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The National Museum of Iceland traces the history of Iceland from the early Viking settlements to the present day through over 2,000 artifacts, photographs and multimedia displays. A major overhaul of the building in 2004 has created an interactive, state-of-the-art space, which offers plenty of visitor participation. Pick up a telephone and chat with a medieval chieftain or try on some ancient armor and jewelry. The museum is a wonderful hands-on learning experience for all ages.
Start with the main permanent exhibition, Making of A Nation, which illustrates Iceland’s challenging journey to nationhood. Divided into four sections, the first, Work and the Way of Life, details the resourcefulness and adaptability of Icelanders since settlement in 870. In the second section, learn about the settlement patterns of Iceland. The third section focuses on arts and crafts and the final section explores the social culture and language of Iceland.
Trace Iceland’s political history from early domination by Christian chieftains to Norwegian rule, then Danish rule and finally sovereign statehood as the Republic of Iceland in 1944.
Several artifacts are extremely popular, including a beautifully carved wooden door from the 12th century and the first Bible printed in Iceland in 1584. In addition to the permanent display, there are always several temporary exhibitions covering a wealth of subjects. Don’t miss the National Gallery of Photography on the ground floor, which is free of charge.
The museum has a café and an excellent shop stocked with original gift items. Allow three to four hours to explore the museum in full.
The National Museum of Iceland is a few minutes' walk from the city center and is accessible via several bus routes. It is open all year, with reduced hours during the winter months. Always free for children, it’s also free for adults to visit every Wednesday in winter.
Located in Reykjavík 101, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Reykjavik City Library, Reykjavik Harbour and Laugavegur. National Museum of Iceland and Hallgrimskirkja are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Reykjavík East, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Reykjavik Park and Zoo and Laugavegur. Perlan and Hallgrimskirkja are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Located in Reykjavík 101, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Laugavegur, Hallgrimskirkja and Harpa. Reykjavik Harbour and National Museum of Iceland are also within 1 mile (2 km).
Located in Vesturbær, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of National and University Library of Iceland, National Museum of Iceland, and University of Iceland. Laugavegur and Reykjavik Harbour are also within 1 mile (2 km).
Located in Reykjavík 101, this historic hotel is steps away from Parliament House and Reykjavik City Hall. Laugavegur and Reykjavik Harbour are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Reykjavík 101, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Laugavegur, Hallgrimskirkja, and Harpa. Reykjavik Harbour and National Museum of Iceland are also within 1 mile (2 km).
Located in Reykjavík 101, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Reykjavik Harbour and Laugavegur. National Museum of Iceland and Hallgrimskirkja are also within 1 mile (2 km).
Located in Reykjavík 101, this boutique hotel is steps away from National Cathedral, Laugavegur and Reykjavik City Hall. Reykjavik Harbour and Harpa are also within 10 minutes.
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