So, you finally checked one off the bucket list and arrived in Iceland. Velkomin! But what now? Reykjavík is bustling with activities, from steamy swimming pools to world-renowned galleries to more historical sites than you can name. And the city’s diversity has only increased with the development of tourism—now you’ll find ambitious arthouse theatre in English and interactive tech museums dotting the streets. For those looking to get out of the capital, it’s surrounded by gorgeous hiking, plentiful picnic spots, and more. So what’s one to do to fully take advantage of the city? Presenting: the 2020 Grapevine Best Of Reykjavík Activities awards. Hey—when in Reykjavík, listen to the Reykjavíkingur.
Best Art Museum
Flókagata 24, 105 Reykjavík
Kjarvalsstaðir was the first art museum in Iceland built specifically as a visual art showroom. The house is an homage to the iconic Icelandic artist, Jóhannes S. Kjarval—hence the name—and in fact, one can still find his art adorning the walls. This year, the museum showcased itself in standout fashion, with a hot streak of historical explorations of creative stalwarts like Ólöf Nordal and William Morris. One must also applaud their iconic architecture. On top of that, it’s also home to one of Reykjavík’s finest and most underrated coffeehouses.
Grandagarður 20, 101 Reykjavík
Since 1978, over 2,000 artists have been connected to Nýló in one way or the other. Founded by the legendary Icelandic 70s art group SÚM, the sole purpose of the museums is to open up discussions on experimental and progressive art. Basically, if you want to experience the radical art scene in Iceland, whet your palette at NÝLÓ.
Hamraborg 4, 200 Kópavogi
Gerðarsafn is one of those hidden gems outside of Reykjavík. Located in Kópavogur, the museum offers a fresh take on Icelandic art, and also gives people an opportunity to meet and listen to their artists in their fantastic artist talks. It also has a coffee shop and a delightful garden.
2019: Reykjavík Art Museum
2018: The Marshall House
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