Iceland is a unique travel destination that's a literal treat for all tourists' senses. From the warmth of the Blue Lagoon to the elegant vibe of the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, tourists visiting the Land of Ice and Fire are riddled with breathtaking landscapes that are out of this world. Yet, the Icelandic heritage is proud and rich with millennia of history at the same time. That's why in between visiting Iceland's incredible landscapes, tourists should take some time to visit these local museums in the country to learn more about its cultural landscape!
9 National Museum Of Iceland
- Address: Suðurgata, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Built in 1863, the National Museum of Iceland is the ultimate destination to delve into the history and heritage of Icelandic culture. Located in Reykjavik, tourists can peruse thousands of photographs, artifacts, paintings, and displays that tell the tale of Iceland's history, from the 16th century to modern times.
- Address: Höfðagata, Hólmavík, Iceland
Also known as the Museum Of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, this museum is far from the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter. Located in Hólmavík, Strandagaldur features exhibits that tell the tale of Iceland's past with witchcraft, a practice that was feared during a period in history. The exhibits housed at this museum are not for the faint of heart, featuring displays of rune spells carved into wood, animal skulls, and replicas that paint a past that would appeal to the ultimate dark tourist.
7 LAVA Centre
- Address: Austurvegur 14, 860 Hvolsvöllur, Iceland
Mother Nature is an incredible force but is also quite scientific, technical, and somewhat calculating! Thus, at the LAVA Centre in Iceland, visitors can immerse themselves in interactive exhibits and learn more about the country's volcanic activity and geology. Visitors can walk themselves through dimly lit rooms with bright displays of Iceland's geologic past, highlighting the incredible forces of nature that went into creating the Land of Ice and Fire.
6 National Gallery Of Iceland
- Address: Fríkirkjuvegur 7, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
They say that life imitates art. Specifically, at the National Gallery of Iceland, visitors can learn about daily Icelandic life and heritage thanks to local artists. Though the gallery displays art from international artists, a majority of the space is reserved for Icelandic artists, creating art pieces that reflect local life in the 20th and 21st centuries.
5 Skógar Museum
- Address: Safnavegur 1, 861 Skógar, Iceland
Similar to inhabitants on the Faroe Islands, former locals of Iceland lived in homes with turf (or grass) roofs. Thanks to the Skógar Museum, guests can now get up close and personal to replicas of these homes, while learning about what life used to be like during a simpler time. Opening its doors in 1949, this South Icelandic museum houses over 18,000 regional folk craft artifacts inside 3 museums and 6 historical buildings. There's a lot of history to unpack at the Skógar Museum, specifically made for the educational pleasure of curious tourists!
4 Whales Of Iceland
- Address: Fiskislóð 23-25, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Whales are majestic mammals with plenty of mystique. Today, tourists can learn more about the mystique of the regional whales in Iceland when visiting The Whales Of Iceland. Located in Reykjavík, this exhibit is Europe's largest whale exhibit, complete with life-sized replicas of regional whales and interactive displays to learn more about these marine giants, from anatomy to their daily diet. Tourists can also book exciting whale-watching tours through the museum's website!
3 Reykjavík Maritime Museum
- Address: Grandagarður 8, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Being an island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Iceland's livelihood and heritage are closely tied to water, depicted at the Reykjavík Maritime Museum. The museum is home to a former fish factory and freezing plant, alongside many exhibits showcasing Iceland's 150-year-old past with the fishing industry. Located on the Old Harbour in Iceland's capital city, this museum also educates visitors about the past daily lives of maritime inhabitants.
2 Saga Museum
- Address: Grandagarður 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
While learning about Vikings, visitors can enjoy some cosplay and dress up as an actual Viking too at Iceland's Saga Museum. Though Vikings played a significant role in forming the Land of Ice and Fire, Saga Museum also features life-like figures that made significant contributions to the country's heritage and history, spanning from the 800s until the 1550s! The museum owner, Ernst Backman, is also the artist behind the realistic life-sized statues, which are crafted with wood.
1 The Icelandic Phallological Museum
- Address: Kalkofnsvegur 2 101, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
There's a diverse array of museums on the small island of Iceland, but this museum is well-known amongst tourists (and sometimes, just by the name itself). Rest assured, countless tourists who've passed by the Icelandic Phallological Museum in downtown Reykjavík shared a giggle or two amongst their travel group. Despite its silly nature, this museum hosts the world's most extensive collection, featuring over 280 displays from various animals, both land and ocean. This museum also exhibits the scientific significance behind phallology, which is considered an ancient study. The catalog includes marine mammals like sperm whales, narwhals, and dolphins. The museum even has a catalog for folklore species, including the Icelandic Elf, Catafox, Merman, the Icelandic Christmas Elf, and the Elfin Ram!