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Why Choose Iceland for Your MICE Trip?

Iceland does not only offer a blend of stunning natural landscapes and a forward-thinking culture, but also cutting-edge facilities and eco-friendly hotels and venues making it an unparalleled setting for MICE activities

reykjavik with esjan mountain on the backdrop

1- Geographical Location

Iceland is located midway between North America and Europe and it’s easily accessible due to the numerous direct flights available to Reykjavik, making it an ideal meeting point for international delegates and businesspeople to meet at.

iceland gographical location map

2- State of the Art Facilities

Reykjavik, the capital city, boasts the iconic concert hall Harpa, inaugurated in 2011, which also serves as a conference. Other great facilities for venues, conferences, and business meetings include Hotel Grand and Reykjavik Centrum which can accommodate many participants.

harpa building iceland conference venue

3- Unique Team-Building Activities

From glacier hiking to whale watching, Iceland offers a range of exciting activities that foster team bonding and leadership skills. If your MICE trip is oriented towards team building through sports competitions, orienteering races or other activities in which teams must work together to achieve common goals, there is plenty to choose from in Iceland.

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4- Sustainable Practices

If sustainability is a core principle in your company you may be pleased to know that Iceland is a leader in sustainability, offering eco-friendly venues and practices, aligning with the corporate social responsibility goals of many organizations. Places like Deplar Farm, nestled amidst the rugged beauty of Iceland’s Fljót Valley and Troll Peninsula Mountains, feature an eco-friendly hotel fully equipped conference room to make your MICE trip an unforgettable experience.

geothermal power plant iceland

5- Breathtaking Scenery

From the Northern Lights to geothermal hot springs, Iceland’s natural wonders provide a majestic backdrop for any event, inspiring creativity, and awe among attendees.

breathtaking scenary landscape iceland

At Nordical Iceland we can help your company organize a dynamic MICE trip that aligns with your company’s values and core principles. Send us a request and we will get back to you. Get in touch! 

The Top 10 Most Popular Places to Visit in Reykjavik Iceland

Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, is a city where modern urban life meets the raw beauty of nature. Known for the stunning landscapes that can be witnessed from its shores, like the majestic mount Esja, rich history, and vibrant culture, Reykjavik is a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history buff, or a lover of the arts, this city has a myriad of activities and places to make your visit unforgettable.

We created a list of the top ten most popular places to visit in Reykjavik, so you can create a quick checklist for your trip.

capital of iceland reykjavik from the sea

1- Hallgrímskirkja Church

Standing tall in the Reykjavik skyline is Hallgrímskirkja, an architectural marvel and one of Iceland’s most iconic landmarks. This Lutheran church, with a design inspired by the basalt lava flows of Iceland’s landscape, offers a panoramic view of the city from its tower. In the interior, you will encounter a stunning pipe organ surrounded by an intriguing minimalist design.

The top places to visit in Reykjavik Iceland.

2- Harpa Concert Hall

The Harpa Concert Hall is a stunning example of contemporary architecture with its honeycomb glass facade, designed by Henning Larsen Architects in collaboration with the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. It hosts a range of events from concerts to plays. Even if you’re not attending a show, the building itself is worth a visit for its architectural beauty and the stunning views of the harbor. In the interior, there are a variety of shops selling handmade, local souvenirs and a café where you can sit down and admire the interior of this architectural wonder.

harpa building iceland conference venue

3- Relax at the Blue Lagoon

So, technically the Blue Lagoon is in Grindavik, however, it’s just a short drive away from Reykjavik, and many choose to visit it as part of their Reykjavik tour. The Blue Lagoon is a must-visit geothermal spa known for its milky-blue waters rich in minerals. It’s the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate, offering a unique spa experience in a surreal lava field setting that you likely not experience any other place on Earth.

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4- Discover the National Museum of Iceland

Museums may seem boring to some people but let us tell you that the National Museum of Iceland is a treasure trove. It shows many exhibits and original artifacts from the era and if you visit it before other places, it will greatly enhance your experience. Also, timewise it’s very manageable, a 45-minute tour will equip you with deep knowledge of the history of the island, its people and their connection to the Vikings. Another thing that you will greatly enjoy are the modern interactive displays that are a great aid.

national museum of iceland THjodminjasafn

5- Laugavegur Street

Laugavegur, the main shopping street in Reykjavik, is the perfect place for a stroll. Lined with boutiques, cafes, and art galleries, it’s the city’s hub for shopping, dining, and nightlife. It also will connect you to the oldest parts of Reykjavik as many smaller streets branch out from it. It’s a great opportunity to discover secret parts of Reykjavik.

laugavegur street in reykjavik iceland

6- Whale Watching Tours

Reykjavik’s coastline offers the perfect setting for whale watching. You will have the chance to see whales like the minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbor porpoises, which are the most spotted sea mammals around Reykjavik. Tours are available year-round, giving you the chance to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. It’s an experience that wildlife lovers should not miss.

pexels silvana palacios 3635870

7- The Sun Voyager Sculpture

The Sun Voyager, a striking steel sculpture along the seafront, is one of Reykjavik’s most photographed landmarks. Thou many tourists believe it represents a Viking ship, the sculpture is a dream boat and an ode to the sun, symbolizing the promise of undiscovered territory, hope, progress, and freedom.

The sculpture Sun Voyager one of the top places to visit in Reykjavik , Iceland.

8- The Nightlife Places

Reykjavik may be small, but its nightlife is vibrant and diverse. From cozy pubs to trendy clubs, the city comes alive at night, offering a fun and friendly atmosphere for everyone. If you would like to go for a dance during the night, Reykjavik is a great place as clubs don’t charge you an entry fee. Among some of the most prominent places to visit during the evening are Bravó, Dillon, Prikid Kaffihus, and Loft Hostel.

Party in Reykjavik, Iceland

9- The Perlan Museum

Perlan is a unique museum where science and nature meet. With exhibitions on glaciers, volcanoes, and northern lights, it offers an interactive way to learn about Iceland’s natural phenomena. The observation deck provides stunning views of the city and its surroundings. Some of the things you can’t miss in this museum are the Ice Cave which will offer a unique glimpse into what it feels to be in a glacier and the Northen Lights show which has stunning visuals and audio and offers an immersive way to experience the beauty of the Northen Lights so it’s certainly one of those places to visit in Reykjavík.

perlan museum restaurant reykjavik iceland

10- The Reykjavik Art Museum

Art lovers should not miss the Reykjavik Art Museum, the largest visual art institution in Iceland. It showcases a collection of modern and contemporary art, giving you an insight into the Icelandic art scene. The great thing about this museum is that it always has some interesting exhibitions and that it’s rather small, so it won’t take you a whole day to check it out.

they reykjavik art museum in iceland

As you can see there are plenty of places to visit in Reykjavik and we are just listing the most popular ones. Whether you’re basking in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, exploring its rich history, or enjoying its lively arts and nightlife scene, Reykjavik promises an unforgettable experience. Each of these top ten activities offers a glimpse into the heart and soul of this extraordinary city. So, pack your bags, and get ready to explore the many wonders of Reykjavik!

