Traveling is more accessible than ever before, even for people with relatively low budgets. Both in terms of transport and accommodation, there are plenty of options to help you cut down costs and save some cash, allowing you and your companions to enjoy the wonders of travel without having to spend a huge amount. Hostels are one of the best options for budget-conscious travelers. They offer low cost accommodation and lots of freebies like high speed internet access, continental or buffet breakfasts, coffee and tea making services, kitchen areas, communal lounges, secure storage lockers, and much more. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
2.Galaxy Pod Hostel
3.Reykjavik Downtown HI Hostel
5.Midgard Base Camp
4 Best Iceland Hostels
- Overview, Photo: Kushnirov Avraham/stock.adobe.com
- Galaxy Pod Hostel, Photo: Galaxy Pod Hostel
- Reykjavik Downtown HI Hostel, Photo: kostikovanata/stock.adobe.com
- Hafnarstraeti Hostel, Photo: Hafnarstraeti Hostel
- Midgard Base Camp, Photo: Midgard Base Camp
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of 1tomm - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: National Museum of Iceland
The National Museum of Iceland, in combination with other local institutions, in one of the more comprehensive and historical parts of the Museum House. This full, visionary experience introduces guests to a view of Iceland culture and society from every possible view point.
Established in 1863 by curator Jon Arnason, the National Museum of Iceland was originally located in Denmark. The second curator, a man named Sigurour Guomundsson, added substantially to the museum once he took over in 1911. The National Museum moved to its current location in 1950 and now welcomes thousands of visitors on an annual visit. It works very closely with five other local institutions - The National Gallery, the National History Museum, the National Library, the Argi Magnusson Icelandic Studies Institute, and the National Archives. Together, they form the Museum House.
Much like its sister museum, the National Gallery, the National Museum is home to a huge and frequently rotating collection of temporary and traveling exhibitions on loan from all across the country and the globe. However, they do host a few permanent exhibitions with planned runs through 2030.
? Culture and Society - This “basic” exhibition is anything but. This exhibit focuses on the last 1200 years of Icelandic culture and society with the intent of providing a full and comprehensive view of how Iceland has changed and progressed as a country since its inception. The displays are placed in historical context and significance and make use of a diverse mix of photographs, actual artifacts, and plaques with information for guests to read. Starting at the very beginning, this exhibit walks guests through the settling of Iceland and takes them all the way through the country in the present day. The exhibit is divided into seven different sections, meant to provide guests inside into specific time periods of importance to Icelandic culture and society. Each of the seven sections is located in its own cabinet, which is filled with a timeline, specific artifacts, some audio clips, and even occasionally interactive objects like costumes or games.
? Icelandic Film Festival - This exhibit is actually a combination effort between the six different Icelandic institutions that make up the Museum House as a whole. The National Museum, however, is in charge of managing this exhibit. It offers a full-service view of the film history of Iceland, both in historical progression and cultural significance. There is also a downloadable guide that is is recommended guests print off and view ahead of time, as well as bringing with them to their visit for a greater understanding of the importance of film in Icelandic culture.
There is a general “access” admission fee required to enter the galleries at the National Museum, but a reduced fee is charged for guests who are interested only in the photo gallery. Children under the age of 17 as well as the disabled are admitted free of charge. Reduced admission is permitted for seniors. Group tours are also available and can be made by contacting the museum - discounted admission is permitted for larger groups as well.
The National Museum is happy to host field trips and educational opportunities to students of all ages from the local and international school communities. Guided tours after offered and run by educated museum tour guides. Teachers are also encouraged to bring classes on their own and guide their own trip based on the current curriculum that they are studying. Additional resources are available on the museum website as well, providing teachers with additional curriculum to discuss prior to their classroom’s planned field trip.
Field trips start in the lobby and last about an hour in duration. They can be reserved by contacting the staff at the museum directly by phone with complete information about class size, date and time of planned visit, specific educational requirements, and other information. All field trips are offered to classes free of charge.
