which had windows in the bedrooms, bathroom and then a patio area, and we did not hear a thing. My husband is a very light sleeper so he would have complained to me about it, lol. The two that were in a regular room didn't have any issues either. Both of these were not in the main building, but the one in the back that overlooks the cobbled tiny parking lot. Good call though to ask the hotel for a quiet room if that is something that you desire.

Posted by
3222 posts

we did not have any noise issues at Hotel Fron

Of course not, Reykjavik was a ghost town during the summer of 2021. There were hardly any people, locals or tourists, visible on the streets. I don’t think people contributing to this topic realize that the country they visited 2019 and previously bears little resemblance to covid times: few people and apparently less expensive since aside from lodging I found prices reasonable, extremely reasonable. I would guess the summer of 2022 will be closer to that experience than to pre-covid but who knows.

Repeating I think it’s smartest, particularly for a short stay, to not stay in the tourist zone but in the old center with the convenience of the numbered bus stops and tourist sites close by.

There’s also a Kronan supermarket at the edge of the tourist zone a block or 2 above the main street circled in red on my map, I prefer Kronan or Netto to Bonus (BTW only Bonus has the walk thru cold room) but I did buy a sandwich and bag of chips at that small Bonus near the Fron, items for the same price as the US. That set the pattern of the whole trip of prices being much lower than anticipated.

Posted by
208 posts

Thank you all so much for all the wonderful recommendations.

I am keeping everything in mind hotels, eating and sightseeing.

CL, this food tour that you mentioned. I went to the website. Sounds very interesting. How is it done? Do you go to 4 different restaurants and get samples? About how much was yours in American money? I guess you pay in advance. The guides make arrangements with the restaurants and they are waiting for the group.

Someone mentioned Cafe Loki. I love samplers. I am going to look everything up.

I think that i read I will get into the pools free because I am a senior. It seems even senior tourists get in free which is very generous of Iceland.

Does anyone know of any other discounts or freebies for seniors?

Posted by
1553 posts

Re: the food tour. I think we went to four different places, except the flea market was closed so it would have been five. Several of the restaurants were on my list to try. You book online and pay with your credit card ahead of time when you reserve. They give you a specific meeting point, which was directly in front of my hotel on Ingolfur square - the restaurants are all within walking distance of the meeting point.

Using today's currency exchange the cost is about $116. That includes the guide services too, which I found delightful. The food was not full portions, but I was stuffed at the end of the tour. Food is so expensive, if you had gone to each place on your own it would add up very fast (a beer is $14 ish, for example). In my opinion the cost was worth it to have a little taste festival and also the interesting conversations with a local guide.

Posted by
208 posts

Do Reykjavik residents make a lot of money? Why is everything so expensive?

That is one of the reasons I chose a hotel with a GOOD breakfast. I love a good cup of coffee first thing and when i travel, I love a good breakfast to get the day going. I love just throwing something casual on and having coffee and breakfast before I go sight seeing.

I just wrote Hotel Fron and asked if I could have a room in a quiet area

Posted by
382 posts

Tom--Reykjavik was definitely not a ghost town when we were there this past August. We have been there before as well so can compare pre Covid.I think it is luck of the draw as to how noisy any night at any given location can be. We had one night that it was very loud at the Fourth Floor Hotel on our previous visit, and that is not a location where you would expect it. It was just one night though, so no big deal for us.

Posted by
208 posts

Thank you Ed from Houston.

I am starting to view youtube videos on Iceland.

I am taking iceland 101 by the Rick Steves staff. It is over an hour long and I watched part of it last night.

I will then eventually view walking tours of Reykjavik as I did with Amsterdam.

YouTube is invaluable when it comes to videos and especially travel. Don't leave home without it.

Posted by
3222 posts

Liz: Things certainly could have accelerated tourist-wise over the summer in the 3-4 weeks you went after us. We were concerned any downtown restaurants would even be open considering the vacant streets (as I’ve said before central Reykjavik was like a Walking Dead set in July 2021). There was more activity in the tourist zone in July but not much. I suspect a lot of the noise historically has been the partying crowd and I only saw on this trip serious travelers seeing the country.

