Beyond its fascinating landscape, Iceland has a very rich and diverse cultural heritage, and if you are spending time on this island, there can be no complete visit without taking in the sights of some of these museums.
1. The National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavik
When you want to learn about the life of the Icelandic people over the centuries, this museum is the place to go. The artifacts are stunningly exhibited in various areas with adequate information. There are also sound recordings of different captivating legends. The computers also provide access to a treasure trove of other pieces of information. Everything related to this island nation from belief and religion, to seafaring, farming, culture, costume and the development of trade relationships from the beginning to the present day are all on display. The National Museum houses many treasures of Iceland’s history, beginning with the ship in which Viking settlers crossed the ocean to their new home, and ending in a modern airport.
2. Árbær Open Air Museum, Reykjavík
In this museum, you will experience what civilization was like for Icelanders a few generations ago. Over 20 structures make up the museum. They have all been conserved and translocated to form a small town, showing the museum guests how Icelanders used to live before the country underwent its period of industrialization. Several actual residences from this time, alongside other farm, fishing and household tools traditionally used are on display here.
3. Viking World, Keflavík
If you want to acquaint yourself with Viking lore of the Icelanders, this is the museum to go! Boasting of five exhibitions, a settlement zoo and enormous replica of a 9th Century Viking ship, there is no better place in the country to absorb yourself in this country’s fascinating story. Here you will see the Viking ship, Gokstad, discovered in a very well-preserved condition in Norway. You may also encounter another exhibition on display, “Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga,” which was arranged by the Smithsonian Institute in the United States. This exhibition describes the discovery of America by the Vikings.
4. The Settlement Center, Borgarnes
This museum contains two altogether separate displays. While one describes the past life and times of original explorers to settle in this country, the second display is about the story of Egil Skallagrímsson, who was a famed poet and warrior. His father was a member of the first party of settlers to call Iceland home. – Skallagrímur Kveldúlfsson. He began the farm at Borg. The town Borgarnes derives its name from there.
5. The Phallological Museum, Reykjavík
This is the foremost museum of phalluses around the world! And very likely the only one too. Over 200 penises or penis-parts, from just about every land and sea creature to ever be found in Iceland, are on display. The museum itself is pretty small, and you probably won't spend many hours there, but it is worth a visit just to say that you’ve been there before.