Would you like to discover the southern part of Iceland including the capital Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon? Check out our 6-Day Iceland Guided Tour | The Adventure Pack

How to Plan a Successful MICE Trip a Concise Guide

If you haven’t heard this acronym before, MICE, does not refer to that pesky rodent, but rather it means: “Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions”. Just as you may have already realized it involves organizing business, events, conferences, and award ceremonies for employees, however many companies choose to blend these with leisure to create a more unique and unforgettable experience.

This guide will help you understand some of the important factors to keep in mind when organizing a MICE trip.

group women planning mice trip

1- Define Your Objectives

Understand the purpose of your trip. Is it for team building, a conference, knowledge exchange, employee motivation, or a reward for top performers? Clear objectives help in tailoring the perfect itinerary.

mice trip conference meeting

2- Choose the Right Venue

When choosing a venue there are some main factors you need to consider such as availability, location and accessibility, capacity of the facilities, catering options, the ambiance and of course the cost. Reykjavik for example, despite being as small city, offers a range of options from intimate meeting rooms to large convention centers and even ecofriendly facilities surrounded by an invigorating environment.

harpa building iceland conference venue

3-  Consider Accommodations

It’s recommended to choose hotels that cater to business travelers, offering amenities like high-speed internet, meeting spaces, and convenient access to event venues.

downtown reykjavik iceland

4- Incorporate Local Experiences

If you have already settled for a location, like for example Reykjavik, you want the participants to feel why this chosen place is special. Enhance your itinerary with unique Icelandic experiences such as a visit to the Blue Lagoon, a tour of the Golden Circle, or a Northern Lights excursion.

Blue Lagoon

5- Plan for Logistics

Coordinate transportation, from airport transfers to getting around the city. A feeling of punctuality and coordination will have a positive effect on the participants and will show the professionality of the organizers. At Nordical Iceland we partner with reliable transportation companies to ensure that moving from one place to another feels like breathing.

airport transfer services iceland

6- Catering and Dining

Iceland’s culinary scene is vibrant. Include traditional Icelandic cuisine in your menu to give attendees a taste of local culture. However, be mindful of the dietary restrictions of the participants beforehand; whether it is vegetarianism, kosher, or allergies so this is accounted for by the catering company.

iceland restaurants suring mice trip

7- Tech and Equipment Needs

Ensure your chosen venue can support your technical requirements, whether it’s for a simple presentation or a full-scale international conference.

audio equipement setup

8- Communication Strategy

When it comes to the weather in Iceland it can be quite unpredictable. It’s advisable to advise your group members to pack layers of clothing along with attire and sturdy footwear— for a winter trip. Even if the day starts with good weather it’s always wise to have some layers on hand in case of sudden heavy rain or strong winds. Keeping an eye on the weather forecast is also highly recommended to avoid any surprises during activities.

communication for mice trips

9- Emergency Planning

Even with good preparation, something could go wrong at the last minute, that’s why it’s important to always have a contingency plan. For example, you may decide to include in your budget a contingency fund to cover any unexpected expense that may arise at the last moment.

financial contingecy plan

10- Post-Event Activities

Don’t forget to relax and unwind. Post-event tours or activities can be a great way to conclude your successful MICE trip and make it unforgettable.

relaxing at a restaurant

11- Choosing the Right Agency for your MICE trip

Having a local agency with experience can make a huge difference as this will affect your budget, the locations, communication, and overall smoothness of the planning and execution experience.

To resume you can see that planning a MICE trip requires you to pay attention to many different factors such as the availability of facilities, accommodation, transportation, catering, equipment, and post-event activities. Ideally, you would want to work with a local agency with experience for the smoothest experience.

At Nordical Iceland we can help you organize a MICE trip in Iceland that aligns with the core values and principles of your company. If you are interested, get in touch with us.

Planning Successful Group Trips to Iceland – 10 Step Guide

Iceland, with its landscapes, volcanoes, glaciers, rich cultural traditions, and thrilling trekking routes offers a destination for group tours. Organizing such a tour can be both exciting and challenging. To ensure a memorable experience for your group it’s essential to consider key factors. This post will provide you with all the information on planning unforgettable group trips to Iceland.

iceland stunning aerial landscape

1- Determining the Group Size and Composition

The first step in organizing your adventure is understanding the size and composition of your group. Are you traveling with family members, friends, or colleagues? Assessing the dynamics and preferences of your group will help tailor the trip to accommodate everyone’s needs. It’s important to note that activities involving strenuous trekking routes or unconventional modes of transportation like snow bikes may not be suitable for individuals, children, or those with specific medical conditions. Additionally, larger groups might need to be divided for activities such as boat cruises.

Successful group trips to Iceland.

2- Establishing a Budget

While many natural attractions in Iceland are free to visit it’s crucial to consider the country’s cost of living when budgeting for your trip. It’s important to establish a budget to effectively manage your expectations and make informed decisions about accommodation, dining, and activities. When creating your plan, it’s crucial to understand what matters to your group. Are you prioritizing a comfortable hotel for accommodation? Or perhaps exploring the wonders of cuisine through a culinary journey is more appealing. In either case, thorough research ahead of time is key to planning successful group trips to Iceland, especially when it comes to finding the rates for accommodation.

beautiful bay iceland

3-  Season

Another factor to consider is choosing the season for your group trips to Iceland. Timing plays a role for a few reasons. Firstly, the summer months offer milder weather. Longer daylight hours, make it ideal for exploring locations. As the snow melts away during this season many areas become easily accessible by vehicles and people. On the other hand, winter provides an opportunity to witness the captivating Northern Lights and partake in winter activities such as snowmobiling over glaciers or visiting Game of Thrones scenes, with glaciers fully covered in snow and ice. Additionally, determining the season also impacts cost considerations.

During the summer there is an increase, in tourists visiting Iceland, which greatly affects the prices of accommodation and transportation. If you’re on a budget and prefer a crowded experience it might be a good idea to consider visiting during winter.

Plan groups trips to Iceland with your clients or friends.

4- Plan Your Trip

Iceland offers an abundance of must-see destinations. From the mesmerizing geysers of the Golden Circle to the waterfalls along the South Coast and the vibrant city life in Reykjavik, it’s important to create an itinerary that balances sightseeing, adventure, and relaxation. With places to visit and activities to experience, making choices can be challenging. Our recommendation is to organize your itinerary based on areas. For example, you could focus on exploring the wonders of Iceland like Reykjavik, Þingvellir National Park, or Reynisfjara black sand beach in Vik. At Nordical Iceland we have a dedicated page with different pre-made packages to help you get started fast when planning your group trips to Iceland.

Blue Lagoon

5- Choosing Accommodation

Iceland offers a range of accommodation options including luxury hotels, cozy guesthouses, and camping sites. Consider the comfort and preferences of everyone in your group when choosing where to stay. Additionally, it’s important to consider the location of your accommodation in relation, to your planned itinerary.

