Did you know that 2/3 of Iceland’s population lives in Reykjavik? Despite the unfriendly weather conditions, they live a long life. Even though 2/3 might seem a lot, it’s funny how everyone knows everyone in pubs.
Anyway, the thing is that Iceland is highly friendly and you will be able to have a really good time there from every point of view. The land of elves has many things to offer: from great buildings, churches, museums and art galleries to unbelievable natural phenomena.
It’s amazing how such a small country can have so many places to visit. Take museums for example:
The Settlement Exhibition
The Settlement Exhibition Reykjavik 871 +/-2 is located in the National Museum. The story of this exhibition begins in 2001, when, following an archeological excavation, they found the oldest relics in the capital. These relics date from 871, +/-2 years. The exhibition offers a perspective over the way people used to live and the environment they lived in – some artifacts discovered in the centre of the country are the most important elements of the exhibition.
The construction of the Vikings’ buildings is explained through multimedia technology. There are TVs with explanatory videos that tell you in detail the way they used to build their houses, but you will also learn about their lifestyle. There is a screen on a table that offers tridimensional images that explain the way Vikings used to build them during that time. They were extremely impressed by what they found, which is why there has been registered a big amount of national visitors, but also tourists willing to find out how they got to live in the northernmost point on the globe.
The National Museum is also the host of art galleries.
They have different collections of the famous Icelandic artists. The galleries try to keep the traditional culture untouched. They put accent on the works of XIX and XX century artists, because this is the time when the most valuable artists affirmed themselves. But, the contemporary artists were not left aside. Through them, the tradition in art is continuing to live in Iceland and this is why they play a major role.
The art galleries were founded in 1884 in a different location. The actual building that shelters them is the National Museum; the movement took place in 1916 at the Parliament’s order. Visiting them is a way to relax through art. After the delight, you can drink a coffee at the Gallery cafe, situated at the ground floor. It is the perfect spot to enjoy a coffee with other beautiful art lovers. You can visit it in any day of the week and the entrance is free.
Arbaer Open Air Museum
It started as a farm, so it’s not located downtown, but you can take a bus there anytime. The employees are dressed traditionally and they are available the entire year. It has more than 20 buildings and it forms a town square and a farm. If you want to know more about the way Icelanders used to live in the past, this museum can report you in detail all the aspects you want to find out. It’s very interesting how every single detail of their architectural elements were build that way for a reason. It really gives you a sense of the population of Iceland.