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Museums in Reykjavik

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Iceland
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Arbaer Open Air Museum
Reykjavik'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.
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National Museum of Iceland
Whether your visit to Iceland is for business or pleasure, making time for a trip to the National Museum will leave you fully enlightened about the making of the Icelandic nation and its history. The museum offers a variety of fascinating exhibitions and one permanent display illustrating lavishly the story of Iceland’s past, from the medieval days of Viking settlements to current contemporary culture. The main exhibition has over 2,000 artefacts discovered in various parts of the country. In pride of place amongst the museum’s many treasures is the Valthjófsstadur door, featuring elaborate medieval engravings depicting scenes from the legendary 12th century knight’s tale Le Chevalier au Lion.
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Perlan Museum
Perlan Museum - Wonders of Iceland is one of the largest and most ambitious exhibition project in Reykjavík in recent years. The museum is situated in one of Reykjavík's most impressive buildings, Perlan, and will be a must-visit for any tourist - not only for the world-class museum, but also for its amazing panoramic views of Reykjavík, great architecture and excellent restaurant, café and gift shop.
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Tales from Iceland
Tales from Iceland Video Museum introduce a numerous short but very informative cinematic features about a multitude of Icelandic topics. Iceland’s musicians, fisherman, landscape, history, recent events and many other topics all get their due share. We have created something unique that will enlighten and delight you, your family and your group. Each feature lasts 3 - 4 minutes and covers one topic. All features have matching show times, so you have about twenty seconds to walk to another cinema screen with another fascinating topic. There is no distinct order and you will spend about one and a half hour watching all the movies. The museum occupies two floors in a house called Austurbær which is located downtown Reykjavík.
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Skriduklaustur
Skriðuklaustur is an ancient manor estate in Fljótsdalur. From 1493 - 1552 a monastery operated there. In the years 2002 - 2012 an extensive archaeological excavation took place on the cloister ruins which are now open to visitors. The writer Gunnar Gunnarsson (1889 - 1975) bought Skriðklaustur in 1939 and built a large house there designed by the German architect Fritz Höger. The writer moved to Reykjavík in 1948 and donated Skriðuklaustur to the Icelandic nation. In 2000 the institute of Gunnar Gunnarsson resumed operation in Skriðuklaustur as a centre of culture and history. In the summertime, Skriðuklaustur comes alive with various exhibitions, cultural happenings and guided tours for visitors around the writer's house and the archaeological site.
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East Iceland Heritage Museum
The East is the only part of Iceland where you will find wild reindeer. They contribute to the unique nature and are strongly connected to the region’s history and culture. The focus of the exhibition is on the reindeer's nature, characteristics and survival, as well as reindeer hunting and how reindeer products have been used in fashion design and handcraft. On display are items from the historical old rural community of East Iceland that lasted until the mid-20th century. Some items relate their practical roles in everyday life, while others bear witness to the fact that life was not only about basic survival but also about creating beautiful things for decoration and pleasure.
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Hugh Miller Museum & Birthplace Cottage
Cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. Discover the story of one of Scotland’s most important 19th-century figures in this fascinating interactive museum. A fossil hunter, folklorist, Christian, stonemason, geologist, newspaper editor and social justice campaigner, Hugh Miller left a huge legacy of knowledge in his works.
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Highland Aviation Museum
Exhibits from complete aircraft to nose sections, the Museum’s unique attraction is that visitors can climb in many of the cockpits. This is a rare experience, from the cramped cockpit of the Lightning, a jet-fighter capable of twice the speed of sound, to the spacious 54ft front section of Nimrod the submarine hunter
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The Highlanders Museum
The Highlanders' Museum is home to the largest number of military artefacts outside London. The Museum tells the story of the Highland Regiments from just after the Battle of Culloden up to the present day. The Museum is based within Fort George which is still a working military barracks and is currently home to 3 SCOTS. During the Summer months, the Museum offers guided tours to our visitors in order to maximize their experience. We also host a number of school and university trips at the Museum with a number of activities available including workshops, tours and Museum trails. Visitors can also enjoy a bit of dolphin spotting or bird watching from the ramparts of the Fort.