Booking in advance is always highly recommended during peak seasons like summer. When choosing accommodation, it’s important to consider the distance between the hotel and the places you want to visit as the experience you wish to provide for your group. If your goal is to establish a connection with the area opting for humble accommodation closer to nature might be a suitable choice.

Double room at Storm Hotel

6- Transportation

When it comes to transportation logistics in Iceland exploring by road is the way. For groups renting a bus can be an option. The drivers are usually. Familiar with the roads, which’s crucial when driving during winter or going off road. If you’re planning a self-drive trip in Iceland, it’s important to consider whether there will be any off-road driving or if its during winter. In cases having a 4X4 vehicle is essential. At Nodical Iceland we provide a road map along, with tips and guidance that can make your journey much smoother.

choosing car iceland trip

7- Consider Dietary Preferences:

Additionally, it’s worth considering preferences when visiting Iceland. While Icelandic cuisine is unique and offers experiences it may not cater to all dietary restrictions or preferences.

It’s important to research restaurants and their menus to ensure everyone in your group, including those with dietary needs, can find suitable options. The good news is that many restaurants in Iceland take into consideration restrictions such as vegetarianism, veganism, lactose intolerance, and allergies. They offer dishes that cater to these diets. Additionally, there are plenty of restaurants in Iceland where tourists from India, China, or Thailand can enjoy the flavors of their cuisine during their trip.

outdoors nature lunch iceland

8- Choose the Right Season

When it comes to the weather in Iceland it can be quite unpredictable. It’s advisable to advise your group members to pack layers of clothing along with attire and sturdy footwear— for a winter trip. Even if the day starts with a good weather it’s always wise to have some layers on hand in case of sudden heavy rain or strong winds. Keeping an eye on the weather forecast is also highly recommended to avoid any surprises during activities. A reliable weather forecast service can be found on the website of the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

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9- Make Safety a Priority

Prioritizing safety is crucial. Before visiting areas like regions with activity or near volcanoes or cliffs make sure your group is familiarized with safety guidelines. Trust us when we say that risking injury or one’s life, for a selfie isn’t worth it.

Consider the fact that there are locations that are quite far from the nearest hospital. In some cases, the most efficient way to reach certain locations quickly would be by helicopter. In these situations, it is crucial to prioritize safety.

ice climbing iceland

10- Show Respect for Local Customs and the Environment

Make sure to educate your group about the importance of respecting Iceland’s environment. Iceland has places that are open for visitors without any supervision, but it is essential to understand that the local people deeply care about their environment. It is important to avoid littering and refrain from walking in areas where you might harm protected life forms like Icelandic moss. Iceland has over 120 protected areas. It is our responsibility to maintain their condition.

biking in iceland

Conclusion

Planning group trips to Iceland requires consideration and preparation. Initially, it may appear overwhelming. The reward will be an experience in one of the world’s most breathtaking destinations. If you prefer not to deal with the hassle of planning or if you are unsure about which places or activities would be suitable, for your group Nordical Iceland can assist you.

We offer made packages tailored for different areas and times of the year or we can create a custom trip specifically designed for your group at absolutely no cost. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us; we would be delighted to help you.

Looking for a relaxing spa holiday but don’t know where to start? Why not take a look at our 12-Day ‘Unwind’ Guided Tour

5 Facts About The Icelandic Horse

The Icelandic horse is a unique breed, brought to the island by Norse settlers around during the 8th century and it hasn’t changed much since then. What is so fascinating about the Icelandic horse? Is it its gait, its history and place in Icelandic culture? Read on to learn 5 facts about this gorgeous creature.

•When were they brought to Iceland?

•Where to see the Icelandic Horse?

•How long do they live?

•God’s horses

•Two more gaits

Icelandic horses

When were they brought to Iceland?

First brought animals to Iceland

It is believed that what is considered the Icelandic horse was brought to the island by Vikings around 860 and 935 AD. However, only the best horses were chosen for further breeding; they had been picked according to specific characteristics, such as color and equine conformation. And thus, the modern Icelandic horse was created as the result of many centuries of selective breeding. Interesting research was done, it revealed that there is a link between the Icelandic horse and the Mongolian horse.

Hunters riding Mongolian horses.

 

Almost a century ago, Icelanders tried to introduce some eastern blood to the breed. It caused degeneration of the stock, and in 982 AD the law with Alþingi (Icelandic Parliament) was passed to prohibit horses import to Iceland to avoid crossbreeding. This isolation benefited the Icelandic horse, as it is one of the purest horse breeds in the world now. However, the sad side of this law is that any individual animal that is exported, is never allowed to return to Iceland.

Viking horses

Where to see the Icelandic Horse?

All-year around outside animals

While travelling in Iceland you might see a lot of farms and stables with horses roaming free. Animals are kept mostly outside, even when the weather is nasty. The horse is undaunted by high winds and snowstorms and capable of crossing rough glacier rivers.

To this day, Icelandic farmers use horses for sheep herding, riding, participating in the gait performances and race competitions. You can read more about sheep herding yearly celebration here.

Réttir sheep gathering festival

Please consider the following recommendations approaching these cute animals

  • Do not stop in the middle of the road at the first sight of horses. Please, park where it will be visible and safe.
  • Pet horses when and where it is suitable – on a horse-riding tour, or on a farm asking the owner beforehand.
  • Do not feed horses – they are well fed, and any wrong food might affect their health.
  • Never trespass onto private property. Remember most of the Icelandic horses are kept on private land.

Because these creatures have never had any predators in their natural environment, they are not easily spooked, making them very approachable and friendly. However, keep in mind that they animals capable of biting and kicking.

Icelandic horse

How long do they live?​

Fluffy and long-living

Icelandic horse is well-known by its friendly behavior, gentle temper, and stoic spirit. In Medieval times horses were considered the most valuable possession, war horses were even buried alongside their fallen riders, and they were celebrated in songs and sagas.

The Icelandic horse is a free spirited, strong animal that provides challenging opportunities for competitive riders, while remaining docile and patient enough for beginner riders too. The Icelandic horse is one of many long-living animals, their average lifetime span is for up to 40 years, with the oldest age of 59.

Another fascinating fact about the Icelandic horse is that during winter its coat becomes thicker and sheds when spring comes.

Icelandic horse in winter

God’s horses

Old tales about the Icelandic horse

When Norse people came to inhabit Iceland along with horses, they brought their culture and beliefs. In Norse mythology horses are magical, strong, and sometimes evil creatures. First, you might remember the eight-footed pacer Sleipnir, owned by Odin. And in fact, it is a creature born by Loki, being a mare. Twisted and exciting Norse mythology!

Ancient Norse riding an Icelandic horse.

It is also believed that the infamous horseshoe-shaped canyon Ásbyrgi was created by Sleipnir, who placed one of his feet on the ground and left a deep imprint on the earth. And if you have never seen this magical place, here is another tale to make it even more fascinating. Ásbyrgi is believed to be the capital city of Icelandic hidden people or elves, or Huldufólk as Icelanders call them.

