Icelandic economy, politics and history tour, Reykjavik

Experiences / Culture & History ↗

About The Icelandic Economy, Politics and History Tour

Walk through the events leading up to the 2008 collapse of the Icelandic financial system, one of the largest financial crises in history. Learn all about the causes of the 2008 crash, including the “financial miracle” of the early 2000s and how Iceland aspired to become a global financial centre, a “Dubai of the North,” – as well as the consequences of the crash, including the jailing of the bankers and the miraculous recovery of Iceland since 2008.

During the 2.5 hour walk I will take you to some of the sites of this dramatic and colorful history, telling you the story of bankers, “corporate Vikings” and grand ideas and dreams, along with some of my own personal experiences with this dramatic development.

The “Icelandic financial miracle” came to a dramatic end in 2008 when the over-leveraged banks collapsed in one of the largest financial crashes in history. You will learn about the financial and political history of Iceland and the answers to questions like: What was really behind the Icelandic Financial Miracle? Why did the Icelandic banks Collapse? What happened to the bankers? What was the “Pots and Pans revolution” of 2008-9 all about? And how and why has Iceland recovered from these dramatic events.

The story behind the collapse of the Icelandic financial system is exciting and it provides a unique insight into Icelandic culture, politics and history, as well as serving as a fascinating example of the development of the global financial system in the past decades.

It is time to get inspired by the events and stories of people who make Iceland a unique place!


Dates are flexible and starting times could be at 10:30, 14:30 or 15:30. Please contact in advance to arrange.

Also available at your preferred day and time as private. Please contact for price


ISK 14,900 for 1 person

ISK 11,900 per person with 2 people or more


2.5 hours approx.

About the host

I’m a historian and I have taught economic and financial history at the University of Bifröst since 2010. In 2009-10 I worked for the Althing Special Investigative Commission on the collapse of the Icelandic Financial System, authoring the fifth addendum to the commission report.

I have also worked as a broadcaster, columnist and journalist, writing on business, finance and history. In the fall of 2008 I worked as a business journalist at Fréttablaðið Markaðurinn. 



This experience is booked on request. We will let you know within 72 hours whether your booking request has been accepted or not. No payment will be requested until the booking is confirmed.

Why booking with us

  • No booking fees or any hidden cost

  • Best price guarantee

  • Count on us to be there by your side

Good to know




This activity takes place rain or shine.


Dress for the weather and wear comfortable outdoor walking shoes

Other booking options

Available any day and time as private and for group booking. 

We welcome group of university students that would like an introduction to this topic and mix it up with a general intro to Reykjavík city and the basic history of Iceland.

Please contact me for prices.

Meeting at/location

Downtown Reykjavik. Meeting point will be provided after booking.


“A sense of what its like to live in Reykjavik, during the financial crash and now”

“We really enjoyed walking around Reykjavik with Magnus, a professor of economic history at the university there. We're policy wonks from another small advanced economy and we wanted to get a sense of what it is like to live in Reykjavik now and in the financial crash. Magnus made it all so clear and personal in a way that anybody would enjoy - even if you don't know much about economics like my husband. He took us to places you wouldn't get to know about any other way, too. It became the touchstone for understanding everything we saw on the rest of our holiday.”

"We did the political and economic history tour with Magnus and really enjoyed it. It set the scene for everything we saw on the rest of the trip and Magnus showed us things in Reykjavik we'd never have seen or appreciated otherwise. You don't have to be an economic junkie to enjoy Magnus's talk, even though he is the real deal who worked on the 'lessons learned' for the Icelandic government."

"Well informed, amusing and very insightful presentation of a fascinating story. Magnus, the guide, was superb. I did the tour during my second day in the city and after the few hours with Magnus, I felt I had a real understanding, not only of the economy but of many aspects of Iceland. I found myself quoting Magnus to many of the people I talked to, including natives of the country, and highly recommended the tour, not only for tourists, but also for Icelanders. Several said they would try to arrange tours or lectures for themselves and colleagues."

“Magnus is the best city guide I’ve encountered anywhere, bar none. … I have written several academic essays about Iceland’s boom, crash, and partial recovery…  Still, I learned a whole lot from this guided walk-about that I did not know, so I kept exclaiming “Aha!”.”

“Magnus has very solid credentials regarding the topic. He also has passion about explaining the process of before, during and the aftermath. I liked that he really put in personal accounts during the walk too. Magnus was professional, eloquent and quite personable. … This was an amazingly informative and engaging tour… I was hanging onto to every word. ”

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