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Some of the Must-visit Museums in Iceland

If there’s one thing you can’t accuse Iceland of, it’s having boring museums. You will find plenty of museums in Iceland that offer incredibly immersive experiences and take you on adventures of the past, as well as within almost touching distance of the various natural wonders one can find here on the island.


So, if you’ve got an upcoming trip to the island planned, the following list of museums in Iceland are must-visit places and should be included in your trip itinerary:


Museums in Iceland


National Museum of Iceland


Location: Reykjavik

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00 every day (please note that this may change according to season).

Cost: For adults, it’s roughly $20, but the ticket remains valid for an entire year. Seniors and Students enjoy discounted rates ($10), and children under the age of 17 and the disabled can access completely free of charge. Those with a Reykjavik Card also get free entry (please note that this may change according to season).


The National Museum of Iceland takes a holistic view of the history here on the island and essentially gives you the bigger picture of how the Icelandic nation got to where it is today. Here you will find numerous exhibitions and events, one of which is the permanent exhibition, Making of a Nation.





Perlan


Location: Reykjavik

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 22:00 every day (please note that this may change according to season).

Cost: $36 for adults. $22 for children between 6 and 17. Children under the age of 5 enjoy free entry. You can also purchase a family ticket at $93 which gives access to 2 adults and 2 children. Those with a Reykjavik Card are eligible for a discount (please note that this may change according to season).


Perlan is one of the best museums in Iceland to visit if you want to experience the island, but can’t actually go exploring. Perlan offers visitors interactive and immersive experiences of the Land of Fire and Ice, where you can walk through a literal ice cave, and “fly” across the country in a ride called FlyOver Iceland.




The Icelandic Phallological Museum


Location: Reykjavik

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 19:00 every day (please note that this may change according to season).

Cost: $20, but those with a Reykjavik Card are eligible for a discount (please note that this may change according to season).


The Icelandic Phallological Museum is one of the most unusual museums in Iceland, and if you consider yourself to be a bit conservative, you might want to give this one a skip. The entire museum is a gigantic display of the penis of every mammal you will find here on the island, from whales, and horses, to mice, and, yes, even a human (courtesy of an Icelander named Arason that donated his member to the museum in his will).


Whilst all of the latter is 100% real and anatomically correct, the verdict is still out on the so-called Elf penis that’s also on display there.





Arbær Open Air Museum


Location: Reykjavik

Opening Hours: 13:00 – 17:00 every day (please note that this may change according to season).

Cost: $16 per adult. Students with a valid student card get a discount. Children under the age of 17, and those with a Reykjavik Card enjoy free entry (please note that this may change according to season).


As you might’ve already guessed, Arbær Open Air Museum is one of those museums that you need to visit when the weather plays along. Here you can travel back in time and get to experience what things in the Reykjavik area used to look like and how Icelanders in the region used to live, work, and play.





Reykjavik Maritime Museum


Location: Reykjavik

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00 every day (please note that this may change according to season).

Cost: $15 per adult. Students with a valid student card get a discount. Children under the age of 17, the disabled, as well as those with a Reykjavik Card get free access (please note that this may change according to season).


The Reykjavik Maritime Museum is a must-visit museum for boat lovers and those interested to find out how this sea-faring nation essentially kept an entire country afloat for centuries. The museum consists of a number of indoor exhibitions, but then you also get the chance to get up close and personal with the boats on the dock.




Saga Museum


Location: Reykjavik

Opening Hours: 10:00 -17:00 (please note that this may change according to season).

Cost: $26 per adult. Children, seniors, the disabled, students with a valid student card, as well as those with a Reykjavik Card all enjoy discounted rates (please note that this may change according to season).


This is one of the cool museums in Iceland that is a strange combination of a history museum and the infamous London museum, Madame Tussauds. The Saga Museum transports you into the past and some of the most legendary tales here on the island by using an audio guide and life-sized wax figures. Here, you can literally walk through the most pivotal moments that shaped the country.





The Icelandic Sea Monster Museum


Location: Bildudalur

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 every day (please note that this may change according to season).