Copying the Icelandic Book of Settlement.

The first documented horse is Skalm, it is a mare who appeared in the Book of Settlement in the 12th century. You could also meet horses playing significant roles in Hrafnkel’s Saga, Njal’s Saga and Grettir’s Saga. And nowadays many modern riding clubs and horse herds are keeping those mythological names.

The Icelandic horse free in nature

Icelandic Horse Gaits

Most of horses perform three general gaits (walk, trot, and canter/gallop), while the Icelandic horse possesses the two additional, called tölt and skeið, or flying pace. The tölt gait is a four-beat lateral ambling gait, known for its speed and riding comfort. As Icelanders joke, this gait was created to drink beer while riding and not spilling it. While skeið is a very rhythmic gallop, a two-beat lateral gait where each side of the horse’s feet moves simultaneously. It is used in pacing races, is fast, and smooth. Some horses can reach up to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h).

Not all Icelandic horses can perform this gait; those who perform both in addition to the traditional gaits are considered the best of the breed and have a remarkably high market price.

Icelandic horse gait

There is so much more to learn about the horses of Iceland, like what are the colors, how to name them and when is it best to book a horse- riding tour. If you want to learn more about it, visit the website.

Best Pools and Hot Springs in Iceland

Iceland is known for its mesmerizing landscapes, glaciers, and ice caves. Little would you expect this small Scandinavian country way up North to have year-round access to outdoor bathing facilities, hot springs, and heated pools!

Well surprisingly enough, swimming in geothermally heated water is a top favorite activity for both locals and tourists alike. You’d be amazed to find out that the hot springs in Iceland can be found in pretty much every corner of the country.

Relaxing in one of the many hot springs in Iceland.

What are hot springs and why are there so many in Iceland

Hot springs are bodies of water that are heated through geothermal energy. They greatly vary in shape and size. Some take the shape of geysers, shooting hundred-degree waters up high into the sky. Others consist of fumaroles or bubbling mud pits. Due to their extremely high temperatures, however, they’re not suitable for bathing purposes.

mud pot Iceland

The ones we’re looking at are hot springs whose waters have been cooled down to a reasonable temperature, usually around 38 degrees, allowing a comfortable bathing experience. These are dotted all around the country and include the geothermally heated pools in Reykjavík, man-made as well as naturally occurring hot springs.

The answer as to why there are so many in Iceland is quite simple. The country is entirely heated by geothermal energy, coming from magma chambers deep within the earth’s core. This energy provides electricity and heating to the whole country as well as protrudes out on the surface through the form of hot springs. Most bathing hot springs are a natural occurrence however, some have been ‘humanly molded, an example of that being the Blue Lagoon.

The benefits of soaking in Hot Springs

Apart from their relaxing and calming effects on the mind and body, bathing in the waters of hot springs certainly has a number of other beneficial properties.

Hot pot Iceland

They do wonders on muscle aches. If you have any type of inflammation in your body, be it a bruise or painful tendon, dipping your toes in the warm waters of hot springs will eventually alleviate your pain. In addition, the calcium found its composition helps to increase your flow of oxygen whilst lowering your blood pressure. Last but not least, the sulfur and sodium combined aid with battling skin imperfections, from blemishes to eczema and all in between.

Code of conduct

Although Icelanders are in general extremely friendly, they take their bathing rituals quite seriously. Before hopping in any hot spring, pool, or Jacuzzi you must shower in your birthday suit, that is shower fully naked. Not a lot of harsh chemicals are used to filter the water out in public places, hence why following this rule is a must. In addition, try to keep your voice down and avoid screaming, splashing, or creating any disturbance. Littering is also a big no. Whatever you bring, you need to take it back with you.

Follow these simple rules and you’re guaranteed to have a blast!

Here’s a list of our top-rated Hot Springs and Pools in Iceland:

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

We cannot make a list of our best hot pools without mentioning the Blue Lagoon. Set in between Keflavik International Airport and Reykjavík, the Blue Lagoon is by the most popular Icelandic attraction, winter and summer alike. Idyllically set in a lava field near Grindavík, this 5-star spa retreat is the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring Iceland’s natural wonders. Its geothermal waters come from Svartsengi geothermal power station nearby and are cooled down to the ideal temperature of 37-39 degrees Celsius, allowing for a comfortable and relaxing bathing experience.

Mývatn Nature Baths

Myvatn

Found in the North, just 73km from Akureyri, lies Mývatn Nature Baths. A set of geothermal pools filled with beneficial minerals for the body and soul welcome visitors all year round. The water has an average temperature of 38 degrees Celsius, ensuring a comfortable and relaxing experience. Guests also have the pleasure of having two steam baths; a youth pool and a hot tub set just a few steps away from the main attraction. During summer, tickets sell out quickly therefore it’s always best to book in advance.

Seljavallalaug

Seljavallaug

One of the oldest man-made pools in the country, Seljavallalaug is a true ancient gem. Set in a remote location on Iceland’s South Coast and encompassed by towering mountainous ranges with a waterfall or two in the distance, this hot spring is a top favorite. After the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, the whole area including the pool was covered in a thick layer of ash, requiring a handful of volunteers to help restore it to its previous state. Its waters are rather murky, with a greenish tint to them, due to the large build-up of algae but this certainly should not put you off! Modest changing rooms are also available right near the pool’s edge.

Lýsuhólslaug

Constructed in 1981, Lýsuhólslaug hot pool and two hot tubs are the perfect spot to spend an hour or so, after exploring the wonders of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Their vividly green colored-water is the result of algae and natural silica mud attached to the walls of the pool and hot tubs. Although the amenities are fully drained and cleaned once every eight days, it’s worth mentioning that these natural types of microorganisms and minerals can only be beneficial to the skin and contain a great number of antioxidants.

Hrunalaug

Hrunalaug

Near the Secret Lagoon, close to Flúðir lies another beautifully set hot spring named Hrunalaug. Its stonewalls and small turf house provide visitors with a chance to soak in the geothermal warmth whilst fully immersing in Iceland’s natural wonders.

Hrunalaug is located on private property, like most of Iceland’s natural attractions, and was once used as a sheep showering facility. Today, the area is solely given to locals and tourists to enjoy.

As the land is private, littering or camping is absolutely forbidden. You should also take the utmost care of the surrounding nature to make sure others can enjoy the experience as much as you!

The Secret Lagoon

Gamla Laugin

The Secret Lagoon, also known as Gamla Laugin, is a true gem when it comes to location and cultural popularity. Found in one of Iceland’s most geothermally active areas, and only a stone throw away from Gullfoss waterfall, this man-made pool is the perfect addition to any Golden Circle road trip. The landscape nearby, which can well be appreciated from the pool itself provides a fairy-tale-like setting with moss-covered lava fields, its own little geyser, and sprouts of steam coming up from below. It’s worth mentioning that because it is one of the most popular hot springs in Iceland, hundreds of guests visit the pool on a daily basis, making it rather crowded during busy periods of the year.

