Perlan Museum: An Insider’s Guide

More than just the best views in Reykjavik

From dancing northern lights and spewing Icelandic volcanoes to the fragile status of Iceland’s diminishing glaciers, Reykjavik’s Perlan Museum provides an eye-opening insight into the land of fire and ice. We sent a Tiqets rep to check it out and talk to General Manager Hekla Tang about what’s inside.

Meet your Perlan Museum insider

Hey Hekla, thanks for agreeing to star on our blog. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what your role involves at Perlan Museum?

I’m Hekla Tang and I’ve been working in tourism for nine years. People who travel here to Iceland are most interested in the glaciers and the northern lights. Here at Perlan Museum, we have them both.

My role is to make sure that everyone in Perlan Museum feels comfortable and enjoys their time, whether it’s customers experiencing it for the first time, or the staff who are working here and spend most of their day here. I love it when people leave the building happy.

Can you tell us what’s new and improved at Perlan Museum?

Like a lot of people know, at Perlan Museum we have exhibitions on Icelandic nature and geology, an indoor Ice Cave, and a warm place to see the northern lights in our Planetarium. Visitors can spend their time inside learning all about Icelandic nature, history, and geology. They can gather more knowledge for their trip, find out how amazing the nature is, and discover what they might see as they travel around Iceland.

But in the last two years, we’ve introduced a big bouncy castle in our outside area, as well as a zipline – an outdoor activity for people who love to get their adrenaline up and enjoy the view of Reykjavík at the same time.

If you had to create a highlights reel for Perlan Museum right now, what would you feature?

The highlight would absolutely be our Ice Cave and Planetarium. You can be inside the building and still see the two of the most attractive parts of nature in Iceland. It’s quite amazing.

Can you share a cute or funny story about your time working at Perlan Museum?

When I started work at Perlan Museum it was summer, and a lot of local kids came to visit with their parents. I remember there was one kid (3 or 4 years old) who accidentally hit his head and his mom asked me for a bandage. After that little accident, I clearly remembered that kid and his family. Especially because they came to visit the museum almost every week.

Until now, this family is still coming to visit Perlan Museum, and the “bandage kid” is starting elementary school. His mom told me the most exciting thing that he wants to do on weekends is come here to Perlan Museum, to walk through the ice cave and see the birds. It makes me smile every time I see that boy so happy and excited for his visit.

How great that you’ve also inspired him to get into Icelandic nature! What do you think are the hidden gems inside Perlan Museum?

The coffee house and bistro, and also our ice-cream store are the hidden gems inside Perlan Museum. There is no other place in Iceland where you can eat your lunch and drink a cup of coffee in a spinning glass dome! The view from the 5th floor is also incredible, and our homemade ice cream is fresh and so tasty.

Mmmm, now we want ice cream in a spinning glass dome! Can you give us any other tips for visiting Perlan Museum?

The tips that I give to visitors are always the same:

  • Start with a cup of coffee on the 5th floor and relax
  • Spend 1.5 – 2 hours in our museum on the 1st and 2nd floor
  • Go for an ice cream on the 4th floor and enjoy the beautiful view of Reykjavík on the observation deck
  • Come back and see your favorite part of the museum once again

Hekla’s tips for the quick and ambitious

For a quick visit, it is very important that you relax on your vacation. No rush, just sit down in our glass dome coffee house and have a cup of coffee, and enjoy the view.

Hekla’s tips for families

For families, especially those with younger kids, this is the place to learn about the nature of Iceland in a warm and safe location.

We also have a full-size polar bear by the entrance to the ice-cave that makes for some great photos.

Hekla’s tips for eco-warriors/future conservationists 

Here, anyone can gather information about Iceland’s ecological environment and the energy that nature gives us, all in one place.

Sounds like there’s something for everyone here. But what are you most proud of at Perlan Museum?

I’m proud of how we can build one of the most attractive museums in Iceland. It’s designed for travelers to help them make plans easier and to give them an idea of which natural attractions they most want to see. Perlan is welcoming for everyone, of all ages.

I hope this post will teach you more about Perlan Museum, and we look forward to seeing you here.

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