Living Like a Local in Reykjavik with @Roomorama

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I know I've said it before, but I really don't like staying in hostels — especially hostel dorm rooms. I don't like sharing my space when I travel, and I want to be able to stay up until 3 a.m. working on my blog (okay, or watching trashy TV shows) if I feel like it without worrying about bothering anybody else.

But this dislike of hostels often puts me into a bit of a tricky spot when I travel. Because, while I don't like hostels, I don't like spending an arm and a leg on hotel rooms, either.

So what other options are there for the solo traveler?

Well, there are apartments.

Roomorama Reykjavik

I've never rented an apartment while traveling before, though I've always been interested in the concept. So, when @Roomorama approached me about trying out their worldwide apartment rental service, I jumped at the chance.

And what better place to try living like a local than in Reykjavik, Iceland?

After breezing through the Roomorama site (it really is incredibly easy to search and use) and settling on a few downtown apartments that looked promising, I sent out a couple of inquiries. To do this, I simply indicated the dates I would be staying, and how many people would be in the apartment.

I had my pick of available rooms and apartments in all price ranges.

Roomorama Reykjavik

A glimpse of what the site looks like in-use.

It took less than a day to hear back from the apartment owners and settle on the one I'd be staying in for 3 nights. I paid for the apartment via Roomorama and was then given a payment confirmation code, which I gave to the owner via e-mail after I arrived. This is a great way to ensure privacy and security when booking an apartment online.

I ended up in a lovely 1-bedroom, ground floor apartment on Grettisgata St., just one street up from one of the major shopping streets in Reykjavik.

Reykjavik, Iceland

The colorful street outside my apartment.

The apartment owner, a woman named Helga, sent me a map to help me get from the bus terminal to the apartment, instructions on how to get my key, and even a list of good Icelandic restaurants to try out while I was in town. I felt welcome before I even arrived in Iceland.

The apartment itself was perfect — it had a full, scaled-down kitchen (including dishwasher!), a retro-style living room, a double bed with plenty of extra pillows and blankets, and a spacious modern bathroom. The apartment also came with cable TV and free wireless Internet, as well as access to a washer and dryer. Well worth $97 USD per night.

Roomorama Reykjavik

Roomorama Reykjavik

Roomorama Reykjavik

I loved the maps of Iceland on the wall!

Roomorama Reykjavik

I was only a few blocks from a grocery store, and just a short walk from all the main things to do/see in Reykjavik. When it came time for me to move to a hotel further away from downtown after 3 nights, I honestly didn't want to leave.

Check out my video tour of the apartment:

This apartment was great, and actually exceeded my expectations. Some rental apartment properties wind up not looking anything like the photos you see online, but this one definitely stacked up.

Roomorama Reykjavik

If you want to check this particular place out, here's the listing. There's also a 2-bedroom apartment upstairs that can be rented for the same price (starting at $95 per night). You won't find any hotel rooms in Reykjavik for a better price.


Have you ever rented an apartment during your travels? If not, would you consider it?

*Note: I received credit from Roomorama to help with booking my Reykjavik apartment. As always, though, opinions are my own.


  • Veronica (Eli) Alvarez says:

    So, it’s basically like renting a holiday house in NZ of which I did and it was great…had a whole house to myself. I like your idea too. I’ve never even been to a hostel but do you over rated hotels. Thanks for sharing!

  • Gaelyn says:

    This is sweet. Thanks for the tip about Roomarama. I’ve bookmarked their site for the future.
    Gaelyn recently posted..Back to the Grand Canyon

    • DangerousBiz says:

      My pleasure! It’s well worth taking a look the next time you’re traveling. Sometimes you can find some really good deals!

  • Cristina says:

    Liked the apartment video tour! Never heard of Roomorama, but now i know! Thanks!
    Cristina recently posted..How to Get the Best Seat on a Plane

  • Vi says:

    You probably did good job promoting this appartment. You was staying only 3 nights, but now they allow min 5 nights πŸ™‚
    Vi recently posted..Best shoes for travel

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I think as it gets closer to summer, the number of minimum nights goes up. πŸ˜‰ I was there in the off-season!

  • EurotripTips says:

    I stayed with Roomorama in London and while I didn’t have the best experience, I am fully aware that I just picked a bad apple from the basket and I would gladly try it again!
    EurotripTips recently posted..Monday’s Postcard: Oxford, England

    • DangerousBiz says:

      That’s too bad! But yes, the downside to a rental site like Roomorama is the chance that you might just pick a bad apartment. Hopefully you’ll have better luck next time!

