Perlan

Built in 1988 on top of Oskjuhlid Hill, Perlan in Reykjavik is where beauty meets function as a glass dome sits atop the city’s reservoirs in six huge tanks, each with the capacity to hold over 4 million litres (1 million gallons) of geothermal hot water. The building was designed by Ingimundur Sveinsson.

Inside the dome, between the hot-water tanks, is a spacious atrium where various exhibitions and events are held. Perlan has 10,000 cubic meters of exhibition space on the ground floor, known as the Winter Garden. It has hosted concerts by Icelandic artists such as GusGus and Emiliana Torrini as well as various expos and markets.

For those who don’t have time to visit the real Geysir, there’s a man-made version outside the building (to the left of the car park) named Strokkur, which imitates the natural spouting action of Geysir in south-west Iceland.

Viewing deck

Perlan has a 360 degree viewing deck on the fourth floor. It contains panoramic telescopes at each six corners of the deck with recorded descriptions in five different languages. The viewing deck offers an awesome view of Reykjavik and the neighbouring communities and the mountain ranges around the city, e.g. the picturesque mt. Esja. On clear days you can even see the lofty Mt. Snaefellsjokull across the bay on Snaefellsnes peninsula.

What to do in Perlan

In the summer of 2017, Perlan opened a glacier exhibition. There you can learn about the history and the future of Iceland's glaciers, and of course, you will get the chance to experience walking through one of them. It's a great experience, one we fully reccommend.

The glacier exhibition, the first part of the Icelandic Natural Wonders exhibition, is on two storeys in one of Perlan’s six hot water tanks. It illustrates the glaciers, their history and future, and gives visitors the amazing opportunity to experience travelling through one of them.

The Museum has developed a method to accurately replicate an ice cave dug through a glacier. Nothing like this has ever been seen anywhere in the world. Travelling through the cave, visitors will learn about the glacier’s dangers, the secrets it keeps, and how the disappearance of these vast bodies of ice is leading to enormous change both on the island itself and around the world.