Menu

Museums in Iceland

Buy admission tickets for the most popular museums all around Iceland

There's a lot to choose from when it comes to interesting and exciting museums in Iceland. Explore the rich cultural heritage, learn about the amazing natural phenomenons found in Iceland or enjoy the many art museums, there's something to be found for everyone.

Iceland’s incredible museums are the best places to learn more about the country. From the interactive wonders of Perlan to the life-size models of the Whales of Iceland Museum, each exhibition ensures a fascinating, family-friendly day out. You can gain access to these wonderful centers of learning through our website, allowing you to enjoy them without worrying about logistics.

Best Museums in Reykjavik

Reykjavik is home to a plethora of educational museums. Most focus on the wonders of Icelandic nature, making these exhibitions the perfect introduction before you see the real thing. 

Perlan Museum - Perlan combines fascinating exhibitions, spectacular views over Reykjavik, and one of Iceland’s most iconic structures.  The museum’s installations seek to teach visitors about Icelandic nature. Virtual reality and interactive display enhance the learning experience. 

  • Wonders of Iceland – The Wonders of Iceland exhibition allows visitors to experience the powerful forces of nature that have shaped the land of fire and ice. You’ll learn about seismic activity and geothermal energy,  feel the power of an earthquake, and hear what a volcanic eruption sounds like. The exhibition also takes you on an underwater journey through Iceland’s marine ecosystems. The highlight of the exhibition a realistic, man-made ice cave.
  • Water in Icelandic Nature – Iceland has some of the world’s most fascinating aquatic systems. The Water in Icelandic Nature exhibition teaches you all about them, using interactive installations that are especially popular with children. You’ll see how Iceland’s majestic waterfalls are created, learn how glacial meltwaters have shaped the land, and get up close and personal with tiny aquatic life. 
  • Aurora – Aurora is an interactive 8k exhibition on the Northern Lights. The display combines art, science, and innovative storytelling techniques to bring nature’s greatest show to life on the big screen. 
Perlan museum interior

Perlan museum

Whales of Iceland Museum – The Whales of Iceland Museum contains 23 life-sized models of the incredible beasts swimming in Iceland’s waters. Each model has been painstakingly hand-painted, allowing you to see what the majestic giants of the deep actually look like. The exhibition includes an 82-ft  (25-m) model of a blue whale, a model of a giant sperm whale, and other species such as orcas and the North Atlantic right whale. All the models can be touched and are accompanied by interactive information boards. The exhibit also contains a virtual reality experience that brings you to the bottom of the ocean.

The National Museum of Iceland – The National Museum of Iceland is home to many of Iceland's most famous artifacts, including the Viking ship on which the original settlers arrived. The museum contains various rotating exhibitions as well as the permanent “Making of a Nation” exhibition, which takes you on an epic journey through Iceland's history.

Arbaer Open Air Museum – The Arbaer Open Air Museum offers a fascinating insight into how historic Icelanders lived. More than 20 historical buildings are organized to form a small town, allowing you to see how Icelanders live in the pre-industrial age. 

The Settlement Exhibition – The Settlement Exhibition recreates Reykjavik’s early history.  Its principal attraction is an original Viking longhouse dating back to the late 10th century. The exhibition also contains interactive boards about how people lived and a panoramic depiction of 10th-century Reykjavik. 

Icelandic Phallological Museum – The Iceland Penis Museum contains a huge selection of phallic specimens from various mammals around the world. It's an exhibition as striking as it's memorable! Look out for the 56 specimens from whales, 36 from seals and walruses, a few from land mammals (humans of course), and even one from a polar bear. 

Icelandic Phallological museum in Reykjavik

Icelandic Phallological museum in Reykjavik

Best Museums in the South of Iceland

Southern Iceland is home to a number of amazing museums. Most focus on the powerful volcanic forces that have formed the land of fire and ice. 

Icelandic Lava Show – The Icelandic Lava Show Exhibition is a one-of-a-kind, family-run exhibition that reproduces the awesome power of a volcanic eruption. Lava is produced in a large furnace in the center of a small room, allowing visitors to experience the heat from the lava and see the amazing shapes it forms as it cools.

Icelandic Lava Show

Icelandic Lava Show Exhibition

The Lava Center – The Lava Center contains a set of fascinating exhibitions that explore  Iceland’s volcanic forces. All the installations are completely interactive, offering profound insight into how volcanoes work. The Lava Center also contains an earthquake simulator and shows visitors how scientists monitor seismic activity to predict earthquakes.

