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Akureyri, Iceland

The Motorcycle Museum of Iceland is housed in a large building.The Motorcycle Museum, located in Akureyri, celebrates the history and evolution of motorcycling in Iceland. Housing a vast collection of vintage and modern motorbikes, the museum introduces visitors to the world of two-wheeled transportation.

Founded by enthusiasts of motorcycle culture, the Motorcycle Museum of Iceland aims to preserve and showcase the significant role that motorcycles have played in Icelandic society. Upon entering, visitors will discover a diverse range of vehicles, artifacts, accessories, and information.

In addition to its permanent displays, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions and events annually. These events are primarily about the cycling culture and related issues in Iceland.

If you book from a range of self-drive tours that reach North Iceland, you can visit the Motorcycle Museum with your rental car. This 10-day summer self-drive tour includes time in Akureyri, while this five-day northern lights road trip focuses on attractions in the north.

Photo above from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Dagvidur. No edits made.

What is the Motorcycle Museum of Iceland?

The Motorcycle Museum of Iceland, locally known as Mótorhjólasafn Íslands, opened in Akureyri in May 2011. Since then, the museum has showcased an incredible exhibition of these vehicles and provided information on their qualities and role in Icelandic society.

Visitors can expect to see models that span the 20th Century, focusing on classic British, unusual European, and more contemporary Japanese models. Of course, fans of American brands such as Harley-Davidson will still have plenty to admire.

As the museum covers over 8,600 square feet (800 square meters), there is space for dozens of unique and fascinating motorbikes. Some of these displays have information boards in Icelandic and English, so most visitors can immerse themselves in the museum.

Though its fantastic collection is the Motorcycle Museum of Iceland’s greatest feature, it also has plenty of information on the history of these vehicles in Iceland.

Motorcycling is popular in Iceland

Photo from Extreme 3 Day Motorcycle Adventure Tour in the Icelandic Highlands with Langjokull & Fjallabak

Over the 20th Century, Iceland went through a dramatic industrialization process, connected its isolated communities with roads, and served as a UK and US military base during and after World War Two. Horses, which had been relied on for transport for over a millennium, were slowly replaced by motor vehicles.

The country also developed new methods of enjoying its tradition of outdoor adventure, particularly as tourism grew.

Motorcycles played a fascinating role in all these developments, which you can learn about at the museum. The influence of motorbiking in Iceland is only increasing, and you can now take plenty of tours riding these vehicles, such as this three-day highland motorcycling tour and this seven-day Westfjords biking tour.

History of the Motorcycle Museum of Iceland

Although the Motorcycle Museum of Iceland formally opened in 2011, it was founded as early as 2007 as a tribute to Heiðar Þ. Jóhannsson. Heiðar, who was a celebrated cyclist and motorcyclist in Iceland, died in 2006 due to an accident.

Prior to his death, Heiðar dedicated his life to collecting motorcycles and bike-related objects. Most of these collections, including at least 30 bikes, were donated to the museum. You’ll see a specific section in the museum dedicated to him and his motorcycles.

Throughout the years, the museum expanded its bike artifacts from donations around the country.

Location of the Motorcycle Museum of Iceland

The Motorcycle Museum of Iceland is located in southern Akureryi, just 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometers) from the town center. If you take a domestic flight from Reykjavik to Akureyri, the museum is just half a mile (1.1 kilometers) from the airport.

Akureyri is often called the capital of North Iceland, a magnificent region all visitors to Iceland should travel to if they have time. There are plenty of accommodation options in Akureyri, and you can easily reach some amazing natural attractions with Akureyri tours.

What Makes the Motorcycle Museum of Iceland Special?

A biker rides his motorcycle through Iceland.

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Brynja Eldon. No edits made.

The Motorcycle Museum of Iceland is the only museum in Iceland dedicated to motorbikes in the country. 

Its enormous collection allows those new to these vehicles to develop a comprehensive understanding of their diversity and appeal. Even motorcycle experts are likely to see models, accessories, and memorabilia they have not heard of or not seen in person before.

The museum also provides fascinating history and context to motorcycles in Iceland with its exhibitions and expert staff.

How to Get to the Motorcycle Museum of Iceland

From the center of Akureyri, take the main road Drottningarbraut south for 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) and continue onto Eyjafjardarbraut vestri for a quarter of a mile (400 meters). Turn right onto Krokeyri, take the first right, and you’ll arrive at your destination.

From Akureyri Airport, turn right onto Eyjafjardarbraut vestri, continue for half a mile (700 meters), turn left onto Krokeyri, then right to reach the museum.

Akureyri is home to the Motorcycle Museum of Iceland.

Though you can fly to Akureyri from the Reykjavik Domestic Airport, most travelers choose to drive there. Take Route 1, also called the Ring Road, north for 240 miles (386 kilometers).

Other Attractions Near the Motorcycle Museum of Iceland

Because the Motorcycle Museum of Iceland is in Akureyri, visitors will find plenty of other things to do in the area.

Akureyri has plenty of other museums, galleries, and points of interest. The Akureyri Museum, the Akureyri Art Museum, the Laufas turf houses, and the Christmas House are all great options for those looking to learn more about Iceland’s culture.

There are also plenty of sightseeing options in the capital of the north. The Akureyri Botanical GardensAkureyrarkirkja Church, lively high street, and harbor area are all beautiful and within comfortable walking distance of each other.

Akureyri’s harbor is a fantastic place to go whale watching throughout the year and puffin watching in summer. A classic whale-watching tour from Akureyri allows you to witness minke and humpback whales in comfort, while a RIB whale- and bird-watching adventure lets you get closer to the animals.

The Lake Myvatn area is a popular part of North Iceland.Most travelers to North Iceland also set out to see at least some of the famous Diamond Circle sightseeing route. The breathtaking Godafoss waterfall is 21 miles (34 kilometers) from the Motorcycle Museum of Iceland, while the dramatic Lake Myvatn area is 25 miles (40 kilometers) further east.

If you visit the Motorcycle Museum of Iceland early, you could also continue your Diamond Circle journey to the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss, and the magical Asbyrgi Canyon.

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