Reykjavik is the capital city of Iceland, and it is an excellent base for exploring the whole island. There are a lot of hostels around the city, and there are good options for both duos, groups, and solo travelers. Whether you’re heading with a school group, program, family, friends, or your special someone, there is likely a place that will meet all of your needs.
The 4 Best Party Hostels in Reykjavik
1. Reykjavik Downtown HI Hostel
Reykjavik Downtown Hostel is a part of the HI Hostel chain. Travelers highly recommend it, and it often gets raving reviews. The hostel is also located conveniently near the city’s harbor district in downtown Reykjavik. It is also on a quiet residential street and is one of the best places to relax after a busy day wandering around the city. It’s just a few minutes’ walks away from a number of the city’s must-see attractions, such as the Hallgrimskirkja Church and the Harpa Concert Hall.
The hostel has dorm rooms that vary in size from four to ten beds. Also, there are family rooms that can accommodate up to five people and double rooms that have either shared or private bathrooms.
The hostel is eco-certified. There is free Wi-Fi in most of the rooms and lounges. Also, there is a book exchange, coffee bar, and a fully stocked kitchen for all guests. There is also a buffet breakfast for guests each morning.
The hostel can house groups as small as ten or as large as 100 people. The staff can also help you organize tours and transportation throughout your visit, and meals and packed lunches are available as well.
Pros: Convenient location, lots of room options, and social atmosphere
2. Lava Hostel
This hostel is located outside of Reykjavik city center. It’s about a 15-minute drive away in Hafnarfjorour, the alleged home of elves and real home of the Vikings. It also offers a great balance between a quiet environment and the conveniences of the city. Aside from that, the hostel is also perfect for groups that range in size from ten to eighty. There are discounts available for bigger groups. The hostel is also very affordable and has a great vibe. The rooms vary in size and can accommodate between two to six people.
Amenities available to guests include free Wi-Fi, a fully equipped kitchen and a dining area, and breakfast for an added fee (must be arranged before you arrive). The hostel also has a common area that is an excellent place for meetings or organized events.
This hostel is adept in housing groups, so if you’re looking for a place that also offers additional help with planning and coordination, then this is a great option.
Price: $40.83 to $46.83
Pros: Great location, good value, and great amenities
3. Bus Hostel Reykjavik
This hostel is a great budget option if you are looking for an exciting experience in Reykjavik. The hostel has dorms that can accommodate four, six, and ten people. Also, both mixed and female-only dorms are available. There are also private rooms for those who want a more peaceful stay as well as wheelchair-accessible rooms.
The hostel also has many amenities, such as a bar area, Boogie Wonderland, which is a great place to hang out and meet other travelers. Many travelers spend some time in the bar, playing games, or getting to know the staff.
The hostel is located just a ten-minute walk away from the center of Reykjavik. Also, the hostel is eco-friendly and uses locally-produced goods. It’s a cheerful and upbeat place to stay that is perfect for smaller groups.
Price: $16.21 to $36.01
Pros: Good value, great on-site bar, and convenient location
4. KEX Hostel
Kex Hostel is housed in a former biscuit factory in the heart of Reykjavik. It’s just minutes away from most of the city’s best nightclubs, bars, and music venues. It’s also near the city’s most famous attractions.
Also, the hostel has a lot of amenities for guests, such as a bar and cafe, a lounge area, a heated indoor terrace, tourist information, full laundry facilities, and even a small gym. Two kitchenettes are also available for guests as well, and there is free Wi-Fi throughout the place.
This hostel is an excellent option for smaller groups as they also have private family rooms that can accommodate between four and six people, and ribs or extra beds can also be put on the rooms. Aside from the larger dorm rooms, there are also a lot of double rooms. Also, some rooms have private bathrooms, while others have shared ones. There are also female-only dorms available. In total, the hostel has 138 beds.
Price: $28.81 to $33.31
Pros: Convenient location to party, great amenities, and lots of room options
How is Reykjavik’s Nightlife?
Reykjavík is famous for its weekend party scene that goes on into the wee hours and even reaches over onto the weekdays (particularly in summer). Djammið in the city means going out on the town, or you could say pöbbarölt for a ‘pub stroll.’
Much of Reykjavík’s partying takes place in cafes and bistros that turn into raucous beer-soaked bars on weekends and at the many dedicated pubs and clubs. But it’s not the number of drinking dens that makes Reykjavík’s nightlife special – it’s the upbeat energy that pours from them.
Due to the high price of alcohol drinks, things generally don’t get going very late. Also, Icelanders brave the chaos at the government alcohol store Vínbúðin, then toddle home for a pre-pub party. Once they’re a bit drunk, people hit town around midnight, party until 5 am, queue for a hot dog, then topple into bed or the gutter, whichever is more convenient. Considering the quantity of drink swilling, it is pretty easygoing.
Rather than staying in only one venue for the whole night, Icelanders prefer to cruise from each bar, getting louder and less held back as the evening fades. ‘In’ clubs may have very long queues, but they do move quickly with the constant arrival of new revelers.
Most of the action is focused around Laugavegur and Austurstræti. Places usually stay open until 1 am Sunday to Thursday and 4 am, or 5 am on Friday and Saturday. Expect to pay around $9.63 to $12.84 per pint of beer, and cocktails hit the $16.05 to $22.47 mark. Some venues have cover charges (around $8.03) after midnight, and many have early-in-the-evening happy hours that cut costs by $4.01 or $5.62 per beer.
