When tourists arrive in Iceland, the standard practice is to jump on a coach and head straight to Reykjavík. The capital is a 45-minute journey from the international airport and is where a large part of Iceland’s action happens. But this typical race to Reykjavík doesn’t have to be your path.
Perhaps you had a particularly late arrival flight, or have an early morning departure at the end of your holiday. Maybe you want to base yourself somewhere a little quieter, but still be near the action. If that’s the case, consider staying in Keflavík, or the destination that welcomes most arrivals into Iceland. Let’s take a look at the top hotels near Keflavík International Airport.
Keflavík or Reykjavík Airport?
Firstly, let’s get our airport facts clear. These airports are not the same; Reykjavík Airport is located in Reykjavík, the capital city and is only used for regional flights throughout Iceland and short international flights to Greenland.
Those travelers visiting Iceland from the rest of Europe or anywhere else will land in Keflavík. The two airports are about 45 minutes apart; Keflavík Airport, or KEF to use its international code, is further west, located near the tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula.
Why stay at a hotel near Keflavik International airport?
Why should you stay in Keflavík instead of Reykjavík? Well, for one thing, Keflavík is half the distance to Iceland’s newest volcano, Fagradalsfjall. You’ve likely already heard of this spot, so it may well be at the top of your list of places to visit. If it isn’t, put it there.
We’ve visited the volcano ourselves and it is one of the most spectacular sights we’ve ever experienced. Keflavík is also much closer to Iceland’s world-famous Blue Lagoon. This is a naturally-heated geothermal spa that attracts millions of visitors annually. The bright blue steaming water has captured the hearts of many visitors to the Land of Fire and Ice.
Additionally, when you compare the populations of the two urban areas, Keflavík possesses a much more relaxed vibe. Not least because at any one time, Reykjavík’s population is essentially doubled with tourists. Now, this isn’t a huge deal, as there are only about 200,000 people living in the Capital Region.
Nevertheless, if you want to experience a medium-sized Icelandic town, opt for Keflavík. The municipality of Reykjanesbær, which includes Keflavík, has a population of around 16,000. Of course, the capital’s proximity means it’s still ideal for a day trip.
Best hotels to stay near Keflavik International Airport
Now that we’ve outlined some of the benefits of basing yourself near Keflavik, let’s look at where to stay. There are a number of hotels very close to the airport, with varying rates and facilities.
1. Aurora Airport Hotel
If you want a place that’s super convenient to reach after your flight, look no further than Aurora Airport Hotel. Located only 100 meters from the airport, a short drive is all that stands between you and some R&R.
For even more convenience, pick up your rental car in Iceland from us 300 meters from the arrivals hall of the terminal building. This way you’ll have your car rental and your accommodation check-in sorted within minutes of leaving the airport.
A continental breakfast is served at the hotel every morning, and the Aurora Star bar is open every night. The hotel contains single-person rooms for those on a solo adventure, as well as double and family rooms for partners and bigger groups.
2. Hótel Keflavík
Slightly further away, although still within an easy 5-minute reach of the airport, is Hótel Keflavík. This four-star, family-owned hotel is located close to
the sea, providing you with a fresh ocean breeze.
Its on-site fitness center, sauna and solarium are free to use for guests and a breakfast buffet is included. Complimentary bikes are available for guests who want to explore the local area. Dine in the KEF Restaurant which is open to the stars, with huge glass walls and ceiling.
If you’re looking for that extra level of luxury, in the top floor of the hotel is the Diamond Suites. This is Iceland’s first five-star hotel, and it has a variety of themed rooms to choose from. These include The Ruby, The Sapphire and The Emerald, all catering to different tastes and requirements.
3. BB Hotel Keflavik Airport
Keflavík’s own bed and breakfast hotel, the BB Hotel offers a great service for a budget price. If you have a flight in the morning, the hotel provides a free shuttle to the airport from 4-10 am. This is also the time that the breakfast buffet is available, fuelling you up for your Iceland adventure.
Their 24-hour reception will ensure that help is always available if you decide on a spontaneous 3 am road trip. Top the day off with a stop at the Take-Off bar to share stories of the wonderful places you’ve visited.
4. Courtyard by Marriott Iceland
This modern Marriott hotel offers two room types, with king and twin rooms to suit your needs. The on-site Bridge Restaurant is also there to deliver high-quality breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
If a day’s worth of hiking around Iceland's volcanoes wasn’t enough of a workout, they also have a fully-equipped fitness center where you can get your exercise on. The Courtyard is stylish, sleek, and caters to business as well as recreational pursuits, with large meeting and event rooms available to book.
This hotel near Keflavik International Airport is then perfect for both leisure travelers and business meetings!
5. Start Hostel Keflavik
If you’re looking to limit your accommodation budget to free up money for excursions, Start Hostel is for you. For a moderate price, you can book a bed in a dormitory, giving you the opportunity to meet other travelers.
Their communal kitchen provides all you need to prepare your meals, and private lockers in the dormitories ensure your valuables will be protected. This is a hostel with style and a prime location, as well as a five-bed family room for groups.
Best accommodation in Keflavik
So now that you know about the hotels, the airports, and the advantages, it’s clear the best way to start your Iceland journey is by choosing a hotel near Keflavík International airport.
Pick your rental car up at arrivals, drive to your hotel within minutes, and kickstart your adventure! The volcano, the Blue Lagoon and many other wonders await you close by. This small town will welcome you with open arms to enjoy all it has to offer.