History of the National Museum of Iceland
Before the National Museum of Iceland was established in the mid-19th century, the art and objects exhibited today were kept in Danish museums and private collections. The idea of bringing the Icelandic collection together took shape in 1863 in a reflection of the country's growing national identity.
Originally known as the Antiquarian Collection and housed in various places across Reykjavik, including the Cathedral and the Parliament, the artefacts and works of art were not brought together until 1950, when their current home on Suðurgata was inaugurated.
What to see at the National Museum of Iceland?
Spread across three floors, the National Museum of Iceland exhibits more than 2000 pieces and works of art allowing visitors a fascinating and comprehensive journey through Icelandic history, from colonisation in the 9th century up to now.
From Viking drinking horns and ritual masks to beautiful Medieval stained glass windows and photographs showing the country's evolution during the 20th century, visiting the National Museum is the best way to learn about Icelandic culture and one of the must-see attractions during your stay in Reykjavik. Don't miss the Valþjófsstaður door, a 13th century church door carved with the tale of a knight slaying a dragon and freeing a lion which becomes his companion!
Free audioguide & tour
The National Museum of Iceland offers all visitors a free audio guide service in nine languages, including English, allowing you to discover more about the history of Iceland and the works on display.
What's more, every Saturday at 11 am, there's a free guided tour included in your museum ticket price. Tours on other days can also be booked for a fee.
Entry to Culture House
Admission to the National Museum also includes access to the Culture House, a smaller exhibition space located on Laugavegur. It doesn't take long to visit so it's worth having a look if you've already bought the National Museum ticket and you've got some spare time.
Daily from 10 and to 5 pm.
Closed Mondays from 16 September to 30 April.
Adults: 2,000 kr (US$ 16.50).
Children under 18 years old: Free.
Students: 1,000 kr (US$ 8.30).
Seniors over 67 years old: 1,000 kr (US$ 8.30).
Bus: lines 1, 3, 6, 12 and 14.