Fun things to do in Hafnarfjörður

  • The altar.
    The altar.
    by Regina1965
  • Things to Do
    by Regina1965
  • Things to Do
    by Regina1965

Most Viewed Things to Do in Hafnarfjörður

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    The District museum - The old toys in the attic.

    by Regina1965 Updated Dec 29, 2012

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    In the attic/top floor of the District museum is the toy exhibition. I thought it needed a special tip. It is ever so lovely visiting it, especially being up there alone - it can create some very nostalgic moments :)

    Here is a collection of old dolls and cars, prams and skis etc. And an old class room and an old camera. This collection is part of a much larger collection, owned by the Hafnarfjörður District museum.

    This toy exhibition was designed by the museum and exhibition designers Janvs Ltd., who have won awards for their design.

    I visited the V&A Museum of Childhood in London, which is a very big museum with myriads of toys, but taken into account the population of Hafnarfjörður and London, then this toy exhibition is amazing :)

    The Toy exhibition. The Toy exhibition. The Toy exhibition. The Toy exhibition. The Toy exhibition.

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    Hafnarfjörður District museum.

    by Regina1965 Updated Dec 29, 2012

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    The Hafnarfjörður District Museum or Hafnarfjörður Museum (it kind of goes by two names) is called Byggðasafn Hafnarfjarðar in Icelandic and consists of several buildings, big and small. The biggest one is the Pakkhúsið (the Storehouse), the oldest one is Sívertsen´s house, then there is Beggubúð - these are all in the same place. In other places in Hafnarfjörður, but still a part of the Hafnarfjörður District Museum, are Siggubær, the Bookless Bungalow and the Gúttó (The Good Templar´s Hall).

    The exhibitions at the Pakkhúsið Storehouse were so good and informative that I had to divide them into several tips. It shows the main events in Hafnarfjörður history through the years. Beginning with the Viking settlement and then moving into earlier times. One can get informed on the German and English part in Hafnarfjörður´s history, the history of fishing and trade in Hafnarfjörður etc. I have added a special tip on the British Occupation of Hafnarfjörður in WW2.

    The exhibitions are on several floors, on the ground-floor is also an exhibition on St. Jósefsspítali hospital. In the attic is an exhibiton on old toys.

    Opening hours: June 1st - August 31st, every day, from 11:00 - 17:00. September 1st - May 31st weekends from 11:00 - 17:00.

    Entrance fee: Free.

    The District Museum has got no website, information is in Icelandic only. But at the museum one can get a very well made brochure in Icelandic, English, Danish and German. It is identical to the information on the Hafnarfjörður website, I wonder why they don´t offer other languages than Icelandic there as well.

    The District Museum. Inside Pakkh��si��. Inside Pakkh��si��. Inside Pakkh��si��. The cinema inside Pakkh��si��.

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    The District museum - The Occupation.

    by Regina1965 Updated Dec 29, 2012

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    On the first floor (one floor up) at the museum there is an exhibition on the occupation of Iceland during WW2.

    The wax-soldiers looks so alive that I was taken aback when I got up the stairs. Unfortunately many of my photos of the soliders were out of focus (no idea why), but they are extremely well made and life-like.

    On the 10th of May 1940 the British army occupied Iceland. It was a peaceful occupation as we were rooting for the Allies and although we had declared neutrality we would rather have the British army occupy Iceland than the German army. 2.000 soldiers came ashore, but later the amount rose to 25.000 soldiers - one can only imagine what impact this had on the population of Iceland in 1940. A year later the USA army took over the occupation and stayed here until 2006.

    Barracks were mounted all over the place (20.000) as the Icelanders didn´t have enough room to house the soldiers. Some of these barracks can still be seen in Iceland and after the soldiers left Icelanders moved into the barracks. The exhibition at the museum shows life of the soldiers inside the barracks.

    Hafnarfjörður was one of the main harbours which the British soldiers wanted to occupy, along with Reykjavík, Akureyri and Hvalfjörður. This was essential in order to guard the North-Atlantic route, which was of great strategic importance.

