HI - Reykjavik Downtown Hostel





The Hostelz.com Review

HI - Reykjavik Downtown Hostel is a thoroughly enjoyable hostel. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, even if after checkout. You can book almost anything you need at the front desk and all the tours have no problem finding the hostel.

The Location

The hostel is located on Vesturgata in the northeastern part of the city. It is a few blocks' walk from the harbor, where there are lots of great places to eat, and just down the hill is the start of the main shopping and bar street. It is comprised of two buildings -- the reception/room area and a smaller house out back where there is a lounge and kitchen. It's tucked in a less-trafficked part of the city, so it stays quiet but is very close to attractions, places to eat, and public transport.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The ten-person room is spacious and has good storage and a number of outlets. The beds are study and don't creak. The mattresses are a little thin, but not uncomfortable, and are covered in a plastic, fitted sheet. When you arrive, empty beds are unmade with the linens neatly folded on top -- you are expected to put them on. Each bed has outlets near it and a reading lamp, plus a locker in the room. There is a thermostat in the room and the lights can work on a dimmer if you hold the switch down to adjust the atmosphere to your liking.

There is one bathroom in the room with numbered shelves and hooks for each bed, a large shower stall, and toilet. There is also a second sink outside the bathroom for brushing teeth and such. Everything is kept very clean by the staff. At no point is the room or bathroom left dirty and the staff are diligent with cleaning the common area and rooms, mopping and wiping down everything at least once a day. There is no a lack of hot water and towel/soap dispensers are kept full. Also, the doors are quiet and good at blocking sound/light getting into the rooms.

Common Spaces

There are two main common spaces -- the reception area where most people hang out or have breakfast, and the upper floor of the smaller red house out back, which has couches and chairs for reading or relaxing. The kitchen is well stocked with cutlery and pans, plus they have a nice system to organize food and make sure it doesn't go to waste with "private" or "free" baskets. There are two fridges and a freezer, a microwave, toaster, kettle, and drip coffee maker. There is also a washer and dryer available.

Breakfast from the hostel consists of breads, meats/cheeses, spreads, some fruit, and coffee/tea/juice. It's not included, but it's also not overly expensive. However, there are lots of great cafes in the area so you might find yourself wanting to eat out.


Downtown Hostel is great. The staff and guests are extremely polite. The Wi-Fi is reliable and fast (it can slow down when everyone is on it, right before dinner time usually), and there's lots of hot water and a very friendly and clean atmosphere. The bathroom could be improved by installing a vent in the bathroom, because it can get steamy in the rooms after someone's showered, and maybe adding more hooks for towels/bathing suits. Also note that the hole where the locks go in the lockers is a small diameter, so larger padlocks won't work.
by Colin
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Exterior sink and Bathroom Door
Shelves and Towel Hooks
Toilet and Shower Stall
Cafe/Breakfast Bar
Kitchen/Lounge House


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "HI - Reykjavik Downtown Hostel" at Vesturgata 17.)


Vesturgata 17, Reykjavík (Reykjavik), Capital Region, Iceland
64.149705, -21.944010 (accuracy not guaranteed)
+354 553 8120
+354 553 8121
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews

Competent staff, clean rooms
I was very pleased with my stay at HI. It is well located (not that it takes much to be close to the city centre, given how small the city is) and in particular I was greeted by very a friendly and helpful staff. Clean rooms, kitchen available, WiFi were certainly a big plus. I'd personally recommend this place.
Age 30, Italian
Reykjavik Downtown Hostel is an excellent place to stay in downtown Reykjavik, and actually feels more like a four-star hotel by European standards. Since it just opened in April 2009, the facilities are brand new, clean, and very affordable. Hostel staff were extremely friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about local attractions. Overall, it's a fantastic, comfortable place with great staff, an ideal location, and facilities suitable for both individuals and families. The Location This hostel is centrally located on a quiet, cobblestone street in Downtown Reykjavik. It is actually located in one of Reykjavik's most historic neighbourhoods, and only a very short walk (five minutes) from the old harbour and in the heart of the old village. It is also surrounded by some of Reykjavik's best coffee shops and restaurants -- Cafe Paris and Tapas Barinn are down the road. All of the city's major attractions are easily accessible by foot, including museums, galleries, shopping, restaurants, pubs, and music venues. The Tourist Information Centre is located down the street. Guests arriving from the airport via FlyBus will have no difficulty finding the place, as they will be dropped off at the closest street corner to the hostel (one-minute walk). Since the hostel is located in the centre of Reykjavik, it is not very conducive to cars -- while metered street parking is available in front of the hostel, it is very limited and not recommended. Rooms and Bathrooms Guests will be welcomed to rooms equipped with duvets, comfortable beds, and hot showers. The hostel has a range of rooms to choose from -- spacious dorms with eight to ten beds, dorms with four beds, family rooms, and double rooms with shared or private facilities. With the morning rush, the shower water can sometimes be a bit lukewarm. Guests should remember that the faint smell of sulphur from the water supply is normal, since Iceland uses a geothermic heating system. The Common Spaces Upon entry to the hostel, guests will be greeted with a cozy lounge area with a cafe, TV, and candles and flowers on every table. In the morning, the lounge becomes the breakfast area for guests. Although the hostel advertises a full kitchen for cooking, it is actually reserved for the use of staff and the cafe. However, hostel staff are happy to put some food in the fridge for guests, if requested. There is free wireless internet for guests, but bring a laptop because there are no computers for guest use. Unfortunately, there are no laundry or game facilities available in this building. This is a very small, quiet hostel, so guests looking to party should expect to visit the local bars instead. Summary Overall, this is an excellent hostel for an amazing price -- ideal for travelers looking get a good night's sleep in the centre of downtown Reykjavik without busting the bank. It won't be long before this newly-opened hostel is listed all in the travel guides!
Lisa Jackson

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