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“Almost a "skanzen"”

Arbaer Open Air Museum
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US$60.59*
and up
Private Sightseeing Tour in Reykjavik
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US$61.81*
and up
Reykjavik City Sightseeing by Minibus
Ranked #13 of 183 things to do in Reykjavik
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Arbær was an established farm well into the 20th century, and the museum opened there in 1957. Arbærjarsafn is now an open air museum with more than 20 buildings which form a town square, a village and a farm. Most of the buildings have been relocated from central Reykjavik. Arbær Open-Air Museum tries to give a sense of the architecture and way of life and lifestyles of the past in Reykjavik and during summer visitors can see domestic animals. There are many exhibitions and events held at the Museum which highlight specific periods in Reykjavik's history. These include craft days, vintage car displays, Christmas programs and much more. There is something for everyone at Arbær Open Air Museum. The Museum is open from 10 am 5 pm. every day of the week in June, July and August. During the winter season visits are only by guided tour at 1 pm otherwise the houses are closed. Groups can visit the museum by appointment throughout the year. However, the museum is open three Sundays before Christmas from 1 pm - 5 pm.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Not quite a living village like in many other countries, but costumed docents are around some of the buildings. There are both rural and urban buildings, the latter salvaged from destruction in old Reykjavik. Apparently some Icelanders think the urban structures set in a village setting is misleading, but the range of buildings and the clever use of them to house museum-type displays is welcome to a visitor. Nice cafe with limited menu and a gift shop. Try the flatbread with smoked lamb, but the twisted donuts are unexpectedly lacking enough sweetness.

Thank Ritzarov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (479)
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318 - 322 of 479 reviews

Reviewed 29 August 2013

Stopped here as part of a tour of the south of Iceland. It is a great little museum which shows so much of Icelandic life and its difficulties over the last few hundred years. The indoor museum part was cramed full of all sorts of artifacts from olden time up modern mobile phones. Outside the traditional grass roofed houses gave a good insight on living conditions in the past.

The is a nice little cafe and gift shop attached to the museum.

2  Thank Aido03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2013

This was very interesting with old houses furnished as they would have been.
There was also a free guided tour in the afternoon,most informative.
Staff friendly and helpful.

Thank Chesswidow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2013 via mobile

We went for the regularly scheduled your (free with admission) and were the only ones attending. We explored the entire site and learned a lot about the life of early Iceladers. Lots of hands-on activities. Really fun!

Thank ReneeC08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2013

Fans of traditional architecture will enjoy this small open air museum. Poke around in a turf house, an old farm house and several fancy city houses. Free tours are available too. Be sure to stop for coffee and pancakes in the small cafe.

Thank rat_race_escapee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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