Also, you should dress up to fit in, although there are some more relaxed pub-style joints. The legal drinking age is 20 years.
The Best Bars and Nightclubs in Reykjavik
For those looking for a genuine Reykjavik experience, Prikið is your go-to place. The small club more like a jam-packed house party at weekends, with people crowding into the two-story house and partying in every nook and cranny available – even the staircase. Located right on Laugavegur, the main thoroughfare for nightlife in Reykjavik, it’s hard to miss this iconic red house, and even harder to leave when the grungy alternative party kicks in.
Austur is both the most prominent and oldest nightclub in Reykjavik, located on the ground floor along Austurstræti – hence the name. One of the classier venues in town, there are two bars, a large dance floor, plenty of table space, and, if you’ve got enough money, the chance to make use of VIP table service and have bottles delivered to your table. The polished atmosphere means that you’ll have to dress to impress inside this club, which plays classic European club and dance music.
Located close to the harbor than the rest of the bars on this list, Gaukurinn is one of the last bastions of live music in the city after a slew of venues shut down. While the place might resemble a dive bar, the friendly service, and cheaper-than-usual prices more than makeup for a bit of shabby decor. Also, expect rock, alternative, and heavy metal live music when there are gigs on and an all-inclusive ambiance at this establishment, which also hosts regular drag shows. Stop by when you need live music or the fast food that’s served in the evening.
4. Pablo Discobar
Located on Ingólfstorg, the main square in downtown Reykjavik, tropical bird wallpaper, and glittering disco balls blend with the tequila- and mescal-filled cocktail menu. Though the drinks are on the more expensive side, the picturesque venue plays an infectious mix of electro, funk, and hip-hop at weekends. It serves tasty Latin tapas at the second-floor restaurant Burro, making this a go-to place if you want to dress up for a fun night out.
5. B5 Bar
Among the few clubs in Reykjavik that has a strictly enforced dress code, B5 on Bankastræti is a small, Miami-inspired club that draws in an Icelandic crowd who like to dress up for a night out. Lit in deep pink colors, it serves premium drinks and has a two-for-one happy hour. Locals tend to start arriving at around 1 am, and the place can get busy, so arrive early to avoid long queues.
6. Kíkí Queer Bar
A night out in Kíkí is the best opportunity in the city to let loose on the dance floor. The venue is illuminated with disco balls, and the choice of music is always on point: one minute, it’ll be the chart-topping pop and hip-hop songs, and the next, classics by Queen and old tunes. Also, the club has an amiable vibe, and you’ll encounter tourists and locals alike grooving on the dance floor. When you’re in the city, look for the rainbow-painted building on Klapparstígur, just off Laugavegur.
A staple club in the city, Kaffibarinn, is a must for anyone looking to experience classic Reykjavik nightlife. By morphing from a quiet place to have a beer in the early evening into a party house after hours, it is frequented by the enormous crowds. Rumour has it that Blur frontman Damon Albarn once owned the venue.
As the night begins to wane, the energy and dancing at Paloma start to rise at a frenzied speed, making this club among the best places to end your night out in the city. Another great choice to dance in the city, it has a more unpolished vibe, with deep house dance music, and a beer pong table on the lower floor as well. It also has a large dance floor; there are a few different lounge areas for relaxing and a long bar that serves popular and expensive drinks.
Reykjavík is the largest city and capital of Iceland, and with an urban area population of around 200,000, it is the home to two-thirds of Iceland’s population. It is the center of life and culture of the Icelandic people and is one of the main points of tourism in the country. The city is spread out and has sprawling suburban districts. The city center, however, is a tiny area characterized by eclectic and colorful houses, with excellent dining, shopping, and drinking. Reykjavik has a reputation for being the northernmost capital city in the world, though its winters are surprisingly mild for a city of its latitude. If all these are appealing to you, explore more places around Reykjavik such as Dublin and Prague.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Go To Iceland?
Midnight sun and warmer temperatures make summer the best season to visit Iceland. However, hikers will want to consider July and August as the best time to visit Iceland. In contrast, February, March, September, and October are typically the best time to visit Iceland for the Northern Lights.
Is It Safe In Reykjavik?
The crime in Reykjavik is almost nil. However, petty crimes such as theft and antisocial behavior may occur, especially near bars some nights in downtown. Also, tourists are very unlikely to see anything unpleasant as homelessness and drugs are not a problem.
Is It Expensive To Go To Iceland?
The typical cost for a trip to Iceland for a group of four for seven days is $7-9,000. Yup, that is more or less $1,000 per day. But this depends on your determination to spend only on neccessities. You can visit Iceland on any budget, at least in theory.
How Long Do You Need At The Blue Lagoon?
Typically, guests enjoy the water for two hours. After soaking in the mineral-rich warmth, people generally seek nourishment by snacking at Blue Café or dining at Lava Restaurant. In total, on average, visitors spend four hours at Blue Lagoon Iceland.
How Many Days Do You Need In Iceland?
Generally, we advise visiting for not less than 7-8 days as you will then have sufficient time to explore much of the tours and attractions in Iceland and Reykjavik. Below please see a few excellent Iceland itineraries with a duration of 4 days, six days, and eight days, respectively.