    The British Occupation. The British Occupation. The British Occupation

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    The Sívertsen house - upstairs.

    by Regina1965 Updated Dec 29, 2012

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    Seeing that the Sívertsen´s house is the oldest house in Hafnarfjörður with so many rooms, I want to show you what it looks like upstairs as well.

    Down-stairs there are 2 living rooms, 1 dining room, a kitchen and the office of Bjarni Sívertsen.

    Upstairs are 2 bedrooms and one encounters a life-size wax doll sitting on a chair there, making it kind of surreal, being there alone I felt like I had stepped into somebody´s bedroom and that I was disturbing.

    Upstairs is also a corridor with a big wooden chest and a store-room with old kitchen utensils, f.ex. for making panckes and waffles (see my photo). I love walking around in these old houses, seeing how people lived and I find it especially interesting looking at the kitchen utensils. As many of them are still in use. I would take a wild guess and say that every Icelandic home owns a pancake pan (griddle) and waffle maker like were on display at the Sívertsen´s house.

    One of the bedrooms. One of the bedrooms. The corridor with the big wooden chest. The store room. Kitchen utensils for making pancakes and waffles.

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    Hafnarfjörður Museum - Siggubær - Sigga´s house.

    by Regina1965 Updated Dec 29, 2012

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    Siggubær - Sigga´s house is part of Hafnarfjörður Museum. It is not by the main area of Hafnarfjörður Museum, so one has to go look for it a further up by Hellisgerði park.

    This cute little house was built by a fisherman, Erlendur Marteinsson, in 1902. His daughter, Sigríður Erlendsdóttir, moved into the house when she was 10 and lived there until 1978 and the house got her name Siggubær - Sigga being an abbreviation of the female name Sigríður.

    Siggubær was preserved to show how workers and fishermen lived in Hafnarfjörður in the first part of the last century. It is quite small and looks like a doll´s house really, but this is how people lived back then, space was luxury.

    Opening hours: June 1st - August 31st, weekends only, from 11:00-17:00.

    It was closed when I arrived, so the photos are from the outside of the house only, will visit it next summer. It is a bit of a drawback that it is only open weekends, but seeing it is not in the main museum area, then it is costly hiring a curator to be there the whole time.

    Siggub��r. Siggub��r. Siggub��r.

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    Beggubúð - Hafnarfjörður´s Museum of Commerce.

    by Regina1965 Updated Dec 29, 2012

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    Part of the Hafnarfjörður Museum and located in a square behind the museum is the old shop Beggubúð. It is such a cute little shop, I love going there. It is called the Hafnarfjörður Museum of Commerce - so lovely that such a cute little shop has such a big title.

    Beggubúð means Begga´s shop (an abbreviation of a female name) and was built in 1906 and used to be located in Hafnarfjörður´s main shopping street. There are still some old houses like this in Hafnarfjörður. In 2008 Beggubúð shop was moved to the museum - lifted up and relocated.

    The exhibition in the Museum of Commerce is a reconstruction of an old shop - it is so lovely, I loose myself in there and start dreaming. Here are old toys, a lot of dolls, yarn and yarn goods, clothes and a lot of radios, a TV and different items for the home - all of them from the last century. I remember those cute little shops and miss them and get very nostalgic when I visit Beggubúð.

    Opening hours are: June 1st - August 31st every day from 11:00-17:00.

    Admittance fee: Free entrance.

    Beggub����. Inside Beggub����. Inside Beggub����. Inside Beggub����. Beggub���� and the square.

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    Hafnarfjörður - the harbour area

    by jojes Written Nov 17, 2012

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    Hafnarfjörður - litterally "the harbour fjord" - has a nice natural harbour area.
    It's rather a working-harbour than a recreational one, but still nice.
    The harbour has been known since the 1300's and has known a continuous port trade ever since then.

    All along the harbour is a nice walking-path with several resting-points along the way. There are several large pictures and informationsigns along this path.

