Tried and Tested: A visit to the National Museum of Iceland

The boyfriend, princess and I took advantage of Museum Day on Sunday and paid the National Museum a short visit. The museum is located next to the University of Iceland and it’s easily reached by foot from the downtown area or by number of city buses.



Reasons for liking the National Museum of Iceland

The National Museum of Iceland was reopened after a major overhaul in 2004. I remember going there as a kid and to be frank I didn’t think much of it. Now, however, I love it! There are several reasons why and I’ll let you in on a few of them.


Reason Number One

It’s very interactive. There are touch screens everywhere where you can get added information about the exhibits and or the history of Iceland in an unusually non dry manner. In a few place there are phones where you can call a person from that era and ask them questions about their lives. Then there are drawers you can open, buttons you can push and other goodies for hands-on freaks like myself.


Reason Number Two

The history of Iceland is actually quite interesting. I don’t know if it’s the old age (I have gray hairs, lots of them) or what but I just have this urge to know about our history and where we stem from. If you have the time and interest the museum offers a lot of answers to your questions about Iceland.


Reason Number Three

It’s a great place for kids, if they are fed and not tired that is. The princess was both hungry and exhausted after our camping trip so she didn’t enjoy it as much as she normally would have. The reason it’s great for kids is the interactivity that I mentioned before and then recently they added a hands-on room where kids can come and spend some time touching things and play with them.  Plus, the museum has Viking stuff – who doesn’t love the Vikings?


Reason Number Four

The gift shop is actually a great place to get souvenirs for your loved ones at home. It has books on Iceland and Icelandic culture, games, hats, sweets and then some. Even if you don’t want to visit the museum I would recommend you pay the gift shop a visit.


Reason Number Five

The museum café is actually a branch of Kaffitár, Te og Kaffi’s main rival on the Icelandic take-away coffee scene. Their caramel frappe is to die for. Yum.


The mandatory photos from the visit




Details and the verdict

The National Museum is open every day 10-17 during the summer and 11-17 Tuesdays to Sundays during the winter. The admission is 1000 ISK for adults, 500 ISK for senior citizens and it’s free for children under 18 years of age. During the winter the museum offers free admission on Wednesdays.

Guided tours for groups are available on request. The price is ISK 1000 pr. person for a minimum of 10 persons and tours have to be booked in advance on You can also get an audio tour on “tape” in different languages at the reception and the price for that is 300 ISK.

Like I said before, I really enjoy the National Museum. This time we just popped in for a quick look and we were there for just under two hours. That isn’t enough time to really take full advantage of all that the museum has to offer. Plan a half day for your visit, you’re not going to regret it. Highly recommended!

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