The Nordic Explorer

The Nordic Explorer

Here is why Perlan is Reykjavík’s No. 1 museum

Perlan should be your top priority to visit on a rainy day in Reykjavík! No matter if it is your Northern lights tour, puffin watching- or ice cave trip that got cancelled Perlan is a perfect substitution. The museum provides high quality experiences through exhibitions designed to simulate and educate about real life experiences of Icelandic nature. You can easily spend half a day exploring the exhibitions at Perlan. Here is what makes the museum so worth to visit:

The Northern Lights

You can alway watch the Northern lights at Perlan. The museum has build a planetarium, where they show a 20 minute film about the Northern lights. Not only is it beautifully made, but it is also educational and teaches you about them. You will learn why the Northern lights even exist, what they actually are and why they are highly unpredictable.

Ice Cave

In the basement of Perlan the museum has its own artificial ice cave. It is basically like a huge freezer, but yet way more complicated than that. The museum actually worked with some of the top experts in the field to create an experience that is as close to the real thing as possible.


Perlan’s exhibition about glaciers is brilliantly made! The section consists of interactive displays. These educate you about all possible aspects of glaciers and the effects of glaciers melting. Also, it maps out all of the Icelandic glaciers and teaches you about the different kinds of glaciers.

In addition, it gives a set of predictions about the consequences when Iceland’s glaciers are totally gone. At their current rate of melting this will be in approx. 200 years.

Definitely food for thought and worth spending some time on!


Icelandic water is the best in the world. So fresh and pure and life giving. Perlan has opened an exhibition that focusses exclusively on the different sorts of Icelandic water and the microscopical life that lives in it.

Forces of Nature

The Forces of Nature exhibit is one of the first areas you enter in Perlan. This section gives you an introduction to volcanos, eruptions and lava. Enjoy a groundshaking and very well-produced introduction video and read all about volcanoes, eruptions and lava.

Apart from this, in the basement of Perlan you’ll find an exhibition of photographs of the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 (yes, the one whos enourmous ash-clouds stopped all North European air traffic) and Holuhraun in 2014. Fascinating images indeed!

Puffin watching

Puffin watching is a huge attraction during the summer so naturally Perlan has build an entire wall (Látrabjarg Cliff). Here you can get a simulated puffin watching experience. Apart from looking through binoculars and spotting these adorable, little feathered friends you actually get to learn something about them too.

Observation deck

One of the best views over Reykjavík and the fjord is from Perlan’s observation deck. It actually gives you a 360 degree view!

Perlan itself is actually a really interesting building as well. It was originally constructed with 6 hot water tanks and a glass dome on top of the centre, where today you’ll find both a café and (very good) restaurant that comes with a spectacular view.

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