Such Variety In Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland

Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

We Saw So Much Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland

We saw such a variety of outdoor art in Reykjavik when we wandered around. Statues were in downtown squares, in large green parks and along the harbour promenade. When we visited the Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden, it was like we visited an outdoor art gallery. And the walls of buildings were decorated with colourful murals. Looking for outdoor art, was one of the fun things we did in Reykjavik.

Historic Statues In Downtown

When we walked into the downtown area, we looked for interesting statues. We found the traditional and historic statue of Jon Sigurdsson. In the mid 19th century, he called for self rule for Iceland. And didn’t press for full autonomy. In 1944, Iceland finally established a parliamentary democracy with a directly elected president as head of state.

Statue Jon Sigurdsson - Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

From there we moved to a more abstract outdoor statue called the “Unknown Bureaucrat”. This statue located by City Hall represented the anonymous city workers who moved about. The man’s head was buried in a large rock and hidden from view.

Status Unknown Bureaucrat.jpg

A statue at the National Gallery of Iceland was a stylized piece that talked to the country’s love of “football” (or soccer for America readers).

Statue National Gallery of Iceland Soccer.jpg

It was interesting when we saw the variety of the outdoor statuary in Reykjavik’s city centre.

Garden Statues

When we wandered in Reykjavik, we were happy when we found the Hljomskalagardurinn. This large park in the city ran beside the Tjörnin pond.

Statue Garden Hljomskalagardurinn.jpg

We loved the green and lush flower-filled spaces. But we were also intrigued with the interesting statues we found settled into the green spaces.

Statue Garden Hljomskalagardurinn.jpg

Statue Garden Hljomskalagardurinn - Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Statue Garden Hljomskalagardurinn - Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

When we wanted to enjoy the outdoor art in Reykjavik in a tranquil setting, we made sure and visited the Hljomskalagardurinn.

An Amazing Variety Of Statues In The Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden

No visit to Reykjavik was complete without a stop at the iconic Hallgrimskirkja church. The architecture was fascinating to see. But we found another gem just steps away from this church.

We loved to visit outdoor statue gardens. The NOMA Outdoor Sculpture Garden in New Orleans was a tranquil oasis in the city. The Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo was a fun and whimsical place to see. Some people might visit the Einar Jónsson Museum. But we headed right to the Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden in the back of the museum.

This outdoor art gallery kept us intrigued as we moved from one interesting piece to the next. Behind the museum, the Hallgrimskirkja church was visible just over the building.

Monument to Halgrimur Petursson - Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden.jpg

We wandered slowly around the garden and stopped often. Plaques provided the names of each piece. Sometimes we struggled to see the artist’s vision. But in other pieces, we easily matched the name to the statue.

King of Atlantis - Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden - Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Grief - Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden - Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Heimir - Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden - Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Spring - Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden.jpg

Wave of Ages - Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden - Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Thor Wrestling - Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden.jpg

We were so glad we found the Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden on our visit to Reykjavik. It was certainly a great place to see a wide variety of the outdoor art in Reykjavik.

Colourful Street Art Murals Around The City

We found so much colourful street art as we walked around Reykjavik. We often found street murals when we visited cities. Often the street art had a strong story to tell. Certainly the street art we found in Belfast on this Nordic cruise told tales of the troubles that city endured.

But most of the street art murals we found in Reykjavik was colourful, fun and whimsical. Some depicted people at work in the city. Some showed interesting art that almost looked like it should be in an art gallery. And other pieces just made us smile.

Street Art Mural.jpg

Bird Street Art Mural.jpg

Street Art Mural - Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Mermaid Street Art Mural - Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Yellowbirds Street Art Mural - Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Street Art Mural.jpg

We were delighted with the colourful outdoor street art murals we found in Reykjavik. It was always a delight when we turned a corner and found a new piece. We had a street art map that showed some of the pieces in Reykjavik. But we only found a few of the many sites on our busy day in Reykjavik.

The Reykjavik street art map inspired me to put a new street art app on my iPhone. We hoped it helped us to plan our city walks better in the future.

Iconic Images In The Harbour

When we planned our explorations for Reykjavik, the first thing we marked on the map was the Sun Voyageur statue. This was the iconic image we did not want to miss. We walked along the waterfront promenade and the statue was easy to find. It looked like an abandoned Viking ship.

We were not the only ones who wanted to pose with the statue. So we waited our turn and got a clean image. Even if it was against the grey skies.

Statue Sun Voyager - Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

We were happy we found the Sun Voyageur statue on our exploration of the outdoor art in Reykjavik.

Such A Variety Of Outdoor Art In Reykjavik Iceland

The outdoor art was so varied and colourful. We found it in so many spots on our visit to Reykjavik.

Iceland had so many stunning sights natural of natural beauty. We saw many of those on day tours out of town. But we were happy we took time and found the art in the streets when we explored within Reykjavik. A great way to spend a day on our cruise through the Nordic countries.

Did you enjoy the outdoor art In Reykjavik Iceland? Did we miss some key outdoor art spots?

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About TravelAtWill 551 Articles
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46 Comments

  1. I never realized all of the outdoor artwork Reykjavik has to offer. This is a magical place! The more I learn about it the more I would love to go here!

  2. So, I’ve wanted to visit Iceland to see the Northern Lights, amazing landscapes, even the unique beaches. I did not realize there was so much amazing art throughout Reykjavik! I absolutely love the mermaid looking statue and the mermaid painting! Beautiful!