Museum Tours in Iceland 

We offer a great selection of museum tours in Iceland. You’re sure to talk away from each tour with a new appreciation for Icelandic nature and culture. 

Perlan Museum – Join us at the Perlan Museum in Reykjavik for a guided tour of one of Iceland’s best museums. Our knowledgeable local guide will take you through the Wonders of Iceland exhibition and share fascinating facts about Icelandic nature. We arrange the entire trip, so all you need to do is find your way there. 

Whales of Iceland Museum – See life-size models of Iceland’s whales on this fascinating tour. We arrange admission and meet at Old Reykjavik Harbor. Visitors often like to combine the museum experience with one of our many Reykjavik whale watching tours

Reykjavik City Card – Enjoy 72 hours of freedom in Reykjavik and access a host of different museums in Reykjavik, including: 

  • Árbær Open Air Museum
  • Ásmundarsafn – Sculpture Museum
  • Gerðarsafn – Art Museum in Kopavogur
  • Hafnarhús – Contemporary Art Museum by the Old Harbor
  • Kjarvalsstaðir – Modernist Art Museum
  • National Gallery of Iceland
  • National Museum of Iceland
  • Natural History Museum
  • The Culture House
  • The Settlement Exhibition

Omnom Chocolate Factory Tour – Go on a guided tour of a family-run chocolate factory, see how chocolate is made, and taste the delectable fruits of their labor. 

Omnom Chocolate Factory in Reykjavik

Omnom Chocolate Factory in Reykjavik

Lava Center – Meet us at the Lava Center to see how powerful volcanic forces have shaped Iceland. 

Lava Show – A unique lava show in the picturesque village of Vik lets you get up close and personal with a volcanic eruption.

FAQ

Do you provide admission on your museum tours?

Yes, we arrange admission on each of our museum tours. 

Do you provide transport?

No, we do not offer transport. However, most of the museums are easily accessible. Reykjavik museums can be reached via public transport. The South Coast museums are fairly easy to reach if you are in the area. 

How do I get to the museums?

Perlan Perlan offers a free shuttle bus service for ticket holders.  The bus departs from the BSI bus terminal on the hour. You can also drive to Perlan and take advantage of the free parking. The drive is 7-10 minutes from central Reykjavik.  

Whales of Iceland MuseumYou can catch the bus from the BSI bus terminal to Old Reykjavik Harbor. The bus ride takes around 10 minutes. You can also take a pleasant stroll through the city to reach the museum.

Reykjavik City CardThe Reykjavik city card grants free public transport while it is valid. Simply hop on a bus to any of the museums and get exploring!

Lava CenterThe Lava Center is located about 90 minutes from Reykjavik on Iceland’s South Coast. Drive south on the Ring Road to Austurvegur 14, 860 Hvolsvöllur and follow the signs to the Lava Center. 

Lava ShowThe Lava Show is located in the picturesque village of Vik on Iceland’s iconic South Coast. If you’re driving from Reykjavik, simply drive south along the Ring Road for 2.5 hours (118 miles), and then follow the signs to Vik. You could also stay in Vik and combine the museum with one of our other meet-on location South Coast tours.

What should I bring?

There is no set equipment or clothing list for a museum tour. However, if you’re visiting Perlan, make sure to dress warmly as the temperatures inside the man-made ice cave are below freezing. 

Can I take photos?

Most of the museums allow you to take photos. However, this may not be the case for every exhibition, so refer to the museum rules for more information. 

Related Tour Categories

Fully licensed travel agency & tour operator
Why book with Us
  • Best Price Guarantee
    We guarantee the lowest price when you book online.. If you find a better price we'll match it!
  • Full Refund Guarantee
    Get a full refund on most day tours when you cancel with more than 24h notice
  • We ♥ happy customers
    TripAdvisor's Hall of Fame! Over 2.200 5-star ratings
  • Great selection
    We're Iceland's Largest & Most Chosen Activity Tour Operator
  • Instant confirmation
    Reserve your seat instantly & Enjoy a flexible cancellation policy.
  • Tour planning help
    Our customer support team is ready to assist
  • Small Group Experience
    We focus on small groups and personal experience
  • Trusted Travel Partners
    We work exclusively with companies we know & trust.
  • Official Partner
    inspired by iceland partner