Najważniejsze informacje - National Museum of Iceland
The Icelandic National Museum, located at Sudurgata 41 in Reykjavik, displays objects providing a great insight into the nation's history and culture.
The museum has a permanent exhibition, 'The making of a Nation', conceived as a journey through the history of Iceland. The exhibition is interactive and displays around 2000 objects dating from settlement time to modern day.
The museum also features many temporary exhibitions which focus on different topics relating to Icelandic history.
What To See at The National Museum of Iceland?
A visit to the National Museum of Iceland is a great way to get to know the history and culture of the country. It provides insight into some of the main events during its 1200-year history and may give further meaning to other locations that you may visit during your stay in Iceland.
The museum is on three floors, with the permanent exhibition located on the second and third floors. The building is fully wheelchair accessible.
The exhibition itself is split up into seven main time periods to help tell the story of the country. During your visit, keep an eye out for specific key artifacts which are symbolic of each time period. They are located in special display cases throughout the exhibition and give more context to other artifacts. The exhibition also features interactive displays, and you can find telephones that let you listen to conversations of people from the past.
The second floor is dedicated to the period from the settlement to the 18th century. To begin with, you see artifacts that give insight into the lives of settlers at the end of the Viking age and get to explore the nation's relationship with the stunning and unpredictable Icelandic nature throughout time.
You can learn about the changes brought on by the transfer of power from the independent settlers to the Kingdom of Norway and then to the Kingdom of Denmark. The exhibition also shines a light on the conversion of Iceland from paganism to Christianity and then from Catholicism to Lutheranism and the effect these changes had on the country's culture and people.
Once you've reached the end of the second floor, you will find two rooms dedicated to temporary exhibitions. The permanent exhibition then continues upstairs and covers the time from the 18th century until the modern day.
There the museum tells the story of the country's independence movement as well as how Iceland has changed with the technical developments of the 19th and 20th centuries. The endpoint of the exhibition is a modern airport, symbolizing the now open pathway to and from the country.
Once you've gone through the exhibition, you'll end up back on the first floor. We recommend taking a break at the museum café and making a stop at the fun museum shop. There you can get replicas of artifacts from the exhibition, jewelry, books, and toys which relate to Icelandic history.
Going through the permanent exhibition can take anywhere from two hours to a full day, depending on how much you want to read and explore. We do recommend allowing yourself enough time to fully explore the museum, as there is a wealth of information and artifacts to discover.
The National Museum of Iceland offers guided tours in English on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays, which start at 10:30 am. You will have to pay the admission fee, but the tour itself is free.
You can also get an audio guide at any time in English, Icelandic, German, French, Polish, Danish, Spanish, and Italian. The Museum also offers a special children's audio guide in English and Icelandic, as well as a guide specifically about IGBTQ+ history in Iceland.
If you're looking to learn more about Icelandic history as well as to explore the city, then you may also be interested in a 2 hour guided walking tour of Reykjavík. You can also delve deeper into history with a guided 12 hour cultural tour exploring the history of Vikings and the Icelandic sagas.
Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Ray Swi-hymn. No edits made.
Where is the National Museum of Iceland?
The National Museum of Iceland is located at Sudurgata 41 in Reykjavík. It is located close to the city center and is about a 5-minute walking distance away from the bus stop for the University of Iceland.
How Much is the Entry For the National Museum of Iceland?
The entry fee for the National Museum of Iceland is 2.500 ISK for adults. Admission is free for children under 18 years old and for people with disabilities. The museum is open all days of the week from 10 AM to 5 PM It is closed on Mondays from September until May.
Other Things To Do Close To the National Museum of Iceland
As the National Museum of Iceland is located close to the city center, it is surrounded by many of Reykjavík's main attractions, such as Harpa Concert Hall and Hallgrimskirkja church. There are also many places where you can learn more about Icelandic history and culture.
Across the street, you will find one of Reykjavíks oldest cemeteries, Holavallakirkjugardur, known for its old headstones and beautiful trees. Throughout, you can find information signs telling the story of the cemetery. It is worth a stop on your journey, just make sure to be respectful to the area as well as to other guests during your visit, as it is still in active use.
There are also many museums close by that focus on different areas of Icelandic history and culture. At Frikirkjuvegur 7, next to the Tjornin Pond, you can find the National Gallery of Iceland, which showcases different Icelandic artists. A short walk from the museum, you can find the Settlement Exhibition, which showcases a real Viking house from around the year 871. The exhibition connects directly to the oldest house in Reykjavik, where the history of Reykjavik is showcased.
A bit further, in Grandi Harbour, you can find the Reykjavik Maritime Museum, where you can learn about the relationship of Icelanders with the sea.
A visit to any of these places can offer insight into Iceland's history and culture, which is sure to make your trip more memorable.