When looking for the best places to stay in Iceland, you may suddenly realise you've hit the destination jackpot. No matter where you are in the country, there is something spectacular nearby, whether that's great food, dramatic and rugged mountainous landscapes, powerful waterfalls or charming fishing villages.
What can be much harder to figure out is where to stay in Iceland, depending on your priorities. Northern lights? City life? Dramatic landscapes? Fear not – when the choice gets a bit overwhelming, that's where we come in.
We've put together a list of the best places to stay for the best travel experiences in Iceland, whatever tantalising aspect of the country you're in the mood for. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Iceland your essential travel guide for Iceland.
Despite being isolated in the Atlantic Ocean, Reykjavík is a city on par with some of the trendiest in the world. It's daubed with street art and offers mouth-wateringly good restaurants plus cute cafes and colourful buildings. Take a look at our guide to the best restaurants in Reykjavik.
With all the Icelandic culture we've come to love internationally, you'll be missing out if you don't spend at least some time here. And not only do we feature the city in our guide to the 30 best places to go with kids, it makes a great base for for all types of visitors and is one of the best places to visit in Iceland this summer.
Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at our Iceland itineraries. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, and then booked for a stress-free holiday.
Sure, Reykjavik has the main international airport nearby and is effortlessly cool, but it isn't the only city to stay in that will give you an insight into Icelandic life. Take Akureyri, the second most populous city in Iceland, although its population is still less than 20,000.
Located at the base of a fjord in north west Iceland, this pulsing city offers excellent skiing, eclectic cafes and restaurants. It's also home to impressive, Akureyrarkirkja church and surrounded by stunning natural phenomena like Lake Mývatn and Dettifoss, which you can see in our 30 incredible photos of Iceland.
The northern what? Just kidding – Iceland is pretty much synonymous with the northern lights, and with good reason. Between November and March, you're in with a pretty good chance of witnessing the colourful, wispy curtain dangling in the sky that makes up the sought-after Aurora Borealis.
And as long as you stay away from too much light pollution, and are blessed with some luck from the weather gods, you can choose from hotels all around the country where a focus on the phenomena makes them some of the best places and times to see Northern Lights in Iceland.
From craggy mountains to thundering waterfalls, Iceland's landscapes are one of the main reasons people visit the country, so it only makes sense to stay within close vicinity of them. We recommend you pick your must-do attractions and go from there. Check out our guide to the best things to do in Iceland for inspiration.
By staying in places close to major sites you can be first on the scene and avoid the crowds, at least until the tour buses arrive. Plus quite a few adjacent hotels are design icons worth a visit in their own right. And if that puts you in the mood for Scandi-style, take a look at where to stay in Copenhagen.
In winter, they provide a cozy respite from the cold, and in the summer, they're just pure luxury. Iceland's hot springs, powered by the geothermal activity that's so abundant on the island, are worth visiting any time of year.
The types of springs can range from huge, famous attractions like the Blue Lagoon, to secret hideaway pools dotted in the countryside. If you want to know more have a look at the top 10 hot springs in Iceland to take a dip.
Ready for a trip to Iceland? Check out the Rough Guide to Iceland. If you travel further in Iceland read more about the best time to go and the best places to visit. For inspiration use our Iceland itineraries or speak to our local experts. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there. And don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go.
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