Art & Culture

Reykjavík is where the first settlers of Iceland made their home and has been the capital of art and culture for centuries. the city’s museums are the best way to get a glimpse into the heart and soul of the Icelandic nation, via its history and its art.

The best way to explore the city’s museums is to get the Reykjavík city card. The card provides access to the museums and a way to get there with the city busses.

Check out the museums of Reykjavík and the surrounding area

History

Reykjavík is where the first settlers of Iceland made their home and has been the capital of art and culture for centuries. the city’s museums are the best way to get a glimpse into the heart and soul of the Icelandic nation, via its history and its art.

The best way to explore the city’s museums is to get the Reykjavík city card. The card provides access to the museums and a way to get there with the city busses.

arbaer

Árbær Open Air Museum

Reykjavík City Museum

Reykjavík’s only open air museum, where you can stroll through the past and experience the way we lived Fun, fascinating and full of surprises, this living museum takes you on a journey through time. Guided tours at 13:00 all year round.

Kistuhylur, Reykjavík
411-6304 | reykjavikcitymuseum.is
Winter opening hours: 1-5 pm daily.

settlement

The Settlement Exhibition & Reykjavík … the story continues

Reykjavík City Museum

Just below ground in downtown Reykjavík, this open excavation uncovers the city’s Viking Age history. Discovered during construction and carefully excavated, these remnants of the past are the earliest evidence of human settlement in the city.  Continue on through the underground passage and through the history of Reykjavík to the city’s oldest extant building in Aðalstræti 10.

Aðalstræti 16, Reykjavík | 411-6370 | www.reykjavikcitymuseum.is
Opening hours: 10 am- 5 pm daily.

In summer – guided tours on weekdays at 11 am.

Reykjavík Maritime Museum

Reykjavík Maritime Museum

Reykjavík City Museum

A harbour museum exploring Iceland’s dramatic relationship with the sea. The survival of a nation depended on generations of brave fishermen heading into the unknown. Exhibitions and artefacts bring our ocean history to life, from battling the waves, to the ‘Cod Wars’ and beyond.

Grandagarður 8, Reykjavík | 411-6340
www.reykjavikcitymuseum.is
Opening hours: 10 am-5-pm daily.

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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, Reykjavík
530-2200 | www.nationalmuseum.is
Hours: Tue-Sun: 10-17

Gljúfrasteinn

Gljúfrasteinn – Laxness museum

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 | www.gljufrasteinn.is
Hours: Tue-Fri 10-16

Art

Reykjavík is where the first settlers of Iceland made their home and has been the capital of art and culture for centuries. the city’s museums are the best way to get a glimpse into the heart and soul of the Icelandic nation, via its history and its art.

The best way to explore the city’s museums is to get the Reykjavík city card. The card provides access to the museums and a way to get there with the city busses.

photo

Reykjavík Museum of Photography

Reykjavík City Museum
Reflecting the contemporary, while archiving the past – this is Reykjavík’s home of photography. Reykjavík’s main photography museum offers an ongoing programme of contemporary and historical exhibitions, and an onscreen archive of thousands of images from the past.

Tryggvagata 15, Reykjavík | 411-6390
reykjavikcitymuseum.is | Hours: Mon-Thu 10-18,  Fri 11-18, Sat & Sun 13-17

einarjonsson

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, Reykjavík
551-3797 | www.lej.is
Hours: Tue-Sun 10-17

hafnarborg

Hafnarborg

free entry 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 | www.hafnarborg.is
Hours: Wed-Mon 12-17

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National Gallery of Iceland

Iceland’s leading art museum, established in 1884. Its collection consists mainly of 19th, 20th and 21st century art. The National Gallery possesses a coherent array of Icelandic works and a fine collection of international art. Together they constitute around 11.000 items.

Fríkirkjuvegur 7, Reykjavík
515-9600 | www.listasafn.is
Hours: Tue-Sun: 11-17

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Ásgrímur Jónsson – Home of an Artist

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
www.listasafn.is
Hours: Tue-Sun 13-17

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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 | www.lso.is
Hours: Tue-Sun 13-17

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The Reykjavík Art Museum – Kjarvalsstaðir

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, Reykjavík
411-6420 | www.artmuseum.is
Hours: Daily 10-17

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The Reykjavík Art Museum – Ásmundarsafn

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, Reykjavík
411-6430 | www.artmuseum.is
Hours: Daily 13-17

Listasafn Reykjavíkur – Hafnarhúsið – Hafnarhús

The Reykjavík Art Museum – Hafnarhús

The old harbour warehouse, Hafnarhús, offers a progressive exhibition program with local and international contemporary artists. The work of current notables, art canons and newcomers are presented in six galleries. Hafnarhús is also home to the works of Erró (b. 1932), a significant player in the international pop art scene.

Tryggvagata 17, Reykjavík
411-6400 | www.artmuseum.is
Hours: Daily 10-17, Thu 10-22

culturehouse

The Culture House

Artifacts and works of art from the varied collections of six institutions provide a reflection of Iceland’s visual art history and cultural heritage in the exhibition Points of View, a journey through the Icelandic visual world of past and present.

Hverfisgata 15, Reykjavík
530-2210 | www.culturehouse.is
Hours: Daily 10-17

nordic-house

The 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 if you want to enjoy the best of Icelandic culture as well as experiencing rich culture of the Nordic countries.

