Arbaer Open Air Museum
Arbaer Open Air Museum
4.5
Historic Walking AreasHistory Museums
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Árbær Open Air Museum - A day out of time Reykjavík's open-air museum, where you can stroll through the past and experience the way we lived. Fun, fascinating and full of surprises, this living museum takes you on a journey through time. Reykjavík's early history is preserved in a series of lovingly-restored homes, where you'll encounter costumed guides, grazing animals and traditional crafts. Exhibitions, demonstrations and tours reveal how Reykjavík came to life, from a few scattered farms to a vibrant capital city. JUNE - AUGUST Open daily 10 AM - 5 PM. SEPTEMBER - MAY Open daily 1 PM - 5 PM. Daily guided tours in English, all year round, at 1 PM - no booking necessary. No guided tours on Dec 25, Jan 1, Good Friday & Easter Sunday. Árbær Open Air Museum is part of Reykjavík City Museum: One museum in five unique places. Welcome!
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Juliet H
    Reading, United Kingdom410 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic museum
    This was a great find and worth making the effort to go out of the city on a local bus (which was included in our Reykjavik pass). The old Icelandic buildings were displayed in an interesting and informative way. I would definitely recommend.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 9 July 2023
  • Maggie M
    Mulwala, Australia187 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting insight into how Icelanders lived
    We enjoyed a couple of interesting hours at Arbaer, on a mild summer's day in Reykjavik. All the old reconstructed buildings have been moved to the site over about 50 years and provide a good overview of how the Icelanders lived in the past. Most of the buildings are set up as a snapshot in time, as if the family had just stepped out. This time period varies for the buildings, and there are good explanation boards. We loved the turf roofed farmhouse especially. It had a roofed tunnel into the barn area for the animals, necessary in the winter, I'm sure. Staff wearing old fashioned clothes wander around and can answer many questions. The cafe is set in one of the old buildings and had delicious cakes for sale. There is a small shop at the entrance to the site, as well as a lolly shop selling among other things yummy licorice. The site would be fun for families, there were a number of children while we were there and they appeared to be having fun with the provided toys and playground.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 August 2023
  • jwest
    Marlborough, Massachusetts121 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Favorite Attraction in Iceland
    One of our first stops in Reykjavik and the one we enjoyed the most in all of Iceland. Used the Reykjavik card (good deal) and got there around the time it opened and were able to join a tour. Our guide was great. Learned much about Iceland's history (it's very rich and intricate).
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 September 2023
  • Ian K
    Linlithgow, United Kingdom248 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful museum recreates how people in Reykjavik used to live
    This is my second favourite museum in the Reykjavik area after Perlan. Essentially the Reykjavik City Museum has created a village out of old houses from Reykjavik over a period of a few hundred years, moved out here. Nearly every building is accessible and they are laid out in their historical condition. In addition to some lovely houses with their time period furnishings and personal effects there is an old garage and a building devoted to the work of legendary Icelandic weaver Karólína Guðmundsdóttir, one of only two steam locomotives used in Iceland and one of the buildings is given over to a history of consumer consumption in Iceland. I spent a few pleasant hours here. There are several wc facilities but unfortunately the cafe was shut during my visit. The museum opens at 1300. If you don't have your own transport or if you don't want to pay the taxi fare I would suggest that you take buses 12 and 16. (Get off the 12 bus at the stop called Vogar then catch the 16- after 4 stops get off a the stop called Laxakvisl and walk east for about 5 minutes. On the way back you can get a bus back into town from the bus stop not far out in front of the museum. Entrance to this open air museum is free with the Reykjavik City Card,
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 6 October 2023
  • Ričards Edijs
    Latvia430 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An Excellent museum to understand how Icelanders lived
    Despite not having high expectations, the museum truly surprised me since many of the buildings were open and not only the facades but also the interior and everyday objects could be seen. Some of them I saw for the first time in my life! A very insightful and educative place to visit, in addition, some of the bigger buildings also have exhibitions about how everyday life changed for Icelanders throughout time.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 19 October 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles704 reviews
Excellent
465
Very good
200
Average
32
Poor
5
Terrible
2

Ričards Edijs
Latvia430 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
Despite not having high expectations, the museum truly surprised me since many of the buildings were open and not only the facades but also the interior and everyday objects could be seen. Some of them I saw for the first time in my life! A very insightful and educative place to visit, in addition, some of the bigger buildings also have exhibitions about how everyday life changed for Icelanders throughout time.
