Must-Visit Museums In Reykjavik

Must-Visit Museums In Reykjavik

Angie Diamantopoulou Author

Text by: Angie Diamantopoulou

Are you looking for the best museums to visit in Reykjavik? Look no further! I have compiled this guide just for you, with all the museums you must visit while in Iceland!

If you're visiting Iceland, you might wonder where the best museums are. Fortunately, Reykjavik has plenty of great museums that are both informative and entertaining!

In this guide, you will find museums that will educate you on a variety of topics, from whales to...well, penises. Yes, you read that right. Penises.

Keep reading to find out the best museums to visit in Reykjavik, from the ones that will make you fall in love with the Icelandic wildlife to the ones that will make you giggle! 


DO YOU ENJOY MUSEUMS? CHECK OUT OUR SEPARATE GUIDE ON THE BEST ART MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES IN REYKJAVIK! 


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

  • What are the best museums to visit in Reykjavik?
  • How do you get to the best museums in Reykjavik?
  • What are the admission fees at the museums in Reykjavik?
  • What are the opening times of museums in Reykjavik?
  • A few tips from a local!

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some information and tips

City of Reykjavik

Everyone knows about the ​stunning Icelandic nature. In fact, most tourists visit Iceland just to experience and enjoy the Icelandic nature! However, Iceland also has a long history of fascinating traditions

Especially in Reykjavik, there are numerous museums you can visit to delve a little deeper in Iceland's history and traditions, and learn more about this amazing country. Keep reading to find out all of my favorite museums in Reykjavik, picked 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 museums in reykjavik

So, what are the top museums that you should visit in Reykjavik? Here is a list of my favorite ones!

1. Árbær Open Air Museum

Arbaer Open Air Museum

We'll start our list with a museum that is different than most. The Árbær ​Open Air Museum is located, as its name suggests, in Árbær, a suburb of Reykjavik. It's a great place to dive straight into Icelandic history and tradition!

The Open Air Museum will give you a taste of what Iceland looked like in the past. Over twenty buildings make up the museum, all of them preserved and relocated from their original places in Reykjavik. Roam around this little town, with its square and even a farm, and explore the exact same houses that Icelandic locals lived in!​

You can enter all the houses and admire the ingenious architecture of Iceland. Inside the houses, you will find furniture, personal items, and all sorts of fascinating knick knacks that give you an insight into Iceland's culture. You will also find all the information you need on the history of Reykjavik​, and how the capital came to be the city it is today.

Admission fees:
  • 1700 ISK (15 USD) for adults
  • Free for children (0-17 years)​

Opening hours:

  • Sept.-May: 13:00-17:00
  • June-Aug:10:00-17:00​

Learn more about the Open Air Museum here!

2. PERLAN

Perlan in Reykjavik

​If you've been to Iceland, you must know about Perlan. This iconic building that used to be a water tank is now used as an exhibition center. 

The Perlan Museum has teamed up with scientists and artists to create a truly magnificent exhibition on ice caves and glaciers. The exhibition starts with a walk through an actual (man-made) ice cave! So, it gives you the opportunity to experience an ice cave even if you can't go to a real glacier!

Man made ice cave in Perlan

Feel free to touch the ice as you walk through the cave​! The exhibition is interactive, meaning that you can see, touch, and experience what it is like to be in an ice cave. 

You will also be educated on glaciers and the wildlife you can encounter there. The interactive wall on the second floor of the exhibition will teach you everything you need to know about how glaciers are formed and what the effects will be if they disappear.

Admission fees:
  • 3900 ISK (33 USD) for adults
  • 1950 ISK (17 USD) for children (ages 6-17)
  • Free for toddlers (ages 0-5)​

Exhibition hours: 9:00-21:00

Book a ticket here!

Aurora planetarium show in Perlan Reykjavik

Perlan also has a planetarium show dedicated to the Northern Lights! Therefore, if you come in the summertime, you can at least catch the show and learn more about this stunning natural phenomenon.

Admission fees:
  • 1900 ISK (16 USD) for adults
  • 1400 ISK (12 USD) for children (ages 6-17)
  • Free for toddlers (ages 0-5)​

Exhibition hours: 10:00-21:00

Book a ticket here!

Pro tip: don't forget to go to Perlan's observation deck! Perlan towers over the region of ​Öskjuhlíð, and its 360-degrees observation deck will provide you with one of the best views of Reykjavik!

Opening hours: 9:00-22:00

Learn more about Perlan and its exhibitions on their official website!​

3. WHALES OF ICELAND

Whales of Iceland museum in Reykjavik

If you've read any of my other posts, you might know that I love whales. ​Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see whales, so it's no wonder Icelanders have created an amazing exhibition about them! 

The museum includes 23 life-size models of different whale and dolphin species you can find in Iceland. Most of the massive models hang from the ceiling. That, combined with the atmospheric blue lighting and whale sounds playing repeatedly, makes you feel as if you are swimming among the whales in the ocean!

Visit this museum to learn everything you need to know about these amazing creatures. It's very informative, especially if you have gone on a whale watching tour or if you are planning on going!​

Admission fees:
  • 2900 ISK (25 USD) for adults
  • 1500 ISK (13 USD) for children (ages 7-17)
  • Free for toddlers (ages 0-6)​

Opening hours: 10:00-17:00

Pro tip: the Whales of Iceland museum is located very close to the Old Harbor of Reykjavik! That is where our whale watching tour departs, so why not combine the two? Book the whale watching tour now!

4. THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ICELAND

National museum of Iceland

Would this list even be any good if it didn't include the National Museum? Of course not! The National Museum of Iceland was established in 1863, so there is a lot of history in those walls.

Visit the museum to gain a deep understanding of Icelandic history and culture. The exhibition includes over 2000 artifacts, ranging from the first settlers to the modern age. It tells the story of Iceland throughout the centuries, and it is one of the best ways to ​familiarize yourself with the fascinating history of this beautiful country. Trust me, you want to; Icelandic people are very proud of their country!

Admission fees:
  • 2000 ISK (17 USD) for adults
  • Free for children (under 18)​

Opening hours:

  • 16 Sept.-30 April: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-17:00
  • 1 May-15 Sept: daily 10:00-17:00​

Learn more about the museum on their official website!

5. PENIS MUSEUM

Phallological museum in Reykjavik

I warned you this was coming. The Penis Museum -or The Icelandic Phallological Museum if you want to get technical -​is a real place in Reykjavik, and it's not at all naughty. It's actually very educational, and focuses on anatomy and the biological differences between various species

The museum features a large collection of penises from different species, including ​hamster, whale and even human! It's quite a small museum, so it's the perfect way to spend an hour or so and learn a little more about biology.

Admission fees:
  • 1700 ISK (15 USD) for adults

Opening hours:

  • Sept.-May: 10:00-18:00
  • June-Aug: 9:00-18:00​

Learn more about the Penis Museum on their official website!


a few last words

So here you have it! My top five museums in Reykjavik! There are many more museums in Reykjavik, big and small, that are worth checking out if you have the time. Iceland has always been fond of its history, its tradition and its arts, so Icelanders are preserving them in amazing museums spread all over the city -and even the country!​

Don't hesitate to leave a comment if you have any questions! And make sure to share with anyone you think will find this interesting or useful (I know you are all curious about the Penis Museum)!​

Are you looking for the best museums to visit in Reykjavik? Look no further! I have compiled this guide just for you, with all the museums you must visit while in Iceland!

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