    On our departure day, the Flybus picked us up at the hotel. We had to get out at the harbour and wait for another bus. That was at 5 in the morning (oh well ... that's still "night" ...)
    It made for a nice stop since we had such a beautiful view of the harbour at that time ... (see pic. 1).

    Hafnarfj��r��ur - the harbour area at 5am Hafnarfj��r��ur - the harbour area at 5am Hafnarfj��r��ur - the harbour area Hafnarfj��r��ur - the harbour area Hafnarfj��r��ur - the harbour area
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    Hafnarfjörður - look for the hidden folk

    by jojes Updated Nov 17, 2012

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    As you probably know the Icelandic have a firm believe in the existence of elves, dwarfs, gnoes, fairies and other kinds of mystical beings.

    Hafnarfjörður is considered to be the largest settlement of the huldufólk in Iceland.
    These locations are scattered all over the town and the surrounding lavafield.

    To know the exact place of these beings, they asked for the service of Erla Stefánsdóttir. She is a very famous medium and one of the lucky people who can actually see the 'hidden people'.
    She made a map with all the locations in Hafnarfjörður where the elves, ... live.
    This map - the "Hidden worlds map" - can be bought at the Tourist Office (Strandgata 6). It not only points out the locations of the homes, but also explains more about the hidden people in general. The different colored dots indicate what type of being lives at that specific location.

    Since Hafnarfjörður lies in this huge lavafiels, it makes for a nice walk ...
    Especially Hellisgerði park and Hamarinn cliff are popular settlements.

    Hafnarfj��r��ur - Hidden worlds map Hafnarfj��r��ur - Hellisger��i park Hafnarfj��r��ur - Hellisger��i park Hafnarfj��r��ur - Hellisger��i park Hafnarfj��r��ur - Hidden worlds map
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    Hafnarfjörður - Hellisgerði park

    by jojes Updated Nov 16, 2012

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    This park, founded in 1922, is a beaufiful park in the town of Hafnarfjörður.
    The park gets its name because of the cave (= hellir) in it's centre.

    Icelandic have a very strong believe in the existence of the 'hidden folk'. This park is considered to be one of the major settlements of elves, dwarfs, gnomes, fairies and other mystical beings.
    our kids liked this park very much ... they were constantly looking to find the caves and holes the hidden folk live in. And of course there's a little playground.

    In this park you can see the northernmost bonsai collection in the world: about 150 miniature bonsai trees have been planted there over the last couple of years.

    In the summer months you can enjoy a coffee or tea in the little house (over 100 years old!) next to the playground.

    There is also a statue/bust of Bjarni Sívertsen, 'the father of Hafnarfjörður' and the ancestor of VT-member Regina1965.

    Hafnarfj��r��ur - Hellisger��i park Hafnarfj��r��ur - Hellisger��i park Hafnarfj��r��ur - Hellisger��i park Bjarni S��vertsen Hafnarfj��r��ur - Hellisger��i park Hafnarfj��r��ur - Hellisger��i park playground
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    Hafnarfjörður - Víðistaðatún sculpture park

    by jojes Written Nov 16, 2012

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    The Víðistaðatún park area is a leisure area with ponds and a playground.

    The park is well-known for its sculpture park.
    Here you can admire 16 sculptures/art works by international artists. The works were created in the light of the art festivals in 1991 and 1993. Some of the artists donated their work to the park after the festivals finished.

    As the rest of Hafnarfjörður this park is also located amidst a lavafield. This location makes it even more special to walk here.

    Hafnarfj��r��ur - V����ista��at��n sculpture park Hafnarfj��r��ur - V����ista��at��n sculpture park Hafnarfj��r��ur - V����ista��at��n sculpture park Hafnarfj��r��ur - V����ista��at��n sculpture park Hafnarfj��r��ur - V����ista��at��n sculpture park
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    Vidistadatun Sculpture Park

    by IreneMcKay Written Aug 8, 2012

    This sculpture park contains 16 sculptures created by artists from around the world. Some of the works were interesting, some not depending on your taste. There is a campsite here and a lovely church. A thermal swimming pool is nearby.

