8 Unique Museums to Visit in Iceland

Of course, Iceland’s most famous attraction is its breathtaking nature. However, when you drive through the country, you quickly notice how many unique museums there are! Some are big, some are small, some offer incredible interactive experiences, others can be very peculiar yet informative. What they all have in common is that they offer a glimpse into the rich historical and cultural heritage of Icelandic people. Also, it is a great activity if you need to take a break from Icelandic weather. Let’s take a look at 8 one-of-the-kind of museums in Iceland.

Whales of Iceland

A head of a sperm whale life-like replica at the museum
All replicas at the “Whales of Iceland” are extremely detailed and life-like

Whales of Iceland is an exhibition of 23 human-made life-size models of the different whales that one can found swimming around Iceland. If you ever wanted to measure yourself against the blue whale – this is the place to do it. Another option would be to jump in the ice-cold water and try to swim next to one, but I wouldn’t recommend it. A detailed audio guide, whale sounds, and ambient lighting create a unique experience. It feels like you are walking underwater among these giant mammals, except you can breathe and stay dry. There are many interactive parts, and you can touch the squishy whales – all of this makes it a great experience for adults and children.  

LocationOpening TimesAdmission
Fiskislóð 23-25,
101 Reykjavík 
Open all year round
12 pm – 5 pm 
Adults: 2,900 ISK
Children (7 – 15 years): 1,500 ISK
Kids (under 7 years old): free admission

The Phallological Museum

This museum is not as family-friendly as the previous one, but nevertheless, it is a popular destination for many curious tourists. The Icelandic Phallological Museum, also known as the Penis Museum, contains a collection of over 200 penises and penile parts belonging to almost all the land and sea mammals that can be found in Iceland. On top of that, you will find over 300 various objects that fit the overall theme of the museum. Definitely, one of the most unique places in all of Iceland.

LocationOpening TimesAdmission
Kalkofnsvegur 2,
101 Reykjavík
Open all year round
10 am – 7 pm
Adults: 2,500 ISK

Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft

Beautiful Strandir is one of the most remote corners of Iceland. Nevertheless, if you take your time to explore it, you will find many sorcery and folklore locations. In Hólmavík, you will find the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft. Don’t be fooled by the small size of the museum – it tells many important stories. Learn more about the history of 17th-century witch-hunts in Iceland – from people involved to accusations and strange punishments, as well as what role sorcery and witches have played throughout the centuries of Icelandic folklore. Do not expect this to be anything close to a Harry Potter-themed tour.

LocationOpening TimesAdmission
Höfðagata 8-10,
510 Hólmavík
May 15 – September 30
9 am – 6 pm
October 1 – May 14
Mon – Fri: 12 pm – 6 pm
Sat – Sun: 1 pm – 6 pm
Adults: 1,100 ISK
Students: 900 ISK
Seniors: 800 ISK
Children (14 years or younger): free admission

Library of Water

A young woman looking at a room with of glass pillars filled with water

I believe that most people discover this interesting room while trying to hide from harsh Icelandic weather. Library of Water is an installation of 24 glass columns with water samples from Icelandic glaciers. You can observe the sun’s rays play between the water and glass columns. It may not look like much, but many visitors reported a very calming experience inviting for some quiet self-reflection. Tickets for the Library of Water are sold at the Volcano Museum and the Norwegian House.

LocationOpening TimesAdmission
Bókhlöðustígur 19,
340 Stykkishólmur
June 1 – August 30
11 am – 5 pm
September 1 – May 31
Tue – Sat: 11 am – 5 pm
Adults: 700 ISK
Students, seniors: 600 ISK
Children (18 years or younger): free admission

Eldheimar Museum

An excavated destroyed house in the middle of a room

There are a few museums around Iceland dedicated to volcanoes, but Eldheimar is definitely a unique museum. In 1973 a sudden eruption on Heimaey island forced over 5000 people to evacuate in the middle of the night. This museum was built in remembrance of those events. Many people lost their houses, and they are still buried under the nearby lava field. However, after 40 years, one house has been excavated and is in the center of a museum. Visitors can see up close what a powerful force nature can be. The interactive exhibition is very informative and educational. On the second floor, you will learn more about the geology of Iceland and another eruption in the area. Ten years earlier, an underwater eruption created a brand new island Surtsey. Today the island is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. 

LocationOpening TimesAdmission
Gerðisbraut 10,
900 Vestmannaeyjar
Open all year round
1 pm – 5 pm 
Adults: 2,600 ISK
Seniors: 2,200 ISK
Children (10 – 18 years): 1,300 ISK
Kids (under 10 years old): free admission

Icelandic Lava Show

Speaking of volcanoes, if you are looking for a truly unique experience – do not drive past Vík without stopping at the Icelandic Lava Show. The founders were inspired by the Fimmvörðuháls eruption in 2010 and wanted to create an opportunity for people to see hot lava “putting on” a mesmerizing show of fire and ice. You won’t see lava in action anywhere in Iceland. Not even at Fagradalsfjall volcano. If you need one more reason to visit – Happy Campers customers get 15% off

LocationOpening TimesAdmission
Víkurbraut 5,
870 Vík
Opening times vary. Pre-book your ticket to the Lava Show here.Adults: 5,900 ISK
Children (2 – 12 years): 3,500 ISK
Kids (under 2 years old): free admission

The Icelandic Sea Monster Museum

A statue of an icelandic sea monster that looks like a sheep-size rat
The Shore Laddie is one of the smaller monsters, last spotted in Iceland in 2014

We stopped in Bíldudalur (Westfjords) for some coffee and ice cream during a road trip last summer when we stumbled upon The Sea Monster Museum. We probably all heard of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland. In Iceland, sea monsters played a colorful role in Icelandic folk culture for centuries. There are thousands of written eye-witness accounts, many of whom can be explored in Bildudalur.

LocationOpening TimesAdmission
465 Bíldudalur
June 1 – august 31
10 am – 6 pm
Adults: 1,250 ISK
Kids (under 10 years old): free admission

The Nonsense Museum

Collection of PEZ dispensers at the Nonsense Museum. You have to admire the commitment of the collectors. Photo source: Dellusafnið

What is the theme of the Nonsense Museum? There isn’t one. That’s what’s fun about it. You probably know a person in your life that collects things, maybe teaspoons, or cups, or postcards. Well, imagine if those people came together and decided to put their random collections of things into one place. That place would be the Nonsense Museum. 

LocationOpening TimesAdmission
Aðalstræti 20,
400 Ísafjörður,
Will re-open in June
1 pm – 5 pm
Adults: 1,000 ISK
Kids (under 12 years old): free admission