The Department of Culture and Tourism is responsible for cultural affairs and the operation of Reykjavík’s cultural institutions which include Reykjavík City Library, Reykjavík City Museum and Reykjavík Art Museum. The City of Reykjavík also supports other institutions such as the Reykjavík City Theatre and Harpa – Concert Hall and Conference Center, offers grants to a wide range of producers of the arts, city festivals and provides facilities for artists.
The Department of Culture and Tourism is responsible for carrying out the city's policy in culture and tourism, promoting Reykjavík as a tourist destination and promoting and strengthening a vibrant and flourishing cultural city. The Department runs several large and important city festivals, such as Reykjavík Culture Night (Menningarnótt) which is the largest cultural festival in Iceland held in August close to the anniversary of Reykjavík on August 18. In February it stages the Winter Lights Festival (Vetrarhátíð) and in April it produces the The Children's Culture Festival (Barnamenningarhátíð). It is also responsible for grants to a wide range of city festivals such as Reykjavík Arts Festival, Iceland Airwaves music festival, Reykjavík International Film Festival (RIFF), Design March and many more as well as offering grants to individual artists and a wide variety of arts and culture producers. Reykjavík is the main contributor of funds to the Reykjavík City Theatre (Borgarleikhúsið) and owns Harpa - Concert Hall and Conference Centre along with the Icelandic state. 

Harpa - Concert Hall and Conference Centre

Cultural institutions

The Department of Culture and Tourism also runs Reykjavík‘s cultural institutions. They include The City Library which operates six culture centers and libraries in various neighbourhoods in the city, Reykjavík Art Museum with its three buildings; Hafnarhús, Kjarvalsstaðir and Museum of Ásmundur Jónsson, The Reykjavík History Museum which operates the Open air museum at Árbær, Maritime Museum, Museum of Photography, Settlement Exhibition in Aðalstræti and the island of Viðey which is home to the artworks of Richard Serra and Yoko Ono. Ono visits annually on October 9th to light her artwork IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, made in memory of her late husband John Lennon. The Imagine Peace Tower is lit until  December 8th.  It is also lit on December 21st - 31st, February 18th and March 20th - 27th.

Imagine Peace Tower by Yoko Ono 

In August 2011 Reykjavík became the fifth UNESCO City of Literature in the world. Reykjavík was the first non English speaking city to belong to the Cities of Literature Network. As a City of Literature Reykjavík is dedicated to pursuing excellence in literature on a local level, engaging citizens in a dynamic culture of words. 

Unesco City of Literature

Visit Reykjavík

Visit Reykjavík, which is in charge of tourism, marketing and events such as some of the major city festivals, is also a part of the department. Visit Reykjavík leads extensive promotion of Reykjavík as a destination both for leisure and conference guests. e-mail for tourist information:
Reykjavík is the co-founder and largest partner in Meet in Reykjavík which is dedicated to marketing and promotion of Reykjavík as an attractive destination for international conferences, meetings and events. e-mail:
Director of the Department of Culture and Tourism is Arna Schram.