Reykjavik is rich with culture and history which can be experienced in the many museums that our city has to offer. To make life easier for you, here is a proposed museum walk that covers the best bits of downtown Reykjavik, while within a walking distance.
The Volcano House gives visitors an idea of the life in Iceland, where volcanoes and earthquakes are a constant threat. Icelandic nature is in a state of constant flux, earthquakes occur daily somewhere in Iceland, and volcanic eruptions are always a possibility. Volcano House lets you experience the world of Icelanders by coming as close as possible to experiencing an eruption or earthquake for yourself. They also have an in-house documentary show where they offer two back-to-back documentaries on historical volcanic eruptions.
The museum’s main objective is to present both historical and con-temporary photography in an artistic, social and cultural context, as well as nurture public and scholarly interest in photography and its culture. The collection’s themes are diverse, you can find family photographs, photos from portrait studios, industrial- and advertising photographs, press photography, landscape photographs and more.
Hafnarhús serves as the museum’s institute of contemporary art, where new developments in art are explored through diverse exhibitions of Icelandic and international artists. An exhibition of paintings by well-known pop artist Erró is a permanent feature. Don’t forget to stop by the Hafnarhús shop for postcards, art posters and books published by the museum.
Archaeological remains were excavated in Aðalstræti in 2001, which turned out to be the oldest relics of human habitation in Reykjavík.The relics are now preserved at their original location and are the focal point of the Settlement Exhibition. The construction of Viking Age buildings is explained using multimedia technology and computer technology is used to give an impression of what life was like in the hall. This one is open late, until 8 pm.
The nation’s most precious treasures are kept and displayed at The National Museum of Iceland. The museum was established on the 24th of February in 1863 and it’s aim is to increase and relay knowledge of Icelandic cultural heritage from the country’s settlement until now. At the museum you will find a permanent exhibition of objects that provide insight into Icelandic history and culture as well as temporary exhibitions highlighting specific eras or aspects of the Icelandic cultural heritage.
The principal art museum of Iceland, established in 1884. Its art collection consists mainly of 19th and 20th century art works. In its possession are many of the keystones of Icelandic art history, as well as a growing collection of works from other countries. The National Gallery’s main role is to collect, preserve, research and exhibit Icelandic art and offer education about it. There is also a considerable emphasis laid on showing Icelandic art in context with international art.