Whether one is a long-term or short-term traveler, the all important question for any traveler is, “Where do I go to get my clothes cleaned?” After two years of traveling full-time, we felt like we were experts at this question until our recent trip to Iceland. While in Reykjavik we had rented a nice home in a great location near downtown. The only wrinkle; it did not have a washing machine. No problem, we thought, there is sure to be a self-service laundry close-by. But much to our dismay, our research indicated that there are no self-service laundromats in Reykjavik. Glumly, we faced the prospect of paying a small fortune to have someone else do our laundry, or wash clothes by hand in the sink. I know some travelers swear that a sink is perfectly fine for washing clothes. As for me, I detest doing laundry by hand. I think doing all our laundry by hand for a month while in Paris has permanently ruined me. Maybe I am missing something in my technique of washing clothes by hand, but I never seem to be able to wring out enough water from the clothing and it takes FOREVER to dry, especially in a cold damp climate like Iceland. Personally, I avoid washing clothes in the sink at all costs. After mulling over our bleak options, we turned to the homeowner who we had rented the house from. Happily the homeowner was able to point us to the one and only self-service laundry in Reykjavik: aptly named the Laundromat Cafe. We stuffed our bag with dirty laundry and were off.
The Laundromat Cafe is located at Austurstræti 9 in downtown Reykjavik and has got to be one of the nicest places I have ever done laundry at. Seriously! When we walked in we were greeted by a cafe with a cozy, but funky, vibe. The walls are lined with funny posters and books. Besides being able to do laundry there, the Laundromat Cafe offers food, drinks including beer and wine, books, games, free wifi, and a great play area for kids with lots of toys and space to stretch out. The washer, dryers and kid play area are located in the basement. The washing area is clean and the machines are modern. Shockingly the dryers actually dry clothes in one cycle. The only down side is it is expensive to do laundry here costing 750 ISK (approximately 6 USD) for either the washer or dryer.
Doing laundry at the Laundromat Cafe is probably the best time we have ever had at a self service laundry. While there we enjoyed sipping delicious coffee and playing games. Sydney was also excited that she found Schleich horses (her favorite toys) buried in their pile of toys to play with. Food, drinks and games, what more could you ask for in doing a task that is never really much fun.
So when you visit Iceland and are looking for a place to chill out while doing laundry, I highly advise doing your laundry at the Laundromat Cafe. In fact, it’s the ONLY self service laundry in Iceland, so your options are to wash them there, wash them in the sink, or wear dirty clothes. Also in case your travels take to you Copenhagen, Denmark or Osaka, Japan, you can find the Laundromat Cafe there too. Hope this helps!
Thank you for this post! I cannot believe that there are very little places to do laundry in Iceland. We had to get creative when my friend lost her luggage. Anyways, I linked this post from a post I wrote about losing your luggage in Iceland – thought this was very informative and funny 🙂
April Peterson says
We just had the same problem in Finland. Although there are a few laundromats now open in Helsinki and a few other cities on the west side of the country, it is almost impossible to do your own laundry. It’s all service. We found a “self serve” in Lapeenranta but it was not like our North American type of self service…..and it ended up costing $50 for two small loads washed and dried almost to completion. Good to know ahead of time if you ever travel there.
Unfortunatly his place is no longer. It was one of my favorite places to grab and bite and coffee and do a load but alas it fell prey to the Icelandic real estate market.
Thank you for this post! very useful
Just a tip about Iceland and laundry. Many camping sites have self service laundry facilities for their campers. Cost is between 500 to 800 ISK per load. The cheapest is at Skaftafell National Park.
I can Úðafoss dry-cleaning & laundry, although they do the washing for you therefore its a bit more expensive. However they are very well located in the city centre at Vitastígur 13 and with fast service and reasonable price.