Grettislaug/Jarlslaug 

Jarlslaug

Found in the northwest part of the country, Grettislaug hot pool is definitely a one of its kind. Named after ‘Grettir’ presumed to be the strongest man in the Icelandic Sagas, Grettislaug and its neighboring pool named  Jarlslaug can be found 40 km from the ring road making them the perfect off-the-beaten-path bathing spot. Its close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean makes it possible for you to try and take a dip in its freezing waters and thereafter thoroughly enjoy the warmth of Grettislaug’s geothermal ones.

Sky lagoon

Sky Lagoon Iceland© Sky Lagoon Iceland

Newly opened and a local favorite, the Sky Lagoon can be found only a stone’s throw away from the country’s capital. An infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic ocean merged with the surrounding untouched nature makes it a treat to bathe in winter and summer alike. The spa’s facilities are one of their kind and boast a steam room, sauna, waterfall, and last but not least an outdoor pool bar. Grab a drink and hunt for the northern lights all in the comfort of warm geothermal water.

Reykjadalur

Reyjadalur

Reykjadalur is by far one of Iceland’s most popular natural hot springs. Set just a forty-minute drive away from Reykjavík, it’s the perfect activity for those short on time wanting to experience the warmth of naturally occurring geothermal heat.

The valley is filled with steam and mud pots, allowing visitors to have an authentic and memorable experience. It takes a little less than an hour to hike up to the springs from the car park, and caution must be made when hiking during winter, as the path may be extremely slippery!

Hörgshlíð 

Perhaps a local favorite, Horghlid hot pot is definitely worth a visit, should you find yourself exploring the country’s Westfjords. This man-made 2x6m geothermal pool is beautifully set by the sea, not far from Hörgshlíð farm. Two hot hoses and one cold allow for a constant temperature of just under 40 degrees, ensuring a pleasant bathing experience. There are small changing facilities nearby that visitors are free to use. Although the hot pot itself is free to use, it’s always polite to ask the farm for permission, since it’s on their land.

Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar hot spring

Apart from its exceptional hiking trails and uniquely colored mountains, Landmannalaugar also boasts a much-prized hot spring. Positioned just nearby the camping site and washing facilities, it is nowadays mainly used by hikers in search of some much-needed relaxation after a long day on the trails. The road to get here is quite problematic therefore you can either take a bus or a 4×4 to reach the hot springs. As with most roads of this difficulty, access is only available during summer and even then, the road conditions must be carefully checked.

GeoSea Baths

Geo Sea© GeoSea

Nestled in the North of the country, on top of cliffs overlooking Skjálfandi bay and surrounded by unparalleled beauty lay the GeoSea Sea Baths. These three pools merged together, idyllically blending in with the surrounding nature are the perfect spot to relax after a long day of exploring the country’s northern territories. What’s special about these baths is that, unlike many others, they contain mineral-rich seawater instead of geothermal water. During summer, they are open until midnight whereas come winter, they close at 10 pm. If you are lucky enough, you might even spot the Northern Lights dancing above from the warmth and comfort of the pool.

Djúpavogskörin

The small town of Djúpivogur, quietly sitting on the shores of Berufjörður fjord in the eastern part of the country boasts a beautifully hidden geothermal pool. Although it’s only about 100 meters or less from the main road, or Iceland’s Route 1, the pool can easily be spotted by looking out for a  algae green-colored spring pipe. It’s the ideal spot to catch your breath in between explorations.

Víti by Askja

Viti

Víti (meaning hell in Icelandic) by Askja is a uniquely shaped geothermal crater lake, found in the Icelandic highlands, which are one of the most active volcano regions in the country. Although the most recent eruption at Askja occurred in 1961, the Víti crater was formed earlier, in the late 19th century after a series of volcanic eruptions that, after filling with water, formed a 200-meter deep lake called Öskjavatn. Although the lake mostly has a temperature of 25 to 30 degrees celsius and bathing in its milky blue waters might be rather tempting, it is known that the temperature in some spots could go up to 60 degrees, therefore extreme caution must be taken if you decide to take a swim in Hells waters, quite literally.

Krauma Baths

Krauma© Krauma

A 90-minute drive from Reykjavík takes you to the ever so active geothermal area of Reykholt where Krauma Baths are found. Overlooking Deildartunguhver – Europe’s most powerful hot spring, Krauma features a total of six hot pots whose waters get constantly renewed by Deildatunguhver’s powerful forces. The site also features two steam rooms, a relaxation room, and a restaurant using Iceland’s finest local ingredients.

Laugarvatn Fontana

Laugarvatn Fontana © Laugarvatn Fontana

About an hour and a half drive from Reykjavik takes you to one of the country’s geothermally active regions, with the Laugarvatn Fontana Spa built on top of it. This wellness center provides all the services one could ever imagine. From steams rooms to geothermal pools and all in between, this wonderful hot spring is the perfect spot to relax and blow off some steam, quite literally. Its proximity to the Golden Circle makes it a great addition to any road trip or tour around that region.

Hauganes

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience look no further! The hot pools found in Hauganes are only a shorts drive away from the country’s Northern Capital of Akuyreri. A set of four hot pots and a boat transformed into another hot pot are strategically placed on the town’s black sand beach only a few meters away from the North Atlantic Ocean. If the water’s temperature gets a bit too hot to handle, you can easily make your way to the Ocean’s edge to cool off. Bear in mind that the ocean’s temperature is around seven to ten degrees Celsius during summer, so you might be in for a cold surprise!

Landbrotalaug Hot Pot

Hot pot

Landbrotalaug lies north of Eldborg Crater on the mesmerizing Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Its off-the-beaten-path location makes it the perfect place to soak in geothermal water without having to worry about visitors nearby. Bear in mind that due to its small size, you might have some initial difficulty finding it.

Drangsnes

Dragnes hot pot

The picturesque fishing village of Drangsnes in the Westfjords has by far one of the best hot pots that you could possibly find on the island. Placed just a short distance away from the main road on the shoreline overlooking the mountains, the Drangsnes hot pots come as a fantastic addition to the already mesmerizing natural scenery. All three hot pots are of different temperatures to make sure everyone fully enjoys themselves. There’s also a small changing room just across the road that allows for a more comfortable experience. As the town itself has a population of just over 100, it goes without saying that these hot pots are definitely the hit of the town for locals as well!

Hoffell

Hoffell bats©Andrey Kirnov

Found just 20km away from the southeast town of Höfn, the geothermal hot pools of Hoffell are the perfect place to relax and recharge after a long winter’s day of driving around the area. A total of five tubs deep-set into the ground offer a breath-taking view over the mountains and Hoffellsjökull glacier. A plethora of hiking trails is available nearby, for those wanting to experience the glorious Icelandic wilderness!

Vök Baths

Vok Baths© Vök Baths

Vök Baths can be found idyllically sitting on the banks of Urriðavatn Lake. It’s worth mentioning that it’s the largest geothermal spa in the eastern region of the country boasting multiple pools, a restaurant, tearoom, and a sauna.