  3. I love outdoor art galleries and sculpture gardens. So many beautiful and intriguing works of art in Iceland.

  4. I went to Iceland back in 2015 but I most definitely did not notice the sculptures? I did see a lot of the colourful grafitti and enjoyed taking photos of those.

  5. Pretty cool!! I visited Reykjavik in the winter so you are literally head down, speed walking from A to B! I missed almost all of these. haha thank you for sharing!! Loved it

    • Lannie, I totally understand that! I am sure I would not be wandering aimlessly in the cold winters in Reykjavik. Glad to show you a reason to go back in warmer times. Linda

  6. This is great to come across because I think Reykjavic is on my radar for this summer – I live in Denmark so at the moment we can only travel to Iceland, Germany and Norway. The statues, especially the modern art ones are fantastic. I love the football one and the street art is just beautiful.

    • Derek, I am glad to be showing you a variety of things to see when you make it to Iceland. We have a few more posts coming up. So I hope to add more to your list! Linda

  7. I love wandering aimlessly around a new destination and stumbling upon a new dramatic piece of street art. It seems like it’s becoming more embraced and accepted, and I like that it’s celebrated as part of a destination’s personality.

    • John, I was surprised at home much outdoor art we found on our wanders. We were glad we spent a long day in Reykjavik. The upside of missing two days in Greenland! Linda

  8. We are planning to visit Iceland once we are able to fly again. It looks like such a stunning place. I didn’t realise that there was so much outdoor art in Reykjavik. I look forward to seeing the sun voyager when we visit! so iconic

    • I hope you do get to visit Iceland now that it is re-opening. We too were surprised with how much there was to see in Reykjavik in addition to the great outdoor beauty! Linda

  9. I have read a lot about the waterfalls, the geothermal pools and natural beauty of Iceland, but it is very interesting to know that Reykjavik has some beautiful artwork and statues. Iceland is in my bucketlist and I will definitely look these up when I go there. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  10. I am a fan of street art and Reykjavik looks like it has a good selection. I love the Sun Voyageur statue. The sculpture garden is very impressive.

    • Rhonda, We were surprised at the variety in the types of outdoor art we found. We searched for some like the Sun Voyageur. But were delighted with other pieces we just found wandering. Linda

  11. Reykjavik is still on my list. I dream of seeing Iceland during winter. I didn’t know that this city is so artistic. It offers exciting outdoor art. I want to see Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden. I also like to photograph murals, so I know that I need two or three days in Reykjavik.

    • Agnes, We did not expect to find so much in Reykjavik for outdoor art either. IF you visit in winter though, I have heard it is cold to wander around outside. Good reason to visit more than once. Linda

  12. The Sun Voyager statue is beautiful and I can see why you wanted to wait for a photo of it. The street art there looks amazing too and the gardens are very pretty. Reykjavik is on our list and hope to get there one day.

  13. Reykjavik is such a fun and colorful city. I loved searching out the street art and photographing the colorful buildings. It looks like there are a few new ones since my visit. I missed the Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden when I visited and now I’m bummed about it.

  14. You’r right guys, Reykjavik is such a delightful city full of art pieces scattered all around! The Sculpture Garden is really interesting but my favorite remains street art. The graffiti there are really cool. Oooh, now I want to go back ahah!

  15. This is so amazing .I love art and I definitely enjoyed looking at those artworks! They seem to be very interesting. These places make me want to Iceland more!

  16. As someone who dedicated half a day atleast on my travels to street-art & sculptures & installations, this is something I’d follow when I visit Reykjavik. The unknown bureaucrat is intriguing. The Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden looks interesting. Are those sculptures connected to world wars?
    Glad you waited for your turn and got a perfect picture of Sun Voyageur statue. Reminds me of the time I waited to get the perfect picture of Copenhagen’s mermaid!

  17. I’ve heard a lot about the outdoor art In Reykjavik. It’s beautiful indeed. I love those colorful street art murals as well as the expressive statues In the Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden. But my favorite art piece in Reykjavik is the Sun Voyageur statue. I’d love to see that in real life!

  18. I thought the nature in Iceland is itself a work of art but did not know about all these beautiful and interesting ones spread across. This just makes Iceland an all the more interesting one to visit. Loved the mermaid sculpture and found the Unknown Bureaucrat quite interesting. I would have never thought of taking a day out to exploring these while in Iceland but now I surely will.

  19. I have been to Reykjavik, but to be honest, I have not spent more than 2 days there, so I missed out a lot of beauty of the place that I can see from your post. I am intrigued by the Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden. I wish to revisit the place soon as I am yet to explore Akureyri area, that time I will surely visit this garden.

    • Shreya, So many people miss seeing a lot in Reykjavik because there is so much to do on day trips. We were glad we set aside a little time to enjoy the outdoor art. Now you can plan to see it on a return visit. Linda

  20. Wow! I didn’t know Reykjavik is so pretty! I thought it was just a small town and that everything worth seeing was outside town. Thanks for sharing!

    • Nish, We were glad we spent some time in the city to see all that Reykjavík had to offer. It was tempting to chase waterfalls on every day trip. But we still left many of those for a return visit. Linda

  21. Really find this post valuable as I never expected Reykjavik to have so much amazing art. Iceland has benn on the bucket list fo a long time for visiting the hot pools, the nature and for the epic road trip. But now i will definitely make sure we spend more time in Reykjavik. Absolutely Love the sculptures at The Einar Jonsson Sculpture Garden!!

    • We too were so glad we decided to spend some time just wandering in Reykjavik. We gave up a waterfall or two. But really loved seeing the variety of outdoor art. Hope you have time for both art and nature when you visit. Linda

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