Reykjavík is a relatively small city, but even so, sometimes you need a bit of local advice to find what you’re looking for, whether it’s a good people-watching spot, somewhere to see some contemporary art, or the best place to catch an Icelandic movie. Don’t worry, friends—we’ve got you covered via our Best of Reykjavík 2016 series. Here are some of our favourite spots in Reykjavík, for all kinds of super-fun days and nights out. Enjoy! And if you try our list, you can let us know what you thought of the selections via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Art Museum
The Reykjavík Art Museum has three locations: the beautifully designed Ásmundursafn sculpture garden and museum, the rotating collection of paintings and contemporary shows at Kjarvalstaðir, and Hafnarhúsið, which is Iceland’s largest contemporary art institution—think Tate Reykjavík. Each has it’s own character, but if you only have time for one, Hafnarhúsið is right in the heart of downtown, and often has three or more exhibitions running concurrently, so you’re bound to find something you like. There’s a great cafe and book shop, too.
Runner-up: Einar Jónsson Museum
This sculpture museum is right by Hallgrímskirkja, enclosed in a beautiful walled, garden. You can take in the dramatic figurative works of Einar Jónsson at your own pace. The main building houses more of his oeuvre. “He also lived there,” said the panel, “and you can visit his apartment, preserved just as it was back then.”
Runner Up: National Gallery of Iceland
This warren-like space holds a large collection of Icelandic paintings in its lofty halls, also offering a regular programme of contemporary exhibitions on the ground floor and basement. For those on foot, it’s conveniently located right downtown, on the street by Tjörnin.
2015: Reykjavík Art Museum
2014: Reykjavík Art Museum
2013: Reykjavík Art Museum
2012: Reykjavík Art Museum
2011: Einar Jónsson Museum
Read more of our Best of 2016 lists here.
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