If your schedule is a little tight and you want to experience the best of Icelandic nature without going to the borders of its capital, head instead to the remarkable Perlan Museum.
This Reykjavík landmark is located on the Öskjuhlíð hill, and contains some mesmerizing exhibits. Its centerpiece, rightly dubbed “Wonders of Iceland”, showcases the natural beauty of this Nordic country juxtaposed with cutting edge augmented reality technology. The Látrabjarg Cliff, Europe’s biggest sea-bird cliff, is recreated faithfully in AR. Known as a geologically active country, visitors at the Perlan are also treated to renditions of the natural forces that shape the country’s many wonders.
The Wonders of Iceland exhibit also has a virtual aquarium, and plans are on the way to create a planetarium this coming November 2018. The planetarium will rest on a backbone of impressive 8k projection displays, recreating not just the stars but the spectacular northern lights.
The Perlan also houses a man-made ice cave, 100 meters in length and made from over 350 tons of snow. The museum claims this is the first such cave in the world. If you haven’t gotten enough of ice, you can also visit the Glaciers exhibit — you’ll be surprised at how important these mammoth sheets of ice actually are to the ecology of Iceland and the world as a whole!
Finally, you can get to the 4th floor of the museum to the Observation Deck, where you can see a jaw-dropping vista of the surrounding city and the lands beyond. The deck is situated at the top of the hot water tanks that used to stand on this hill, and had been the basis for the construction of the museum. The deck also has information signs that point to places of interest around you, making sure you know what you’re seeing.
For anyone who wants to see Iceland’s nature in a nutshell, The Perlan Museum is indispensable. It’s open everyday from 8AM to 8PM, and is easily accessible both through public transport and through the museum’s free shuttle bus. There’s absolutely no reason not to see it!