There are several great and diverse museums in Reykjavik. I particularly enjoyed the following:

The Settlement Exhibition

The Settlement Exhibition, not far from the northern edge of Tjornin, is underground and is centred around the remains of a Viking longhouse. It is well laid out and interesting with plenty of information in English. It gives an excellent insight into the early settlement and development of Iceland. It may be worth visiting their website to see if there is a discount on admission prices.

The National Museum of Iceland

The National Museum is on the outskirts of Tjornin towards the local airport but is well worth the walk. The building itself is rather bland on the outside, but inside it is well presented with exhibits on two floors covering the settlement of Iceland to the modern age. I liked some of the rustic early figures that were not that attractive at the first glance but the history behind them was fascinating. There is a cafe and a rather good museum shop on the ground floor.

Perlan

Perlan is at the top of Oskjuhlid hill on the outskirts of Reykjavik. The museum is housed in massive geothermal water tanks that used to serve the city. The museum focuses on the geographical and natural features of Iceland – so volcanoes and eruptions, tectonic plates, glaciers, ice tunnels and the aurora are all major features. It’s a museum for all ages as the exhibitions are impressive, visually and aurally, with plenty of interaction with exhibits.

There are frequent and free minibusses there from Harpa, so it is easy to get there [and back]. You may need to provide your own car seat for small children.

The views from the top of Perlan are wonderful.

Phallological Museum

Yay! A Willy museum! and it’s great, well laid out and good fun. Not for pussys!

Einar Jonsson Museum and Sculpture Garden.

The excellent Sculpture Garden near Hallgrimskirkja is free! The Museum is not. For more on the Sculpture Garden click HERE,

Punk Museum.

The tiny, but interesting, Punk Museum near the bottom of Laugavegur is easy to miss as it is set inside an old public toilet under the pavement on the left hand side as you walk downhill. I loved it. So much stuff crammed in such a small space. Early Bjork in her punky days is represented of course.

There are more museums to visit which I have not got to yet including the National Gallery and the Saga Museum ……. next time.

QUICK LINKS:

Reykjavik Homepage

Practicalities

Places to see for Free

Eating and Drinking

The Golden Circle

South and The Blue Lagoon

East of Reykjavik

West of Reykjavik

Record Shops and Music

New Years Eve

Further inspiration and Reading