Skip to content

Or try searching by Category and/or Location

Museums and Exhibitions in the Westfjords

Throughout the Westfjords, you'll encounter a wide variety of museums and exhibitions. These diverse attractions range from regional museums showcasing the area's history and culture to exhibitions dedicated to monsters, folklore, and witchcraft. Immerse yourself in the local heritage by visiting one or more of these fascinating museums. Whether you are a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply curious about Icelandic heritage, the museums in the Westfjords offer a rewarding and enriching experience. Here’s a guide to some must-visit museums in this captivating part of Iceland.

The Westfjords Heritage Museum (Byggðasafn Vestfjarða) – Ísafjörður

Located in the charming town of Ísafjörður, the Westfjords Heritage Museum is a treasure trove of local history and culture. Housed in the oldes cluster of houses in Iceland by the harbor, the museum offers a glimpse into the maritime heritage of the region. Exhibits include old fishing boats, tools, and artifacts that tell the story of the fishing industry that has long been the lifeblood of the Westfjords. Additionally, visitors can explore displays on traditional crafts, domestic life, and the social history of the area.

The Arctic Fox Centre – Súðavík

For those intrigued by Iceland's wildlife, the Arctic Fox Centre in Súðavík is a must-visit. This unique museum is dedicated to the Arctic fox, the only native land mammal in Iceland. Through interactive exhibits, visitors can learn about the biology, behavior, and conservation of this fascinating animal. The center also serves as a research facility and a sanctuary for orphaned or injured foxes. A visit here provides both education and an opportunity to see these elusive creatures up close.

The Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft (Galdrasafnið) – Hólmavík

A truly unique museum in the Westfjords is the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft in Hólmavík. This museum delves into the intriguing history of witchcraft in Iceland. Exhibits include artifacts, ancient books of spells, and recreations of magical staves and runes used by Icelandic sorcerers. The museum provides detailed accounts of historical witch trials and the folklore surrounding magic and sorcery in Iceland. They also have an exhibition called The Sorcerer's Cottage which is located 25 kilmometres nort of Hólmavík. The Sorcerer’s Cottage offers insight into the living conditions of ordinary people on impoverished farms during the 17th-century witch craze. This exhibition provides a glimpse into their worldview and the survival strategies they employed, which sometimes included magical staves and other forms of sorcery.

Hrafnseyri Museum – Hrafnseyri

The Hrafnseyri Museum is dedicated to Jón Sigurðsson, a national hero and a prominent figure in Iceland's fight for independence. The museum is set in his birthplace and offers insight into his life and achievements. The exhibits include personal artifacts, historical documents, and a replica of a traditional Icelandic turf house, providing a window into 19th-century Icelandic life. The surrounding area, with its stunning views and tranquil atmosphere, enhances the experience.

Ósvör Maritime Museum – Bolungarvík

In Bolungarvík is the Ósvör Maritime Museum, an outdoor museum that recreates a traditional 19th-century fishing station. Visitors can explore a replica of a fisherman’s hut, complete with tools and equipment used in the past. The museum offers a vivid portrayal of the harsh and often perilous life of Icelandic fishermen.

The Boat and Gift-of-Nature Museum – Reykhólar

The Boat and Gift-of-Nature Museum & travel information centre tells the story of how inhabitants traditionally harvested the rich, natural resources in Breiðafjörður.

Foraging for eggs, hunting birds, collecting eider down, using seaweed and hunting seals for sustenance. Boats were essential for harvesting on the numerous islands. The timber boats displayed in the boat-building workshop feature unique Nordic design and craftsmanship adapted to navigate in the area.

There you’ll find a variety of local products, baked breads, coffee, tea, books and souvenirs.

The Icelandic Sea Monster Museum (Skrímslasetrið) – Bíldudalur

For a dive into Icelandic folklore and mythical creatures, visit the Icelandic Sea Monster Museum in Bíldudalur. This museum is dedicated to the legendary sea monsters said to inhabit the waters around the Westfjords. Through multimedia displays, artifacts, and detailed accounts, the museum brings these myths to life, exploring the tales and sightings that have intrigued and terrified locals for centuries. Visitors can learn about the cultural and historical context of these sea monster legends, adding a mysterious and thrilling dimension to their understanding of the region.