Integrated into Iceland’s natural landscape, you can barely distinguish human-built structures from the surrounding untouched nature. Although this area is geothermally heated, the water used at the Spa does not contain any Silfra or Silica unlike the Blue Lagoon for example. Its visitors get to benefit from the healing power of geothermal waters without having to endure that particular and not so appeasing egg smell.

Kvika

Kvika

A dip in Kvika’s geothermal foot pool is definitely guaranteed to leave you relaxed and wanting more. Found on the northern tip of Seljalternes peninsula, near Grotta Lighthouse and a short 5-minute drive from the city center, the size of Kvika is just enough to fit two to three people sitting comfortably on its stone edge. On a clear day, you can enjoy the sights of Esja or even Snaefellsjokull in the distance! A must for those short on time yet who want to experience something unique.

Kerlingarfjöll

Kerlingarfoll hot spring

The geothermal valley of Hveradalir in the Kerlingarfjöll mountain range is by far one of the most scenic places in the entire country. Steaming outlets, bubbling mud pots and hot springs make up this dramatic yet fairy-tale-like landscape. Apart from it being a hikers mecca, with numerous trails of all lengths and difficulties crafted nearby, this region also offers visitors a chance to bathe in pretty much, paradise. Kerlingarfjoll is the perfect natural hot spring to soak and relax after a long day of hiking the mountain ranges nearby. It’s worth mentioning that access to this area can only be gained by driving on Highland F-roads therefore a suitable 4×4 vehicle is a must!

Hot Springs in which you cannot bathe in

Strokkur

Strokkur one of the most amazing hot springs in Iceland

The geothermal area in Haukadalur Valley, in the southwest part of the country, is home to the ever so prominent Geysir Hot Spring. It’s worth mentioning that although the term geyser derives from Geysir, it is Geysir’s big brother Strokkur that is nowadays the star of the show. Frequent eruptions occurring every five to ten minutes at Strokkur, throw liters of boiling hot water and steam high into the air, for all spectators to observe from a safe distance. You might be tempted to put a foot or hand out to touch the water but bear in mind that the water in this geothermal area can easily reach a temperature of a hundred or so degrees!

Grjótagjá 

Grotagja hot spring

Found at about an hour and a half drive from Akureyri, is Grotagja hot spring cave. Once a hidden gem, this lesser-known location rose to international stardom after being featured in the Game of Thrones saga. After all, no one can forget the steamy scene between …. The entrance to the cave consists of large boulders that have fallen onto the ground resulting in you having to climb over them. Although the cave itself is relatively small, it can comfortably fit three to four people with others having to wait their turn. Once inside, you can admire the mesmerizing crystal clear blue water of the hot springs below. Due to its unstable nature and sometimes-extreme temperature, it is forbidden to bathe in its waters but nevertheless is still a sight worth to be seen. As the majority of natural attractions, Grjótagjá is set on private land and unfortunately, due to the misconduct of visitors, the cave has been closed. It’s worth mentioning that it can reopen at any time so if you’re in the region, it’s best to ask ahead.

Looking for a relaxing spa holiday but don’t know where to start? Why not take a look at our 12-Day ‘Unwind’ Guided Tour

The Phallological Museum in Reykjavik

Iceland offers surprising and strange places to visit, including quirky museum exhibitions. For example, the so-called Penis Museum, or the Icelandic Phallus Museum, can be discovered in its capital of Reykjavík and enjoys great interest from locals and tourists alike.

Although the Vagina museum was recently opened in London, it is still the only museum in the world, which contains a collection of phallic specimens belonging to different mammal species found under one roof.

What the Phallus Museum offers

Phallus Museum

The museum contains about 300 exhibits on the sexual organs of whales, walruses, dolphins, mice, bears, seals, and other animals. These include fifty-six specimens of seventeen different species of whale, one specimen of the polar bear, thirty-six specimens of seven different species of seal and walrus, and one hundred and fifteen specimens of twenty different species of land mammals. Over 90 species of animals inhabiting Iceland are represented. Penises of humans and mythical creatures complete the collection.

The museum’s history

The owner of the museum is Sigurður Hjartarsson, now an 80-year-old history teacher. As a child, Sigurður was sent on holidays to his local village and given a penis from a bull to use as a whip for the animals. In the 1970s, he became headmaster of a school. Some of the teachers at his school worked at a whale station during the holidays and gradually started bringing him whale penises as gifts to make jokes.

Phallus Museum

He then got the idea to show them to a wider audience, and to expand the collection through exhibits of all kinds of animals that inhabit Iceland. The penis museum was opened in Reykjavik in 1974. When 34 penises were collected in the 1990s, the museum was opened in Reykjavik. It was subsequently moved to the village of Húsavík, known as Europe’s whale-watching capital, but was returned to Reykjavik in 2011. The museum’s curator is Sigurður Hjartarsson’s son, Hjörtur.

Phallus Museum

The largest and most impressive specimen in the museum is of a sperm whale and measures 170 cm – 70 cm in shell size. It is estimated that the entire penis weighed about 400 kg and was 5 m long, with the sperm whale itself weighing about 50 tons. The museum displays art installations and memorabilia in the shape of penises. There are specimens of folklore creatures such as elves and trolls.

The Phallological museum’s specimens

The specimens were collected from slaughterhouses and farms, with farmers sending the specimens themselves. At the museum, they are stored in several ways: in formaldehyde tubes or beakers, dried and hung on the walls, or “dressed” on sticks and canes.

Phallus Museum

The human penis belonged to a 95-year-old Icelandic man. He was famous for being a great womanizer and decided to immortalize his organ by donating it to the museum. In 2011, the donor died and the museum then got its first exhibit of a human penis.

To date, three other would-be donors have expressed a desire to one day be represented at the museum. However, a donation from a gifted New Yorker whose phenomenal 34.3-centimeter sexual appendage /24.1 centimeters when flaccid will be on display at the museum after his death is also currently planned.

The reception of the collection has been surprisingly positive: more than 100 articles showcase it in nearly 30 countries around the world, and the number of visitors is steadily growing – it is claimed that more than 14,000 tourists, mainly from abroad, are attracted by the exhibit annually.

Want to visit Iceland but don’t know where to start? Why not check out our Guided Tours for some inspiration!

Top 10 Things to Do in Reykjavík

Iceland has been a popular holiday destination for some time now. Its breath-taking natural landscapes paired with an infinite amount of activities to do and sights to see make it the go-to spot year in year out. The current Fagradasfjall eruption only adds to its popularity with thousands of tourists flocking the country in hopes to witness the magnetic active volcano with their very own eyes. If you’ve just landed or perhaps have some time to kill, here’s a list of things to do in Reykjavík to get you going.

Climb up Hallgrímskirkja tower

Church Reykjavik - Things to do Reykjavik

By far Reykjavík’s biggest landmark, Hallgrímskirkja church sits right in the middle of the city and can be seen from pretty much any point of the capital. Its iconic façade inspired by the country’s many naturally found volcanic basalt columns paired with a dreamy interior and rich history make it a definite place to visit. The church also offers visitors a 360-degree panoramic view of the city from its 75-meter tower. On a very clear and sunny day, you might even get a chance to spot the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the far distance. It’s the perfect place to people watch, and just to get a hang of the city and its vibe, be it from above. The elevator trip up the tower costs 1.000 ISK but is well worth it!

