Reykjavík City Museum
- one museum in five unique places
Reykjavík City Museum engaging journeys through culture, heritage and history.
Welcome to the Reykjavík City Museum!
Five unique places that take you beyond the shore and below the ground. Five museum experiences that cover the Settlement to the contemporary moment. And five fun and engaging ways to enjoy Reykjavík’s exciting cultural heritage. Four of the museum sites are within walking distance of downtown Reykjavík, while the Árbær Open Air Museum is only a fifteen-minute drive from the city centre. The ferry to Viðey Island leaves from the Old Harbour in downtown Reykjavík in the summer time.
All museum sites are family-friendly.
Reykjavík City Museum is the 2nd largest museum in Iceland. It is owned and run by the city of Reykjavík.
It is the mission of Reykjavík City Museum to maintain strong and demonstrable ties with the community, to be reliable, informative, and accessible, to encourage guest participation, and to provide attentive service to all visitors.
The museum will demonstrate professionalism in its collection, cataloguing, and preservation of cultural artefacts, will share the diverse history of the city in an engaging manner and inspire people to reflect, be creative, and have fun.
The Reykjavík City Museum’s activities will be dynamic, trustworthy, purposeful, and clear.
The Reykjavík City Museum operates in accordance with Icelandic laws regarding museum activities and cultural artefacts, as well as the regulations and Code of Ethics set forth by the International Council of Museums. The museum supports the preservation of cultural artefacts in Reykjavík in such a way that both residents and visitors have the best access to the cultural heritage of the city.
The museum sites include the Árbær Open Air Museum, The Settlement Exhibition, the Reykjavík Museum of Photography, the Reykjavík Maritime Museum, and Viðey Island. It also oversees different kinds of activities, such as history walks, publications, and cultural landmarking in the municipal area.
The role of the museum is to collect, document, preserve, and study cultural artefacts which are representative of the city’s cultural heritage and to share Reykjavík’s history and culture from the time of the settlement to the present day. The museum attends to heritage preservation in Reykjavík and also maintains registers of archaeological finds and historical houses and buildings in the city. The museum undertakes its exhibitions, educational programs, and publications in accordance with its budget and schedules each year.
• To ensure continuity among all sectors of the museum: collection, research, preservation, exhibition, and education
• To research and represent Reykjavík’s complex history, culture, and the day-to-day lives of its people
• To allow disparate voices to be heard
• To ensure that high profile visitor groups are well served, in addition to attracting other groups to the museum by more directly-targeted means
• To engender discourse and promote critical thinking
• To be a site for creative work
• To be hospitable and provide professional service
• To be open to collaborations with other museums, associations, and individuals