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The Museum of Islay Life
The Islay Museums Trust was formed in 1976 by the Islay Historic Works Group and the Natural History and Antiquarian Society of Islay. A Management Committee was formed of Trustees resident on the island and other interested islanders. The Museum building, the former Free Church of Port Charlotte, was purchased for a nominal sum in the same year and work was started on converting what was a dilapidated ruin. The aims of the Museum: To hold in trust collections reflecting the history of the island of Islay, for the advancement of the education of the general public, and to maintain and enhance those collections. The Museum holds around 2,000 objects over a wide range of subject areas. The Museum has developed a policy for the display of the collection, allowing the rotation of existing items in and out of storage, as well as providing space for short term displays linked to a particular theme, for example, the shipwrecks, the wee museum of childhood and Islay House upstairs and downstairs.
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Gordon Highlanders Museum
The Gordon Highlanders Museum is a ‘5-star Visit Scotland’ Tourist Attraction based in the west end of Aberdeen. It is committed to preserving and sharing the legacy of the world-famous Gordon Highlanders Regiment for future generations to enjoy, providing a wide range of unique experiences for all visitors, young and old. 2019 saw the opening of a fantastic new WW1 replica Trench exhibition which gives visitors the opportunity to wander through and explore what it might have been like for the soldiers serving in the trenches of World War 1. Within the Museum they operate a Tea room, gift shop and have excellent conference and hospitality facilities as well as being able to offer beautiful memorial gardens to their visitors. The building is a grade 2 listed building and was the former home of Sir George Reid the eminent North East Artist and President of the Royal Scottish Academy of Art.
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Aberdeen Arts Centre
Aberdeen Arts Centre is an inclusive community arts venue which provides facilities and opportunities for groups and individuals of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to perform, learn about and engage in performing arts. The venue includes a 350-seater auditorium, state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment, as well as rehearsal and workshop space, a café bar and gallery space.
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Tolbooth Museum
The Tolbooth Museum is one of Aberdeen's oldest buildings and one of the best-preserved 17th century gaols in Scotland. It features displays on local history and the development of crime and punishment through the centuries. The Tolbooth Museum provides a unique experience in the form of its atmospheric 17th and 18th century cells, original doors and barred windows. Displays include the Maiden and the blade of Aberdeen's 17th century guillotine.
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Aberdeen Maritime Museum
Aberdeen Maritime Museum tells the story of the city's long relationship with the Sea. This award-winning museum is located on the historic Shiprow and incorporates Provost Ross's House, which was built in 1593.
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Riverside Museum
Riverside Museum is Glasgow's award-winning transport museum. With over 3,000 objects on display there's everything from skateboards to locomotives, paintings to prams and cars to a Stormtrooper. Get hands on with our interactive displays. Walk through Glasgow streets and visit the shops, bar and subway. Climb aboard a train, tram or bus and get a real feel for old public transport. Discover Glasgow's rich shipbuilding history, explore the car and motorbike walls and help put out a fire with our interactive fire engine. There are over 90 large touch screens panels full of images, memories and films that tell the fascinating stories behind the objects. There really is something for all ages to enjoy at the Riverside Museum.
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Glasgow Museums
The City of Glasgow owns one of the richest collections in Europe, displayed in 8* museums and galleries across the city. From paintings by Degas and Cezanne to Sir Roger the Elephant, Charles Rennie Mackintosh furniture to a real Spitfire, fabulous arms and armour to cutting edge contemporary art, Glasgow Museums have objects and exhibits to fire your imagination.
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Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum
Kelvingrove Museum opened in 1901 and is a firm favourite with local people and visitors. It has stunning architecture and a family friendly atmosphere. xplore our 22 galleries and discover everything from art to animals, Ancient Egypt to Charles Rennie Mackintosh and so much more. We also have a changing programme of temporary exhibitions and displays. Enjoy an organ recital, a free tour or at weekends and holidays take part in one of our family activities. If you only have one day in Glasgow, Kelvingrove is a must see!
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Scotland's Jute Museum
Scotland's Jute Museum (Verdant Works) is a tale of two cities, both of them Dundee. “If it wasnae for the weavers where would we be? We'd be in the poor house or infirmary.” For thousands in the 19th century, Dundee was a city of long working hours, poor pay and ill health. For the privileged few it was a city of opportunity and wealth. At Scotland's Jute Museum (Verdant Works) the rattle and the roar of the original restored machinery, the Juteopolis film show and computer display transport you back over 100 years to an era when jute was king and Dundee was its realm. Absorb the sights, sounds and smells; sense the earth tremble as the original machines roar into life. Hear the workers' tales as they confide their secrets and tell you of their hopes and dreams. With a stunning range of displays including film shows, multimedia computers and hands-on interactives, it's a great fun day out for all the family.
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People's Palace
The People’s Palace is set in historic Glasgow Green. It is home to a collection of objects, photographs, prints and film which give a unique view into how Glaswegians lived, worked and played in years gone by to the present day.
