My Cart

Your Cart is empty

Looks like you haven’t picked any tours yet!

A Guide to Perlan Museum in Reykjavík

Exploring Iceland's Natural Wonders and Cityscapes at Perlan Museum in Reykjavík

March 5, 2024

A Guide to Perlan Museum in Reykjavík

Exploring Iceland's Natural Wonders and Cityscapes at Perlan Museum in Reykjavík

March 5, 2024

Perlan is a fascinating museum that not only provides exhibits on the natural wonders of Iceland but also offers breathtaking panoramic views of Reykjavík and beyond from its famed observation deck. This marvel of modern architecture and design is housed in a building that was once a cluster of hot water tanks and now stands as an exciting museum and a symbol of Iceland’s commitment to sustainability and education.

For anyone visiting Iceland's charming capital, a visit to Perlan is a must; it's a favourite stop on Reykjavík city sightseeing tours. If you have time to visit only one site in Reykjavík, make sure it's Perlan.

Experiencing Perlan Museum’s Diverse Exhibitions

As you enter Perlan, you are stepping into a world that encapsulates the spirit of Iceland through its interesting interactive exhibits. The museum is home to an indoor ice cave, a planetarium show on the majestic northern lights, and an exhibition on the wonders of Iceland that covers the island’s glaciers, volcanoes, and unique geology.

Glaciers and Ice Cave Exhibition

One of the highlights of Perlan is the Glaciers and Ice Cave Exhibition. Here, visitors can walk through a 100-metre-long cave, the first of its kind in the world, made from over 350 tons of snow and ice. The ice cave is kept at a constant sub-zero temperature, and while it is man-made, it’s designed to replicate the experience of being inside a glacier. This exhibit is a unique opportunity to understand glacier structures and the impacts of global warming on Iceland’s icy landscape.

While not a natural formation, the ice cave is an authentic recreation that allows visitors to experience what it would be like to walk through a real glacier. The craftsmanship and attention to detail make it an educational and atmospheric journey into one of Iceland’s most fascinating natural features.



inside the indoor ice cave in Perlan


The Áróra Northern Lights Planetarium Show

Another gem of Perlan is the Áróra Northern Lights Planetarium Show. With this not-to-be-missed experience, technology meets the arts to recreate the awe-inspiring natural phenomenon of the otherworldly Aurora Borealis. The show, which is about 20 minutes long, is a fully immersive experience that educates as it entertains, explaining the science behind the northern lights.

Wonders of Iceland Exhibition

The Wonders of Iceland is a comprehensive exhibition on the forces of nature that shape the country’s dramatic landscapes. Interactive and educational, it’s here that visitors can learn about volcanoes, tectonic plates, and the geothermal marvels that are so characteristic of Iceland.

Perlan’s Panoramic Observation Deck

The Perlan observation deck offers a 360-degree view of Reykjavík and the surrounding area. It’s an ideal spot for photographers or anyone who wants to take in the city from a bird’s eye view. While there is a fee to visit the museum’s exhibits, access to the observation deck is free of charge. On the same level, you can visit an ice cream shop and gift store.



Perlan observation deck


Practical Information for Visitors

Opening hours

Perlan is open daily, with hours that generally run from 9:00 to 22:00, though it’s always a good idea to check the current schedule on their official website for any changes. It’s recommended that visitors spend about 1 to 2 hours at Perlan to enjoy the exhibitions fully.

Tickets and Admission

Buying tickets in advance is advisable for those planning to visit, especially for the planetarium show, which can sell out during peak tourist seasons. Purchasing tickets in advance ensures entry at your desired time and can also often be more cost-effective.

While it is possible to purchase tickets on arrival, it is highly advisable to buy them in advance, particularly during the high tourist season when the museum can be pretty busy. Advance tickets can often come with a discount and ensure entry to the planetarium shows, which are scheduled and have limited seating.