Cost: $12 per adult. Children under the age of 10 get free entry (please note that this may change according to season).


Whether you believe in monsters, enjoy a good yarn, or just get a kick out of a bit of mystery, The Icelandic Sea Monster Museum is for you. Here you will listen to the legends of the monsters here on the island and those who claim to have seen them. You’ll even find a monster-themed game or two to play.





Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum


Location: Bjarnarhöfn

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00 every day (please note that this may change according to season).

Cost: $15 per adult. Children under the age of 15 get free entry, please note that this may change according to season.


The Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum is another one of our unusual museums in Iceland, and probably not what you envisioned in your mind. Here you will get to learn all about sharks, yes, but the focus is on the history of the relationship between the Icelanders and the sharks here on the island, and the fact that Icelanders actually eat the sharks.


In fact, the museum goes into great detail about how intricate the process of preparing shark meat is. So, although incredibly interesting, we won’t recommend this one to sensitive animal lovers. This is one of the museums in western Iceland, so makes a good road trip stop.





LAVA Centre


Location: Hvolsvöllur

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 18:00 every day (please note that this may change according to season).

Cost: You can opt for the full experience at $35 per adult, or stick to the movie-only at $15 per adult. If you have any children in your party, you’ll have to get the family ticket charged at $85 - whether you have 1 or 5 kids (please note that this may change according to season).


You can’t visit the Land of Fire and Ice and not get to learn more about the island’s fiery side at the LAVA Centre. The museum makes use of impressive technology and interactive displays to dive into the island’s volcanos and the geological factors that play their part in the volcanic activity of Iceland.




Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft


Location: Holmavik

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 every day (please note that this may change according to season).

Cost: $10 per adult. Seniors and students with a valid student card are eligible for a discount. Children under the age of 14 get free entry (please note that this may change according to season).


The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft is one of the most wonderfully weird museums in Iceland. Here you take a deep dive into the fantastical and magical history of Iceland. Experience some of the most bizarre stories and beliefs through a wide variety of relics, including pants made from human skin!






Reykjavik Art Museum


Location: Reykjavik

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00 every day (please note that this may change according to season).

Cost: $16 per adult. Students with a valid student card are eligible for a discount. Children under the age of 18, the disabled, and those with a Reykjavik Card enjoy free entry (please note that this may change according to season).


The Reykjavik Art Museum is jam-packed with all sorts of creative expression, whether it be paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc. Here you get to see incredible art pieces from the past as well as the present.





FAQ of Museums


What are the most popular museums in Iceland?


National Museum of Iceland, The Settlement Exhibition, Perlan Museum and Saga Museum.


What are the opening hours and admission prices for museums in Iceland?


The opening hours and admission prices for museums in Iceland vary. Some museums are open year-round, while others are only open during the summer months. Admission prices also vary, but they are generally reasonable.


What are some tips for visiting museums in Iceland?


  • Plan your visit: Before you go, check the opening hours and admission prices for the museums you want to visit.

  • Dress warmly: Many museums in Iceland are located in old buildings that can be cold. Be sure to dress warmly, especially if you are visiting during the winter months.

  • Take your time: There is a lot to see and learn at museums in Iceland. Take your time and enjoy the exhibits.

  • Ask questions: If you have any questions about the exhibits, be sure to ask a museum staff member.


Don’t Miss Out on All the Cool Museums in Iceland!


As you can see, there are plenty of weird and wonderful museums here in Iceland, and this is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the museums in Iceland. Whilst most tend to keep museum visits for those days that the weather turns on you, you simply cannot take that chance on the island.


There simply are too many incredible museums to try and squeeze them into “bad weather days”. Our museums will require at least a couple of dedicated days on your Iceland trip itinerary. So, whilst you’re planning your road trip around the island, make sure that you add a few of our museum top picks listed in this article.


You can even hit the first couple when going to rent a campervan in Reykjavik. But don’t just stick to the capital since there are many breathtaking, inspiring, mesmerizing, and jaw-dropping museums that are just waiting for you all around the country.

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