Explore Reykjavík’s Graffiti Scene

It might come as a surprise, but Iceland’s capital hosts some of the best Street Art representations out there. With local and foreign artists joining forces, some of Laugavegur’s side streets come to life with vivid colors and contrasting shapes.

Take a ferry to Viðey Island

Videy island ( things to do in Reykjavik ).

Found only a stone’s throw away from Reykjavík, more precisely a 20-minute boat ride is the island of Viðey. Combining history, art, and culture, this little gem can be explored by foot or bike. Multiple walking paths allow visitors to comfortably roam around Viðey and discover its many faces. You’ll be able to see from up-close Yoko Ono’s famous ‘Peace Tower’ in memory of John Lennon as well as Richard Serra’s Milestone’s art installation. Magnificent views overlooking Reykjavík’s oceanfront can also be observed from the island. During summer, ferries depart daily from Ægisgarður and Skarfabakki harbor, whereas this service is only offered on weekends during wintertime (and departs only from Skarfabakki).

Visit the Penis Museum

The Icelandic Phallological museum - Things to do Reykjavik

© The Phallus Museum

If you should need to choose to visit one museum during your trip to Iceland, the Penis museum is the one! Set in the heart of the city, this museum is undoubtedly one of a kind! With just a little over 300 sexual organs tastefully displayed both from human and animal origin, the penis museum attracts worldwide popularity year in year out. It’s worth mentioning that multiple donors from different parts of the world have expressed their desire to donate their organs when the time comes. A gift shop is also present on its premises, allowing you to take home some unusual, to say the least memories that’ll make you the talk of the town!

Try the famous Bæjarins Beztu hotdogs

Bæjarins Beztu

Ever since opening its doors in 1937, the Bæjarins Beztu hot dog stand has been one of the best go-to spots for a quick yet tasty bite to eat. Once a local favorite, Bæjarins Beztu has quickly become a tourist hotspot as well. You’ll often recognize it by its ridiculously long lines, but pleasure takes patience! You might ask just what exactly makes it so popular? Well, apart from being open during all kinds of crazy Icelandic weather, the hot dog itself is made with a certain twist to it. Instead of pork or beef, it’s made with lamb meat and its ketchup is made from apples instead of glucose. If you made to taste the world’s best hot dog, you can do so by heading to Tryggvagata 1, 101 Reykjavík.

Hike up to Perlan

Perlan museum ( Things to do in Reykjavik )

Perlan Museum can be found on top of Öskjuhlíð hill. Originally used as a hot water tank reservoir, it has since 1991 been open to the public. Home to a plethora of exciting exhibitions, a planetarium, a café, and multiple gift shops you can easily spend half a day in this wonderful yet diverse museum. Its rotating glass dome allows visitors to get a panoramic view of the capital, be it from afar. Öskjuhlíð woodland is also a pleasant area with many walking paths that allow you to explore the region in comfort. Here you’ll also find interesting relics from WWII.

Enjoy a cup of coffee at the Cat Café

After roaming the streets of downtown Reykjavík, you’ll quickly discover that cats, quite literally, run the country’s capital. These furry creatures are on every corner you turn, the street you walk on, and they’re simply everywhere. If you’re in need of some downtime to kick back, relax and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee or hot chocolate, why not head to Reykjavík’s Cat café ‘Kattakaffihusid’. It’s worth mentioning that all cats that you’ll find over there are for adoption. You might just go in for a drink and end up going out with a furry friend.

Splash in a geothermally heated pool

Kvika foot bath Reykjavik

Swimming plays a large role in the daily life of Icelanders, hence why there are just so many pools dotted all around the country. With so much geothermal energy around, it comes as no surprise that they’re also geothermally heated! One of the best ways to relax after a tiring day exploring the country’s landscapes is to soak in the warm waters of Vesturbæjarlaug. If you’re lucky enough, you might even see Björk over there!

Take a stroll on Laugavegur

By far Iceland’s most famous street, Laugavegur is filled with shops, bars, and restaurants to suit every taste! Explore the lively vibe of this small capital, enjoy a cup of coffee outside whilst you people-watch, or perhaps do some last-minute shopping. Whatever you choose to do, you won’t regret it!

Explore Harpa

Harpa - Things to do Reykjavik

Harpa concert hall is one of these landmarks that just demand your attention. Its exterior is particularly striking as it’s entirely constructed with mirrored glass particles that beautifully reflect the ocean’s waters. Home to the Icelandic Opera and Iceland’s Symphony orchestra, it is a perfect place to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Wondering what to explore next? Why not take a look at our many Guided Tours and you might just find the tour for you!

Icelandic Ad Roasts Zuckerberg in Viral Video

Iceland has been no stranger to the global spotlight. Be it from glaciers melting or volcanoes erupting, this Scandinavian country has always made its way to worldwide popularity.  In other cases, the reason for this has been its extraordinary advertising style, which has largely challenged the boundaries of the comfort zone of viewers, listeners, and network users alike.

Once again, it has managed to grab multimedia attention and gain rapid popularity by attracting none other than Mark Zuckerberg himself.

Inspired by Iceland ad

This was done through the spread of an Icelandic marketing masterpiece made by Inspired by Iceland and created as a parody of Facebook’s announcement to rebrand to Meta last week. The ad openly makes fun of the original Meta proposed by Zuckerberg. Unlike its target, however, the Icelandic Tourist Board is not trying to sell an idea of a beautiful but vague future but wants to draw people to the present. By venerating its existent attractions and magnetic landscapes: from glaciers to volcanoes and all in between.

“Today I want to talk about a revolutionary approach on how to connect our world without being super weird. Some said it’s not possible. Some said it’s out of reach. To them we say it’s already here” says Zack Mossbergson who purposefully resembles Mark Zuckerberg in both manner and appearance.

Icelandverse

He utters these words while pointing with his hand to a typical snowy Icelandic landscape. The Icelandic Tourist Board’s promotional clip continues confidently forward with Zuckerberg’s Metaverse parody: “It’s completely immersive. With water that’s wet, and humans to connect to,” Mossbergson says.

Surprisingly enough, Zuckerberg got the memo and even commented under Inspired by Iceland’s original Facebook post. Safe to say he took it nicely!

Mark Zuckerberg
Screenshot: © Inspired By Iceland

Feeling Inspired by ‘Icelandverse’? If so, why not go ahead and book one of our many Guided Tours and get to experience the wonders of this mystical galaxy yourself.

The Ultimate Guide to Reykjavík’s Museums

Reykjavík offers a plethora of captivating and eccentric museums, most of which can be found in the very heart of the city. Perfect for those wanting to get to know the country’s history or spend an hour or two indoors on a rainy day.

Below you’ll find a compilation of our favorite museums in and around the country’s capital.

