by Hannah Lewis

Kex Hostel

A cosy hipster haven with a bustling gastro pub.

Absolute Highlight

Seeing the vivid colours of the Northern Lights spill across the sky right outside the hostel.

In a nutshell

No. of rooms
142 guest capacity.
The design aesthetic is...
industrial hipster meets Nordic cosiness.
The typical guest is...
intrepid travellers chasing the ultimate outdoor experiences.
The sustainability features (ie. plastic free, recycling, green wall, garden) are...
shared spaces and bathrooms and using reclaimed furniture and interiors.
The location is...
on the edge of Downtown Reykjavik right near the icy harbour and snow capped mountains.
Interaction is encouraged by....
plenty of shared spaces and events, mainly live music.
You should stay here because
it feels like a home away from home.
What took you there?

We came to Reykjavik to attend Iceland Airwaves, a music festival that has gigs of all sizes in various venues across the city including bookstores, the Blue Lagoon, art galleries and Kex Hostel. When I mentioned to my friend that I was going to Iceland, he told me I must go to Kex hostel. He hadn’t been there himself, but he wants to go to Iceland just to stay there. I was a little confused as I’ve never heard of someone gushing over a hostel before, but as soon as I checked in I understood why.

What was your room like?

It had everything you want in a room. It was clean, spacious and boasted beautiful interior design (I am a sucker for anything retro), as well as the million dollar views over the harbour which is hemmed by snow capped mountains.  Given it’s a hostel it didn’t have the ‘extras’ like a TV or minibar, which was great because it encouraged us to get out and experience everything Reykjavik has to offer. We had a shared bathroom, normally this would urk me (I have gladly put my dodgy-hostel days behind me), but the amenities here are immaculate and cleaned often – not a hair covered bar of soap in sight!

What about the venue

Kex, the Icelandic word for biscuit, pays homage to the fact the hostel used to be a biscuit factory which you can see by all the industrial details in this cosy space. Borrowing a term from their nordic neighbour, Denmark, everything about Kex is very ‘hygge’. There are communal tables to pull out your laptop, plenty of comfy armchairs to curl up and read a book and even a heated patio to enjoy, if the icelandic elements will allow it!

Tell us about the destination

Reykjavik is a small city that packs plenty of punch. It has a bustling nightlife, restaurants ranging from Korean, nordic to american diner style. Despite being somewhat isolated from the rest of the world, the city is surprisingly very cosmopolitan. But the best thing about Reykjavik is its proximity to nature – glaciers you can hike on, volcanoes, waterfalls, steaming geysers and thermal pools. Kex also has a tour business, Kexland which organises incredible experiences for their guests. We went snorkeling between the tectonic plates there which was a great way to meet other travelers and guests.

Who did you meet there?

I was surprised to hear a fellow Aussie accent behind the front desk considering Iceland is literally on the other side of the world and with a tiny population of approximately 330,000. But over the course of the week I had in Reykjavik, much of which was spent in Kex’s bar, I realized that this cosy, colourful city attracts expats from near and far thanks its access to nature, it’s creative scene and it’s the locals (many of whom look like supermodels).

Iceland, Reykjavik
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Surrounding Activities

Silfra Fissure Snorkeling

Snorkel between the tectonic plates, a totally bizarre, life changing experience.

Silfra Fissure Snorkeling

Blue Lagoon

Thaw out in the thermal waters of the blue lagoon.

Blue Lagoon

Hire a car and drive wherever the wind takes you and get blown away by the landscape and you might be lucky enough to spot a icelandic horse along the way.

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