Discover family-friendly locations in beautiful Iceland

5 Family-Friendly Locations in Iceland

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When visiting Iceland, travelers enjoy exploring the country, enjoying the sight of its magnificent waterfalls, mountain ranges, glaciers and more. However, when visiting as a family with children, some attractions are not really suitable for the little ones. However, there are some great locations that the kids will love, including a whale museum, loads of puffins, a Viking village film set, a sea monster museum and for the teens, the Icelandic Punk Museum,

Getting around these locations in Iceland

The attractions we list here are located in various areas of Iceland, and while tour operators are available to transport you to the site, probably the easiest way to get around is with an efficient SUV or car rental service in Iceland.

Quality roads in Iceland

Here we list some of the best family-friendly locations for children and teens in Iceland.

1. Whales of Iceland Museum, Reykjavik

Whales of Iceland Museum, Reykjavik, IcelandImage courtesy Whales of Iceland

Iceland has a controversial history with whales from back in their whaling days. However, they are making up for this by giving visitors to the country a close up experience with our giant sea cousins. The country has plenty of whale watching tours available, but Whales of Iceland is probably the best way to show the kids these magnificent animals. Not only that, but the museum also aims to educate its visitors on the country’s conservation efforts.

Entering the museum is like taking a stroll through a peaceful underwater world, with life-size replicas of some of the largest mammals on the planet displayed overhead. The museum has a total of 23 foam and steel moderns, carefully created in a 1:1 scale. Meanwhile, the models are surrounded by a haunting blue light along with aquatic sounds to better give the feeling of seeing the whales in their natural habitat. On top of this, the museum also partners with local whale watching tours, where you can see them in person.

2. World's Largest Puffin Colony, Heimaey, Iceland

World's largest puffin colony, Heimaey, Iceland

Around 50 percent of the world’s puffins live in Iceland, and the Westman Islands host the largest puffin colony in the world. In fact, there are more than 1.1 million puffin burrows under the soil of the islands. From late April to late summer each year, the puffins can be seen all over the cliffs and meadows of the colony, as 20 percent of the world’s puffins breed and raise their young here.

Meanwhile, Heimaey is the only inhabited island in the archipelago and the children have an annual tradition to form “pysja patrols” (puffin patrols) to rescue lost and disoriented young puffins that have wandered from their nests. The children pick up the baby birds and take them home for the night and then release them back into the wild. These patrols save thousands of the adolescent puffins each year.

Of interest to note, up until the 2000s, the puffin population was rapidly declining. Locals were hunting the birds as a traditional food source. However, all that has now changed and the birds are flourishing in the area. Visitors can head to a wooden lookout that offers prime views of the birds by following these GPS coordinates 63.4037, -20.2873.

3. Viking Village Film Set, Höfn, Iceland

Viking film set in IcelandImage Adriana Serra/Flickr

Back in 2010, a film set was built on the land of a local farmer which looks like a remote Viking village in perfect condition. For a small fee, visitors can explore the amazing location by entering the village walls. The most striking feature of the Viking village is the buildings, constructed in the true Viking tradition, which visitors can enter and explore. However, there is also a dungeon, located beneath an enormous artificial boulder in the settlement.

The set was created for a movie titled Vikingr by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur. The project was paused due to financial issues, but is apparently now in development.

4. Icelandic Sea Monster Museum (Skrímslasetrið Bíldudalur), Iceland

Icelandic Sea Monster Museum (Skrímslasetrið Bíldudalur), Iceland Image by Jennifer Boyer/Flickr

Iceland is home to a variety of mythical sea monsters and a small fjord town still reports regular sightings of the mythical cryptids. The Iceland Sea Monster Museum was opened to educate the public and visitors about the creatures. The museum uses videos, advanced multimedia and displays to delve into the history of Iceland’s sea monster, along with oral histories of those who have allegedly encountered them.

Among the monsters on display at the fjörulalli (Shore Laddie), the hafmaður (Sea Man), the skeljaskrímsli (Shell Monster) and the faxaskrímsli (Combed Monster/Sea Horse) pictured above..

5. Icelandic Punk Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland

Icelandic Punk Museum Reykjavik, IcelandImage Wikimedia Commons

Back in November 2016, a former public toilet in downtown Reykjavik was reopened as a museum to Icelandic punk. The tiny museum is located below Bankastræti, close to the harbor docks and outlines Iceland’s punk scene from its beginnings in the late 1970s to the early 1900s.

The exhibits are displayed in the former toilet stalls and around the washbasins and include a huge selection of posters, photos, stage equipment, instruments and streaming videos of classic Punk shows. Patrons can also listen to Icelandic punk records via pull-down headphones in the museum.

Enjoy a family holiday in Iceland this year, taking the children to all the exciting attractions.

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Latest update: January 16, 2022