Written 19 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ian K
Linlithgow, UK248 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
This is my second favourite museum in the Reykjavik area after Perlan. Essentially the Reykjavik City Museum has created a village out of old houses from Reykjavik over a period of a few hundred years, moved out here. Nearly every building is accessible and they are laid out in their historical condition. In addition to some lovely houses with their time period furnishings and personal effects there is an old garage and a building devoted to the work of legendary Icelandic weaver Karólína Guðmundsdóttir, one of only two steam locomotives used in Iceland and one of the buildings is given over to a history of consumer consumption in Iceland. I spent a few pleasant hours here. There are several wc facilities but unfortunately the cafe was shut during my visit. The museum opens at 1300. If you don't have your own transport or if you don't want to pay the taxi fare I would suggest that you take buses 12 and 16. (Get off the 12 bus at the stop called Vogar then catch the 16- after 4 stops get off a the stop called Laxakvisl and walk east for about 5 minutes. On the way back you can get a bus back into town from the bus stop not far out in front of the museum. Entrance to this open air museum is free with the Reykjavik City Card,
Written 6 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dogberry1258
Guernsey, UK480 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
Lovely open air museum which gives you a real sense of how people lived through the ages, which was often pretty basic. Interesting too to see how quickly lifestyles caught up once communications, trade and travel were opened up.
Written 30 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jwest
Marlborough, MA121 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
One of our first stops in Reykjavik and the one we enjoyed the most in all of Iceland. Used the Reykjavik card (good deal) and got there around the time it opened and were able to join a tour. Our guide was great. Learned much about Iceland's history (it's very rich and intricate).
Written 8 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maggie M
Mulwala, Australia187 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
We enjoyed a couple of interesting hours at Arbaer, on a mild summer's day in Reykjavik. All the old reconstructed buildings have been moved to the site over about 50 years and provide a good overview of how the Icelanders lived in the past. Most of the buildings are set up as a snapshot in time, as if the family had just stepped out. This time period varies for the buildings, and there are good explanation boards. We loved the turf roofed farmhouse especially. It had a roofed tunnel into the barn area for the animals, necessary in the winter, I'm sure.
Staff wearing old fashioned clothes wander around and can answer many questions. The cafe is set in one of the old buildings and had delicious cakes for sale. There is a small shop at the entrance to the site, as well as a lolly shop selling among other things yummy licorice.
The site would be fun for families, there were a number of children while we were there and they appeared to be having fun with the provided toys and playground.
Written 26 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

R K
60 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
Nice open air museum with old buildings that had to be torn down and were exactly rebuilt at this spot.
Written 3 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LenaCKK
Manama, Bahrain97 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
Great outdoor museum detailing local life in the past…It’s a fun experience for children. There’s also an on-site cafe if you get hungry.
Written 30 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SeaMariner22
Seattle, WA252 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
I enjoyed my visit to the Arbaer Open Air Museum - the various restored buildings highlighted life and industry on Iceland starting in the late 1700s. Being open air, it would probably not be very pleasant for a winter time visit. The location is also away from many other attractions although we had no problem reaching in using the public bus system.
Written 26 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Juliet H
Reading, UK410 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
This was a great find and worth making the effort to go out of the city on a local bus (which was included in our Reykjavik pass). The old Icelandic buildings were displayed in an interesting and informative way. I would definitely recommend.
Written 9 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cliff N
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
Visit this place will give any one a good overview of the history of Reykjavik and how people lived.
Written 21 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Arbaer Open Air Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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