National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavík

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 Reviews

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  • lotharscheer's Profile Photo

    National Museum of Iceland

    by lotharscheer Updated Jul 1, 2014
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    It is not very big but it shows the history of Iceland very well with a lot of multimedia support. A great place to spend a rainy afternoon, 1500 ISK.
    Opening hours:
    Summer:
    May 1st - September 15th:
    Daily 10am-5pm
    Winter:
    September 16th - April 30th:
    Tuesday - Sunday 11am-5pm. Closed Mondays.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    The National Museum of Iceland - Þjóðminjasafnið.

    by Regina1965 Updated Mar 4, 2014

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    ��j����minjasafni�� - The National Museum.
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    The National Museum is a must visit in Reykjavík. It conserves a varied selection of relics that testify to the cultural history of the Icelandic nation. It is an extremely interesting museum on 3 floors displaying all kinds of Viking artefacts from the time of the Vikings settling here in and around 874 (the Irish monks were the first settlers in Iceland though) and onto more modern times. It is really a must visiting this museum with its original Viking swords and ornaments etc.

    There is a section at the museum on the history of the Catholic church with a lot of artefacts from that time. The Icelanders converted in the year 1000 and much later became Protestants and that was not done peacefully, to say the least. I must say I was impressed with how well it was covered and with the music of the monks singing in the background made it quite an experience. The museum takes you through all eras of the Icelandic history, at the beginning there are the Viking artefacts gradually leading you to the modern age.

    The history of the National Museum is interesting as it has been located in so many buildings through the centuries. It was established on the 24th of February 1863 when Helgi Sigurðsson donated 15 artefacts to what he wanted to see as the first Icelandic museum of old relics. Until then Icelandic artefacts were on display in Danish museums. Now ca 350.000 objects belong to the museum.

    The locations of the National Museum: 1863-1870 in the attic of the Lutheran Cathedral, 1879-1881 in Hegningarhúsið penitentiary, 1881-1899 in the Parliament building, 1899-1908 in the Landsbankahús National Bank of Iceland, 1908-1950 in Þjóðmenningarhúsið Culture House. It has been at its current location since 1950. The Icelandic Parliament donated this building to the nation as a morning gift when the Icelandic republic was founded in 1944.

    Opening hours: May 1st - September 15 every day from 10:00-17:00. September 16 - April 30 every day of the week except Mondays from 11:00-17:00.

    On the 3rd Sunday of each month in winter time it is a two for one offer. There is free entrance on Safnanótt (Museum night), the first day of summer, menningarnótt (Culture night), on our National Holiday and the first of December.

    The admission fee is ISK 1.200, but for groups (of 10 or more people), students and pensioners the fee is ISK 600. Free admission for kids under the age of 18.

    On the ground-floor there is a Kaffitár café and a gift-shop where you can buy books and souvenirs. On the ground-floor there is also an exhibition of photographs by various photographers. And here is free wifi.

    In 2006 the National Museum joined the best museums in Europe and got the "Best in Heritage - Group of Excellance" from the European Museum Forum.

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    Old phone-directories.

    by Regina1965 Written Mar 3, 2014

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    Old phone-directories.
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    There is one room at the National Museum which I especially like, the room with the old phone-directories :)

    There Icelanders can look up their relatives (or whom ever) in phone-directories from when they were born or before that time. I love doing this, it is quite nostalgic looking up the phone-numbers of my father and grandfathers, all of whom are gone now. Women were not listed back then as they were usually house-wives.

    I can just sit in this room for hours :)

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  • JessieLang's Profile Photo

    The National Museum

    by JessieLang Written Aug 17, 2009

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    17th Century Pulpit
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    The National Museum of Iceland was established in 1863. In 2004 it was refurbished and modernized.

    The Museum is arranged chronologically, and contains artifacts from each time period from the earliest settlements to modern times.

    Free on Wednesdays. Admission charge on other days.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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  • albert34's Profile Photo

    National Museum

    by albert34 Written Jul 1, 2009

    Very interesting.An example of the many things you can learn:At the beginning of the XVIII Century Iceland had 50,000 inhabitants.One hundred years later it were 47,000.It happened a number of terrible disasters:Smallpox epidemia,big lava floods...dead animals,famine...

