Department of Culture & Sport

Reykjavík City's Department of Culture & Sport works to enhance the quality of life in the city through the operation of cultural institutions, sports facilities, and supporting the grassroots of the art scene, sports, and children's culture. The Department organizes festivals in Reykjavík and supports numerous events and festivals that bring vitality to the city throughout the year.

About the Department

The Department of Culture & Sport manages the operation of Reykjavík City's museums—the Reykjavík City Library, Reykjavík Art Museum, City History Museum—as well as the operation of the city's swimming pools, sports facilities, skateboard parks, and artificial grass fields.

The Department Office manages the strategy, development, and professional management of the wide range of services and projects carried out by the department. The Department has extensive collaboration with stakeholders in arts, sport and youth activities. The department supports children's culture in a variety of ways and strengthens the participation of children and teenagers in sports activities with the Recreation Card.

The Department is responsible for the administration of the meetings of the Culture, Sports, and Leisure Council, as well as the implementation of the Council's decisions.

Department office

Eiríkur Björn Björgvinsson, director

Steinþór Einarsson, administrative office manager, deputy director

Office managers

Arnfríður S. Valdimarsdóttir, Director of Cultural City

Atli Steinn Árnason, Director of Outdoor City

Helga Friðriksdóttir, Director of Sports City


The Department Office is in Borgartún 12-14

Organizations and projects

City Library

The City Library lends books, shares stories, knowledge and culture in the city's seven districts. It has thousands of books, movies, music, newspapers, and magazines. It also offers a variety of events every week. The museum strives to equalize people's positions, accessibility, and opportunities and promotes literacy in its broadest form. The diverse spaces of the museums offer an opportunity to create connections, conversations, and experiences. The aim of the museum is to promote democratic participation and social innovation.

City Museum

The City History Museum collects, catalogs, and preserves cultural objects. The museum emphasizes being strongly connected with the community and encourages visitors to participate. The City History Museum conveys Reykjavík's intriguing history in diverse ways, makes people think, and is a creative and fun place to visit. The City History Museum consists of the Árbæjarsafn Museum, the Settlement Exhibition, the Reykjavík Museum of Photography, the Maritime Museum, and Viðey.

Hitt Húsið Youth Center

Hitt Húsið is a center for young people where they can use the facilities to sing, dance, dream, create, learn, play, meet—almost anything they can think of!

Reykjavík Park & Zoo

Reykjavík Park & Zoo is surrounded by a weather oasis in Laugardalur, where city residents and visitors can enjoy being close to Icelandic farm animals and have fun in a varied outdoor playground all year round. Reykjavík Animal Services is based in the park and manages pets and other loose animals in the city.

Reykjavík Art Museum

Reykjavík Art Museum is a vibrant and progressive art museum that has three locations in the city: Hafnarhús, Kjarvalsstaðir, and Ásmundarsafn. The Reykjavík Art Museum regularly holds exhibitions of contemporary art and works by three of Iceland's most well-known artists: Erró, Kjarval, and Ásmundur Sveinsson. The Reykjavík Art Museum also oversees and maintains outdoor artworks owned by the city.

Swimming pools

In Reykjavík, we can enjoy fitness all year round at the city's swimming pools. There, you can participate in swimming gymnastics or use the steam rooms, and exercise your body and soul in the company of fellow citizens.

Geothermal Beach

The Geothermal Beach in Nauthólsvík has become a paradise in the urban landscape. Sea walls enclose a beautiful lagoon where the cold sea and warm water meet. The Geothermal Beach is a diverse area with a focus on outdoor activities, sunbathing, and sea bathing.

Ski areas in Reykjavík

Within the city limits of Reykjavík, there are three ski lifts for children and beginners. Larger ski areas for city residents can be found in the mountains of Bláfjöll and Skálafell.

Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature

Since 2011, Reykjavík has been a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities network, along with around 170 other cities. This represents a great recognition of the state of literature in Reykjavík. The City of Literature promotes word art in a broad sense, both domestically and abroad. It also manages the activities of Gröndalshús.

Reykjavík Music City

The goal of Music City is to promote Reykjavík as a city of music by establishing a strong support system and creating favorable conditions for thriving musical activities throughout the city. Additionally, the image of Icelandic music should be interwoven with the image of Reykjavík as a city of culture and an interesting destination.

Events and festivals

Reykjavík City organizes and supports a number of events and festivals throughout the year. Reykjavík City has an event team that manages events such as the Winter Lights Festival, Children's Culture Festival, June 17th, Culture Night, the lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower, and the City's Advent program.

Diverse support for cultural and sports activities in the city


Every year, Reykjavík City provides a number of grants for various cultural and sports activities, as well as giving awards and recognitions. City grants are advertised each year in the fall. The relevant councils review the applications and make a decision on allocation before the end of the year.

Would you like to apply for support from the City Fund?

The Department of Culture & Sport administers the recreational voucher for all children aged 6-18 with legal residency in Reykjavík. Grants are allocated through the registration system of participating organizations.


Reykjavík City supports the operation of places such as Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center, Reykjavík Drama Society, the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, Dansverkstæðið, Tjarnarbíó, the Korpúlfsstaðir Art Center, and many sports facilities in the city. The City also supports culture and sports through longer cooperation agreements with various art associations and sports clubs.

Reykjavík residents have many possibilities to enjoy leisure activities, and all age groups should be able to find something to their liking. The City of Reykjavík places a strong focus on making information about the City's work easy to understand. A special emphasis is placed on promoting opportunities for children and teenagers in the city's neighborhoods.

Guest stays

The City offers guest stays for domestic and foreign artists in two locations.

Organization chart