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The McManus - Dundees Art Gallery & Museum
The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum, an award-winning Victorian, Gothic building, is home to Dundee's main collection spanning 400 million years and has been at the heart of art and culture in the City since 1867.
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Dundee Museum of Transport
Welcome to Dundee Museum of Transport, Dundee's latest addition to Scotland's city of culture. We are currently in our temporary premises at Market Mews so why not pop down for a visit!? For some considerable time, a number of independent groups and individuals have been quietly acquiring and preserving our local transport heritage. In February 2010 representatives from several local groups met with a view to establishing Dundee Museum of Transport (DMofT) and, on 2 June 2010, we were granted charitable status. On Saturday 26 April 2014 Dundee Museum of Transport opened to the public for the very first time to showcase the previously hidden transport heritage of Tayside and beyond and is currently based in temporary premises at Market Mews, Dundee.
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Broughty Castle Museum
Discover the people, environment, history and wildlife of Broughty Ferry in this amazing 15th-century coastal fort, which houses a fascinating museum. Enjoy stunning views of Broughty Beach and the Tay estuary. Entry is free. This 15th-century coastal fort has faced many battles and sieges and was rebuilt in the 19th century as part of the River Tay's coastal defence system. It now houses a fascinating museum featuring displays on the life and times of Broughty Ferry, its people, the environment and the wildlife that lives close by. In 2019, the Castle celebrates its 50th anniversary as a museum! Don't miss the Orchar Gallery, featuring a selection of paintings from the amazing Orchar Collection. Enjoy the spectacular views over the River Tay from the observation post. You may even be able to spot a dolphin or two.
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Surgeons
If you are fascinated by the wonders of the human body, this museum is a must-visit. Owned by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Surgeons' Hall Museums consist of the Wohl Pathology Museum, the History of Surgery Museum and The Dental Collection. The museums reopened in 2015 after an extensive refurbishment, making the collections more engaging and accessible than ever before.
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National Museum of Scotland
Our diverse collections will take you on a journey of discovery through the history of Scotland and around the world, taking in the wonders of nature, art, design and fashion and science and technology – all under one roof.
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Museum of Edinburgh
Discover Edinburgh’s fascinating history through the Museum of Edinburgh’s wide and varied collections. In exploring the Museum’s maze of 16th-century buildings, you will see iconic items, beautiful objects and learn fascinating facts and gruesome tales. This free museum is easy to locate on the historic Royal Mile, with our companion Museum The People’s Story directly across the road. With a wide range of stories and objects, this museum has something for young and old, locals and visitors. In addition to the permanent collections, there is a regular programme of special exhibitions hosted at the museum.
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Crumlin Road Gaol
The Crumlin Road Gaol is a 19th century Grade A listed jail, open to the public for tours, concerts and events. Take a tour to experience all aspects of the Gaol from the tunnel linking the courthouse on the other side of the Crumlin Road to the hanging cell, Governor's office, hospital and graveyard. Crumlin Road Gaol first opened its gates to prisoners in 1846 and for 150 years was a fully operational prison. On March 31, 1996, the Governor of Belfast's Crumlin Road Gaol walked out of the fortified prison and the heavy air-lock gates slammed shut for the final time. During those 150 years, the Gaol has housed murderers, suffragettes and loyalist and republican prisoners. It has witnessed births, deaths and marriages and has been the home to executions, escapes, hunger-strikes and riots.
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Ulster Folk & Transport Museum
Explore thatched cottages, farms, schools and shops as you experience life from over 100 years ago. Set in over 170 acres of rolling countryside overlooking Belfast Lough, chat to a costumed visitor guide, admire traditional crafts and meet farm animals.
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Titanic Belfast
Titanic Belfast is the world's largest Titanic visitor experience and a must-see on any visit to Belfast and Northern Ireland. Titanic Belfast, named the World's Leading Tourist Attraction at the prestigious World Travel Awards in 2016, is located beside the Titanic Slipways, the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and Hamilton Graving Dock, the very place where Titanic was designed, built and launched in 1912. Titanic Belfast tells the story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to its maiden voyage and subsequent place in history. The self-guided Titanic Experience extends over nine interpretive and interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her.
