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