Art and Culture in Reykjavik

Our recommendations for art and culture in Reykjavik.

ASÍ Art Gallery

This museum was founded in 1961 when industrialist and book publisher Ragnar Jónsson donated his personal art collection to the museum, which consisted of paintings by Iceland’s most renowned painters. His wish was to establish an art museum that would bring art to the working class.

Freyjugata 41, Reykjavik
511-5353 | listasafnasi.is

Aurora Reykjavik

The Northern Lights Center, Aurora Reykjavik, allows you to experience the Northern Lights in a completely different way, both if you saw them, but as well if they escaped you while in Iceland. The center features information, education and of course stunning visuals of the elusive lights that’ll get your heart racing.

Grandagarður 2, Reykjavik
780-4500 | aurorareykjavik.is

Árbæjarsafn - Árbær Open Air Museum

REYKJAVIK CITY MUSEUM  This unique museum was founded in 1957 in order to give visitors a tangible sense of Reykjavík’s past. It comprises a village-like collection of over twenty “homes,” each creating a very interesting exhibition in itself.

Kistuhylur, Reykjavik
411-6300 | reykjavikcitymuseum.is 

Ásgrímur Jónsson Collection

One of the pioneers of Icelandic art and the first Icelander to take up painting professionally. Having died in 1958, he bequeathed all his works, as well as his studio home to the Icelandic nation.

Bergstaðastræti 74, Reykjavík
515-9625

Ásmundarsafn

REYKJAVIK ART MUSEUM  Opened in 1983, the collection is housed in a unique building designed and constructed mostly by the artist himself from 1942-1950. The original building served Sveinsson as studio and home; behind it he built a crescent-shaped structure as a work- and exhibition space.

Sigtún, Reykjavik
411-6430 | artmuseum.is

The Cinema

A cozy place in a loft at the lively Old Harbour down town Reykjavík, where there is a daily show of films of volcanoes, northern lights and nature gems of Iceland made by a re-known Icelandic filmmaker. At The Cinema one can also enjoy a rock exhibition, buy DVDs and more, look at books, get refreshments, information – or just relax in a unique place.

Geirsgata 7b, Reykjavík
898 6628 | thecinema.is

Collectors Emporium Iceland

In a basement of sorts on Hverfisgata, just off Reykjavik’s main shopping street, you’ll find this hidden gem. Imagine it as a museum where you can take home anything you particularly fancy. A vast collection of unique and historic Icelandic items, such as stamps, coins and much more, make it well worth a visit.

Hverfisgata 16, Reykjavik
571-5170 | On Facebook

volcano

Shows documentaries that give a good idea of real life in Iceland, where volcanoes and earthquakes are a constant threat. There’s also a geological stone exhibition, which gives a brief overview of Iceland’s geological history and volcanic system, and a boutique, with Icelandic designs, artwork, lava rocks, pumice, bottles of ash and Lava Jewellery.

Tryggvagata 11, Reykjavik
555 1900 | volcanohouse.is

Einar Jónsson Museum

A museum with indoor and outdoor exhibitions dedicated to the work of Einar Jónsson, Iceland’s first modern sculptor (1874-1954). The museum was built in the early 1900’s when Einar Jónsson offered all of his works as a gift to the Icelandic nation.

Hallgrímstorg 3, Reykjavik
561-3797 | lej.is

Galleri Fold

Iceland’s leading auction house and foremost fine arts dealership. Established in 1990, Gallerí Fold has been in the hands of its current proprietor since 1992. In 1994, they acquired their own premises, where they‘ve enjoyed a period of growth and prosperity. Their 600 m2 building has five exhibition spaces from 30 to 110 m2.

Rauðarárstíg 12-14, Reykjavik
551-0400 | myndlist.is

Gljúfrasteinn

Halldór Laxness is arguably the most famous Icelandic writer of all time, and the only Icelander to have won a Nobel Prize, which he received for literature in 1955. Gljúfrasteinn was his home until his death, and today it is a museum dedicated to his life and work.

