Explore the history of the city's early settlements at The Settlement Exhibition. The museum is based on an ancient Viking house that was discovered in 2001. There are many artifacts, objects, models and multimedia displays here that enunciate the first civilizations, their culture and lifestyle. You can also find here old photographs, manuscripts, archaeological findings and more. There is a museum shop from where you can buy souvenirs for keepsakes.
The Reykjavik City Theatre offers entertainment ranging from new Icelandic drama, well-known classics and dance performances, to rock concerts and more. The theater is home to a thriving drama department alongside the Icelandic Dance Company, who host various productions throughout the year. The theater complex is composed of multiple smaller venues, including a main stage with a capacity of 560, and a cafe-theater for more informal, intimate performances. Those who truly enjoy the performing arts would do well to invest in a subscription. With its eclectic program and modern facilities, the Borgarleikhúsið, or the City Theatre of Reykjavík, is a great place to delve into Icelandic culture.
The National Museum of Iceland is the definitive historical and archeological museum of Iceland, illustrating the cultural tradition of this cold country's centuries of settlement. The permanent exhibit, titled 'Making of a Nation - Heritage and History in Iceland', depicts the history of Iceland, commencing from when the medieval settlers first arrived here to the modern day. The museum also features informative temporary exhibitions.
If you are a cinema lover, Bíó Paradís is a place you need to go to. This theater is known for showcasing various regional and international documentaries and short films regularly. The theater property has four screens with capacities ranging from accommodating 205 people to as small as 38 people. Operating since 2010, Bíó Paradís has been a venue for several classic cinema and educational documentaries and is an address to film festivals like Reykjavik International Film Festival, The Reykjavik Short Film Days and more. After watching a movie here, you can enjoy some quick bites and refreshing drinks at its in-house bar and cafe. Besides cinema, this theater also houses a shop offering DVDs and literature over film and film-making.
Whether you believe it or not, there is a Botanical Garden in Reykjavik. It was founded in 1961, with 200 Icelandic species to begin with. Now it contains around 4,000 species, from all over the world. There are ponds and footpaths in the garden, and it is a wonderful experience to walk through on a nice summer day. All the plants are well documented and marked. A visit can therefore be educational as well as fun. You will be surprised by some of the plants surviving there.
The Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum itself is a part of the collection, as it is a unique building, a mixture of Egyptian pyramids and Arabic domes, mostly designed and built by the artist himself. He also sought inspiration from the Mediterranean countries; the exterior as well as the interior walls are white and smooth, creating a quiet and elegant frame for his provocative and powerful sculptures. Ásmundur Sveinsson (1893-1982) was one of the pioneers of Icelandic sculpture and, like so many of his generation, he was mainly inspired by Icelandic nature and literature, as well as creating grand masterpieces in praise of the common people. While his first sculptures are fairly realistic, he moved on to abstract work in the last decades of his life, and the museum reflects the changes in his artistic vision.
Kjarvalsstadir-Listasafn Reykjavikur was one of the very first establishments which was founded solely for the purpose of hosting art exhibitions. Along with regular exhibitions of the famous Icelandic painter, Johannes Sveinsson Kjarval, the museum is also host to year-round temporary modern art exhibits by painters and sculptors from around the world. While here, you may enjoy a cup of coffee at the museum cafe as you take in the view from their floor-to-ceiling windows.
Kjarvalsstaðir is one of the museums that are part of the Reykjavik Art Museum. Located on the Miklatún Park, it accords tremendous importance to paintings and sculptures.