In our humble opinion, the most fun museum in all of Iceland is Árbær Open Air Museum. Read on to find out what to expect from a visit to this folk museum.

See also: Top 11 Museums in Iceland

 A sample of the Iceland of yore is right within Reykjavík city limits. Árbær (English: River Farm) is the name of the old farm which stood where the museum is now nestled. Árbær is still the name used for the surrounding neighbourhood.


Árbæjarsafn in the summer. Photo: Árbær Open Air Museum facebook.

In addition to the old farm house of Árbær the museum has gathered old houses from around Iceland to preserve them. Today, the collection is quite impressive and there is something to look at for everyone’s taste.

From an old mechanic’s shop, to an old sweet shop, an old goldsmith’s workshop, an old church, an old printing press, old turf houses and an interactive exhibition of old toys… you get it, everything is old. Despite the age, the houses you can visit are all well preserved, plus they’re really cute. 


One of the many adorable houses. Photo: Emma Stevenson.

See also: What to do with young kids in Reykjavík 

Árbær Open Air Museum is the perfect place to bring kids when on holiday in Iceland. They can run around and learn about history through an immersive experience.

Árbæjarsafn Museum is a particular delight to visit in summer, when the museum comes to life. In the summer the staff roam around the grounds in old timey clothes and do crafts. A charming way for history to come to life. And the up and running sweet shop is not to be missed.


Old time-y sweet treats for sale. Photo: Árbær Open Air Museum facebook.

The summer opening hours – in June, July and August – are from 10:00-17:00.

The museum is also well worth a visit in the off season. In the colder months – September till May – the museum is open every day from 13:00-17:00. Except 25th of December and 1st of January. Just remember to wrap up warm.


Icelandic horses live at the museum. Photo: Árbær Open Air Museum facebook.

There is a guided tour in English daily at 13:00. No need to book, just turn up with a thirst for historical knowledge. Special guided tours for groups of over 10 people are available by appointment.

Roaming around the museum by yourself is also lovely, the signage tells you the history.

The museum is reasonably priced, a ticket for adults is 1.700 ISK, similar to the price of cinema tickets in Iceland. Children, elderly and disabled get in for free! Student discounts are available and the museum is a part of the Reykjavík City Card. 

See also: Reykjavík City Card 48 Hours