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.
A scenic repository that pays tribute to Iceland's seafaring culture, the Reykjavik Maritime Museum is located along the city's harborfront. The museum is built into a former fish freezing factory unit, a plant that was originally built on the Grandi landfill. It explores the time-honored legacy of Iceland's fishing past, alluding to the time when early settlers depended heavily on fishing for livelihood. Over the years, fishing practices burgeoned into a larger industry, thus accelerating Iceland's prosperous growth over the years. The maritime museum also hosts a stunning nautical relic that was acquired in 2008, the former Coast Guard Vessel Óðinn. Fastened to the pier adjacent to the museum, this grand vessel served a prime role in all three Cod Wars between 1950 and 1970. Iceland's first steel ship Magni, also stands at the pier in resolute magnificence.
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.
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.
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.
Explore the history of Iceland at the Saga Museum that chronicles the development of the country by exhibiting and recreating its prominent historical phases and people. From the early settlements to the Viking conquests to the Reformation, the museum has manged to capture every historical aspect through 17 exhibits by setting up mannequins, everyday scenes, traditional costumes, weapons, artifacts and so on. There are also old photographs, documents and more to enlighten you further. You can buy Viking beads, shoes, clothes and other souvenirs at their shop for keepsakes.