National Museum of Iceland



The hands-on room on the second floor of the permanent exhibition is where visitors can play games, dress up in historical costumes and wield ancient weapons. It's great for people with kids.

All the nation's most precious treasures are kept and displayed at The National Museum of Iceland. The aim of the museum is to increase and relay knowledge of Icelandic cultural heritage from the beginning until now. At the museum you will find objects that provide insight into Icelandic cultural history and displays from different eras. The National Museum was established on the 24th of February in 1863. During the first decades it was housed in several attics in Reykjavik but was given its current home on Suðurgata in 1950. The goals of the National Museum are varied, but they have a legal obligation as a national centre to preserve cultural heritage, research programmes and promulgation of knowledge and infermation relating to the cultural heritage of the Icelandic nation.

There's plenty to do at The National Museum of Iceland. The permanent exhibition, Making of a Nation - Heritage and History in Iceland includes over 2000 objects dating from the settlement to the present day, such as multi-media displays, telephone connections with the past, fun and education, games, information folders and more. It's a remarkable journey through Icelandic history.The museum also holds the largest public collection of images of many kinds, drawings, watercolours, prints, graphic prints and paintings, but principally photographs in various forms. The total number of pictures reaches 4 million.

The National Museum organizes educational events and material for children and adults to provide educational entertainment for people of all ages. You can visit the museum library, a modern research library of material relating to archaeology, cultural history, ethnology, religious sources, textile studies, conservation, art history, crafts and architecture. The library holds abour 22,000 volumes of books, magazines, videos and CDs. The museum shop offers sepcially produced goods and handicrafts, a diverse selection of books on Icelandic languag, art and culture and childrens toys, most of which are replicas based on ancient Icelandic toys.

Guided tours for groups are available upon request, for a minimum of 10 persons, provided they're booked in advance through e-mail. On therese, the guide walks through the permanent exhibition and selected objects are put into historical context.  

If you want to make the most of your Reykjavík Experience, you may want to look into picking up a Reykjavík City Card, which grants you access to all the public museums, pools and city busses, in addition to discounts on many other things!



Sudurgata 41, Reykjavik-Centre, 101

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Best For Whom

  • Families With Children
  • Groups
  • Mature Travellers

Best For What

  • Cultural Experience
  • The Local Experience


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