  • Mary Beth Elderton says:

    Thank you for introducing me to Roomorama! I have bookmarked and will definitely remember this next time we travel>

  • Juliann says:

    We rent apartments or houses everywhere we go. I like it because not everyone has to be doing the same thing as the others., i.e. staying up reading or watching TV in a hotel room means everyone has the light on. Plus, in an apartment or house, we can eat breakfast and/or dinner there and not have to eat out every meal.

    We susually use VRBO (Vacation rentals By Owner) or HomeAway and have never had a problem. In Paris, we used Paris Sweet Home. I don’t think we’ll ever go back to hotels!
    Juliann recently posted..Fit Like A Weird Kind Of Glove

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Yes, you make great points! Especially the part about being able to cook some of your own meals, thus saving some more money!

  • I was thinking of sticking to courch surfing and hostels but I just checked out their website & I’m definitely going to have to use Roomorama during my few months in Europe! You’re right the website is really user friendly too! Thanks!
    Heathers Harmony recently posted..Choosing the Right English Teaching Program

    • DangerousBiz says:

      You can sometimes find some really good deals! Good luck! If nothing else, I’m sure it would be nice to have your own space for a few nights.

  • Megan says:

    I think apartment living while traveling is the best way to go, especially if you’re staying in one particular city for an extended period of time. I’ve also never been into hostel staying (and have actually only done it once!), and while hotels are nice, I really like having my own space to spread out and feel sort of at home for the duration of my trip. I also really like that I can save some money by keeping/preparing food there for breakfasts and lunches.
    Megan recently posted..Destination: Dubrovnik, Croatia

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I agree, Megan! From now on, if I’m going to be in one place for more than 3 or 4 nights, I’ll definitely be looking to see if I can find any good deals on an apartment!

  • Adam says:

    Yep – I found the website very easy to use as well when I used it for an apartment in Berlin. Seems like a really good way to experience Reykjavik as well. Though I did *love* the hostel I stayed at there!
    Adam recently posted..From Berlin to Brighton for the weekend

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I’m definitely likely to use Roomorama again, just because the site makes it so easy!

      Which hostel did you stay in in Reykjavik?

  • Christy says:

    I want to stay here. You make it sound so cozy. I’m the same way… I don’t like hostels anymore, but I will stay at them if I have a private room. Even then, I would so much rather have my own apartment!
    Christy recently posted..Ideas for a Rainy Day in London

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I’m the same way — I’ll do hostels if I have to, but I always try to get a private room (though, I’ll be going dorm-style quite a bit this summer… eek!). An apartment is definitely ideal, though, if you ask me!

  • I’ve actually always enjoyed staying in hostels, but have moved to prefer booking private rooms of late. Which works out great if you have a couple of travel buddies. Not so great when you’re lokoing at travelling solo. I’m actually in the middle of planning a week long trip to Iceland in June. I may end up in dorms but will definitly check out these apartments now.
    Johnny Peacock recently posted..Ticket Booths by Night

    • DangerousBiz says:

      If I do find myself having to book a hostel, I always try to get a private room. But, like you said, they’re really not very cost-effective unless you’re traveling with 1 or 2 other people!

  • I rented an apartment through airbnb for my stay in Paris last month and it was great. I, too, need some privacy and the apartment was cheaper than any decent hotel in the center of Paris. I will definitely consider doing it again.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I’ve never tried out airbnb, but I definitely plan to look into sites like it more in the future. Glad to hear you had a good experience in Paris!

  • Love the idea of renting an apartment. I was concerned about sleeping in hostel dorm rooms because of the privacy issues, but did so for the money issue and it ended up being a great experience. Nonetheless, this apartment looks gorgeous and incredibly appealing! What a fantastic introduction to the country. Why did you change to a hotel if this is considered a good price?
    Ayelet – All Colores recently posted..Belated Video of the Week: Fun in the Snow, San Martin de Los Andes, Argentina

  • Jill says:

    Do you have any tips for selecting an apartment on Roomorama?

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Not really any different tips than you’d use when looking for a hotel room – know you’re dates, perhaps what part of town you want to stay in, and how much you want to spend. I also always look for apartments that other people have booked and left reviews about.

  • Mackenzie says:

    This was such a good tip. I can’t believe how inexpensive some places are. They’re right on par with hostels in some locations and I’d much rather stay in an apartment than a hostel for the same price!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Yes! Apartment rentals can be a really affordable option in some locations – and so much nicer (usually) than staying in a hotel.

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