Discovering Iceland's Museums: The Art of the North

Discover the rich history and vibrant culture of the island through the captivating museums in Iceland. Dive into a world of art, heritage, and knowledge.

Museums in Reykjavik

blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

    Hold on to your woolly hats and prepare to embark on an Icelandic adventure beyond Northern Lights and cascading waterfalls. Welcome to a land where museums in Iceland are as abundant as Viking sagas and as diverse as the Icelandic weather. 

    Iceland's museums are a hidden treasure trove. They offer a range of experiences, from historical exhibits to avant-garde art spaces, waiting to be explored.

    Grab your sense of wonder and put on your cultural spelunking gear. We'll delve into a realm where history, art, and quirky charm collide in delightful ways.

    Are Museums Free in Iceland?

    No, Iceland museums are not typically free. However, many offer discounted ticket prices or free admission on certain days. This is a great opportunity to explore some of the country's gems without breaking the bank. You can also find more information in our post about the best museums in Reykjavik.

    Free Iceland museums

    What Is the Special Museum in Iceland?

    The renowned Icelandic Phallological Museum is undoubtedly one of the most unusual and special Icelandic museums. Yes, you read that right! This peculiar establishment is dedicated to the study and display of penises from various mammals.

    How Many Museums Are in Iceland?

    There are 266 museums in Iceland. It's a country with a rich heritage and culture, so it's no surprise that there are so many museums here. Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, or a lover of peculiar oddities, Iceland's museums provide a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

    What Are the Best Museums in Iceland?

    The best museums in Iceland are:

    • The National Museum of Iceland
    • Arbaer Open Air Museum
    • Icelandic Maritime Museum
    • Icelandic Phallological Museum 

    Best museums in Iceland

    These are just some of the amazing museums you can explore in Iceland. However, there are countless other museums worth visiting. Let's take a closer look at each and some of the other noteworthy museums in Iceland. 

    The National Museum of Iceland

    The National Museum of Iceland is a beacon of the nation's rich history and cultural heritage. Located in Reykjavik, this remarkable institution showcases many artifacts, documents, and exhibits that take visitors on a captivating journey through Iceland's past.

    From Viking artifacts to medieval manuscripts and beyond, the museum offers a comprehensive overview of the country's fascinating evolution. Immerse yourself in the stories, traditions, and achievements that have shaped Iceland's identity, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and curious travelers.

    Arbaer Open Air Museum

    Step back in time and immerse yourself in the charming world of Arbaer Open Air Museum. Located on the outskirts of Reykjavik, this living museum brings the past to life with its 20 meticulously preserved historic buildings and traditional artifacts.

    Wander through the cobblestone streets, explore traditional houses, and experience the daily life of Iceland's past. From farmsteads to workshops, Arbaer Open Air Museum offers a captivating glimpse into the country's cultural heritage, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a nostalgic journey through time.

    Icelandic Maritime Museum

    Set sail on a maritime adventure at the Icelandic Maritime Museum in Reykjavik. This captivating Icelandic museum celebrates Iceland's maritime heritage and deep connection to the ocean.

    Explore interactive exhibits, historic vessels, and engaging displays highlighting the nation's fishing industry, shipbuilding traditions, and maritime exploration. 

    From learning about brave Viking voyages to discovering the modern challenges faced by Icelandic fishermen, the Icelandic Maritime Museum offers a fascinating insight into the maritime history and culture of this island nation.

    Icelandic Phallological Museum 

    Hold onto your hats because we're about to dive into the world of the Icelandic Phallological Museum. This unique museum in Iceland has a collection of 215 penises from 93 species of mammals, ranging from tiny mouse members to large whale wieners. 

    In addition, the museum features 15 penis sculptures depicting the Iceland men's national handball team, also known as 'Handballem.' There is also a souvenir shop with various penis-related items and a penis-themed café. So, if you decide to add this to your Iceland itinerary, be prepared for a memorable experience!

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    The Saga Museum

    Step into the captivating world of the Saga Museum, one of the must-visit museums in Iceland. Located in Reykjavik, this immersive museum brings Icelandic sagas to life in a truly enchanting way.

    Wander through meticulously crafted exhibits and encounter lifelike wax figures that transport you back in time to the era of Vikings and mythical heroes. Hear the tales of legendary battles, epic love stories, and historical events that have shaped the Icelandic identity. Get ready to be swept away on a journey of storytelling and adventure at the Saga Museum.

    Akureyri Arts Museum

    Hold onto your paintbrushes, folks, because the Akureyri Arts Museum is about to unleash a creative storm on your senses. Regarded as one of the best museums in Iceland, this gem in Akureyri is a mecca for art enthusiasts and curious souls alike.

    With its eclectic collection of contemporary artworks, avant-garde installations, and thought-provoking exhibitions, the museum invites you to explore the boundaries of artistic expression. Whether you're an art fanatic or just looking to ignite your imagination, the Akureyri Arts Museum is a must-visit destination that will leave you pondering, inspired, and perhaps a tad bewildered.

    The Settlement Center in Borgarnes

    Get ready for a time-traveling extravaganza at The Settlement Center in Borgarnes. Because who doesn't love reliving the past in a small town? This place is like a time machine that takes you straight to the Viking era. Immerse yourself in their exhibits as you learn about the epic sagas, fearless warriors, and epic adventures of yore.

    And hey, if all that time-traveling makes you hungry, fear not! They've got a Viking-themed restaurant where you can feast like a modern-day Norse god. So grab your horned helmet and prepare for a historical feast at The Settlement Center.

    Ystafell Auto Museum in Húsavík

    Step into a nostalgic time capsule at the Ystafell Auto Museum, an Icelandic museum that celebrates the golden age of automobiles. Reminiscent of a bygone era, this hidden gem takes you on a journey through classic cars, vintage models, and a dose of automotive history

    From sleek curves to polished chrome, each vehicle tells a story of style and innovation. Whether you're a car enthusiast or simply yearning for a touch of nostalgia, Ystafell Auto Museum is a delightful destination that revs up memories of yesteryear.

    Iceland's Museums Have It All

    Iceland's museums offer an extraordinary journey through time and artistic expression. From delving into the Viking era to immersing oneself in contemporary art, these museums truly have it all.

    With a rich cultural tapestry woven with sagas, history, and modern creativity, there's something to captivate every curious soul. To make the most of this museum extravaganza, we highly recommend renting a car in Iceland. It's the best and easiest way to navigate the country's diverse landscapes and visit these fascinating museums at your own pace.

    Reserve a rental car in Iceland instantly!

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