Iceland’s history has long been intertwined with the Vikings, they go hand in hand and there is no better place to learn about this than a visit to the best Viking museum Iceland has to offer, Viking World. You see the Vikings settled Iceland with the first Viking visit happening by accident.
Yes, a complete accident in around the start of the 8th century discovered one of the most stunning countries in the world. Gardar the Swede from Denmark was blown off course and as a result, discovered Iceland. This was the first of many Vikings landing in Iceland.
It was only a natural progression that Iceland cash in on its Viking past with the large number of tourists that flock to this amazing island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Going to visit an Iceland Viking museum is a fantastic way to discover more about the Viking world and what actually went on in it. There are also so many Viking television shows now that have really opened many peoples eyes to an era that may not have been as well known a few years ago.
Viking World Museum Iceland is located close to Keflavik airport. The Viking museum Iceland is located in a purpose built modern exhibition hall designed by an award-winning Icelandic Architect.
The first thing that strikes you about the Viking museum is its location, is its clear lines, glass panels and glistening blue water that laps up the background.
When in Reykjavik we choose to stay at Downtown Reykjavik Apartments
Let the saga begin at the Viking World Museum Iceland
We were greeted at the Viking Musem Iceland front desk by Paula. Paula told us all about the history of the Viking World museum and what was on display. I must admit I was terribly distracted by the huge Viking ship that spans the length of the exhibition hall within the Viking museum. The Íslendingur that sits front and centre is a replica of a Viking ship that was found intact and excavated in Norway in 1888. The Íslendingur, that now calls Viking world home, was built in 1992.
Don’t just think it’s a model, this boat was sailed from Iceland to New York in 2000 to celebrate Leif Erikson’s discovery of The United States of America. The ship is truly amazing and can be accessed from the second floor of the museum. You can walk on it and take in its size and design. Stand at the bow and pretend you are on a voyage of discovery seeking out far away lands just like the vikings of Iceland did in the past. You can walk on the ship, around the ships upper deck and under the Viking ship. With all of this acces you can really get a feeling for how an approaching Viking ship would have put the fear into anyone.
Within Viking World you will find a Vikings of the North Atlantic exhibition with displays of many replica Viking artifacts. This exhibition showcases the Viking expansion across the North Atlantic Ocean. The Norsemen Vikings sailed everywhere from the North Sea to the Black Sea. For two centuries beginning in about 800 AD, the Viking expansion was on. This exhibition supported by models, information boards and computer displays help you to see how they expanded.
There is a small cinema area where you can watch movies on a big screen about the Viking World as we know it. When we were at Viking Museum Keflavik they were showing a documentary on the crossing to New York. Other Viking documentaries dealing with the Norsemen Vikings of Iceland and their long history were entertaining and informing. A little kids corner was near the cinema if you have smaller kids this may keep them occupied while you learn about the Vikings.
Viking World Museum Keflavik is informative and educational
The Settlement of Iceland display talks about the Vikings landing in this nation. The Settlement of Iceland exhibition displays Viking artifacts and archaeological findings from the Reykjanes region. Reykjanes Peninsula was first inhabited by the Norseman Vikings from the ninth century and ruins of the Viking Village Iceland were found in the area.
Photographs and illustrations round off the display of longhouses that were home to the first Viking settlers. Viking World Museum puts on a great display that tells the story of the settlements in the area. This section houses a model of a burial boat with displays of real Viking bones. We found this very educational for the kids and the girls loved the way it was set out.
Upstairs in the Viking museum there is a [easyazon_link keywords=”Norse mythology” locale=”US” tag=”wyldfamilytra-20″]Norse mythology[/easyazon_link] and myths display. Our eldest daughter Willow really enjoyed learning about this. An audio guide in 4 languages is available and a light show makes this an attractive educational display for the whole family. It’s really a sensory exhibition with lights sounds and shapes of the Norse Gods.
The fate of the Gods display introduces the religion of Norsemen some one thousand years ago. You will hear about Asgard where the gods lived to hear about Óðinn the leader of Norse gods. Come and learn about the society of pre-Christian Scandinavians.
Make sure you visit the best Viking Museum in Iceland
One of our favorite but simple things about this Viking Museum Iceland was that you were able to learn about the world of Vikings. The kids and I channeled our inner Viking (I channeled my inner Ragnor) with the play swords and shields. We had great fun posing and mock fighting with these fake Viking Artefacts. The swords, shields, and costumes are there for all to dress in. An even further sense of the world of Viking is located outside the Viking museum Keflavik.
