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“Iceland's Smithsonian”

National Museum of Iceland
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$62.16*
and up
Private Sightseeing Tour in Reykjavik
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$40.41*
and up
City Sightseeing Reykjavik Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Ranked #11 of 181 things to do in Reykjavik
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed June 7, 2009

Icelandic culture is rich in many ways and one of the best exposures to a multi-faceted presentation of Iceland's past is through the National Museum of Iceland. The sleek and modern facility presents the story through artifacts that range from archeological evidence of Viking settlement to textiles, religous icons, furnishings, period rooms, industrial and folk art exhibits, and multi-media displays. Artifacts remind me very much of the kinds of things we find in our own Smithsonian Museum in Washington.

The main floor gallery features the Heritage and History of Iceland and presents settlement of Iceland, its heritage, its past, and its future. The dramatic lighting, state of the art showcases, and multi-media enhancement makes for a very easy and informative visit. All exhibition labels are in both Icelandic and English and are easy to read.

The museum offers head sets for audio tours, a special discovery area for children, and a resting room for those who need a place to lie down. The lounges, cafeteria, gift shops, and rest rooms add to the comfort of Icelandic hospitality. Admission is a modest 600 Kroner and is free on Wednesdays. You could easily spend three to four hours in this museum.

4  Thank redeco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,676 - 2,680 of 3,055 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2009

The history of the island is all in here.
It so happened that we came on Wednesday and admission fee was zero.
Which , of course, they didn't mention on their website!
Anyway, one can easily spend an afternoon here.
Some problems with my headset initially, it picked up the local FM radio with opera music...
Otherwise, a very informative and educational afternoon.
Definitely not to be missed.

7  Thank subtarget
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2008

I agree with previous reviewers and I don't have much to add except that the museum has a nice "hands on" part where children can dress up, draw, have fun, etc.

Also, close to this museum, there is the old cemetery. It is a nice place to wander around.

1  Thank Canadians-in-UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2007

Finally re-opened after several years, the newly remodeled National Museum provides a good overview of the history of Iceland from the Settlement to the present. All of the informative signage and narratives are posted in English as well as Icelandic.

The first level concentrates on early history and displays archaeological finds, older furnishings, wood carvings, and a number of tapestries. There is also a "hands-on" room popular with younger visitors. The second floor features furniture, clothing and other artifacts from Iceland's more recent history.

The museum also has a nice gift shop and cafe on the ground level. It is within walking distance of the center of town.

8  Thank hrme17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2006

The National Museum is a great place to visit if you have an interest in the history of Iceland. I was able to easily follow the sequentially numbered route that had English narratives at every stop. There has been great thought placed to accomodate people who have varied degrees of interest(from superficial to detailed) in how the country has evolved. You could spend as little as 30-45 minutes to get a superficial overview or spend many hours if you had more interest. My Reykjavik Tourist Card covered the bus ride to and from the museum on the University of Iceland campus and also covered the admission cost. I would highly recommend visiting this museum so that you can better appreciate the uniqueness of Iceland.

9  Thank MobileResident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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