Gljúfrasteinn, Mosfellsbær
586-8066 | gljufrasteinn.is

Hafnarborg

Hafnarborg has a collection of Icelandic art and regular exhibitions presenting leading Icelandic and international artists. Collection exhibitions are a regular part of the program. Around exhibitions are workshops and guided tours.

Strandgata 34, Hafnarfjörður
585-5790 | hafnarborg.is

Hafnarhús

REYKJAVIK ART MUSEUM  The Reykjavik Art Museum took possession of its portion of Hafnarhús (Harbour House) in April 2000. Hafnarhús was built in 1932-39 for the offices and warehouses of Reykjavik Harbor and was at that time one of the largest buildings in the country.

Tryggvagata 17, Reykjavik
411 6410 | artmuseum.is

Hannesarholt

Cultural center and historic home of Hannes Hafstein, Iceland’s first Minister of State, now houses the non-profit Hannesarholt, dedicated to retrieving cultural memory, and revitalizing cultural roots. Bordstofan Bistro open daily from 11am – 6pm. Short doc on Hannes Hafstein and early Reykjavik Guided historic city walks Tue and Thu at 1 pm by appointment.

Grundarstígur 10, Reykjavik
511-1904 | hannesarholt.is

Kjarvalsstaðir

REYKJAVIK ART MUSEUM  Mainly devoted to paintings and sculpture by well established Icelandic and international artists. Kjarvalsstaðir offers a permanent exhibition of key works by one of Iceland’s most beloved landscape painters, Jóhannes S. Kjarval, as well as changing exhibitions that explore various thematic and historical aspects of Icelandic art.

Flókagata 24, Reykjavik
411-6420 | artmuseum.is

Living Art Musuem

The museum is an active exhibition space in central Reykjavik that has organized many exciting exhibitions throughout the years. They put an emphasis on introducing young Icelandic artists, as well as showcasing work done by better known Icelandic and foreign artists.

Völvufell 13-21, Reykjavik
551-4350 | nylo.is

Museum of Design and Applied Art

Its objective is to collect, study and present Icelandic design and crafts from 1900 to the present day. This young museum, the only one of its kind in Iceland, holds regular exhibitions of Icelandic and international design during the year. Exhibitions from the museum‘s own collection are regularly held.

Garðatorg 1, Garðabær
512-1525 | honnunarsafn.is

National Gallery of Iceland

The National Gallery of Iceland has come a long way from its origins. To begin with, the collection consisted of donated artwork, mainly by Danish artists. Today the museum stands at Frikirkjuvegur in central Reykjavik, displaying both Icelandic and International art.

Fríkirkjuvegur 7, Reykjavík
515-9600 | listasafn.is

National Museum of Iceland

Offers a state-of-the-art exhibitions on the cultural history of Iceland. The permanent exhibition, Making of a Nation – Heritage and History of Iceland, gives a comprehensive picture of Iceland’s cultural history through the ages to the present day.

Suðurgata 41, Reykjavik
530-2200 | nationalmuseum.is

Nordic House

Iceland maintains strong ties to other Nordic countries, and the center of this cooperation is the Nordic House, designed by acclaimed Finnish architect Alvar Aalto in 1968. The Nordic House is the venue to be if you want to enjoy the best of Icelandic cultural as well as experiencing rich culture of the Nordic countries

Sturlugata 5, Reykjavik
551-7030 | nordice.is

Numismatic Museum

A selection from the numismatic collection is on display on the ground floor of the Central Bank’s main building.

Kalkofnsvegur 1, Reykjavik
569-9600 | sedlabanki.is

Reykjavik City Library

Looking for a place to hang out, browse the internet, get access to Wi-Fi or meet the Reykjavik locals? Then Reykjavik City Library is the perfect place to visit. Have a seat and dip into the latest magazine or relax while checking out their great selection of books.