Outside lies a mock Viking Village and farm. In the months where the Iceland weather is good, you will find animals for the kids to play with and watch. The Viking World settlement zoo contains lambs, calves, kids and birds. This Viking village in Iceland rounds off a memorable day at the Viking World Museum. There are plans afoot for a playground, the Vikings playground. This is certainly a great Iceland for kids attractions.
In conclusion, we found the Viking World Museum a great tourist attraction in Iceland. We have now added the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo Norway to our list of Viking sites to see. We spent around 2 hours at this awesome Viking museum. Activities in Iceland like this are very educational for kids and adults alike as it shows you history from where it actually happened. Don’t just visit the Blue Lagoon or see the Northern Lights visiting a Viking museum in Iceland is a must for the whole family We can see the Viking world museum growing into one of the top tourist attractions in Iceland in the coming years.
Getting to the Viking World Museum Keflavik from Reykjavik:
Car: 34 minutes and 43 kilometres via route 41 to Víkingabraut will get you to the Vikings world museum. We recommend that you hire a car while in Iceland it makes it much easier to do activities in Iceland. Our family visited Reykjavik in January so driving in Iceland in winter requires a little extra time as the roads may be icy. Don’t let driving in Iceland in winter scare you. As a person who had never driven in icy conditions before we found the roads to be excellent.
Bus: Bus is not an ideal way to visit the Viking museum Iceland. However, a bus departs Hlíðar (a stop in Reykjavik) every 4 hours and stops at Tjarnarhverfi 1.5km away from the Viking Museum.
Taxi: Totally out of anyone’s price range at around $200 each way.
Viking World Iceland museum opening hours
Between February 1st. – October 31st from 7:00am – 06:00pm everyday of the week.
Between November 1st. – January 31st from 10:00am – 05:00pm everyday of the week.
If you are desperate to visit Viking World and these times do not suit please email the museum to see if another time can be arranged.
Notice! The Viking World Iceland museum is closed to general admission from 12th of December – 7th of January.
Viking Museum Keflavik prices:
Adults ISK 1500
Students ISK 1300
Free admission for children under 14 accompanied by adults visiting the Viking World Museum.
Travel to Iceland
- Reykjavik is the capital city of Iceland. Keflavik International Airport is 50 kilometres from Reykjavik. 6.8 million people travelled through Keflavik airport in 2016,
- The main carriers at Keflavík are Icelandair and WOW air
- You can check the prices of international flights to Iceland with cheapOair. Domestic flights are operated out of Reykjavik city airport which is 2 km from the city
- The Airport Express return service between KEF airport and both Reykjavik and Akureyri is operated by Gray Line Iceland. Book your transfer HERE
- You can book an airport transfer with Suntransfers who we have personally used on many occasions.
- You can reserve a rental car and have it waiting for you at Keflavik International Airport.
- Find more travel to Iceland tips
Getting around Iceland and Reykjavik
- The city buses in Reykjavík are yellow. The Icelandic word for them is strætó, which is short for strætisvagn (streetcar). These buses are the only public transport in the city.
- The Reykjavik Hop on hop off bus is another excellent option for seeing the sites of the city and surrounding area. Check the current prices HERE
- The Reykjavik City Card entitles you to entry to some of Reykjavik’s major attractions and free public transport on the buses. More information is available here
Where to stay in Reykjavik when visiting Viking World Iceland
- Reykjavik has accommodation options for every budget from Hostels, to apartments and hotels rooms.
- You can search Airbnb for there Iceland offerings. If you have never used Airbnb before get yourself $50 credit by signing and booking a stay right HERE
- Hotels in Reykjavik generally start from around $209.00 a night for a double room 3 star and increase incrementally as the luxury rating rises towards the 5-star average price of $271.00.
- You can compare and book your stay on Hotels.com, Hotels Combined and Expedia
Let us help you plan your Iceland trip
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Money in Iceland
The official currency of Iceland is the Icelandic króna (ISK). The Icelandic krona comes in 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000 notes and 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 ISK coins . Most ATM’s are easy to find and have a common withdrawal limit of 1500-2000 Ringgit at a time. Icelanders usually pay for everything by credit or debit card.
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We hope Wyld Family Travel helps and inspires a visit to Iceland for you. Our Iceland page will provide more travel inspiration for your trip. Email us at mark.wyld@wyldfamilytravel if you have any questions.
About the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids. I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support .