What do Icelandic people do if there is a public toilet in the heart of their capital, which they don’t have proper use for? I am sure your first guess was right: turning it into a museum. That’s (somehow) the story of the Icelandic Punk Museum – definitely one of the weirdest places you can visit in Reykjavik (and, hey, it is even in short walking distance to the Icelandic Phallus Museum…). During my October 2021 trip, I just had to take the stairs down to the most magical loo in Iceland.
Icelandic Punk Museum – Location & Admission
The Icelandic Punk Museum is located in a former public toilet in the heart of Reykjavik, close to the road crossing of Bankastraeti and Laekjargata streets. The Reykjavik Hard Rock Cafe is right across the road and there are a couple of other sights like the Phallus Museum mentioned in close walking distance. If you travel through the Icelandic city by local transport, the Laekjartorg bus stops are almost in front of the museum and serve several lines. There is a quite nice parking garage, Kalkofnsvegur a few minutes walk away.
The museum is opening daily from noon to 18:00 at the time of writing. As far as I know, the museum did have longer / later opening times in the past. The adult entry is 1000 ISK.
Icelandic Punk Museum – The Visit
After you step down the stairs, you head right into the host. From there, you do round trip through the small location. The aisles are rather narrow, but the host has really done excellent work. It feels like every piece of wall is used for information – either memorabilia, posters, newspaper and magazine articles or pictures. In addition, there are a not of snippets with a few lines of information about a certain point in time or a band or an event. All information is given in Icelandic (black font) and English (red font). The place being a former toilet leads to an amazing and unique atmosphere.
While the (former) urinals are blocked, it feels like the former toilet can still be used – I did not try. Would have been quite a mess if you doing big business is preventing other visitors to see a very interesting part of the museum’s coverage (including some interesting scenes from a video screen). Finally, you head into a room in which multiple headphones are hanging down from the ceiling. Apart from a lot of additional items, they give you the opportunity to listen to Icelandic music. Depending on how intense you study all the snippets with information and the items in exhibit, your visit may be
Icelandic Punk Museum – Service
The cashier is not only the reception desk and a small souvenir shop with shirts, stickers and some compilation CDs. The owner is a really friendly guy – it is absolutely fun to chat with him about music.
Icelandic Punk Museum – My View
The Icelandic Punk Museum is not the best museum in Iceland, for sure. However, it is driven with a lot of love and it creates memories. Even if you forgot about all the different bands already you learn about when visiting the museum, you will keep the museum itself in mind. You will your friends about it and you will likely also remember the wonderful host who is driving the musem. These are the key reason which make me think you should visit the Icelandic Punk Museum while in Reykjavik, for sure.
These are all articles, in which I dealt with events and places influencing musical history: