Look for a place in Reykjavik

Many of the residents of Iceland purchase their properties, rather than rent them. This means that about 80% of the homes throughout Iceland are privately owned. This results in the rental market being a bit complicated, without a high number of rental properties available to international students. This may also cause a spike in rental costs, especially in the capital city of Reykjavik.

Many apartments and rooms in the city are now being rented out through various programs to students. Even boarding houses that were once used for student housing are being used for short-term rentals for tourists visiting the city, so this makes it especially difficult for international students and Icelandic students living too far outside of Reykjavik to commute.

Room prices

Depending on the close proximity to the city center, pricing for private rooms that are located in shared apartments can range between 600 € and 800 €. If you require a furnished or an unfurnished room, this can also affect the pricing, although you will quickly discover that most of the rooms are furnished.

If you’d like to look into renting an entire flat, the average prices are as follows:

City Center

  • 1-Bedroom Apartment - 1,500 €
  • 3-Bedroom Apartment - 2,300 €

Outside of the City Center

  • 1-Bedroom Apartment - 1,200 €
  • 3-Bedroom Apartment - 1,900 €

Reykjavik neighborhoods

Miðborg – Downtown - City center – 101

This vibrant neighborhood is right in the center of Reykjavik, full of all of the things that you would expect in an exciting student city. Here you’ll find many of the tourist attractions that draw in visitors from all over the world, such as Aurora Reykjavik, along with bars, restaurants like the glass-domed Perlan, shopping and other attractions.

When you’re in Reykjavik, you are likely to spend most of your time here, socializing with the new friends that you’re sure to meet at the university. While in 101, you can stroll through the unique streets and try out some of the local cuisine. If you’re ready to party while in this bustling capital city, then you are most definitely in the right place.

Additionally, Reykjavik’s downtown area is an easily walkable destination, meaning that you won’t have to worry about parking or jumping on one of the many modes of public transportation. It’s easy to explore on foot!

Vesturbær – 107

Vesturbær is a charming neighborhood that is situated just west of Reykjavik’s city center. This quirky little area quickly becomes a favorite amongst students, especially when they’re looking for a little peace and relaxation. This neighborhood is nestled close to the sea, it is quiet, and it boasts comfy cafes and a nice swimming pool. From its farthest point, 107 is only about a 30-minute stroll from Reykjavik’s city center, and public transportation can get you there even faster.

Ultimately, if you are looking for a quiet area when on the search for your student accommodation, but you still want to be in close proximity to all of the action, then Vesturbær might just be your best bet!

Hlíðar – 105

The cozy 105, much like Vesturbær, will also be another great find for those wanting to have a nice place to relax after a long day at the university but want to be easily connected to the city center through several bus routes. From the east side, Hlíðar is an easy walk from downtown, but don’t expect a lot of dining or nightlife. Now, if you are really on a budget and don’t mind being a bit further away from the city center, then the following three areas might be just right for you. Each of these neighborhoods boasts unique amenities, making them ideal for someone really wanting to experience the real Iceland. Plus, you’re sure to make loads of new friends with the local residents.

Laugardalur - 104

Laugardalur is a popular neighborhood for travelers, especially those with young children who like to be entertained by its attractions. This area sports the Reykjavik Zoo, parks, botanical gardens (where there’s a fun cafe right at its center) and a gigantic outdoor swimming pool.

Laugardalur is also a residential neighborhood, and it’s close to the downtown area, especially when utilizing the public transportation system. It’s convenient proximity, along with its many outlets of transportation, make this a perfect place to stay in Reykjavik during your international exchange.

Háaleiti og Bústaðir - 108

If you are an outdoor person and you’d rather spend your time in parks than in museums, then this area might be the best neighborhood for you in Reykjavik. Of course, Iceland is known for its multi-faceted natural attractions, so don’t miss out while you’re studying here! Fossvogur valley is well-known throughout the city as one of the best outdoor spaces, full of trails and places to have picnics with your friends.

And if you want to explore your shopping options in this area, then be sure to visit Kringlan, a large shopping mall in Reykjavik, with tons of stores at your disposal. If you want to get into the downtown area quickly, you can jump on a short bus ride.

Seltjarnarnes - 170

Seltjarnarnes is a small town that is a bit outside of Reykjavik, meaning that rental costs will be lower, and you’ll be surrounded by the loveliness of Iceland. Encircled by the sea, you’ll be sure to appreciate the scenic beauty of this area!

During the winter, you may be wondering about the Northern Lights, and the nearby Grotta Lighthouse is one of the best places to view this natural wonder. Grotta also offers a walking trail that is ideal for summer walks, as well as to stretch your legs after finals.

And don’t worry at all about getting around in Seltjarnarnes. Several bus lines can take you around within the area, and on into the downtown section of Reykjavik.

Tips to find housing in Reykjavik

Tourists who are visiting Reykjavik often rent in the same ways that students will opt for, so accommodation can be in high demand. Tourists are no longer only visiting Reykjavik during the summer months, but all throughout the year. With its attractions and offerings for any season, tourists will also be in the mix for those looking for short-term housing. Therefore, it is important to remember that booking ahead is necessary to ensure that you find accommodation that suits your individual needs.

Private market

When searching the private market, keep in mind that some guesthouses or other accommodations may close during the winter season, due to lack of tourists. However, prices also decrease up to 40% during this time, so it’s a great time to rent, as long as you start your search early.

Some students may decide to post an advertisement in a local paper for a room or an apartment. But remember that it will be published in Icelandic, making it difficult if you do not speak the language, especially when sifting through the responses.

Housing Anywhere

Europe’s number one booking platform for students who are looking for accommodation during their international exchange is HousingAnywhere.com. As that we work closely with well over 150 different universities, it is both safe and simple to search for an apartment or a room. Housing Anywhere connects students, private landlords and commercial housing operators to offer a platform for booking and advertising available space, creating a global audience of nearly 3 million students each and every year. Booking is that easy when you are planning to live in Reykjavik!


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