Reykjavík City Museum: Bringing Reykjavík to Life


Reykjavík City Museum: Bringing Reykjavík to Life

Reykjavík City Museum - Árbær Open Air Museum

Árbær Open Air Museum.

Want to learn about the heritage of Iceland, uncover what makes Icelanders tick, and visit some gorgeous Icelandic nature? Check out the new Reykjavík City Museum. Opened in June 2014, this combination of top museums lets you explore and discover what makes Reykjavík such a dynamic and inspiring city.

The Settlement Exhibition

Reykjavík City Museum - Settlement Exhibition

For archaeology buffs, look no further than The Settlement Exhibition, where you can learn about some of the very first settlers of Iceland, see some of Iceland’s oldest relics from 871 A.D., and explore the tenth century longhouse, parts of which are carefully preserved in their original location. You can also have fun bringing the ancient Viking ways to life with the museum’s interactive multimedia technology.

Reykjavík Museum of Photography

Reykjavík City Museum - Reykjavík Museum of Photography

To explore Reykjavík life present and past, visit the Reykjavík Museum of Photography and check out the latest modern exhibition by both Icelandic and international photographers. Like your photos of the olden days? Search through the museum’s photo website at which contains a diverse collection of photos, by both professionals and amateurs, taken in Iceland from 1870 -2002.

Reykjavík Maritime Museum

Reykjavík City Museum - Reykjavík Maritime Museum

A visit to Reykjavík is not complete without finding out all about its historic relationship with Iceland’s oldest neighbor: the ocean. Reykjavík Maritime Museum presents imaginative and creative exhibitions devoted to the ocean’s role in transforming Iceland over the ages. Walk into the cramped conditions where up to 24 fishermen slept in bunk beds, and visit the mock dock, and tour all 900 tons of Óðinn, a former coast guard vessel that rescued many crews of ships that had either got stranded or were sinking.

Árbær Open Air Museum

Reykjavík City Museum - Árbær Open Air Museum

Step back in time at Árbær Open Air Museum by going on a guided tour to see the quaint collection of original houses, high on a hill with a small farm and a village square giving a good idea of life in Reykjavík in the olden days. Check out the new exhibition CONSUMPTION, which aims to show the huge and rapid changes that took place in consumption patterns in Reykjavík during the 20th century.

Viðey Island

Reykjavík City Museum - Viðey Island

For those who love nature, the island of Viðey, a mere ten-minute boat trip from Reykjavík, is a paradise. Explore on foot or on bike, take in views of Mt. Esja, and enjoy Richard Serra’s art installations and Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower with its glorious beams of light shining deeply into the night sky. Viðey also houses two grand buildings; its church is one of the oldest in the country, and Viðey House was the first building in the country to be constructed by stone. There’s also a café serving snacks and meals.

Reykjavík City Museum truly brings the city’s culture and heritage to life. For a complete Reykjavík experience, you can check out The Reykjavík City Card to experience all five museums and receive free access to the family zoo, swimming pools, buses and a host of other complementary extras.