Location

Located on Öskjuhlíð hill, Perlan is not far from other attractions in Reykjavík; the city centre is just a short drive away, making it easy to combine a visit to Perlan with other sightseeing activities. Parking at Perlan is free, providing convenient access for those driving.

How to Get to Perlan Museum

Getting to Perlan is a breeze, thanks to Reykjavík’s efficient tour options:

The Hop-On Hop-Off city sightseeing busses, a fantastic option for exploring Reykjavík at your leisure, has its highlight stop at Perlan. With two types of passes available, 24 hours and 48 hours, you can extend your exploration of Reykjavík over two days if you wish.



hop-on-hop-off-bus stop at the Perlan Museum


Questions and Answers about Perlan Museum in Reykjavík

How Long Do People Spend at Perlan? Visitors typically spend around 1 to 2 hours at Perlan. With its interactive displays and the extensive information provided, those with a keen interest in natural sciences or photography can easily extend their visit to half a day, particularly if they choose to dine in the rotating restaurant or spend significant time on the observation deck.

Is Perlan Observation Deck Free? No, while access to the observation deck used to be free, this policy has recently changed. Now, only those who have paid the entrance fee to the museum are granted access to the observation deck and the café. However, the panoramic 360-degree view of Reykjavík and beyond from the deck is still freely accessible to the public. It's a perfect spot for photographers or visitors seeking an elevated glimpse of the city's layout, the surrounding sea, and the distant mountains.

Do You Need to Buy Tickets in Advance for Perlan? While it is possible to purchase tickets on arrival, it is advisable to buy tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons when the museum can get quite busy. Pre-booking can ensure you have a guaranteed entry at your preferred time for the exhibitions and the planetarium show.

Is Perlan Iceland Worth It? Perlan is not only an architectural wonder but also an educational treasure trove. With its unique exhibitions that dive deep into Icelandic nature – from glaciers to volcanoes and the aurora borealis – it provides a valuable and entertaining learning experience. The museum’s use of real elements, such as ice in the ice cave exhibition, adds a level of authenticity that helps bring the natural wonders of Iceland to life.

Is the Ice Cave at Perlan Real? The ice cave at Perlan is a man-made structure and is the first of its kind in the world. It replicates the experience of being inside a real glacier, with 350 tons of snow and ice sculpted into a winding cave. The temperature is kept below freezing to mimic the conditions of a natural glacier, making it as realistic as possible.

Is Parking at Perlan Free? Parking at Perlan is complimentary for visitors; the ample parking space adds to the convenience of visiting this landmark.

Does Perlan Rotate? One of the unique features of Perlan is its rotating glass dome, which houses a fine dining restaurant. The dome gently rotates as you enjoy the delicious Icelandic cuisine, providing diners with a slowly changing view that takes in the entire city and beyond.

What is a Perlan Family Ticket? Perlan offers a family ticket, which is a cost-effective option for families visiting the museum. This ticket usually covers two adults and two children, allowing the entire family to enjoy the exhibitions at a discounted rate. It’s a perfect way for a family to explore and learn together.

How Long is the Perlan Northern Lights Show? The northern lights show at Perlan, known as Áróra, is a planetarium experience that lasts about 20 minutes. During this show, visitors can sit back and enjoy a high-definition recreation of the Aurora Borealis, accompanied by a narrative that explains this natural phenomenon.

Your Guide to the Best Museums in Reykjavík

minimalistic museum interior in reykjavik

Reykjavík is a treasure trove culture lovers. The city’s history museums are portals into the past, while the art museums and galleries showcase Iceland’s contemporary brilliance.

Read our handy guide to learn about the best museums in Reykjavík.

REYKJAVIK EXCURSIONS BLOG

Get inspired! Information and tips and must see places in Iceland, fun facts, customs and more.

