Apart from the legendary Blue Lagoon, the Viking World / Vikingheimar in Nardvik on Reykjanes is likely one of the most popular tourist attractions next to Keflavik Airport (KEF). Especially in summer, when the museum even drives some outdoor exhibits, many visitors of Iceland take that stop. I have been at the museum in fall 2022 and share my thoughts with you.
Viking World – Location & Admission
Viking World is located North of route 41, which is connecting the Reykjanes peninsula with the Reykjavik capital region. It is rather close to the airport. Bus 55 stops at route 41 at Tjanarhverfi and and requires an additional some one kilometer walk.
At the time of writing, the museum is opening daily, 10:00 to 16:00 hrs. with a one hour earlier closure on Sundays. Please note that opening times in Iceland typically shift significantly, depending on the season. I paid 1,500 ISK to enter the museum, which is roughly 11 Euro.
Viking World – The Museum
The website of the museum splits your visit into four sections, which I would roughly follow. In the the first part, you learn about the Vikings of the North Atlantic. There are a lot of items in display, some are replicas. Overall, this part is very illustrative and the documentation on the walls helps a lot to understand the details of the history of Viking life in the area. This part of the museum also merges into a focus on Viking settlements in Iceland, which the museum rather presents as a separate section.
Finally, the eye-catcher and the heart of the museum is The Icelander or Islendigur, though. In order to do experimental archaeology and proof that Vikings could travel these kinds of distances, Leifur Eiríksson steered this ship from Iceland to New York. You learn a lot about the mission and all the organization around it – but, of course, also about Viking shipbuilding craftsmanship. Together with the spectacular view and the building constructed for this purpose, the ship itself might already be worth the stop on the way to or from the airport. Part of the visit of the museum is, of course, also to be able to step foot on the original ship.
During my visit, there was very colorful, children-friendly exhibition about Icelandic sagas. I really loved it, due to the nice way of presentation and the nice overview of these traditional stories.
Viking World – Outdoor Area
As said, in the summer months, there are also outdoor exhibits. For example, you can visit traditional houses or enjoy the small zoo with typical Viking pets / livestock. There are also a few statues around the museum.
Viking World – Services
The museum drives a small souvenir store and a cafe. You may even have a coffee, a soup or a sweet delight underneath the ship, which is somehow cool, ain’t it? The staff was very friendly. There are quite some parking lots in front of the building.
Viking World – My View
You got a nice cafe, the original ship and quite some information about Viking life. I read in quite many review that this place is a bit too tiny to be a Viking World, I feel you get a good value for money (in Icelandic relations). Maybe not a must-visit, but I really loved staying some 60 to 90 minutes in the museum.
Postings about Reykjanes
Here are postings related to the Reykjanes peninsula in Southwest Iceland:
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