Cultural spots in Reykjavik

There are nearly 200 museums in Iceland, so you’re never far away from something interesting to see and explore. In Reykjavik there are opportunities to admire artworks and sculptures, learn more about the fascinating history and culture of Iceland and take a closer look at some of its most iconic buildings.

To help you choose interesting cultural spots to visit on your Reykjavik holiday, take a look at our list of some of the many venues available.

Reykjavik Cultural Holidays

Get a closer look at the work of Icelandic artists at the National Gallery of Iceland

Holding the most valuable collection of Icelandic art works in the country, the focus of the National Gallery of Iceland is 19th and 20th century art from the country. It also has an excellent selection of international art, including pieces by Pablo Picasso and Edward Munch.

There are regular exhibitions you can enjoy that highlight creative themes and important collections, as well as special exhibitions displaying individual Icelandic and international artists.

Admire a fine example of Icelandic architecture at Hofoi House

Hofoi House is the site of the historic meeting between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986 which was hugely instrumental in ending the Cold War. It has also hosted many other well-known individuals including Winston Churchill and The Queen.

Built in 1909 it’s regarded as one of the most beautiful and picturesque buildings in the Reykjavik region. Originally it was the home of the French consul in Iceland and still retains signs of this use including the initials FR for French Republic in its decor. Although not open to the public to look inside, visitors can explore the spectacular house and grounds from the outside.

Explore a traditional Icelandic village at Arbaer Open air Museum

Located on the site of what was a genuine farm, at Arbaer Open Air Museum you’ll get a real sense of traditional Icelandic life as you walk around this life-sized recreation of a local village.

Most of the buildings are authentic, re-located from central Reykyavik and arranged around a town square setting. There are several exhibitions and events held throughout the year and in the summer you can see the domestic animals in the area that still operates as a working farm.

Take the kids to join in the fun at Gerouberg Cultural Centre

Make your way to Gerouberg Cultural Centre for interactive events and activities that celebrate and explain local history, culture and all things Icelandic.

Designed to appeal to all age groups, this is a great place to take the kids so they can really get involved and discover more about this fascinating country and culture.

This hub of Iceland’s cultural scene hosts a full programme of events and activities throughout the year and is also the ideal place to see some of the best of Iceland’s latest creative talent.

Enjoy the plants and flowers at Reykjavik Botanical Garden

Reykjavik Botanical Garden was opened in 1961 and has been designed as a centre for the conservation of plants native to the northern temperate zone. You can explore the grounds and admire and learn about over 5,000 species of plants and flowers organised into eight related plant groups.

In the summer season there are a range of events where you can join in the fun and group receptions are hosted throughout the year. In Cafe Flora you can enjoy tasty treats handmade with ingredients grown on site in the garden.

Discover contemporary art and sculptures at the Reykjavik Art Museum

Reykjavik Art Museum has three separate buildings located across the city, the Asmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum, Harbour House – known as Hafnarhus – and Kjarvalsstaoir. The sites display modern and contemporary art including paintings, sculptures and installations in various mediums by both local and international artists.

The Asmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum is the former home and workshop of its namesake sculptor and displays a large collection of his works. Whereas Hafnarhus is home to the Erro Collection – Erro being one of the foremost pioneers of pop art in Europe and one of Iceland’s best known artists. Kjarvalsstaoir houses the works of one of Iceland’s best known modern artists, Johannes S. Kjarval, as well an excellent selection of pieces by other modern artists.