    Sculpture Park. Sculpture Park. Sculpture Park. Sculpture Park and church. Sculpture Park.
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    Hafnarfjordur Museum.

    by IreneMcKay Written Aug 8, 2012

    Hafnarfjordur Museum owns several colourful, old wooden buildings which have been made into museums. Admission is free. We only went in one, but they all looked good from the outside and took good photos.

    The buildings are:

    Pakkhusid at Vesturgata 8 which has an exhibition about toys.

    Sivertsen's House at Vesturgata 6 which is the oldest house in Hafnarfjordur.

    Bookless Bungalow at Vesturgata 32 which was built by a Scottish fisheries company in 1918 and housing an exhibition on fishing.

    Siggubaer at Kirkjuvegur 10 the home of a labourer dating from 1902.

    Beggubud at Vesturgata 8 which dates from 1906.

    Gutto at Sudurgata 7. We did not see this. It is the Good Templars Hall dating from 1886.

    These are all open daily from 11am to 5pm in June, July and August.

    Hafnarfjordur Museum Sivertsen's House. Siggubaer. Bookless Bungalow. Beggubud.
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    The Viking Village

    by IreneMcKay Written Aug 8, 2012

    We stayed in the hotel here. There is also a restaurant which does Viking feasts. We did not take part in one of these. The Viking Village buildings are designed to look like Viking structures. There are lots of little Viking statues and rune stones etc in the grounds. Quite interesting and good for photos.

    The Viking Village. The Viking Village. The Viking Village.
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    Hafnarfjordur Harbour

    by IreneMcKay Written Aug 8, 2012

    Hafnarfjordur has an interesting, colourful working harbour which is worth a look. It also has a long walkway/cycle track along the seafront. The seafront walkway is lined with photos of old Hafnarfjordur. There are lots of seats where you can relax and enjoy the view. The light was wonderful here in summertime.

    Hafnarfjordur Harbour. Hafnarfjordur Harbour. Hafnarfjordur Harbour.
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    The Christmas Village in Hafnarfjörður.

    by Regina1965 Updated Dec 13, 2010

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    The Christmas Village in Hafnarfjörður is the first one of its kind in Iceland. The village was raised for the first time in 2003 and it is ever so popular with 20 stalls imported from Germany.

    The Christmas Village is not big by international standard, but to us it is very cute, with stalls which create a semi-circle, a Christmas tree in the middle and a stage on the southern side of the square called Thorsplan. On the stage there is various entertainment and the announcer is no other than the feared Grýla, the mother of the Yule-lads/Santa Claus. She eats naughty kids, by the way, that is why she is so feared ;)

    There is one stall in the Christmas village in particular which is very popular, that is the stall of the Catholic nuns who live in the convent in Hafnarfjörður. They sell "convent-made" stuff and are very lovely women.

    The Christmas village opens on the first weekend of the Advent and is open weekends only from 13-18. On Þorláksmessa, which is on the 23rd of December, the Christmas village is open until very late.

    Next to the village The District museum of Hafnarfjörður has opened a small exhibition on old Christmas related toys and stuff :) Authors also read from their books for the guests.

    Children from kindergarten in Hafnarfjörður help with the decorations of the Christmas village and school children take part in the entertainment :)

    There are guided trips to The Cristmas Village with Mountain Climbing. You will get guidance through the village and the center of Hafnarfjörður and sit down in a café to get refreshments. The cost of the tour is ISK 7.000 and the tour lasts 2 hours.

    In Reykjavík there is also a christmas village and we named it that way as well, but Hafnarfjörður protested and got a patent on their name, so we had to rename our village - it is now called Christmas town.

    The Christmas village - J��la��orpi��. The nuns have their own stall here - very popular. At The Christmas Village. At the Christmas village. I at the Christmas Village.

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