Gerðarsafn - photo: Sigga Marrow
  • Home
  • News
  • Easter in Reykjavík: Exploring Museums and Icelandic Traditions
March 21, 2024

Easter in Reykjavík: Exploring Museums and Icelandic Traditions

As spring breathes new life into Reykjavík, Easter offers a unique opportunity to delve into Icelandic culture while enjoying the city's vibrant atmosphere. For those who seek enriching experiences during this festive season, Reykjavík offers a plethora of museum visits intertwined with traditional Icelandic customs.

Here's your guide to making the most of Easter in Reykjavík, focusing on the city's prominent museums:

The National Museum of Iceland

Delve into Iceland's fascinating history and heritage at The National Museum of Iceland, where immersive exhibits and artefacts offer insight into the nation's past. While planning your Easter adventures, you should visit the museum before its early closure on Easter Sunday.

The National History Museum is open daily from 10:00 – 17:00.
Closes at 14:00 on Easter Sunday.

Reykjavík City Museum

Reykjavík City Museum comprises five distinct museums, each offering a unique perspective on the city's history and culture. The following three are open during easter:

Árbær Open Air Museum is Iceland's largest open-air museum, Árbær showcases a captivating collection of historical buildings, many of which were relocated from Reykjavík's city centre. Each building tells a story, providing insight into Icelandic life throughout the centuries.

Árbær Open Air Museum is open daily from 13:00 - 17:00
Closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. 

The Settlement Exhibition is located in Reykjavík's city centre and delves into the city's development from Iceland's settlement period to the present day. It features an underground section at Aðalstræti 16, showcasing the archaeological remains of a 10th-century Viking longhouse, along with the oldest remaining building in the central Kvosin area at Aðalstræti 10.

The Settlement Exhibitions is open daily from 10:00 - 17:00

Reykjavík Maritime Museum features a permanent exhibition titled 'Fish & Folk - 150 Years of Fisheries,' allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Iceland's maritime history. Experience rich visuals and interactive displays that deepen your understanding of Iceland's seafaring traditions.

Reykjavík Maritime Museum is open daily from 10:00 - 17:00
Closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

During the Easter weekend, each of these museums offers an opportunity to delve into Reykjavík's fascinating past and present. Plan your visits accordingly to make the most of your Easter exploration in Reykjavík.

Gerðarsafn Kópavogur Art Museum

Located in Kópavogur City Area, just a short drive from the city centre, Gerðarsafn is a treasure trove of contemporary Icelandic art. While planning your Easter itinerary, remember to visit Gerðarsafn on days when it's open to immerse yourself in the dynamic world of Icelandic creativity.

Gerðarsafn is open daily from 12:00 – 18:00. 
Closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday.

The National Gallery / House of Collections

Discover the treasures of the National Gallery at the House of Collections while the National Gallery is being refurbished.
Dedicated to showcasing Icelandic and international art, its collection spans various periods and styles, offering insight into Iceland's rich artistic heritage.

The House of Collections is open daily from 10:00 – 17:00.
Open until 22:00 on Maundy Thursday. 
Closed on Easter Monday.

Reykjavík Art Museum

Nestled within the heart of Reykjavík, the Reykjavík Art Museum boasts an impressive array of contemporary art, featuring works by both established and emerging Icelandic artists. Spend your Easter weekend wandering through its galleries, discovering innovative expressions of Icelandic culture and creativity.

Reykjavík Art Museum is open daily from 10:00 – 17:00.
Open until 22:00 on Maundy Thursday. 
Closed on Easter Sunday.

Good Thursday on Maundy Thursday

Good Thursday is held on the last Thursday of every month, when several art museums and exhibition spaces offer extended opening hours. Stroll around and experience the lively art scene!

Easter Traditions in Iceland

Beyond museum explorations, Easter in Reykjavík offers a glimpse into Icelandic traditions that have been cherished for centuries.

 Easter in Iceland revolves around three main traditions: Easter Eggs, skiing, and the Easter Lamb. Easter Eggs, stuffed with Icelandic candy and proverbs, are a hit among kids and adults alike. Liquorice-chocolate eggs are also very popular. Skiing enthusiasts flock to Bláfjöll, just 30 minutes from the city centre, for a thrilling experience. Meanwhile, Easter dinner typically features a roasted leg of lamb with sugar-glazed potatoes and gravy—a must-try if you have access to a kitchen. Otherwise, Reykjavík's restaurants offer plenty of options and churches host services throughout Easter.

As you navigate the Easter festivities in Reykjavík, take the time to savour the city's unique blend of cultural heritage and contemporary flair. Whether you are admiring artworks or immersing yourself in Icelandic traditions, Easter in Reykjavík can be an unforgettable experience.

Museums in Reykjavík

The National Museum of Iceland
Gerðarsafn Art Museum
National Museum of Iceland
Reykjavík Art Museum - Kjarvalsstaðir
Reykjavík Art Museum - Hafnarhús
The House of Collections
Árbær Open Air Museum
The Settlement Exhibition
Maritime Museum