Akureyri, Iceland

Place to Read

Price per night from$420.47

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR362.33), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.


Northern light


Ice, ice baby

It’s not just bibliophiles who will love a Place to Read in Iceland’s second city, Akureyri. This homestay hideaway is housed in a former pharmacy in the old part of town, close to a famous fjord, and is made up of just a handful of apartment-style suites (or you can book out the house as a whole). It’s – obviously – the perfect place to stay in with a good book, but we’d recommend saving that for evenings recovering from wild adventures:  there are plenty of waterfalls, lakes and mountains to explore up here. The Northern Lights are no stranger to these far-flung parts, and if you’ve travelled in high summer the days go on and on (and on – there are just two hours between sunset and sunrise in July).

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A book on William Morris; if you book the entire house, you'll also receive a bottle of Drappier Champagne and a selection of Omnom Chocolates


Photos Place to Read facilities

Need to know


Three suites.


Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm, also flexible.


Double rooms from £339.19 (€402), including tax at 11 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include a self-catered breakfast.


The temperatures may be the wrong end of zero, but Place to Read has one of the best ice-cream shops in the country for a neighbour: don’t miss a trip to Brynja to try the famous frozen delights, which are made with milk instead of cream.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, car park, laundry. In rooms: Bose iPod dock, Nespresso coffee machine, fireplace, kitchenette, tea-making kit, library and Soley Organics bath products.

Our favourite rooms

The higher the room, the better the fjord-framing perspective, but the ground-floor apartment has the most space. All of the rooms are similarly low-key – comfort is king. For the most privacy, grab a few of your favourites and book out the whole house.


There’s no spa, but Nordic traditions are alive and well: there’s a sauna in the basement, a hot tub and a bracing outdoor shower.

Packing tips

Bring thermals and outdoor gear in winter, and sunglasses in summer (you’ll need them all night long).


The main level of the house is navigable for wheelchair users and one room on this floor has been specially adapted.


All ages are welcome. Cots can be added to rooms. Babysitting can be arranged with a day’s notice and costs €15 an hour.

Food and Drink

Photos Place to Read food and drink

Top Table

Once you’ve grabbed whatever you fancy from the fridge, pull up a chair anywhere you like.

Dress Code


Hotel restaurant

There’s no restaurant, just a well-stocked fridge in the kitchen, where you’ll find helpful items such as milk, eggs, bacon, orange juice and organic yoghurt, along with some fresh bread and fruit, so you can assemble your breakfast. A private chef can be organised if that sounds like too much effort.

Hotel bar

There’s an honesty bar set up in the kitchen, with wine, champagne, gin and tonic, and various local craft beers.

Last orders

Breakfast is whenever you’ve got up to make it.


Photos Place to Read location
Place to Read
Aðalstræti 4

You’ll find this Place to Read in the historic part of Akureyri, in northern Iceland.


Akureyri has a domestic airport that’s two kilometres away from the hotel; internal flights from Reykjavik to Akureyri take 40 minutes, and then the drive to the hotel will take 10 minutes (a taxi should cost around 3,000 Icelandic króna).


If you don’t fancy a connecting flight, you can land at Reykjavik and drive the 400 kilometres along Highway 1 to Akureyri (journey time: five hours). There’s free parking at the property and a set of wheels will come in handy if you want to get visiting the various waterfalls, lakes and canyons.

Worth getting out of bed for

The hotel is more of a home-style stay, so you won’t find much in terms of facilities, but the centre of Akureyri is a 10-minute stroll away. In Akureyri, check out the fjord-side Safnasafnio, a museum that showcases folk art and crafts alongside contemporary Icelandic works (open from mid May to late August); or the various exhibitions on display at the Akureyri Art Museum, where you should definitely stick around for the café. Cetacean spotters will be rewarded on a whale-watching boat trip along the Eyjafjordur fjord; Keli Seatours will take you out on its traditional fishing vessel. For those who prefer to take to the skies rather than the seas, Circle Air has scenic flights and photo-opp tours a long way from the ground. There’s also a sailing club right by the house, for kayaking and boat trips in the summer. Heli-skiing is big news in the nearby Troll Peninsula; you won’t find people with peaked pink quiffs, but you can ski all the way from the top of a mountain to the shores of the sea. Take the (mineral-rich) waters on a day trip to the volcanic Lake Myvatn, which is close to the hot springs, boiling mud pots and (hold your noses) fumaroles of Hverir.

Local restaurants

If you’re British and you want to feel at home, head to the Indian Curry House or Akureyri Fish & Chips in town. For great steaks and sushi, try the local-produce-championing Rub23, which has Japanese flavours and its own robata grill. Bond with your bovine side at the cattle-loving Kaffi Ku, a homage to homegrown beef cooked by the farmers themselves; they’ll even pack you up with a picnic basket to take with you on a drive around the scenic surrounding farmland.

Local bars

Meet the locals during happy hour on Friday and Saturday afternoons at The Icelandair hotel in Akureyri, which has views of fjords, mountains and, if you’re lucky, the Northern Lights.


Photos Place to Read reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in northern Iceland and unpacked their loaf of volcanic bread, a full account of their countryside break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Place to Read in Akureyri

For those with their noses always in a book, Place to Read gives you all the nooks and cosy crannies you’ve been looking for. This clean-cut, Scandi-style stay is a private home with three apartments that can be booked out as a whole. There are no frills and fancy facilities, just a convivial kitchen where a well-stocked fridge and honesty bar are set up for guests to raid. The house is on the edge of Akureyri, Iceland’s second-biggest city, but if you think that means a big population, think again: you’ll have just 18,000 neighbours in the fjord-facing town. In high summer, days last for 22 hours, which is handy since there are near-endless activities, from whale watching and heli-skiing to trips to boiling mud pots; in the depths of winter, they’re just four hours long, but that only gives the Northern Lights more time to come out and play. Failing that, you can always lose yourself in a good book back at bibliophile basecamp. It’s win-win.

Price per night from $420.47

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