Sturlugata 5, Reykjavík
551-7030 | www.nordice.is
Hours: Sun-Tue 10-16, Wed-Sat 9-21

Living Art Musuem

The Living Art Museum

An active exhibition space that has organized many exciting exhibitions throughout the years. They put an emphasis on introducing young Icelandic artists, as well as showcasing work by better-known Icelandic and foreign modern and contemporary artists.

The Marshall House
Grandagarður 20, Reykjavík
551-4350 | www.nylo.is
Hours: Tue-Sun 12-18, Thu 12-21

Gerðarsafn

Gerðarsafn

A progressive modern art museum in Kópavogur, dedicated to sculptor Gerður Helgadóttir; the only museum in Iceland dedicated to a woman. Its collection consists of more than 1400 works by Gerður, as well as the works of the most celebrated Icelandic artists of the 20th and 21st century.

Hamraborg 4, Kópavogur
441-7600 | www.gerdarsafn.is
Hours: Tue-Sun 11-17

Nature

Reykjavík is where the first settlers of Iceland made their home and has been the capital of art and culture for centuries. the city’s museums are the best way to get a glimpse into the heart and soul of the Icelandic nation, via its history and its art.

The best way to explore the city’s museums is to get the Reykjavík city card. The card provides access to the museums and a way to get there with the city busses.

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Perlan

This peculiar building, built on top of six water tanks on a hill overlooking the city, houses two exhibitions, The Wonders of Iceland and Water in Icelandic Nature. In addition, Perlan has a recently-opened planetarium, a great restaurant, and an observation deck with a 360¨view of the city and its surrounding nature.

Varmahlíð 1, Reykjavík
566-9000 | www.perlan.is
Hours: 9-19

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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.

Kalkofnsvegur 2, Reykjavík
561 6663 | www.phallus.is
Hours: Daily 10-19

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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 centre features information, education and of course stunning visuals of the elusive lights that’ll get your heart racing.

Grandagarður 2, Reykjavík
780-4500 | www.aurorareykjavik.is
Hours: Daily 9-21

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Whales of Iceland

An exhibition in Reykjavík consisting of 23 life-size whale models – fun to touch and explore. Learn more about whales with in-depth multimedia and interactive information displays, videos and audio guide in several languages mixed with soothing whale sounds and underwater ambient lighting.

Fiskislóð 23-25 , Reykjavík
571-0077 | www.whalesoficeland.is
Hours: Daily 10-17

Other

Reykjavík is where the first settlers of Iceland made their home and has been the capital of art and culture for centuries. the city’s museums are the best way to get a glimpse into the heart and soul of the Icelandic nation, via its history and its art.

The best way to explore the city’s museums is to get the Reykjavík city card. The card provides access to the museums and a way to get there with the city busses.

Reykjavik City Library

Reykjavik City Library

free entry 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, Reykjavík
411-6100 | borgarbokasafn.is
Hours: Mon-Thu 10-19, Fri 11-18,
Sat & Sun 13-17

videy

Viðey Island

Reykjavík City Museum
An island, where art, history and nature lie just beyond the city shore The combination of stunning views, historical ruins and contemporary art pieces make Viðey island something special. Just a short boat-ride takes you to another world. Ferry Schedule: Weekends only.

Viðey Reykjavik
411-6356.
www.reykjavikcitymuseum.is

Hafnarfjörður Viking Festival

Hafnarfjörður Viking Festival will take place on 13 to 18 June, with an open market, viking battles, games, music, handicraft and a viking school for children. Hosted by the reenactment group Rimmugýgur, it is the oldest and biggest viking festival and market of its kind in Iceland. The Viking Festival is a family event and […]

What Do You Know About Iceland’s Viking History?

When Norwegians and Icelanders started writing, the word viking referred to nordic men that went sailing overseas to do robberies. In Egils Saga, Egill is said to have as a six year old killed a 10 or 11 years old boy. His mother interpreted it as a sign that he was a viking. Viking in […]

Reykjavík Arts Festival 2024 Starting This Week

Reykjavík Arts Festival will start on Saturday (1 June) and run until 16 June. It is a biennial multidisciplinary festival with focus on new commissions and the creative intersection of the arts. It offers exhibitions and performances of contemporary and classical works from all corners of the world in major cultural venues as well as […]

Running in Iceland: A Simple Guide

Running in Iceland is refreshing due to the fresh air. It can also be chilly which is often good to cool you down; and slippery in wintertime, which requires spikes, studs or similar equipment to keep you steady on your route. At the other end of the spectrum, we have higher temperatures and the midnight […]

Food Walk in Reykjavík: Explore Iceland with Your Taste Buds

Calling all hungry travelers heading to the Land of Fire and Ice! Forget bland hotel buffets and overpriced tourist traps – Reykjavik’s vibrant food scene awaits, tantalizing your taste buds without breaking the bank. Buckle up, because we are diving into the delicious world of Reykjavik food tours, highlighting the most mouthwatering bites for both […]

Coffee in Iceland & Why There Is No Starbucks

Despite being located far away from the world’s coffee plantations, Iceland has a thriving coffee culture and is among the biggest consumers of coffee in the world, with 9 kg per person annually on average. Only our Nordic counterparts in Finland and Norway drink more coffee. (Source). But when did Icelanders start drinking coffee? Rumour […]