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. Ingimundur Sveinsson designed the building.

What to do in Perlan

There are many interesting things to do in Perlan such as visit the Icelandic Wonders exhibition, experience 360 degree view of Reykjavik and its surroundings from the observation deck or perhaps enjoy a panoramic cup of coffee.

Perlan – Wonders of Iceland

Perlan – Wonders of Iceland provides deep insight into Iceland’s unique nature.

In the summer of 2017, Perlan opened the glacier exhibition, the first part of the Icelandic Natural Wonders exhibition, where you can learn about the history and the future of Iceland’s glaciers. You also get the chance to experience walking through one of them – A great experience, one we fully reccommend.

The glacier 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.

The second part of the Icelandic Natural Wonders exhibition opens this spring. There visitors will feel the power of volcanoes, earthquakes and geothermal energy and see a 10 m high realistically rendered bird cliff, rich with bird and plant specimens. They will experience oceanic wonders and watch as whales swim below their feet. 

Viewing deck

Perlan has a 360 degree viewing deck on the fourth floor.  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.

Entrance fee

Perlan is open every day of the week between 08:00 and 19:00. It is free to enter the building, but there there’s an entrance fee to the exhibition and the observation deck.