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Cheap Hostels and Camping in Iceland

While the words cheap, accommodation, and Iceland are rarely ever muttered in the same sentence, it is possible to find a place to stay in this country for not much money. The thing is, you need to camp.

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Cheap Places to Stay in Iceland

While the words cheap, accommodation, and Iceland are rarely ever muttered in the same sentence, it is possible to find a place to stay in this country for not much money. The thing is, you need to camp.

Camping at campsites in Iceland

Most cities and villages of any sizable population in Iceland tend to have an adjoining campground at their periphery where travelers can stay for cheap. These campgrounds are often very will provisioned, having clean bathrooms, hot showers, and, sometimes, kitchens and lounges with WIFI. It is easy to find these campsites, as they generally lie on the main road that goes through town, and anybody can tell you how to get there.

Camping in Iceland is key to traveling cheap

A campsite in Iceland runs between $6 and $15 per night/ per person, with the average price coming out around $10. Generally, in my experience, these campgrounds are within easy walking distance from their town’s center, so it is easy to provision yourself with food and other supplies.

Best campgrounds in Iceland

This is an ongoing list of some of the best camping facilities in Iceland:

Reykjavik- This campground is the starting and ending point for most journeys in Iceland. It is huge, has a kitchen, WIFI, a lounge, and free food bins. Excellent place to live, not just visit.

Stikishholmer- This is the Mercedes Benz of all campgrounds. It is located on a golf course, and has great views of the mountains, great facilities, a lounge with cheap coffee, and WIFI. If you stay two nights you get one free. It is virtually located in the city, and is only a stone’s throw away from a Bonus supermarket.

Worst campgrounds in Iceland

This is a list of some of the worst campgrounds in Iceland. It is our recommendation that it would be better to just camp on the sly than stay at these places.

Borgarnes- This campground is more or less a mowed lawn on the side of a highway. Facilities are limited to a shower and toilet. Read more at Camping in Borgarnes.

Arnarstapi- This was the most expensive campground that I stayed at in Iceland. At $15 per person, it is a waste of money — especially as there is not even a shower. The facilities are limited to a couple of toilets, and the staff is not the friendliest. Read more at There is Nothing in Arnarstapi.

Camping on the sly

It is easy and relatively safe to camp on the sly in Iceland. Just set up a tent out in a field that is not fenced in, cook up some food, and sleep. The biggest obstacle to camping in this manner is the wind, which can blow so hard that it is not possible to set up a tent in it. The landscape of Iceland is often very wide open and exposed as well, with no natural features to break the wind. Another option is to knock on farmhouse doors and ask for a place to set up your tent.


A dorm bed can be had in Iceland for between $20 and $30. This price is roughly on par with other countries in Europe, but is a little much considering that camping is so much cheaper and often has the same facilities — well, without the roof. There are hostels in many of the cities and larger villages in Iceland.


Yeah right, this is an extreme budget travel guide, so we are not going to even waste space talking about a form of accommodation that will run $100+ a night.


While generally pretty expensive, some of the rural guesthouses in Iceland can be relatively decently priced. Think no lower than $30 per night/ per person as the lowest possible price, and $50+ as the ballpark.

Maps of Iceland

Iceland Travel Guide

Iceland Travel Guide

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Filed under: Accommodation, Europe, Iceland

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3691 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: Trenton, Maine

1 comment… add one

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  • villas lloret de mar January 15, 2013, 1:54 am

    I think camping is really a great idea for making a trip more enjoyful & full of fun. Even during your camping you would also enjoy nature’s beauty. That you haven’t enjoy ever.

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