A pearl in the heart of Reykjavik

OCTOBER 08, 2019

perlan reykjavik

Icelandic wonders to touch and feel

In Iceland, rainy days are as safe as yesterday. What to do if the rain paired with wind force 6 stifles any desire for an 'outdoor activity' in the buds of some of the fellow travelers? On a day like this, we were in the Reykjavik area and decided to visit Perlan and its museums.

Perlan - the building an how to get there

Visible from a distance it towers on the Öskjuhlíð hill , which with its dense trees (about 176,000) alone is a sight in Iceland. With the rental car it is a stone's throw. However, if you are not motorized, it is advisable to go there by public transport or from the Harpa the free shuttle bus there. The fare is included in the entrance fee for the museum. Otherwise, the Perlan course is one of the stops of the popular hop-on / hop-off tour. And last but not least, there are plenty of organized day tours including Perlan, like Perlan Museum and Golden Circle, or the Reykjavik City Tour

Arrived in Perlan, you can spend a pleasant few hours. Entering the building, it is not assumed that you are in the middle of the water supply of Reykjavik. 5 of the 6 characteristic aluminum tanks hold up to 4,000,000 liters of hot water coming from wells in the area.

With a temperature of about 85 °C (185 °F), the city is supplied with heat by geothermal energy. So not only the houses, but also the sidewalks of the city can be heated.

You will have an impressive 360 ​​° view over Reykjavik and the Hallgrimskirja, as well as the sea and the mountains - if the weather cooperates - from the observation deck on the top floor.

View from Perlan to Hallgrimskirkja
View from Perlan to Hallgrimskirkja

Wonders of Iceland

On the ground floor you will find the Wonders of Iceland Museum and the Aurora Planetarium Show. These two can be visited separately and as is often the case, there is a discounted combined ticket. If your travel funds allow it, I recommend the combination ticket. In an 'either-or-decision' I would prefer the Wonders of Iceland. You can buy the tickets directly at the museum or pre-order the Kombi ticket or just the Wonders of Iceland online.

With a dusty museum, the whole thing has so much to do with Formula One's morning commute to work. On entertaining one learns a lot about life in, on and at the water. Everywhere there are things to explore, watch videos or playfully request information.

Film about life in the water Wonders of Iceland
Film about life in the water
Augmented Reality at Látrabjarg Cliff  Wonders of Iceland
Augmented Reality at Látrabjarg Cliff
Interactive information everywhere  Wonders of Iceland
Interactive information everywhere

After the exciting interaction possibilities, the spectacular highlight of this museum follows. About every 15 minutes small groups are admitted there.

island besuchen perlan eishoehle eisthron
The hard-fought for a photo ice throne

This museum has managed to replicate almost completely a 100 m long ice tunnel. 350 tons of snow were brought from the glaciers to Reykjavik.

The snow is crossed in many places by real volcanic ash and beautifully lit. Small, winding tunnels guide visitors through the artificial ice cave, which is kept constant at -10 °C (14 °F). After the lock you will be greeted by the chilling cold and a fascinating path through the eternal ice.

And now at the latest it is also clear what you need the above announced, thick winter jacket.

Áróra - Northern Lights Planetarium Show

Right next to the ticket office at the entrance you will find Iceland's first and only planetarium. As you enter, you will see a starry night sky beneath. In comfortable seats you will follow the voice of Áróra, the goddess of dawn and the Northern Lights, on their journey through time and space...

Áróra, spoken by the Icelandic artist Ragnhildur Gísladóttir, helps you understand the mystery of the northern lights. How do the northern lights form in space? What explanations did people have for the phenomenon in earlier times? Are there Aurors only on Earth or on other planets?

Many leading Icelandic artists participated in the creation of the show. The result is an impressive experience. With a resolution of 8K you feel in the middle of Icelandic nature while the Northern Lights dance wildly around your heads. For all who had to do without 'real' northern lights, a good alternative.

Áróra - Northern Lights Planetarium Perlan
Áróra - Northern Lights Planetarium

My conclusion: A visit to Perlan is worthwhile. In bad weather you catch two birds with one stone. Only on the spectacular view to Hallgrimskirkja you will probably have to do without on such a day.

Perlan Museum, Öskjuhlíð, 105 Reykjavík, Island 64°07'45.1"N 21°55'07.1"W

Open every day from 9:00 - 22:00 | Last admissions at 21:00
Please check deviations under Opening hours Perlan