The National Museum of Iceland is the number one place to visit for anyone looking to learn about the history and culture of the Land of Fire and Ice. Learn about everything from the Viking era to modern-day culture!
Iceland is renowned for its incredible history. A history of Viking settlers, vicious feuds, volcanic eruptions and melting glacier floods. One one hand you have unbelievable tales of resilience and pride and on the other, you have sagas filled with love and the brightness of humanity.
Often in human history, these two things aren’t easy to find in one place. Especially not in documents reaching back to the year 930. But Icelanders did excellent work in preserving their history and wrote down remarkably detailed testimonies to the lives that were lived in Iceland.
The National Museum of Iceland is a place where this extraordinary keeping of history comes to life. It is where the Icelandic Saga and the Icelandic culture throughout the years are displayed in the most fascinating of ways through exhibitions and artifacts. There is no doubt that Iceland’s National Museum is where you should go to find out about the story of Iceland.
The museum covers the history of Iceland from settlement to the present day and will give you an excellent insight into everything from the life of Vikings, history, and culture, to the modern day life of an Icelander. The National Museum of Iceland is truly a highlight in Reykjavík!
The National Museum and the Culture House/Safnahúsið down at Hverfisgata street is a part of the same organization and a ticket for one is valid for the other. Both have a wonderful café and a gift shop which is an excellent place to pick up a souvenir from your trip to Iceland.
|Adults only for the Photo Gallery||1000|
|Children (under 18)||Free|
|Seniors (+67) only for the Photo Gallery||500|
The museum is open daily (closed on Mondays in winter) and hosts both permanent exhibitions and temporary ones. Guided tours are available and on Saturdays they are available for free if you have an admission ticket.
There is no need to book – just show up. If the plan is to visit at any other day or at a different time, you might need to book in advance to get a guided tour. But if you pop in unannounced and aren’t able to get on a guided tour, the audio guide is also great.
The audio guide is an excellent choice for those who feel less confident listening to the tour in English. However, the tour is available in nine other languages including Icelandic, Spanish, Danish, French, Polish, German, and Italian.
The National Museum of Iceland is located at two different locations. Both of which are in central Reykjavík. The main museum is called the National Museum of Iceland. It’s located at Sudurgata 41, 101 Reykjavík.
The other museum is called the Culture House. It’s located at Hverfisgata 15, 101 Reykjavík. They are both in walking distance of each other, but the path will take about 18 minutes.
GPS coordinates of National museum of Iceland: 64.1420° N, 21.9481° W
As the museum is located in central Reykjavík it is within walking distance of most major hotels, hostels and guesthouses downtown. For example, the walk from Hallgrímskirkja to The National Museum of Iceland is about 17 minutes and from Austurvöllur square about 13 minutes.
The local caféshop chain Kaffitár is located at the ground floor of the museum right across from the Museum’s gift shop. The offer delicious refreshments and fantastic coffee. Plus, the seating area is inside a glass-roofed room creating a stellar setting in any season.
The café is also a wonderful spot to try some of the traditionally Icelandic baked goods including kleina (a twisted doughnut) and snúður (a cinnamon bun).