Experience true Nordic winter with these Iceland and Canada tours!

If you're interested in learning about Iceland's history, the National Museum is perfect for that. Find out how the lives of Icelanders were from when they first settled to their modern living of today.

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Where is the National Museum of Iceland located?

You can reach the museum by foot, walking from the city center. It's situated between the districts of Midborg and Vesturbær, not so far from Reykjavik University.

Full address: Suðurgata, 102 Reykjavík, Iceland

Find the information on fees and working hours on the National Museum of Iceland website.


How to get to the National Museum of Iceland?

If the National Museum of Iceland is among the first destinations to reach after you land on the land of fire and ice, then it will take you approximately less than an hour by car or bus to get to the museum as it's only 50 kilometers away.

Thjodminjasafn - National Museum of Iceland

Thjodminjasafn - National Museum of Iceland

What is the National Museum of Iceland known for?

The museum, which features permanent and temporary exhibitions, is known for its role as a narrator that reveals Icelandic history in great detail. The Museum's permanent exhibition, "The Making of a Nation," tells the country's story from the 9th century up until the 20th century. Here, you'll be invited to a journey that starts with a ship that brought Iceland's first settlers and ends with photographs of the airport, showing how global Iceland has become.

History of the National Museum of Iceland

The museum was established on February 24th, 1863, and contained a few buildings in Reykjavik. First being kept in Danish collections, its curator became Jón Árnason. In 1911 the museum that was called the Antiquarian Collection was renamed the National Museum of Iceland. The relics were scattered throughout Reykjavik, the exhibits found in the attics of the city's various buildings.

In 1944, when Iceland became an independent republic, the country gave the museum space on Suðurgata Street, where in 1950, all the exhibits were placed. Now the museum, which depicts the span of 1200 years of Iceland's history, stands as a preserver and story-teller of the country's past, present, and future.

Inside the National Museum of Iceland

Interesting facts about the National Museum of Iceland

  • The National Museum of Iceland is the place with the largest collection of various types of images. The collection contains 6.5 million photographs.
  • The museum's first name was the Antiquarian Collection.
  • Once you're done at the National Museum of Iceland, continue to the Culture House Museum, where the National Museum was once located.
  • You can listen to the museum's history with its free audio guide. Guided tours are available too.

Attractions near the National Museum of Iceland

Conveniently located in the city center, the museum is also neighbor to many other interesting and well-known attractions. What are some of those?

  • University of Iceland – one of the main educational institutions in Iceland, known for its focus on research

  • Hljómskála Parkthe park that's known for its beautiful scenery. Here, you can find a number of statues of important people in Iceland as well as artistic monuments.

  • The National Gallery of Icelandan art haven opened in 1884, dedicated to the art of the 19-21st centuries, including international works. 

  • The National Theatre of IcelandRunning since 1950, the theater focuses on staging plays that would spark viewers' interest and love for performing arts.

  • Fríkirkjan Church of Reykjavik – Known as an independent state Lutheran church, it was built in 1901. 

  • Reykjavík's City HallLocated in central Reykjavik, this is where the capital's council and the mayor work. You can also find the tourist information center and Iceland's 3D map here.

  • Hallgrímskirkja Churchone of Iceland's most visited places, opened in 1986. What makes it stand out is the church's remarkable architecture, which reminds of Icelandic scenery.

  • The Alþingi – The National Parliament of Iceland is worth visiting for its historical value. The building is situated in downtown Reykjavik, near the capital's cathedral. 

  • Austurvöllur Square – Since 1930, the square has been a perfect place for various gatherings. Here you can also find another attraction – a statue of Jon Sigurdsson. He was the lead person during Iceland's independent movement. 

  • Harpa Concert Halla modern glass building that was opened in 2011. It serves as a concert and conference hall. Many come to see Harpa for its extraordinary structure.
Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland

Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland

Where to stay near the National Museum of Iceland

If you're looking for a place to stay near the National Museum and other attractions nearby, you're in luck since there are a variety of accommodations in the city center. Some of these are:


  • Hotel Holt
  • Berjaya Reykjavik Natura Hotel
  • Hótel Leifur Eiríksson


  • Bus Hostel Reykjavik
  • Student Hostel (Gamli Garður)
  • Baron's Hostel


  • Aurora Guesthouse
  • Guesthouse Galtafell
  • Baldursbra Guesthouse

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