The Settlement Exhibition Reykjavik (sometimes also with an added ± 871) gives you an insight of the 10th century settlement. Some walls are even older and date of the 9th century. The museum is one of the classic visits in the Icelandic capital, driven by the Reykjavik City Museum. Thus, before you do your trip to the interesting island, I felt to give you my thoughts.
The Settlement Exhibition – Location & Admission
The museum is located in very central Reykjavik, a bit of South of the pedestrian area. This also leads to a slight chance to grab a parking lot in case you travel by car. The Radhusid / City Hall bus stop is just a short walk away as well. Practically all key Central Reykjavik attractions are in convenient walking distance.
The Settlement Exhibition is opening daily from 10:00 to 17:00 hrs. There are just a few closure days. At my time of visit, the admission was some 1,700 ISK – they upgraded it to 1,950 ISK (14 EUR) in the 2022 season. Your visit is included in the Reykjavik City Card.
The Settlement Exhibition – The Visit
During your visit, you more or less walk once around the excavation side. Thereby, I would split your time at The Settlement Exhibition Reykjavik in two parts: the inner part is the excavation site as well. Here and there, it also allows to highlight certain parts of the former settlement by pressing a button. This is then causing the respective area to be illuminated. Overall, it is nicely done, but rather an experience for history and archaeology buffs. You just see the basic structures, which is naturally not too illustrative.
The key information you finally receive at The Settlement Exhibition is located on the outside of the “ring” you walk along. There are a lot of showcases with original findings and nice video illustrations to explain how people lived in these days. It is really nicely done. If you take the intended route (anti-clockwise), one of the last items you pass is also a scale model of the building, which helps a lot to imagine how the structures have been used. You may, of course, surround the excavation site as often as you like. During the two visits I had so far, I did the museum in one round, which will take you some 30 to 45 minutes.
The Settlement Exhibition – Services
The museum also features a gift store with typical (nice and useless) Icelandic souvenirs.
The Settlement Exhibition – My View
First of all, the place is of course majorly a temple for history lovers. You finally walk around an excavation site. Either this causes some great emotions – or you are rather bored. You simply cannot do anything against it. The outer ring, however, is really nicely done. The “boring” stones in the middle being much more imaginable especially by the video sequences. In contrast to many travel guides, I would not see the place as a must-visit. But it is good, without a doubt.
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Ships & Water Travel
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