Top Five Art Museums And Galleries In Reykjavik

Top Five Art Museums And Galleries In Reykjavik

Angie Diamantopoulou Author

Text by: Angie Diamantopoulou

Are you looking for the best art museums and galleries in Reykjavik? You're at the right place! Check out this guide and find out all the best art museums and galleries in Reykjavik, where you can enjoy Icelandic art!

Most tourists come to Iceland for the beautiful nature that you can find anywhere in the country. While the Icelandic nature is unparalleled, Iceland has a lot more things to offer to its guests!

Art is one of those things. Iceland has a long tradition of art, from their old sagas to modern sculptors, painters and photographers. Reykjavik is the heart of the art world in Iceland, and what better place to see Icelandic art gathered all together than at an art museum or gallery?

Keep reading to find out all the best art museums and galleries in Reykjavik to visit during your stay!


Psst! While you're at it, why not read our guide on the best museums in Reykjavik?​


First, let's take a look at what you will find in this blog:

  • What are the best art museums and galleries in Reykjavik?
  • Where can you find the best museums and art galleries in Reykjavik?
  • What are the admission fees at Reykjavik's art museums and galleries?
  • What are the opening times at Reykjavik's art museums and galleries?
  • A few tips from a local!

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A few tips from a local

Graffiti in Reykjavik

You can find art virtually anywhere in Reykjavik. From stunning graffiti to creative store displays, everything in the capital is about the aesthetics. 

Every corner in Reykjavik has something to discover. From exhibitions showcasing the work of established artists to new galleries for up-and-coming talent, art is the lifeblood of the city. It is so integral to Reykjavik's scene that you will find ​a plethora of walls adorned with surreal, psychedelic scenes, as well as sculptures tirelessly looking over the city.

It's no wonder, then, that Reykjavik's art museums and galleries are just as stunning as the rest of the city. This guide will walk you through all the best places to see Icelandic art in Reykjavik​, selected by me just for you! 

Pro tip: when you visit Reykjavik, make sure to get a City Card! It will be your best companion throughout your time in the capital. With the City Card, you can get discounts on museum admission fees and at multiple restaurants. You can also get free entrance to Reykjavik's pools and ride the bus for free around Reykjavik!

Prices for the City Card:​
  • ​3900 ISK (33 USD) adults/1600 ISK (14 USD) children for 24 hours
  • 5500 ISK (47 USD) adults/2600 ISK (22 USD) children for 48 hours
  • 6700 ISK (57 USD) adults/3500 ISK (30 USD) children for 72 hours

Learn more about the City Card here!


best art museums and galleries in reykjavik

So, what are the best art museums and galleries in Reykjavik? Let's take a look!

1. REYKJAVIK ART MUSEUM​

Reykjavik art museum art museums and galleries

The first item on our list has to be the Reykjavik Art Museum. The most known and biggest collection of art in Iceland is housed in this rather unassuming building -along with other locations belonging to the museum. 

The building pictured here is the newest addition to the museum's growing family, located in Hafnarhús. This building, close to the Old Harbor of Reykjavik, was used as a fishermen's warehouse in the past. Don't worry about any fishy smells, though! It has since been renovated. 

The building features six exhibition spaces. One of them is permanently dedicated to Erró, one of the most famous Icelandic artists. His style is easily recognizable, with his colossal collages being a catalyst for political thought among their viewers.

Erro collage

Erró's American Comics collage

The museum also features many other exhibitions, both from local and international artists. Even Yoko Ono has held an exhibition there!

Often, there are also events by musicians and performers, so make sure to check out their schedule when you travel to Reykjavik!​

Opening hours: 10:00-17:00 daily apart from Thursdays, 10:00-22:00

Address: Tryggvagata 17​

2. i8​

i8 gallery in Reykjavik art museums and galleries

i8 is the poster child for small art galleries. The OG small gallery in Reykjavik, if you will, it opened in 1995 and has been going strong ever since. 

Visit i8 to delve deep into Icelandic contemporary and conceptual art. The gallery features works by several well-known artists, both local and international. Among them is Olafur Eliasson, who you might know from the Tate's The Weather Project.​

​The gallery also features younger, up-and-coming artists. Don't expect any stuffiness or snobbishness there; i8 does what it wants and it does it well.

Opening hours: Tues.-Fri. 11:00-17:00, Sat. 13:00-17:00, Sun.-Mon. closed

Address: ​Tryggvagata 16

3. REYKJAVIK MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Reykjavik photography museum art museums and galleries

As a photographer, I couldn't omit the Photography Museum in Reykjavik. The museum has an impressive collection of about six million photographs; yes, you read that right. 

The photographs aim to tell Iceland's story throughout the decades. You will find anything from professional to amateur photos, landscapes, portraits, and press photos, and even some family photos!

The exhibition is very interesting, as it gives you an insight to the Icelandic people's lives. You can explore the country's past through these photographs​, and learn anything you need to know about Iceland's culture

Opening hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10:00-18:00, Fri. 11:00-18:00, Sat.-Sun. 13:00-17:00

Address: ​Grófarhús, Tryggvagata 15

4. KLING OG BANG​

Kling og Bang art museums and galleries Reykjavik

Located in the Marshall House, this gallery brought on a revolution when it first opened its doors in 2003. 

Kling og Bang, with its odd little name, was founded by ten artists from different backgrounds. Their mission? To "introduce emerging and established, national and international artists and their works, that challenge the context and content of creative thinking".

In other words? ​Thought-provoking (or sometimes simply provoking) pieces that comment on politics, society, and everything every good rebel artist wants to protest.

The gallery features work from its founders, but also from other artists, both local and international.

If it makes you think, it's probably in Kling og Bang.​

Opening hours: Wed.-Sun. 12:00-18:00, Thurs. 12:00-21:00, Mon-Tues. closed

Address: ​Grandagarður 20

5. Listamenn

Listamenn art museums and galleries Reykjavik

Listamenn is an interesting art space. It's a picture framing business housed in the same space as their exhibitions, which are unlike anything you will see in Iceland. 

Supporting both well-established and new talent, Listamenn makes waves in Reykjavik's art scene. It's the best place to find the cream of the crop of contemporary Icelandic art

Their past exhibitions include interdisciplinary works based on visual art and music, but also photographs from renowned Icelandic photographers

Opening hours: Mon.-Fri. 09:00-18:00, Sat. 12:00-16:00, Sun. closed

Address: Skúlagata 32


a few last words

The art museums and galleries I listed here are some of my favorite ones in Reykjavik. This is by no means a comprehensive guide, as there are just too many to list! It's worth exploring Reykjavik's galleries, from the smallest ones to the biggest, as Icelandic art is not only fascinating, but it can also teach you a thing or two about Iceland and its people. 

Do you think I missed an awesome gallery? Let me know in the comments! And don't forget to share with other art lovers!

Are you looking for the best art museums and galleries in Reykjavik? You’re at the right place! Check out this guide and find out all the best art museums and galleries in Reykjavik, where you can enjoy Icelandic art!

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