The National Museum of Iceland

National Museum

© The National Museum of Iceland

For those wanting to take a glimpse into Iceland’s history and culture, the National Museum of Iceland is the place to go! It offers a thorough breakdown of life in the country throughout the centuries, depicted by a variety of interesting exhibitions and artifacts.

The museum was established in 1863, with Jón Árnason being the first curator of the Icelandic collection. The next curator advocated the formation of an antiquarian collection, and the museum was named the Antiquarian Collection until 1911. The museum’s permanent location was difficult to find: Before settling at its present location, in 1950, it was housed in various attics all around the city center. Today the museum consists of three floors, with a lovely cafe in the basement.

The 1st floor is dedicated to ancient history and artifacts. The 2nd floor is also striking with the much-celebrated permanent exhibit – Valþjófsstaður door being preserved on its grounds.

All in all, one can spend an hour or an entire day discovering the in’s and out’s of Iceland’s vivid history.

The Culture House

The Culture House

© The Culture House

You can also enjoy the Culture House with a ticket from the National Museum of Iceland. Placed in one of the most elegant buildings in Reykjavík, the Culture House hosts a wealth of distinctive events and activities ranging from historical Icelandic manuscripts to current city gatherings.

The beautiful building found at Hverfisgata 15, was initially built to house the National Library. The National Museum and the Icelandic Museum of Natural History were also housed there but are nowadays used as an exhibition space. Since the turn of the century, institutions such as the Árni Magnússon Institution for Icelandic Studies, the National Gallery, and the Icelandic Museum of Natural History have used the house for exhibitions. The building, which has now been labeled a historical building, merged with the National Museum of Iceland in 2013.

Today it is home to the permanent exhibit – ‘Points of View’, offering visitors a chance to go back in time and learn about Iceland’s nature, culture, and history.

Reykjavík Maritime Museum

Reykjavík Maritime Museum

© Reykjavík Maritime Museum

Reykjavík’s Maritime Museum, formerly known as Víkin Maritime Museum, tells the story of “How the ocean formed a nation”. Primarily built as a fish freezing plant, the museum is nowadays home to seven exhibits that display Iceland’s maritime history, from the early settlements to the late 20th century.

Presented on its premises are also many evolving methods of catching and working with fish, objects, photographic displays, visual materials, and artifacts including the former Coast Guard vessel Óðinn, acquired by the museum in February 2008. The 900-ton coastguard ship is now secured to the pier next to the museum and can be easily enjoyed from up-close by locals and tourists alike.

Whales of Iceland

Whales of Iceland

© Whales of Iceland

If you are fascinated by whales and dolphins or are just curious to learn about their way of life then the Whales of Iceland museum is just for you!

The museum is set in Grandi, only a short walk away from Reykjavík Old Harbor, from which all of the city’s whale watching tours depart. A large warehouse accommodates the museum in which you’ll find displayed 23 life-size models of whale species found around Iceland’s waters. They amaze the visitor by their variety and magnitude. You’ll also be able to touch or swim with them by using the museum’s virtual reality glasses.

Aurora Reykjavík

Aurora Reykjavik

© Aurora Reykjavík

The information center is filled with historical exhibits and art suitable for all ages. A great place to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis if you happen to visit Iceland during the summer when their activity is low and cannot be seen. Guided tours are also offered for those wanting to go deep into the world of Aurora Borealis.

Tales from Iceland

The famous historical Austurbæjarbíó building is home to a relatively new exhibition – The Tales from Iceland, offering cinematically striking videos on Iceland. The exhibition is innovative and created with fantasy and appreciation of the country’s historical and cultural achievements.

There are a total of 14 screens dispersed on two floors. Visitors can enjoy visual presentations on Iceland’s politics, geology, music, sport whilst sipping on complimentary hot chocolate.

Perlan museum

Perlan

Found at the top of Öskjuhlíð hill, Perlan museum offers its visitors a wealth of displays to choose from. You’ll find information about Iceland’s natural backdrops, from volcanoes to glaciers and all in between. The most visited exhibit is, however, the Wonders of Iceland exhibition. This interactive exhibit gives visitors a chance to walk through a recreated Ice Cave, a replica of the Látrabjarg cliff. To learn about Iceland’s glaciers, to explore the planetarium, and most importantly get a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis, even if it’s only interactively.

It’s worth mentioning that the museum’s rotating hemispherical roof glass dome is set on six functional water tanks that can be spotted all the way from the city center. Each one of these six tanks can keep up to five million liters of hot water, with a volume of 5000 m3, and provides heating to Reykjavík and beyond!

A quick stop to the cafe located on the top floor of Perlan is strongly recommended as you’ll be able to admire a 360-degree view overlooking Reykjavik and the nearby mountains.

The Saga Museum

The Saga Museum is the place where Icelandic sagas, their stories, and their heroes come to life. The faces and figures of the most popular writers of Icelandic Saga – Snorri Sturlusson, Ingólfur Arnarson, and Leifur Eiríksson to name a few, have been replicated in wax, allowing the museum’s visitors to also get a visual representation of the authors.

17 famous scenes from well-known sagas including Leifur Eiríksson’s famous voyage to Vinland are also depicted. The museum also offers an exciting tally of horror, procreating some well-known ghastly events: The execution of Jón Arason, the burning of the stake of Sister Katrin as well as the legendary bloody battle at Orlygsstaðir. Sagas are a truly unique heritage of the Icelandic nation therefore if you want to learn about Iceland’s culture and history, this is the place to go!

The Settlement Exhibition

The settlement exhibition

© The Settlement Exhibition

Based on the archaeological excavation of the ruins of one of the first houses in Iceland and remnants of many other artifacts, the exhibition will take you back in time and show you a glimpse of the Viking era. By using three-dimensional visual representations visitors can thoroughly learn some enthralling facts about the Vikings, how they lived and expanded their territories. A must-visit museum for those interesting in culture and history!

Reykjavík Art Museum

Reykjavík Art Museum, founded in 1973, is the largest visual art institution in the country. The museum holds the biggest art collection in Iceland and offers a huge program of artistic events, projects, festivals, and all kinds of exciting social get-togethers. The museum spreads around three locations in Reykjavík; Hafnarhús by the Old Harbor, Kjarvalsstaðir by Klambratún, and Ásmundarsafn in Laugardalur.

The Icelandic Phallological Museum

The Icelandic Phallological museum

© The Icelandic Phallological Museum

If you want to see something unique and memorable, then the phallological museum is just for you. Set in the heart of the city, only a few steps away from Hlemmur Square, this oddly satisfying collection of 300 or so sexual organs of both human and animal species might be just the pinnacle of your city explorations! You’ll find on its premises the specimens of seventeen different species of whale, seven different species of seals, twenty different species of land animals, and much more.

The museum has had, in fact, such great success in recent years that multiple donors worldwide have expressed interest in potentially having their specimens exhibited after their death.

If museums aren’t your cup of tea, why not opt for something more adventurous by booking our Private Fagradalsfall tour!

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