Dining and Shopping
There are two different dining options when visiting the National Museum - Kaffitar and Julia & Julia. Both options offer slightly different dining experiences - one is more informal with coffee and small snack, and the other is a slightly more formal experience. There is also a gift shop located on the grounds - it sells a small variety of gifts based around the exhibits that can be found at the museum. They offer jewelry, art, and home goods, some with the National Museum logo.
National Museum of Iceland, Suourgata 41, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, 530-2200, Phone: +353-5-30-22-00
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Attraction Spotlight: Reykjavik Art Museum
The Reykjavik Art Museum is a fun and unique way to learn about many of the different art forms and important artists in Icelandic history. From sculpture, to watercolor, to unique mixed media presentations, this art museum has it all. The Reykjavik Art Museum in Iceland was founded in 1973 and is currently the biggest visual arts institution in the country.
The art museum actually encompasses three various locations - Hafnarhus (located next to the old harbor), Kjarvalsstaoir (located by Klambrutin), as well as Asmundarsarn (located in Laugardalur). Between the three buildings, the art museum encompasses over 3000 square meters of space and runs in excess of 20 different art exhibitions every year (most of them on a rotating and traveling basis). The art museum is also currently in charge of the art collection for the entire city of Reykjavik, which includes all public art on display both inside government and public buildings and outside in features like parks and gardens.
In addition to the many special and temporary exhibitions that travel through the art museum, Reykjavik is also home to a significant permanent collection.
? Erro - Guomundur Guomundsson, born in 1932, is perhaps the most well-known contemporary artists from Iceland. After experimenting with different forms of art and media, like cinema and performance art, he settled into his niche of European narrative and pop art. The collection at the art museum was donated by Guomundur Guomundsson (also known as Erro) in 1989. The collection now totals over 4000 different works (more than twice what they started at), including watercolors, sculptures, graphic arts, and collages.
? Kjarval - While Erro is one of the most well-known Icelandic artists, Kjarval may the one of the most beloved. Although he passed away in 1972, his works remain just as strong as ever. His best-known pieces are based on nature in Iceland, and he always enjoyed putting a mystical twist on them. The collection at the art museum consist mostly of sketches and drawings, as well as a general introduction to Kjarval’s career.
? Asmunder - One of Iceland’s sculptural pioneers, Asmunder is often referred to as visual art’s “folk poet.” The majority of his works located at the museum are in the sculptural garden, which opened in 1983.
There are also many other artists featured in smaller amounts.
? Aaron Young - Uncertain States of America
? Erik Frandsen - Carnegie Art
? Society for a Merrier Present
? Viking Eggeling - Cadences of Line & Color
The museum, as discussed above, is well known for bringing in many different temporary and touring exhibitions featuring on all various aspects of Icelandic art. The website maintains a comprehensive and detailed calendar with all of these exhibitions, so guests should check ahead of time to verify what will be on display.
Guided tours of the museum are offered on a regular basis and can be booked either by calling ahead or by stopping at the front desk when purchasing an admission ticket. Group guided tours are given during all open hours Mondays through Fridays. There is an additional charge. Guests should check the website for additional information on admission fees and open days and hours.
Every year, the educational department at the art museum hosts field trips for more than 13000 children. Tours are offered free of charge and will go through each of the 20 different exhibits with an educated tour guide who will work to make sure to focus on any art that fits specifically with the appropriate curriculum of each class. The goal of the education department is to provide students of all age, skill, and knowledge levels with comprehensive and age appropriate art education. The art museum is a great background to provide children with this education, due to its sometimes whimsical and unique atmosphere that engages children at their level. Contact the staff in the educational department at the art museum to schedule a field trip and for additional questions about what it would entail.
For students who are unable to leave their classroom setting, the art museum has mobile exhibits that were built to travel to the classroom instead of needing the classroom to travel to the museum. There are also multiple art education kits that teachers can print out from the museum website or request directly from the staff.
There is a museum gift shop available for guests visiting the art museum, and it sells a diverse selection of art themed gifts like statues, apparel, and other art themed merchandise. Purchases help support the mission of the museum, which is to bring art to everyone through a diverse collection of artwork.
Reykjavik Art Museum, Tryggvagata 17, 101 Reykjavik, Phone: +35-44-11-64-00
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