Litli-Hrútur Eruption 2023 - The New Eruption near Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula

Once again, the enthralling spectacle of Iceland's Reykjanes volcano is back in the limelight! After 11 months of peaceful dormancy, the volcano is now alive and kicking, treating locals and tourists to another captivating visual performance. If you've been yearning for an adventure that's truly out of this world, this might just be your calling!

Read Blog

A Guide to Perlan Museum in Reykjavík

Exploring Iceland's Natural Wonders and Cityscapes at Perlan Museum in Reykjavík

March 5, 2024

A Guide to Perlan Museum in Reykjavík

Exploring Iceland's Natural Wonders and Cityscapes at Perlan Museum in Reykjavík

March 5, 2024

Perlan is a fascinating museum that not only provides exhibits on the natural wonders of Iceland but also offers breathtaking panoramic views of Reykjavík and beyond from its famed observation deck. This marvel of modern architecture and design is housed in a building that was once a cluster of hot water tanks and now stands as an exciting museum and a symbol of Iceland’s commitment to sustainability and education.

For anyone visiting Iceland's charming capital, a visit to Perlan is a must; it's a favourite stop on Reykjavík city sightseeing tours. If you have time to visit only one site in Reykjavík, make sure it's Perlan.

Experiencing Perlan Museum’s Diverse Exhibitions

As you enter Perlan, you are stepping into a world that encapsulates the spirit of Iceland through its interesting interactive exhibits. The museum is home to an indoor ice cave, a planetarium show on the majestic northern lights, and an exhibition on the wonders of Iceland that covers the island’s glaciers, volcanoes, and unique geology.

Glaciers and Ice Cave Exhibition

One of the highlights of Perlan is the Glaciers and Ice Cave Exhibition. Here, visitors can walk through a 100-metre-long cave, the first of its kind in the world, made from over 350 tons of snow and ice. The ice cave is kept at a constant sub-zero temperature, and while it is man-made, it’s designed to replicate the experience of being inside a glacier. This exhibit is a unique opportunity to understand glacier structures and the impacts of global warming on Iceland’s icy landscape.

While not a natural formation, the ice cave is an authentic recreation that allows visitors to experience what it would be like to walk through a real glacier. The craftsmanship and attention to detail make it an educational and atmospheric journey into one of Iceland’s most fascinating natural features.



inside the indoor ice cave in Perlan


The Áróra Northern Lights Planetarium Show

Another gem of Perlan is the Áróra Northern Lights Planetarium Show. With this not-to-be-missed experience, technology meets the arts to recreate the awe-inspiring natural phenomenon of the otherworldly Aurora Borealis. The show, which is about 20 minutes long, is a fully immersive experience that educates as it entertains, explaining the science behind the northern lights.

Wonders of Iceland Exhibition

The Wonders of Iceland is a comprehensive exhibition on the forces of nature that shape the country’s dramatic landscapes. Interactive and educational, it’s here that visitors can learn about volcanoes, tectonic plates, and the geothermal marvels that are so characteristic of Iceland.

Perlan’s Panoramic Observation Deck

The Perlan observation deck offers a 360-degree view of Reykjavík and the surrounding area. It’s an ideal spot for photographers or anyone who wants to take in the city from a bird’s eye view. While there is a fee to visit the museum’s exhibits, access to the observation deck is free of charge. On the same level, you can visit an ice cream shop and gift store.



Perlan observation deck


Practical Information for Visitors

Opening hours

Perlan is open daily, with hours that generally run from 9:00 to 22:00, though it’s always a good idea to check the current schedule on their official website for any changes. It’s recommended that visitors spend about 1 to 2 hours at Perlan to enjoy the exhibitions fully.

Tickets and Admission

Buying tickets in advance is advisable for those planning to visit, especially for the planetarium show, which can sell out during peak tourist seasons. Purchasing tickets in advance ensures entry at your desired time and can also often be more cost-effective.

While it is possible to purchase tickets on arrival, it is highly advisable to buy them in advance, particularly during the high tourist season when the museum can be pretty busy. Advance tickets can often come with a discount and ensure entry to the planetarium shows, which are scheduled and have limited seating.

