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Top Spots for Culture Lovers in Reykjavik

Top Spots for Culture Lovers in Reykjavik

Given its compact size, Reykjavik’s contribution to culture is an outsized one: the city is the birthplace of big names in the fields of art, music, and literature, including Björk and Halldór Laxness. Here are just some of the ways that you can make the most of your visit by diving into the city’s cultural scene. 

Explore Harpa

A Reykjavik landmark, Harpa Concert Hall was designed by Henning Larsen Architects and Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson; the design of the modern, honeycomb structure was inspired by Icelandic nature and Arctic light. The building plays host to the National Opera and Symphony but even if you don’t have the chance to attend a performance, a tour lets you see areas that aren’t open to the public and provides insight into the construction of the architectural masterpiece. 

Visit an Art Museum

Iceland’s largest and most-important visual arts institution, the Reykjavik Art Museum is spread across three different buildings in Reykjavik. Located by the old harbor, Hafnarhús exhibits works by local and international contemporary artists, including Icelandic pop artist Erró. Kjarvalsstaðir by Klambratún houses the works of one of Iceland’s most influential artists, Jóhannes S. Kjarval, while Ásmundarsafn in Laugardalur exhibits the sculptures of Ásmundur Sveinsson. Access to all three is included in the Reykjavik City Card.

Learn About the Contemporary Art Scene

As well as national institutions, Reykjavik is home to a number of independent contemporary art galleries, such as i8 on Tryggvagata and BERG Contemporary on Klapparstígur. Spend an afternoon popping in and out of galleries and then learn more about the contemporary scene by meeting a local artist for dinner.

Discover Iceland’s Musical Heritage

Home to world-famous acts such as Björk, Sigur Rós, and Of Monsters and Men, Reykjavík has a rich musical legacy. Visit Keflavik’s Icelandic Museum of Rock‘n’Roll to dive into the history of Icelandic popular music and then browse independent record stores 12 Tónar and Lucky Records for releases by local acts. Check the calendar to see who is playing at Reykjavik’s great music venues, which include Gaukurinn and KEX. Music lovers should try to time their visit to coincide with the annual Iceland Airwaves music festival, which takes place across the city.

Dive into Icelandic History

From the Vikings and independence movement to the political protests of the past decade, Reykjavik has been the setting of many dramatic historical  events. Learn about them on a walking tour of the capital with a local storyteller. If Viking history piques your interest, pay a visit to the Saga Museum or head for the nearby town of Reykjanesbær, home of the Viking World Museum.

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7 Tours and Activities | All Reykjavik Tours

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Walking tour of Reykjavik city

Walking tour of Reykjavik city

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Get oriented in Reykjavik and kickstart your Iceland adventure on this small-group guided walking tour, available at multiple departure times. Learn about Iceland’s early history at the Anarholl Statue, see Laugavegur main street, Austurvollur Square, and Lake Tjornin, and admire the landmark concrete Hallgrim’s Church, a concert hall, and a sculpture garden, plus plenty of street art. Along the way, try a traditional Icelandic snack: schnapps with dried fish.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$39.09
From
$39.09
Taking safety measures

Reykjavik City Card 72 hour

Reykjavik City Card 72 hour

Reykjavík is an expensive city to visit, but you can ease some of the pain on your wallet with the City Card. For 72 hours, you will enjoy free admission to top attractions, free entry to thermal baths, free public transport, and more.
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$60.25
From
$60.25

Reykjavik City Card 24-hour

Reykjavik City Card 24-hour

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This Reykjavik City Card eliminates the need to waste time in long ticket lines, and provides free entry to multiple Reykjavik attractions. Perfect for travelers with limited time—with this card, you’ll be able to plan a whistle-stop 24 hours of touring multiple top sights. Get free entry to Reykjavik Zoo and Family Park, Reykjavik thermal pools, the city’s best museums and galleries, and much more.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
$34.95
From
$34.95

Dinner with an Icelandic Artist in Reykjavik Home

Dinner with an Icelandic Artist in Reykjavik Home

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Get an exclusive experience of local Reykjavik life by having a private dinner in the downtown Reykjavik home of a local artist. Dine on a pre-selected three-course menu of traditional Icelandic dishes as your host shares insights into their artistic practice, Iceland's art scene, and the local neighborhood. Your meal may include such dishes as smoked trout, slow-cooked lamb, and skyr. 
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$146.56
From
$146.56

Saga Museum - Entrance ticket

Saga Museum - Entrance ticket

star-4
The Saga Museum in Reykjavik is a place where key moments in Icelandic history are brought to life. On this independent visit, explore the exhibits with your audio-guide to hand, and delve into over a thousand years of Icelandic civilization. Perhaps dress like famous Viking Leif Eiriksson, hear of historic poets such as Snorri Sturlusson, and gain insight into what makes this small but mighty island nation so special.
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  • 1 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$20.00
From
$20.00

Reykjavik City Card 48-hour

Reykjavik City Card 48-hour

star-5
Sightseeing, especially in a pricey country such as Iceland, can get expensive. Entrance fees to attractions can quickly add up. Take the sting out of your visit to Reykjavík with the City Card: for 48 hours you'll enjoy free admission to top attractions, as well as other perks such as free transportation and discounts at restaurants.
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$49.41
From
$49.41

Admission Ticket to Viking World Museum

Admission Ticket to Viking World Museum

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Home to the “Icelander,” an exact replica of famed Viking ship, Viking World tells the story of Iceland’s Viking heritage and central role in the European discovery of North America through entertaining exhibits. It’s a popular attraction, so guarantee your entry by pre-booking your admission ticket and opt to include pickup from Keflavík if you wish.
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  • 1 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$13.67
From
$13.67


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