The village of Skogar in the south of Iceland has a number of famous attractions, including the mythical Skogafoss waterfall, some top shelf hiking trails, and the town itself. But one of the main features in Skogar is the “Skógasafn” eco-museum.
Located 2 hours from the capital, the museum has become a must-see for anyone visiting the Skogafoss falls. In fact, it makes a great pairing as the Skógar Museum is located just a 1-minute walk from the fall.
Located along Road number 1, the museum is very easy to get to by car or by bus.
Founded in 1949, the museum's original layout was simply the basement of the Skogar school. But the exhibit's growing popularity forced the owners to build the first dedicated museum building. The museum boasts an impressive collection of historical artefacts and objects of everyday life in Iceland over the years, from colonization to the present day. Today, the museum has more than 15,000 artefacts.
The museum is in fact a complex divided into 3 sections:
In the Folk Museum, which is usually the first building on the tour, you'll see exhibits of artefacts and documents illustrating Icelandic life over the years. You'll see all sorts of farming and fishing tools, agricultural equipment, manuscripts and books, including an original print of the first Icelandic Bible dated 1584.
The building features three floors of exhibits, and we particularly recommend the top floor exhibits dedicated to local textiles, garments, and embroidery.
The open-air museum showcases traditional Icelandic residential houses. A charming little church is located near several peat-roof farmhouses. The church is a fairly recent replica (1998) of a typical Lutheran church, and actually incorporates artefacts and is designed based on churches found during excavations.
It's like a trip through time to imagine the locals living in these unique houses, farming and fishing nearby, going to school, etc. Indeed, there is even a school with a historic classroom exhibit, with all the objects perfectly preserved.
In 2002 a third branch opened its doors: the Museum of Transport and Telecommunications, showcasing local transport and communications from the first postal services and telephone networks to the present day.
It takes about 2 hours to tour the 3 sections of the museum, and there are guided tours available in English and German, and sometimes in French and Spanish.
Skógasafn (Regional Folk Museum in Skógar)
The museum is free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult.