National Museum of Iceland

#9 in Best Things To Do in Reykjavik
National Museum of Iceland picture
Michael Labrecque-Jessen/Flickr

Key Info

Sudurgata 41

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.0scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

This interactive museum tells the history of Iceland, beginning with its pagan rituals and ending with contemporary fashion. Along the way, you'll "meet" a medieval chief and a 14th-century nun, among others, and you can hear about their life experiences via a one-way telephone conversation.

Most recent travelers praised this museum's detailed look into Iceland's past. Some also recommend stopping by the museum's in-house restaurant and gift shops.

Admission to the National Museum of Iceland is 2000 Icelandic króna (about $19) per person, which includes access to the museum's facilities, exhibits and free parking lot, plus complimentary guided tours at 11 a.m. The property is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (and only Tuesday through Sunday from September 16 to April 30). You'll find the museum in downtown Reykjavik near the University of Iceland and multiple bus stops. For more information, visit the National Museum of Iceland's website

See all Hotels in Reykjavik »

More Best Things To Do in Reykjavik

Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
Golden Circle
Type
1 of 10
#1 Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

The aurora borealis (or northern lights) can be an almost eerie sight: Picture emerald green swirls coloring the otherwise darkened sky. But scientists have a boring explanation for this phenomenal natural light show – "collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the Earth's atmosphere," according to the Northern Lights Centre. Still, it's a pretty breathtaking sight, and if you're visiting Reykjavik in winter, you might want to stake out some time for northern lights gazing.

Although you can see the lights from Reykjavik, you'll increase your chances of viewing them outside of the city. Previous travelers recommend taking a tour with local companies like BusTravel Iceland or Reykjavik Excursions. (But keep in mind that the aurora borealis requires a perfect cocktail of climate conditions in order to show – so you're not guaranteed to see the elusive display of lights even if you book a tour.) If you'd rather hunt for this natural phenomenon on your own, time your visit between September and mid-April.

Read more
Santi Sukamjanaprai/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Reykjavik »

Explore More of Reykjavik

Recommended

The World's 30 Best Places to Visit in 2019-20

Using reader input and expert analysis, U.S. News identified the latest can't-miss vacations.

Tilly PeckerJune 25, 2019

The 16 Best San Diego Tours

Take advantage of the adventures this coastal city has to offer with a guided trip.

Lyn MettlerJune 24, 2019

12 Top Napa Valley Wineries to Visit

Set your sights on these can't-miss wineries during your next visit to California's wine country.

Lyn MettlerJune 24, 2019

The 6 Best Denver Brewery Tours

Discover the buzz about Denver's craft beer scene with these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 21, 2019

The 10 Best Charleston Walking Tours

Experience true southern hospitality as you explore Charleston on one of these strolls.

Claire LawtonJune 20, 2019

The 15 Best Charleston Tours

See everything this historic South Carolina city has to offer on one of these guided excursions.

John RodwanJune 19, 2019

The 5 Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

See the Garden Island's far-reaching beauty from the air.

Holly JohnsonJune 14, 2019

The 6 Best Las Vegas Helicopter Tours

Get a thrilling look at the lights and sights of Sin City and its surroundings with one of these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

20 Road Trip Essentials for Your Vacation

These road trip must-haves can help you save money, travel more comfortably and ensure you stay safe on the open road.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

13 Top Charlottesville Wineries to Visit

Sip a glass of Virginia's signature viognier as the sun sets over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Gwen PratesiJune 12, 2019