Hafnarfjörður is one of the oldest towns in Iceland. It became a thriving town due to its excellent natural harbour. Merchants from Germany and England began commercial activities there in the 15th century but the settlement did not grow until the fishing industry expanded in the 19th century.
Fishing, industry, commerce and service have been the town´s main activities but in recent decades a varied cultural life has begun to thrive. There are plenty of interesting art
and history museums
in Hafnarfjördur. One of the oldest buildings in town The Sívertsen's house is at Vesturgata 6
, the former home of Bjarni Sivertsen (1763-1833), one of the first pioneers to settle there.