Location

Located on Öskjuhlíð hill, Perlan is not far from other attractions in Reykjavík; the city centre is just a short drive away, making it easy to combine a visit to Perlan with other sightseeing activities. Parking at Perlan is free, providing convenient access for those driving.

How to Get to Perlan Museum

Getting to Perlan is a breeze, thanks to Reykjavík’s efficient tour options:

The Hop-On Hop-Off city sightseeing busses, a fantastic option for exploring Reykjavík at your leisure, has its highlight stop at Perlan. With two types of passes available, 24 hours and 48 hours, you can extend your exploration of Reykjavík over two days if you wish.



hop-on-hop-off-bus stop at the Perlan Museum


Questions and Answers about Perlan Museum in Reykjavík

How Long Do People Spend at Perlan? Visitors typically spend around 1 to 2 hours at Perlan. With its interactive displays and the extensive information provided, those with a keen interest in natural sciences or photography can easily extend their visit to half a day, particularly if they choose to dine in the rotating restaurant or spend significant time on the observation deck.

Is Perlan Observation Deck Free? No, while access to the observation deck used to be free, this policy has recently changed. Now, only those who have paid the entrance fee to the museum are granted access to the observation deck and the café. However, the panoramic 360-degree view of Reykjavík and beyond from the deck is still freely accessible to the public. It's a perfect spot for photographers or visitors seeking an elevated glimpse of the city's layout, the surrounding sea, and the distant mountains.

Do You Need to Buy Tickets in Advance for Perlan? While it is possible to purchase tickets on arrival, it is advisable to buy tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons when the museum can get quite busy. Pre-booking can ensure you have a guaranteed entry at your preferred time for the exhibitions and the planetarium show.

Is Perlan Iceland Worth It? Perlan is not only an architectural wonder but also an educational treasure trove. With its unique exhibitions that dive deep into Icelandic nature – from glaciers to volcanoes and the aurora borealis – it provides a valuable and entertaining learning experience. The museum’s use of real elements, such as ice in the ice cave exhibition, adds a level of authenticity that helps bring the natural wonders of Iceland to life.

Is the Ice Cave at Perlan Real? The ice cave at Perlan is a man-made structure and is the first of its kind in the world. It replicates the experience of being inside a real glacier, with 350 tons of snow and ice sculpted into a winding cave. The temperature is kept below freezing to mimic the conditions of a natural glacier, making it as realistic as possible.

Is Parking at Perlan Free? Parking at Perlan is complimentary for visitors; the ample parking space adds to the convenience of visiting this landmark.

Does Perlan Rotate? One of the unique features of Perlan is its rotating glass dome, which houses a fine dining restaurant. The dome gently rotates as you enjoy the delicious Icelandic cuisine, providing diners with a slowly changing view that takes in the entire city and beyond.

What is a Perlan Family Ticket? Perlan offers a family ticket, which is a cost-effective option for families visiting the museum. This ticket usually covers two adults and two children, allowing the entire family to enjoy the exhibitions at a discounted rate. It’s a perfect way for a family to explore and learn together.

How Long is the Perlan Northern Lights Show? The northern lights show at Perlan, known as Áróra, is a planetarium experience that lasts about 20 minutes. During this show, visitors can sit back and enjoy a high-definition recreation of the Aurora Borealis, accompanied by a narrative that explains this natural phenomenon.

Your Guide to the Best Museums in Reykjavík

minimalistic museum interior in reykjavik

Reykjavík is a treasure trove culture lovers. The city’s history museums are portals into the past, while the art museums and galleries showcase Iceland’s contemporary brilliance.

Read our handy guide to learn about the best museums in Reykjavík.

REYKJAVIK EXCURSIONS BLOG

Get inspired! Information and tips and must see places in Iceland, fun facts, customs and more.