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Reykjavík Culture City


Despite the capital area’s relatively petite size, Reykjavík is a city which is recognized for its devotion to the arts and culture. Visitors will find themselves with a plethora of choices, including more than 60 museums, exhibition spaces and galleries on almost every corner. Festivals like The Reykjavík Arts Festival, Fringe Festival, The Literary Festival and Children‘s Culture Festival also make their mark on the city‘s cultural platform. This wealth of institutions and festivals celebrate the Icelandic culture and proudly displays the creative traditions of both famous international artists and locals.

Visitors can experience the history of Reykjavík in a lively and engaging way at the Reykjavík City Museum and Reykjavík Art Museum, Iceland’s largest network of museums. A fun way to explore some of the Icelandic arts would be to download the Reykjavík Art Walk app and get aquainted to some of the many beautiful sculptures on display whilst taking a stroll around the city. For history lovers they can learn how the vikings lived and about the making of a nation at the The Settlement Exhibition and the National Museum of Iceland. Other museums worth mentioning are Perlan Museum, the home to the largest nature exhibition in Iceland, Museum of Design and Applied Art which introduces Icelandic design, and Árbær Open Air Museum, a collection of more than 20 buildings preserving Reykjavík‘s early history.

Reykjavík city is very proud to be a UNESCO city of literature, the first non-English speaking city to recieve that honour. This is due to our rich heritage of ancient literature which has cultivated the city’s strength in literature education, preservation, dissemination and promotion. Visitors can experience some of our literary history through the Reykjavík Culture Walks app, and if one is here during the Christmas period don‘t miss our famous „Jólabókaflóð“ or the Christmas Book Flood, where locals visit the city‘s bookstores to buy the best books for Christmas presents.

Museums in Reykjavik

Map of museums in Reykjavik

Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature

Reykjavík has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature and is the first non-native English speaking city to receive this prestigious title. Reykjavík is the fifth city in the world to receive the title and joins other UNESCO Cities of Literature including; Edinburgh, Melbourne, Iowa City and Dublin.

Reykjavík Arts Festival

6.-21. June 2020 

The Reykjavik Arts Festival is a biennial  multidisciplinary festival with a special focus on new commissions and the creative intersection of the arts.

 

Reykjavík Children's Culture Festival

21.-26. April 2020

Children's culture, culture for children and culture with children, these are the three main aspects of the Reykjavík Children’s Culture Festival: a week-long arts and culture festival dedicated to children and youth.

 

National Museum

The National Museum displays objects that provide insight into Icelandic cultural history - displays that encourage visitors to dwell on the past, present and future. The museum aims to nurture knowledge and innovation while maintaining a wide perspective and sense of community.

Reykjavík Art Museum Hafnarhús

The old harbour warehouse, Hafnarhús, offers a progressive exhibition program with local and international contemporary artists. The works of key figures, as well as established and emerging current artists are presented in six galleries.