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Hafnarborg Center of Culture and Fine Art Travel Guide

20 Google reviews
Strandgata 34, 220 Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Opening hours
Monday: 12:00 – 5:00 PM; Tuesday: Closed; Wednesday: 12:00 – 5:00 PM; Thursday: 12:00 – 5:00 PM; Friday: 12:00 – 5:00 PM; Saturday: 12:00 – 5:00 PM; Sunday: 12:00 – 5:00 PM
Distance from center
231 m
Average rating
Number of reviews

Hafnarborg Center of Culture and Fine Art

Photo from Wikimedia Commons, by Touristlink No Edits made.

The Hafnarborg Center of Culture and Fine Art, spelled “Hafnarfjörður” in Icelandic, is a public museum that serves as the center of Hafnarfjordur’s art scene. The museum opened its doors in 1983 and has become a hub for leading Icelandic artists and their artworks.

The Hafnarborg Center of Culture and Fine Art is one of the many attractions in Hafnarfjordur, like the northern lights in winter and the annual Viking Festival. The museum is easy to reach for those staying in Reykjavik, as it is part of the Greater Capital Area.

Located about 7.3 miles (11.7 kilometers) from the center of Reykjavik, Hafnarborg draws locals and tourists through its exhibitions, art collections, and special events. The museum generally holds around eight to 10 exhibitions annually.

These exhibits revolve around works of contemporary artists, Icelandic art history, and treasured creations by Iceland’s pioneering artists.

The History and Treasures of Hafnarborg Center of Culture and Fine Art

Though much of the focus and attention of the museum's visitors are directed to the artworks, the Hafnarborg building has an equally interesting history. In 1983, Chemist Sverrir Magnusson, together with his wife Ingibjorg Sigurjonsdottir, a pharmacist, decided to donate their collection of fine art and books to the town.

They also donated their home to house the art collection. On June 1st of the same year, the couple formally donated their pieces and house by issuing a gift certificate to the town.

The certificate explicitly noted that the house should serve as a spot for cultural activities. It should also help boost the town’s art and cultural life by housing: an art museum, exhibition rooms, and a concert venue. Additionally, the building should serve as a residence for local artists.

Looking at the museum from the outside, you’ll see a simple but elegant exterior. The walls are white with several glass window arches. Meanwhile, the roof is reddish-brown, while the word “Hafnarborg” is engraved on top of the main door.

Inside is the Hafnarborg Collection made up of over 1,500 pieces of various artworks ranging from paintings to sculptures. Aside from the couple’s collection, painter Eiríkur Smith also gave a substantial donation of artworks in 1990.

You’ll also see the museum’s new acquisitions coming from gifts and purchases. There’s also a spot for public artwork depicting the town’s history, harbor, and people.

The museum is also home to the Krydd Restaurant. Located on the museum’s ground floor, the restaurant offers an eclectic menu, superb cocktails, and an extensive selection of draft beers.

Before leaving the center, you can drop by the Museum Shop. Here, you’ll find a wide selection of books, exhibition catalogs, posters, and cards featuring prints of various artworks inside the museum.

Where is the Hafnarborg Center of Culture and Fine Art Located?

The Hafnarborg Center of Culture and Fine Art is located at Strandgata 34, 220 Hafnarfjordur.

What Makes the Hafnarborg Center of Culture and Fine Art Special?

The Hafnarborg Center of Culture and Fine Art plays a significant role in building and maintaining the town’s rich history and positive image. The museum showcases art exhibits reflecting contemporary trends and movements that shape the town.

It also promotes the daily life of the locals. The museum allows locals to enjoy and appreciate different forms of art. The exhibitions and events also educate students and develop the next generation’s love for art.

How Can I get to the Hafnarborg Center of Culture and Fine Art?

The museum is about 7.6 miles (12.3 kilometers) from Reykjavik. You can get to the museum by joining a tour, self-drive via Route 41, or taking a bus from Reykjavik.

Attractions Near the Hafnarborg Center of Culture and Fine Art

After visiting the Hafnarborg Center, you can check out other nearby attractions. About 1,312 feet (400 meters) from the museum is the Viking Village in Hafnarfjordur. It is a themed hotel and restaurant that recreates the olden days of the Vikings.

You may also head downtown and join a Reykjavik whale-watching tour. The tour will take you to the famous Faxafloi Bay, where you’ll find different whale species.

The Raufarholshellir lava tubes are also 26.6 miles (42.8 kilometers) from the museum. You can explore this magical place full of rocks that form fascinating shapes by joining this lava caving tour.

Attractions Nearby

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