Last Updated on November 15, 2023 by Suzy
On our first visit to Iceland, we went to the neighbouring Skogafoss waterfall but we never visited the Skogar Museum. I decided we weren’t going to miss out this time so I added it to our itinerary. Skogar Museum is located in southern Iceland. It is around 2 hours from the centre of Reykjavik and there is plenty to do in the area so you can make a day of it. Our visit to the museum, including a drink and cake in the cafe, took 2 hours so you will have plenty of time to do other things including visiting the waterfall. More on that at the end of this post.
There is an admission fee to the museum and there is a large free car park right next to it. It is made up of three museums, the Open Air Museum, the Technical Museum and the Folk Museum. Booking for our day of visit wasn’t available online but that didn’t matter as walk-ins are permitted. For Iceland, the entrance fee isn’t too expensive either. It costs around £14 for an adult and children under 12 are free. Ages 12-17 cost around £8.50. The museum is open 362 days a year.
The Technical Museum at Skogar
It was a bitterly cold and windy day so we started our visit in the Technical Museum. This is a huge and relatively new exhibition hall and best of all it was heated. The cafe is located in this building which is rather a quaint little area with posh tea cups, china plates and delicious food.
The museum shows you the history and evolution of transport, communication and technology in Iceland in the 19th and 20th centuries. We visited as three generations and we all found it really interesting. There were so many displays and all so different to the ones we are used to. I’ve never seen so many mobile phones and there are some really interesting vehicles on display.
Some of the displays have do not touch signs but plenty you can touch and play with. Some of the phones even have a dialling tone.
My son found the mannequins particularly entertaining. There are quite a few dotted around and some have inked on beards which was a little odd but rather funny. It is honestly one of the most interesting museums I’ve visited in recent months.
Open Air Museum Skogar
Now we’d warmed back up again it was time to head back out in the cold. Luckily it had warmed up outside a little so we weren’t too cold looking around the historical houses. Plus some of the houses are turf houses which were traditionally built to maintain warmth. Around the site are examples of many periods of Icelandic architectural history. We could go inside all the buildings except the church. I’d have liked to have seen inside the church as it looks really interesting from the photos I have seen.
It was really interesting exploring the houses. They had all been decorated internally in keeping with the period of time when they would have been in use. It’s amazing the rooms they used to live in. Just about all buildings featured somewhere for the animals as historically these were often kept indoors to help keep the occupants of the house warm. There is often a communal room where the household slept, ate and worked. In some of the houses, there was the luxury of a separate bedroom up some steep and narrow stairs. We all loved exploring and looking around. Time really has stood still here.
There is also a schoolhouse that was typical of Icelandic country schools in the early 20th century. At the highest point on the site is a wooden house that was built at Golt in 1898. These buildings have all been moved from their original locations and preserved for us to see today.
There is also a turf farm that has buildings similar to the nearby Keldur. The houses have been set up as they would have looked when they were in use. It was all very interesting and lovely to see how Icelandic people once lived. I do believe some people still live in turf houses today.
Folk Museum at Skogar
It was now time to visit the Folk Museum. This has three floors full of historical artefacts relating to the history of Iceland. There is a room that celebrates the history of the Fisheries which includes the centrepiece of an eight-oared fishing boat which was built in 1855 and was in use until 1946.
There is also an agricultural section with old tools plus handicrafts and natural history.
When you visit Skogar Museum make sure you also visit Skogafoss waterfall which is an impressive 60 metres in height. This is just a couple of minutes’ drive away. We visited first thing around 10 am and it was so much quieter than later on in the day. It is free to visit and free to park at. The waterfall is just a short walk from the car park. To the right of the waterfall is a set of stairs going to the top where there is a platform looking down on the falls. I took the photo below at 10 am. There were other people around but I got lucky and managed a couple of photos with no one in them.
Looking for other days out inspiration in Iceland with Kids? We have a number of great ideas.
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Please check out this post for other ideas in the area – South Iceland Top Points of Interest | One Day Itinerary