If you are in Iceland only for a couple of days and all you have time to do is visit Reykjavik, you don’t have to miss out on discovering the beauty and magnificence of the glaciers. Organize a visit to the Perlan Museum and there you can enjoy the ice cave exhibition.
Perlan itself is well worth the trip. It is a magnificent building designed by Ingimundur Sveinsson and situated on top of Oskjuhlid Hill, the highest one in Reykjavik. It was built in 1988. It has a glass dome, and because of the way it reflects the light, it has given the name Perlan (‘The Pearl’). The dome sits on top of the reservoirs that can hold up to 4 million litres of geothermal water for the city of Reykjavik.
Perlan offers many exciting things to do and is one of the most visited attractions in Reykjavik. You can visit the Icelandic Wonders exhibition, or go up on the observation deck to enjoy a 360° view of Reykjavik and the area. The cafe and restaurant are also not to be missed. The first part of the Icelandic Natural Wonders exhibition was opened in the summer of 2017. It's the glacier exhibition and here you can truly immerse yourself the past, present and future of the glaciers in Iceland. It’s as realistic as you might get by visiting one in person as you actually get to walk through a glacer and inside an ice cave.
When you enter the exhibition you will see a fabulous display of photos by one of Iceland’s most renowned photographers Ragnar Th., centering around the recent volcanic eruptions in Iceland. Once you’re in the foyer, you’ll see and hear about the role of ice and snow in shaping Iceland’s culture and the way we are now.
The next attraction is arguably the most impressive in the exhibition - the Ice Cave. It’s an impressive 100-meter man-made ice tunnel. It transports you right inside a glacier where you can see the blue ice, the layers of ash as well as a moulin (glacier mill) and also the glacier crevasses. It’s eerily similar to the real stuff and you’ll be encouraged to touch the ice, feel the cold and listen to the sounds that the glacier makes. Absolutely amazing!
The second part of the exhibition is situated after the tunnel and it’s focused on the future of glaciers. Vatnajökull is the center of attention here also when it comes to presenting climate change and the effect it has on glaciers. Again, visitors are encouraged to interact with the exhibits through a wall.
Don’t forget to visit the observation deck on top of Perlan, it’s all Included in the admission fee and you’ll get a fabulous 360 view of the city, with the ocean, mountains, volcanoes and a glacier all around you. And for a well-deserved cup of coffee or a meal head into the cafe-restaurant afterwards and continue to enjoy the magnificent views too. Best to book ahead, especially if you’re coming in the summer when there are more visitors.