Perlan Museum: A journey through Icelandic Nature

Perlan Museum in Reykjavik Iceland

I came to the Perlan Museum as part of a tour with G Adventures. We had originally planned to visit the Lava Caves but the weather had other plans for us,  and with the roads out of Reykjavik blocked by snow our tour guide Francious thought of his feet and took us here instead, and he could not have made a better choice.

I found the Perlan Museum to be stunning. I explored each floor, each dedicated to a different part of Icelandic nature. At the top is a cafe offering some of the most beautiful views of Reykjavik. I was trapped here because of a snowstorm, and I could not think of a better place to be snowed in. We learned about the volcanoes and lava, the wildlife that called Iceland it’s home, and its rich history and colonisation. 

Perlan Museum Volcano Exhibit in Reykjavik Iceland

Sitting under the Northern Lights

When you enter the first exhibit is the planetarium. For many this will be your first introduction to the Northern Lights, as you sit there watching them dance above your head it’s fascinating to learn about the history and beliefs that have formed around them. It’s a short show, but one that has been the recipient of multiple awards. I honestly believe this was the best first experience I could have had in Iceland, just laying back in that chair watching the show and learning about the history and beauty of the Northern Lights, and praying I would be lucky enough to see them myself over the next week. Disappointedly, I wasn’t allowed to take photos or videos here but it’s understandable. However, I did reach out to the Perlan Museum and they were more than happy to provide a trailer for the exhibit as you can see below.

I loved how interactive the exhibits were, there were touch screens to play with, and video rooms to sit in and watch. One exhibit that really stood out was the virtual reality seabirds where you get a binocular-shaped lens to look through and see different birds interacting in the wild. Whereas others taught you about lava and volcanos, and why this country is known as the land of ice and fire.

Perlan Museum Northern Lights Planeterium Exhibit

Exploring ice caves in the Perlan Museum

However, the real highlight of the Perlan museum has to be the artificial ice caves they have created. This ice cave 100m long and was made up of over 350 tonnes of ice, snow and volcano ash. Just be warned I found it can get cold in here. There’s no wind so don’t worry too much about a jacket, if it gets too cold you can always just walk through to the other side, but it’s so beautiful you will quickly forget about the temperature. 

Coffee, cake and Beer at the Perlan Museum

Even if museums aren’t your thing, the cafe at the top is a must-visit. The queue here was long and you could easily see why, the food was beautiful, and the views more so. I can personally vouch that the hot chocolate is spectacular, as well as the cake if you can stomach that much chocolate. You can enjoy a full 360° of the Icelandic landscape to enjoy. With the right company, this is the perfect spot to sit down, enjoy a beer and get acquainted with Iceland.

Perlan Museum Cafe in Reykjavik Iceland

Perlan Museum FAQs

How much is entry?

Adult tickets are 4490 ISK, with cheaper tickets for children and family discounts.

Do I have to visit the Museum to visit the Cafe?

Nope, you can just skip the exhibits and go straight to the Cafe, but I wouldn’t recommend it. By doing so you miss so much and a real opportunity to learn about this amazing country.

Do I need to book in advance?

You don’t have to, but booking the Perlan Museum in advance means you can skip the queue. To book you can click on the link below and book with Get Your Guide. Booking through the link doesn’t cost you any extra but does mean I receive a commission and supports Brad’s Backpack.

What time is it open?

Exhibition hours are 9:00 to 18:00

Cafe hours are 10:00 to 18:00

Where is it?

The museum is located in Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. It’s really easy to get to by car if you have rented one, or otherwise a taxi.

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