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Updated: June 3, 2022
The 3 Best Family Hotels in Reykjavik, Iceland
1. Residence Apartment
A wonderful hotel with apartment-style suites that have full kitchens, wifi, and washer & dryer. The two-bedroom apartments are great and can sleep a family of five or six. Shops and restaurants are one block away.
2. Icelandair Marina
Cool location down on the port with whale tours leaving just out the door. Reykjavik’s main street is one block in the other direction. The Studios comfortably sleep a family of six.
Friendly hotel a 3 minute walk from central Reykjavik’s main street. Triple rooms are comfy and family rooms are perfect for families of four or five. The hotel’s restaurant, Snaps Bistro Bar, is one of the best in Reykjavik (but still kid-friendly) and serves a fantastic breakfast.
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I am coming to Iceland with my husband and almost two year old son for one week at the end of October. Would you have any recommendations on where to stay and anything we shouldn’t miss while we are there?
The hotels I listed above are all great (just depends whether you want a kitchen or not). For things to do with a 2 year old, I would visit the Whale Museum, the Blue Lagoon, and one of the heated outdoor swimming pools (some have slides).
We are considering a visit with our 11, 15 and 16 year old children over their school break at the end of December. However, business constraints require us to keep the trip to a few days, as my husband must be back in the US to close his books year-end, so we would probably leave the evening of the 27th or 28th. In order to maximize our time, we could fly Dec 23rd overnight, arriving the 24th. Question is, would there be tourist attractions/excursions open to us over the 24th and 25th or will things all shut down for Christmas? And if guided tours, etc. are unavailable are there self-driven activities that would keep us busy and what are they?
Pretty much all tours will be running over the Christmas-New Years period. Many shops and restaurants do close on December 24th and 25th.
We’ve booked a trip to Reyjavik in February, two adults, one 7 year old.
Would you advise booking trips in advance online or is it best to wait & book when we get there?
We have 5 nights booked and want to do the obvious, blue lagoon, golden circle, northern lights & whale watching.
Thanks so much,
The Blue Lagoon tickets can wait until you’re there (and this will give some flexibility too) but the others I would book in advance – not so much for them selling out (like in high season) but more to see what’s available.
Get Your Guide has a good list of tours and attractions for Iceland.
When do you think is the best season to go to Reykjavík?
June to September are the best months weather-wise and if you want to take a tour (they typically don’t run in the winter). But depending on your interests spring, fall, and winter can be great too. Hotel rates are much cheaper outside of the high season.
Just checking – you mentioned above the tours typically don’t run in the winter. We are hoping to visit in February – will we be able to book on any tours?
There is less availability in winter but you should be able to find something for every area/interest. One problem is that the days are very short making your available travel hours limited. One day tours, in particular, have trouble doing what would be fine in summer.
We have a 4 day trip coming up (end of March) to Iceland with a 4 year old and a 2 year old on our way to the States. Do you think it would be a good idea to rent a car or is public transportation and taxi combination good enough? We don’t want to spend a ridiculous amount on getting around but not sure a car is worth it.
Public transportation is good around Reykjavik and getting to the Blue Lagoon is no problem. Renting a car or van is great for doing the ring-road loop but with only 4 days that would make for a very hurried trip.
We are planning a four night stay in Iceland with our two children, 7 and 10, on our way to Denmark for two additional weeks. We found the Reykjavik Residence Hotel online and with your endorsement looks like a promising place to stay for two nights. Do you think the junior suite is large enough for us or do we need the two bedroom apartment? Would also welcome other lodging recommendations you have for our two additional nights…we’ll have a rental car to explore on our own.
Thanks in advance!
The RRH has a great location and is walking distance to all of central Reykjavik, so it’s a great choice.
The Junior Suite is about 30 square meters (a decent size) but doesn’t have separate bedrooms. The 2 Bedroom is over twice the size, 65 square meters, and has a lot more room with a dining room and full kitchen:
Unless you’re doing the Ring Road I would stay in Reykjavik and do day trips from there (and not waste time switching hotels).
Iceland with a 4 and 5 year old?
Hello! We are considering a 10 day trip to Iceland this summer with our two young kids. When I mentioned this to friends of mine who have been to Iceland, they advised us against going with kids so young. Do you think there is enough there for young kids to enjoy? I was thinking that the geysers, waterfalls, puffins, whales, horses and thermal swimming pools would be exciting for little ones. And a chance to find play time and joy in nature. What do you think? Thanks and I love your site.
I know what your friends are saying – there is not a lot of kid-centric fun to be found in Iceland. But I still think it could be a great trip. I would say yes if camping, hiking, and outdoorsy stuff is a common part of your family’s life. No, if this would be something out of the ordinary. (If you did go be sure to check out the Whale Museum as it is one thing that kids love.)
We are arriving for a two night stay in Iceland. We’re staying at the Radisson Blu in Reykjavik. Our question regards when and how to get to Blue Lagoon. Should we go directly from the airport (we arrive at noon from New York) or go into the Reykjavik first, then go to Blue Lagoon on the next day (when we have a full day)? Is it better to take a taxi or bus? We are traveling with our 8 year old son. Thank you, Randi.
I wouldn’t book anything in advance. I would wait until you arrive in Iceland and see how you feel. Sometimes, after a long flight, everyone feels great and is ready to head out and do something. Other times you’re ready to crash and need a nap. There are buses that go directly from the airport to the Blue Lagoon but they don’t run that often (about every 2 hours) so I’d check with the bus desks you’ll see as you exit baggage claim. If the bus isn’t departing soon then take a taxi to the Blue Lagoon. The buses into Reykjavik leave more often but they’ll typically take you to one of the bus stations in Reykjavik and transfer you to a smaller bus to take you to your hotel. It’s a bit of a pain. If you’re tired and not on a tight budget then take a taxi from the airport to your hotel. The buses from Reykjavik to the Blue Lagoon are good, fast, efficient. No need to take a taxi. They’ll pick you up from your hotel and take you to a bus station (different bus station than the airport transfer) and then take a different bus to the Blue Lagoon. From the Radisson Blu the bus station is a 10 minute walk away so you could skip the hotel pickup and go straight there if you wanted. Coming back from the Blue Lagoon is a slightly different story as the bus will make stops at different hotels and the Radisson Blu will be one of the last stops. So, once again, if you’re tired after the Blue Lagoon and just want to get back to your hotel then take a taxi. There are usually taxis waiting in front of the Blue Lagoon but staff will call one if there’s not.
We are doing the free layover with Iceland Air. How long would you recommend staying in Iceland with 2 kids, ages 5 and 7? We have 2 weeks total. We are going to stop on our way to Europe so that we’re a little fresher when we get there. On the way home we figure we’ll just get home and then deal with the consequences but are more worried about not being jet lagged when arriving in Paris. Thoughts? Love the site, btw.
With only 2 weeks for the whole European trip you’d want to keep your Iceland stay short. One or two days would be what I would recommend. With just one day you could get to the Blue Lagoon and do a short walk around Reykjavik – the whale museum is the best kid-friendly attraction in Reykjavik for younger children. Two days is probably the best choice and will really give you a shot at being on European time before you get to Paris. The stopover in Iceland is a good way of getting to Europe when traveling with kids (and even good for the adults too).