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W5
W5 is Belfast’s award-winning science and discovery centre and provides a unique experience as well as fantastic fun for visitors of all ages. Visitors can immerse themselves in W5’s new technological space ‘AMAZE’, scale the heights on the multi-storey climbing structure ‘Climbit’, meet W5’s humanoid robot ‘Robothespian, plus so much more. In addition to permanent exhibits, W5 also presents a changing programme of temporary exhibitions and events. Visitors can also enjoy a daily programme of live science demonstrations and shows throughout the day. W5’s seasonal events are FREE with admission and tickets are valid all day.
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Ulster Museum
Come face to face with dinosaurs, meet an ancient Egyptian mummy and see modern masterpieces with a visit to the Ulster Museum. As Northern Ireland's treasure house of the past and the present, the Ulster Museum is home to a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences and is free to all visitors. The museum tells the story of the people of the north of Ireland from earliest times to the present day. Impressive galleries and interactive discovery zones bring history, science and art collections to life for visitors of all ages. Enjoy a bite to eat in the cafe, then get face to face with dinosaurs and up close Takabuti, the famous ancient Egyptian mummy, who experts believe suffered a violent death by a knife attack. Learn about who she was and how she came to arrive in Belfast in 1834. The Ulster Museum is part of National Museums Northern Ireland, which also includes the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Ulster American Folk Park, the W5 Science Centre and Armagh County Museum. And best of all, admission is free.
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Mount Stewart House
Mount Stewart, located on the shores of Strangford Lough in County Down, is Northern Ireland’s much-loved family home. Following a three year £8 million restoration programme, this 19th- century house has been significantly transformed, making it a must-see attraction on the island of Ireland. Voted as one of the top ten gardens in the world, Mount Stewart reflects a rich tapestry of design and planting artistry bearing the hallmark of its creator. Edith, Lady Londonderry’s passion for bold planting schemes coupled with the mild climate of Strangford Lough allows rare and tender plants from across the globe to thrive in this celebrated garden. Each of the formal gardens exudes a distinct character and appeal. Mount Stewart is a delight for the senses with a series of formal themed garden compartments around the house including The Italian, Spanish, Mairi and Shamrock Garden.
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Troldhaugen Home of composer Edvard Grieg
Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen was the home of composer Edvard Grieg for 22 years. He composed many of his best-known works in the little garden hut.
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Cumbria's Museum of Military Life
Cumbria‘s Museum of Military Life is Carlisle’s newest visitor attraction, telling the 300-year story of Cumbria’s County Infantry Regiment and its soldiers past and present. Get closer to history, with a huge variety of items including uniforms, medals, weapons and silver as well as interactive displays and dioramas. This new state of the art exhibition features a First World War trench environment, immersive audio/visual displays and an interactive trail for young people. The Museum is located right in the heart of historic Carlisle Castle and joint tickets are available from English Heritage.
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Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery
Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery is in the heart of Carlisle's historic quarter, and there is no better place to begin exploring the city's fascinating past.
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Malahide Castle
Malahide Castle, set on 250 acres of park land in the pretty seaside town of Malahide,w as both a fortress and a private home for nearly 800 years and is an interesting mix of architectural styles. The Talbot family lived here from 1185 to 1973, when the last Talbot died. The house is furnished with beautiful period furniture together with an extensive collection of Irish portrait paintings, mainly from the National Gallery. The history of the Talbot family is recorded in the Great Hall, where portraits of generations of the family tell their own story of Ireland's stormy history. Many additions and alterations have been made to this romantic and beautiful structure, but the contours of the surrounding parklands have changed little in 800 years, retaining a sense of the past. A major feature of Malahide Castle Demesne is the beautiful Talbot Botanic Gardens. The gardens, as they exist today, were largely created by Lord Milo Talbot between 1948 and 1973.
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Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 as the new County Gaol for Dublin. It closed its doors in 1924. Today the building symbolises the tradition of militant and constitutional nationalism from the rebellion of 1798 to the Irish Civil War of 1922-23. Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848,1867 and 1916 were detained and in some cases executed here. Many members of the Irish Republican movement during the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21) were also detained in Kilmainham Gaol, guarded by British troops. Names such as Henry Joy McCracken, Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin, Charles Stewart Parnell and the leaders of 1916 will always be associated with the building. It should not be forgotten however that, as a county gaol, Kilmainham held thousands of ordinary men, women and children. Their crimes ranged from petty offences such as stealing food to more serious crimes such as murder or rape. Convicts from many parts of Ireland were held here for long periods waiting to be transported to Australia. Kilmainham Gaol Museum is operated and managed by the Office of Public Works.
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National Museum of Ireland-Decorative Arts & History
Collins Barracks in Dublin City could be said to be the National Museum of Ireland's largest artefact, having had a unique history all of its own in another life.