Reykjavik, the unique capital city of Iceland, is a perfect place to stay when exploring the island’s incredible geothermic-heated waters, ruggedly beautiful countryside, dazzling waterfalls and steaming geysers. It’s also the cultural centre of the country, and as such is home to some of the best museums, galleries, venues and shops in Iceland. Read on for our guide of places to visit on a cultural weekend in Reykjavik.
Experience Reykjavik Culture
Discover the cultural history of Reykjavik at the Reykjavik City Museum, which works to collect and conserve objects from Reykjavik from the earliest settlements to the present day. Another fantastic place to learn about Icelandic culture is in the National Museum of Iceland, close to the city’s university. The National Museum hosts a permanent exhibition on ‘Making of a Nation - Heritage and History in Iceland’ as well as regular temporary exhibitions of art, craft, design and photography exploring the country’s culture and people.
Building of arts
Plan a trip to Harpa, the Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre. Harpa opened in May 2011 and is well regarded among Reykjavik’s landmark architecture. The stunning glass building was designed to look like the crystallized basalt columns often found in Iceland, with facades creating reflections of the city. Home throughout the year to the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera, Harpa also hosts a variety of events that will put you in touch with the best of Icelandic culture, from concerts to stand-up comedy. Harpa also has 2 restaurants where you can enjoy Icelandic food, hot drinks and snacks, as well as shops selling Icelandic music, books and design led gifts.
Reykjavik Art Museum
No visit to Reykjavik would be complete without a trip to the Reykjavik Art Museum. Located in 3 different buildings, the Art Museum has a diverse collection of Icelandic and international art. Kjarvalsstaðir at Miklatún Park is mainly given over to paintings and sculpture, Hafnarhús (Harbour House) on the waterfront is home to a collection of art by Icelandic postmodern artist Erró, and the Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum near Laugardalur is dedicated to the works of the famous Icelandic sculptor. A shop at Hafnarhús sells local and foreign books on art, as well as postcards from the Reykjavik Art Museum collections, and art posters.
Shopping In Reykjavik
Once you have experienced the best of the arts in Reykjavik, be sure to visit one of the city’s many shops to take home a piece of culture to treasure. Head to Kolaportið fleamarket at the harbor in downtown Reykjavik. The biggest fleamarket in Iceland, Kolaportið has a number of regular stallholders selling both used and new products, such as food, crafts, clothing, jewelry, antiques and books. Browse the best of Icelandic design in the shop Kraum. Located in the oldest house in Reykjavik, 'house Skúli sheriff’, Kraum sells wonderful craft and design made by more than 200 local designers, such as books, clothes, bags, ceramics and more.
Icelandic delicacies, culture, and stunning panoramic views await with Radisson Blu Reykjavik!