The National Museum of Iceland (Thjodminjasafn Islands) is a modern and progressive experience that provides a comprehensive picture of the past 1200 years of Iceland‘s cultural history. The museum details Iceland’s history and culture from the earliest evidence of a pagan burial site to Bjork’s music career.

The role of the museum is to increase and relay knowledge of Icelandic cultural heritage from the nation’s earliest settlement through to the modern day. The present meets the past in one amazing experience.

The National Museum came into being on 24 February 1863 as a series of collections in several buildings around Reykjavik.  The original name of the museum was the Antiquarian Collection. The name changed to the National Museum of Iceland in 1911. When Iceland became a Republic in 1944, Parliament decided to give the nation a museum at Suðurgata Street, a new home for the collections.

The National Museum’s ‘Making of a Nation’

The main exhibition, “Making of a Nation” has interactive exhibits many visitors enjoy. For example you can have a  one-way telephone conversation with a Viking chieftain from the year 1117. This section also shows interesting DNA research based on the teeth of the first Viking settlers to determine their surprising origins.

The ground floor of the museum houses a gift shop and cafe. In addition, the museum  contains a collection of photographs and prints, the largest public collection of images. Over four million photographs are stored here, both professional and amateur. The museum organizes exhibitions about Icelandic photographic history in general, as well as publishes books on photography.

Opening hours

Tuesday – Sunday: 10am – 17 (5pm)

GPS: 64.142039 N, -21.947742 W