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The National Museum of Iceland (Þjóðminjasafn Íslands) was established on 24 February 1863, with Jón Árnason the first curator of the Icelandic collection, previously kept in Danish museums. The second curator, Sigurður Guðmundsson, advocated the creation of an antiquarian collection, and the museum was called the Antiquarian Collection until 1911.
|Monday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Tuesday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Sunday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
Many people visit Iceland with only the island itself in mind, yet the history of the people on the island have a rich and varied history so tied to the land that it is seemingly difficult to separate them. The National Museum is the best example of this, filled with treasures of the past and examples of how the people eked out an existence on the unforgiving islands before thriving as they do today. It largely features religious relics (the first bible written in Icelandic, as well as many other items tied to the rise of Lutherism), and information on their links to Norway and Denmark. There does seem to be gaps, with large periods of Iceland's internal history seemingly forgotten or ignored. Perhaps, this is because of how linked it was to the Old World. Either way, the Museum itself covers the entire history of Iceland, despite varied depths. It is a must see in Reykjavik, for a greater understanding of how the Icelanders adapted to the island they now thrive on.
Lots to see here. A wealth of historical Icelandic knowledge housed under this roof. Well worth the time to go see.
The museum is further out of town than we expected and it took a while to get to. Not an essential visit but good if you have time to spare in Reykjavik. It's 2,000 ISK per adult - this made it nearly 30 GBP for 2 adults which is a lot of money (but we are used to free museums in England!). Overall it was good, the settlement exhibits were very interesting but it was laid out in an odd way which made it hard to see things in a chronological order at times. The rest of the museum is more mixed in theme and wasn't as cohesive. Only two floors to look at which was a shame, expected it to be bigger but we had a good two hours or so here.
Very interesting history of Iceland with some amazing historical pieces. It will take about 3 hours to have a very detailed look at everything and a lovely cafe too.
Fabulous museum with awesome collection of artifacts. Really helps one to understand more about the country. The building itself is beautiful; nice coffee shop too.
Wow, this is a must stop place on your travels. I great way to learn about the country and its rich history. I would say go here first before seeing anything else in Iceland. This way you can appreciate the country better. The museum it's self is small but they have filled it with knowledge and artifacts, not a great place to being very young kids but I would say 12 and up. Great place. They have a lot to see, set aside a 6 hours for this place. It is located very centrally and parking is free and easy.
The National Museum was a nice addition to the assortment of museums and locations that we went to to learn about the history and culture of Iceland. There are some amazing Viking collection pieces, and the small dress-up room is fun. Tips: free entry included with Reykjavik City Card; there are free lockers; set aside 1.5-2.5 hours here.
Really cool museum with a ton of history and amazing stuff. You can easily spend 2+ hours there. It's self-paced so you can go faster or slower, whatever you feel like.
Contains a lot of information on Iceland's history: how it came to be and how it developed throughout ages. Would recommend it to anyone who is visiting Reykjavik as you can go through entire thing in a few hours. This museum is free if you bought "City card" from tourist information center. Entrance price ~2500 ISK
Visited mid-April 18 with family, including three teen kids. Well worth the visit if you are interested in Iceland's history, origins and progress. The kids were all very happy and interested. Well laid out and presented exceptionally well. The short videos placed around the displays are very informative. I can't understand other comments criticising the flow. Some people just want spoon feeding! Some displays are dark. Overall highly recommended!
Looks small for museum, but don´t be afraid. Inside is 2 floors with exhibition where price for this is 2000KR, and you can visit Culture House with this ticket. Best is to use web app for guide, it was great experience to go from one exhibition to another with my phone and listen to great information, that were unique. Thank You for that guide! And you can use free lockers downstairs, they are free! PS: Coffeshop is present ;)
This is one of my favorite museums. We went here our second day in Reykjavik, before departing to tour the country on the ring road. I say this because it gave us a great lesson in Iceland’s history, which set up our understanding of the culture and other stops on our trip. The exhibits were laid out extremely well, with overview panels where you get a quick glimpse into a section, then you are able to navigate and read what is interesting to you. Definitely visit if you are in Reykjavik!!
This museum is huge, every nook and cranny there lied another piece of history into the magical past of Icelandic culture. Many different hands on activities. Could have spent multiple days truly looking through the entire museum.
Lots and lots and lots of Christian relics and information. Icelanders seemed big on Christianity as a majority of the museum revolves around that. There was definitely a good amount of interesting stuff though and I spent about 2 hours here.
Absolute must see if you are interested in history and culture of Iceland. Organized timeline of the history of Iceland with artifacts from all eras. Loved how archaeological evidence and research methods were presented with short interactive videos. Somewhat lacking are the current developments in Iceland in terms of sustainability, energy and tourism which are integral to Iceland's changing history, and for that you have to visit the Geothermal Energy Exhibition at Hellisheidi Power Plant.
Lots of useful history in this museum, although the layout and flow of the exhibits is somewhat confusing. Being able to listen to the commentary on your phone is helpful. Free wifi, free storage for bags.
Small but well designed museum built around a settlement dwelling, in place. A great way to get a sense on the first few centuries of settled Iceland. Although the staff will warn you off, this can be seen in thirty minutes, such as if you arrive at 16.30. Like all museums in town, this one closes ridiculously early.