Tryggvagata 15, Reykjavik
411-6100 | borgarbokasafn.is

Reykjavik Museum of Photography

The only inde-pendent museum of photography in Iceland. The aim of the museum is to shape a unique vision and to be leading in its field. The museum preserves various collections from professional and amateur photographers.

Tryggvagata 15, Reykjavik
411-6390 | photomuseum.is

Saga Museum

From the time of the earliest settlers, history is brought to life in a unique and exciting way. The Saga Museum intimately recreates key moments in Icelandic history, moments that have determined the fate of our people and which give a compelling view into how Icelanders have lived for more than a millenium.

Grandagardur 2, Reykjavik
511-1517 | sagamuseum.is

Settlement Exhibition

REYKJAVIK CITY MUSEUM  Experience Viking-Age Reykjavik at the Settlement Exhibition. Multimedia techniques bring Reykjavik’s past to life, providing visitors with insights into how people lived in the Viking Age, and what the environment looked like to the settlers.

Aðalstræti 2, Reykjavik
411-6370 | reykjavikcitymuseum.is 

Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum

A museum that Icelandic sculptor Sigurjón Ólafsson’s wife founded as a tribute to his life and work in 1984. She had his studio in Laugarnes converted to an exhibition space to house his collection of works, including sculptures, sketches, drawings and biographical material.

Laugarnestangi 70
553-2906 | lso.is

Reykjavik Maritime Museum

REYKJAVIK CITY MUSEUM  It is impossible to truly get to know Iceland without getting to know its fishing history. The museum’s main exhibitions illustrate the development from rowing boats to modern trawlers and the construction of Reykjavik harbour.

Grandagarður 8, Reykjavik
517-9400 | reykjavikcitymuseum.is 

Settlement Exhibition

REYKJAVIK CITY MUSEUM  Experience Viking-Age Reykjavik at the Settlement Exhibition. Multimedia techniques bring Reykjavik’s past to life, providing visitors with insights into how people lived in the Viking Age, and what the environment looked like to the settlers.

Aðalstræti 2, Reykjavik
411-6370 | reykjavikcitymuseum.is 

Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum

A museum that Icelandic sculptor Sigurjón Ólafsson’s wife founded as a tribute to his life and work in 1984. She had his studio in Laugarnes converted to an exhibition space to house his collection of works, including sculptures, sketches, drawings and biographical material.

Laugarnestangi 70
553-2906 | lso.is

Reykjavik Maritime Museum

REYKJAVIK CITY MUSEUM  It is impossible to truly get to know Iceland without getting to know its fishing history. The museum’s main exhibitions illustrate the development from rowing boats to modern trawlers and the construction of Reykjavik harbour.

Grandagarður 8, Reykjavik
517-9400 | reykjavikcitymuseum.is 

culturehouse

The exhibition Points of View in the Culture house gives visitors the chance to delve into the collections of six different cultural institutions. Points of view is a unique journey through Iceland’s visual legacy, offering an innovative guide to a nation’s cultural history.

Hverfisgata 15, Reykjavik
545-1400 | www.culturehouse.is/

The-Icelandic-Phallological-Museum

Probably the most unique museum you’ll visit on your trip, the Icelandic Phallological Museum is a one of a kind. Here you’ll find a collection of more than two hundred penises and penile part belonging to almost all land and sea mammals that can be found in Iceland.

Laugavegur 116, Reykjavik
561 6663 | www.phallus.is

Whalesoficeland_exhibit_about_00

The largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

Fiskislóð 23-25, Reykjavik
571-0077 | www.whalesoficeland.is

videy

REYKJAVIK CITY MUSEUM  Unspoiled nature reigns on island of Viðey, which has a unique place in Icelandic history. Birdlife abounds on the island, while out­stand­ing works of modern art also make their mark.

Viðey Reykjavik
533-5055 | reykjavikcitymuseum.is