The Best Airbnbs and Holiday Rentals in Reykjavik

Fall for the photogenic interiors of Suðurgata in central Reykjavik
Fall for the photogenic interiors of Suðurgata in central Reykjavik | Courtesy of Suðurgata - Luxury Dream Apartment / Expedia.com
Melanie Moore

Whether you visit Iceland’s capital in the frosty depths of winter for a soak in the steaming Blue Lagoon, or in summer to tour the Golden Circle’s geysers and waterfalls, compact Reykjavik entices with its stunning natural backdrop, coffee culture and nightlife. Get the inside track on the Icelandic way of life in an Airbnb-style stay; book one of the best today with Culture Trip.

You can now book your place on our five-day, exclusive Iceland tour – and experience this magical country with a small group and Culture Trip’s Local Insider.

1. A cosy and classic Icelandic stay

Short-term Rental

A cosy bedroom at the Grettir Guesthouse, with a white bed next to a window, a tall lamp, bedside table and sofa
Courtesy of Grettir Guesthouse / Expedia.com

The exterior couldn’t be more Icelandic, with its corrugated white-clad frontage and bright red roof. It wouldn’t look out of place in the wild Icelandic countryside, but this one-bedroom apartment, sleeping four, is in fact located in the centre of the capital – just minutes from City Hall and Hallgrimskirkja. Cosy-meets-stylish interiors, with Anglepoise-style lamps and waffle-print blankets, mean you’ll enjoy a stay here in frosty winter just as much as in summer.

2. An art-lover’s getaway

Short-term Rental

A light room at Engjateigur 17d, with a cosy sofa opposite two navy blue armchairs, contemporary wall art and large windows
Courtesy of Engjateigur 17d / Expedia.com

Over in the city’s eastern reaches, next to the sculpture-dotted grounds of the Ásmundarsafn Art Museum, this two-bedroom apartment sleeps five, and feels a bit like a gallery itself – light pours in from big windows overlooking the city, and eye-catching images hang on lounge walls. A kitchen island lets everyone gather together as you whip up breakfast, whether that’s fried eggs or traditional Icelandic hafragrautur (oatmeal), served with skyr (similar to yoghurt).

3. A chic pad by the harbour

Short-term Rental

A stylish room at Apartment T21, with modern furnishings, a black cushioned sofa, a table and chairs and a glass coffee table
Courtesy of Apartment T21 / Expedia.com

Given it’s a city surrounded by water, a trip to Reykjavik’s old harbour – bobbing with fishing boats – is an essential rite of passage when you visit. Five minutes’ walk away from the pier – jumping-off point for whale- and puffin-watching tours and Northern Lights cruises – you’ll find this two-bedroom balconied apartment, sleeping four. With trendy metallic light fixtures and animal-print chairs, it’ll suit a travelling group of friends or a small family in equal measure.

4. A modern family-friendly pick

Short-term Rental

A modern living area at Tower Apartments, with a sofa, white table, yellow chairs, arty paintings, TV and bean bag chair
Courtesy of Tower Apartments / Expedia.com

Sleek modern kitchens and big windows characterise these one- and two-bedroom apartments, sleeping six. With cribs for little ones, high chairs and mess-solving washer/dryers, they’re a natural pick for families. There’s free parking, too, so you can hire a car to whisk you and your crew to the nearby kid-friendly pool complex of Laugardalslaug, or to the must-see waterfalls and geysers of the 300km (186mi) Golden Circle sightseeing loop.

5. A high-fashion stay in downtown

Hotel

A light living area at Reykjavik Residence Hotel, with a modern sofa, TV, a black desk and chairs, a mirror and large windows
Courtesy of Reykjavik Residence Hotel / Expedia.com

The stately white facade is impressive enough. But the real joy of these downtown apartments – ranging from studios to three bedrooms, sleeping two to six people – becomes apparent when you step inside. Each is different, but with designer kitchens, cosy throws and an on-trend navy, grey and pastel colour palette, they show why Nordic style is so famous. Hotel touches increase the indulgence-factor even further: think concierge, laundry services, daily housekeeping and a 24-hour front desk.

6. A luxurious big-group base

Short-term Rental

A light room at Suðurgata - Luxury Dream Apartment with a window, sofa, coffee table and sliding doors leading to a bedroom
Courtesy of Suðurgata - Luxury Dream Apartment / Expedia.com

There’s no question that you’ll fall for the photogenic exterior – the corrugated grey walls and gable detailing combine to make a uniquely Icelandic look. The careful styling within will further entice interiors geeks: panelled walls, monochrome palette and industrial-style lighting combine to make one covetable holiday base. The location is just as good as the looks: you’re only a two-minute walk away from Parliament House and the City Hall.

7. The penthouse with scenic views

Homestay

The balcony of this sleek penthouse gives guests views of the mountains, the ocean and the famous Hallgrímskirkja. With sloping loft ceilings, concrete walls and floor-to-ceiling windows, this luxurious home is conveniently located in central Reykjavik, surrounded by bars, restaurants and shops. Start the day with a coffee from the espresso machine and enjoy the view of Reykjavik’s colourful houses from the patio.

8. The wood cabin with peaceful surroundings

Homestay

Giving you the best of both nature and city life, this cosy wood cabin just outside Reykjavik is the ideal peaceful retreat after a day of sightseeing. Unwind in the rocking chair next to the fireplace or sit by the window and watch the snow fall outside in the surrounding woods. While you will need a car to access the cabin, staying here means you will be close to popular tourist attractions like the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon. Thanks to its secluded location and the area’s lower levels of pollution, the cabin is an ideal place for nature lovers looking to see the Northern Lights.

Melanie Moore contributed additional reporting to this article.

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