I read 2 paragraphs of the linked article about “expensive” Iceland before I saw too much wrong to continue. Denmark is not expensive at all, definitely does not belong in the same league with Norway or Switzerland. I bought a pre-made sandwich and a bag of chips for $5.50 at the Bonus in Reykjavik mentioned above, same price as a c-store in podunk USA. Nowhere near $10 just for the sandwich. We grocery shopped around the island and only eggs cost more than the US, and a lot was cheaper. We ate special restaurant meals with alcohol around the island and only Seydisfjordur had high prices— the rest was the same or less than US. The Grayline shuttle between the airport and Reykjavik (to one of the numbered stops downtown, not a hotel drop off) was $23 online, cheaper than a US shuttle for a 45 minute ride.

Yes the rental car was $90/day but I’ve paid higher for a Corolla in Mexico, and paid not much less for a NYC rental last August.

What stands out is as expensive is the lodging and yes it is expensive. And the tourist hot water spas were expensive, we did one and that was enough. Gasoline is expensive but even circling the island it isn’t that much. Also, we did not take any tours and paid for only one museum, the National Museum, about $15 with free audio guide, reasonable again.

Posted by
382 posts

Tom--Yes, the streets were anything but dead when we were there. It was quite lively and lots of people.

Posted by
208 posts

Thank you to whoever sent me the link to Hop On Hop Off bus as well as link to day operator of tours.

I am at a place where I am now exploring things to do.

I will have most of a Thursday free although some of it may be with my luggage. Friday will be a full free day and then I do not know about Saturday. It depends on when my plane leaves.

I am considering Golden Circle plus Blue Lagoon through Viator.

What tour operators have you used? Where have you gone? In your opinion what is a not to be missed?

I realize this discussion began about places to stay so I may begin a new discussion.

For the moment, I have a hotel. I have found some recommendations for very good and reasonable for Reykjavik places to eat. Now I am looking for suggestions about what to do.

Posted by
9993 posts

The Hop on Hop off bus is an easy way to get a guided tour of Reykjavik and to get to the major sites.

Don't book through Viator. They are a third party seller. Book direct.

Your hotel can book your tours and it won't cost you a penny more. But if you insist on doing it yourself, the two best known and most popular tour companies are Reykjavik Excursions and Reykjavic Sightseeing. Flip a coin as to which one to use. Their tours are the same. Reykjavik Excursions also runs the Flybus (Airport bus) and they sometimes offer packages including the Flybus.

Why not pick up Rick Steve's Iceland book for ideas of things to do.

It is way too early to book tours for next summer.

Posted by
208 posts

I have been researching all suggestions.

I have been looking at the Center Hotels. One was highly recommended but I think that one had too many stairs. There was some reason that i could not consider it.

I read a lot of reviews. I can not read all but I read some from each category.

I think the Center Hotel Plaza might work if I decide to cancel Hotel Fron. I have been watching YouTube videos and I think the Center Hotel Plaza has an incredible breakfast. Some of the breakfasts caused me to salivate and i had to make some french fries in my air fryer.

Someone suggested a Rick Steves guidebook and I might consider but I am not much of a book reader.

I have been taking Rick Steves 101 Iceland on YouTube.

Posted by
1553 posts

I second Frank's comments about not booking tours through Viator, you will probably pay more and the tour company gets a smaller cut. Very easy to book directly on line or via your hotel. The companies Frank mentioned are big bus tours. There are also small bus/van tours that go to same sites, same routes, etc. but with a smaller group. I used GeoIceland for a South Coast tour and Reykjavik Excursions for the Golden Circle and a Northern Lights trip. I liked the smaller bus experience for the group size and the guide. Choose something that fits your style and budget.

Posted by
382 posts

bostonphil--on YouTube, also check out Iceland With A View. She is an expat that went there for their honeymoon and then moved there. I used most of her stuff for our planning and it is simple and concise.

Posted by
208 posts

Another thanks for continuing suggestions. I check them all out and then go back later and recheck.

I will look into all of them eventually and then they stay online for others to see.

YouTube videos are invaluable as I have previously said. It makes it all so real and so up close when you see someone walking around with a camera rather than a spot on a map.

Will be looking into Iceland With A View and Reykjavik Excursions.