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  • Redang's Profile Photo

    The National Museum of Iceland

    by Redang Updated Aug 23, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    National Museum of Iceland (Reykjav��k, Iceland)

    Þjóðminjasafn Islands (National Museum of iceland): Making of a Nation: This very interesting museum shows, from the seven periods it is divided into, the History of Iceland across its nearly 1200 years of age.

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  • SapineKuu's Profile Photo

    National Museum of Iceland

    by SapineKuu Updated Jan 6, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mind Your Head
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    This is a cool building with an equally great collection of old relics (and I don’t mean the staff!). There are impressive swords and armour aplenty along with lovely carvings of all things wooden. Being a typical boy I was impressed by this gory axe and block used for the last Icelandic execution and a mysterious document which is believed to be an incantation of a magic spell to cast upon annoying people (rate my tip or you've been warned!)

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    National Museum

    by acemj Updated May 5, 2007

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    When I visit a country for the first time, I like to seek out a good museum of its history early on in my trip. The idea is that the visit will enrich my trip by helping me understand the land and its people just a little better and I've found, it usually helps.

    The National Museum of Iceland does a great job of presenting the history of the land, highlighting the early period when Iceland was settled and showing how resourceful and independent its people have been over the last 12 centuries. Not only is the museum educational, but it's also very well organized and, of course, has everything in both Icelandic and English.

    I happened to visit on a holiday (first day of summer!), so the admission was free. Normally it costs 600 Kr to visit for adults (300 Kr for students and seniors and free for kids under 18).

    The hours are as follows:

    Winter (September 16th - April 30th): Daily except Mondays 11-17.
    - Please notice: The museum is closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday
    Summer (May 1st - September 15th): Daily 10-17.

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  • sarahandgareth's Profile Photo

    National Museum of Iceland

    by sarahandgareth Written Sep 6, 2006

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    Iceland's National Museum, like all the others we visited, is an excellent combination of artifacts and texts; while there was more to read here than in other locations, it held our interest throughout. The museum is laid out in such a way that it tells the story of Iceland: you walk in at the dawn of Icelandic history (early exploration and "settlement" by Irish monks before the Viking era), right through the golden age as represented by the literary explosion of the saga period, then through the long 'Dark Ages' and then the gradual coming of modernity. The final exhibit area includes a computer with that day's newspaper online, so it's always right up to date!

    Inevitably, the early period, with tales of Vikings and religious wars, held our interest more, but the museum also has an interesting set of 'key' exhibits, the must-see items, with accompanying text, that give you a speeded-up version of Icelandic history if you can't stay long. That's a good primer, but don't pass by all of the other exhibits: it's a great primer on Icelandic history, which we especially enjoyed having already seen some of the key sites outside Reykjavik.

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  • thelittlevoice's Profile Photo

    National Museum

    by thelittlevoice Written Jul 9, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    The National Museum of Iceland is a modern and progressive museum, providing a comprehensive picture of the past 1200 years of Iceland's cultural history, as well as offering diverse special and photographical exhibitions. The museum holds up to three thousand objects, among them most of the greatest treasures of the Icelandic nation. The building also houses a fully equipped lecture hall, a fine museum store and a cafe which is a cultural refuge in the city centre and on the university grounds. The National Museum of Iceland is a palce which no fan of the history and culture of the nation can afford to miss.

    Admission: ISK 600, free on Wednesday.
    Open daily from 10am to 5pm in summer.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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  • The National Museum of Iceland

    by peach93 Updated Sep 4, 2005

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    This Reykjavik museum showcases Iceland's heritage both past, present, and future through an extensive collection of articfacts and themed exhibits that depict aspects of Iceland's cultural history. If you are interested in the Vikings or in the Icelandic Sagas as I always have been (For my 30th birthday I recieved not one, but 2 copies of the Sagas translated by 2 different people!) this place will amaze you. It is incredible. The museum has also been recently renovated so everything in it is new and updated. They have a gift shop, a café, and also offer guided tours.

    Admission 600 ISK (around $6 US)
    Free on Wednesdays

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    National Museum

    by Jim_Eliason Written Oct 15, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    National Museum

    This is one of the best of Reykjavik's museum and contains many artifacts from the Viking age and beyond.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

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