National Museum

National Museum information

Location
Reykjavík , Iceland
Address
Suðurgata 41
Telephone
+354 530 2200
Getting there
Bus: 1, 3, 6, 12 or 14
More information
www.nationalmuseum.is
Prices
adult/child Ikr1500/free, audioguide Ikr300
Opening hours
10am-5pm May–mid-Sep, 11am-5pm Tue-Sun mid-Sep–Apr
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This superb museum displays artefacts from Settlement to the modern age. Exhibits give an excellent overview of Iceland’s history and culture, and the audioguide adds loads of detail. The strongest section describes the Settlement Era – including how the chieftains ruled and the introduction of Christianity – and features swords, drinking horns, silver hoards and a powerful little bronze figure of Thor. The priceless 13th-century Valþjófsstaðir church door is carved with the story of a knight, his faithful lion and a passel of dragons.

Upstairs, collections span from 1600 to today and give a clear sense of how Iceland struggled under foreign rule and finally gained independence. Simple, homely objects utilise every scrap; check out the gaming pieces made from cod ear bones, and the wooden doll that doubled as a kitchen utensil.

Free English tours run at 11am on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from mid-May to September.