Hands down, KEX in Reykjavik is one of the coolest hostel I’ve had the pleasure of staying at. But seriously, like hipster cool AF.
For starters, KEX is situated in an old biscuit factory (KEX is Icelandic for biscuit) so it’s super industrial with high ceilings and big rooms. But it’s also been decorated with every hipster interior trend on Instagram – bird cages hang from the ceiling, antique books and vintage maps are everywhere and none of the chairs match obvs. But it’s not so much that it takes itself too seriously. There is a scandi-chic vibe to it that makes the common areas cozy rather than too cool to chill in.
The bar and gastropub in the main area are so good that they are frequented by the general public rather than just patrons. The bar sells kraft beers and the restaurant pumps out delicious ‘freedom’ burgers. Of course. KEX also features live bands quite frequently and I was even there for their 5th birthday, which meant a big party! So it’s definitely a very social hostel and I quite easily chatted to a few people there.
I really like that as the hostel is open to the masses on the main floor, the other floors are accessed only by key cards and have their own mini-common areas. A cozy little living-room-esque nook and a kitchen area with walls covered in comic book strips and bingo cards. Because why not, right?
I stayed in room 404 at KEX, as you can see from the retro bingo sign, and the room was awesome. Sure it had the high ceilings, vintage furniture and cool retro lockers to match the rest of the hostel, but it also had one of the most amazing views I’ve ever woken up to. I mean just look at this. *Jaw drops*
So as you can see, the location of KEX is ideal. Right on the waterfront, the hostel is close to the Sun Voyager sculpture as well as the harbour and concert hall. But it’s also walking distance to all of the main attractions in Reykjavik and the main High Street full of bars and restaurants.
Oh wait, I haven’t told you about the breakfast. You know like when you go to a hotel and they have a continental buffet? With just the basics – toast, cereal, eggs, etc… Well KEX does the same thing but miles better. It’s like a gourmet meal with homemade jams, rustic bread and dried fruits in mason jars. I’m telling you it’s an Instagrammer’s dream. It was a little expensive at 1800 Krona (just over £10), or 1600 Krona (about £9) if you pre-book, but I’m glad I tried it out once.
Overall I would definitely recommend KEX hostel to anyone visiting Reykjavik. It was super cool but really cozy and homely and everyone I met there was lovely. It’s a little expensive for a backpacker’s budget but I expected to pay a little more for things in Iceland to be honest. Go check out the KEX website for more info.
What do you think of KEX? Would you stay there? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!
Total blogger transparency: I accepted free accommodation at KEX but don’t worry all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I wouldn’t pay you like that shorty.