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“The wow factor! Loved this place and returned to see a show.”

Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre
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Icelandic Sagas: The Greatest Hits Theater Show
Ranked #16 of 182 things to do in Reykjavik
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre at the heart of Reykjavik is an award-winning building situated at the old harbour. Harpa opened its doors in 2011 and boasts a wide variety of hosted events where all musical genres play a part. Harpa won the Mies van der Rohe Award in 2013 for architecture. Harpa was designed by Olafur Eliasson, Henning Larssen architects and Batteri architects. Harpa is the residency of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, The Icelandic Opera and the Reykjavik Big Band. Harpa is a state of the art conference centre. Harpa was awarded the prestigious MICE Report award for best conference centre in Northern Europe. Harpa is also the home of several regular shows: - How to become Icelandic in 60 minutes - Pearls of Icelandic Songs - Icelandic Sagas: The Greatest Hits - Reykjavík Classics - Mulinn Jazz Club - The Tin Drum Series - Bowie: The Session - The Icelandic Emigration Center's Exhibit
Reviewed August 27, 2012

I don't know what Harpa means in Icelandic, maybe harp, but this place in the harbour, which the name sounds like has resonance with all of the country, clear skies, yellow sunsets, crysrtal waters, ice, waterfalls and music. Each time we saw it from the outside a different ship was reflected in its windows, like an ever changing masterpiece. There were countless reflections and refractions inside from its prismic glass walls and shining interior surfaces.
Every Icelandic we met criticised the government for continuing with this building when the finance disappeared during the recession. They felt it was not to serve the people, who were now footing the bill through their heavy taxes. One has to have sympathy with this view, as it is vastly out of scale and seemed such a magnificent empty space much of the time. Obviously it's free to visit but you pay for concerts, shows and the restaurant. We went there to see "How to be Icelandic in 60 minutes", which I can thoroughly recommend as a very humorous summary of the national psyche. It evidently resonated with the locals in front of us as well as the many foreigners in the audience as they laughed heartily at this picture of themselves. The superb auditorium was full, happily. I do hope that eventually the people will embrace this magnificent building, support it by going to concerts and use the space to better advantage. A capital city deserves a stunning building and this one has been so well designed inside and out.

Thank ruffanreddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"beautiful building"
in 500 reviews
"amazing architecture"
in 145 reviews
"modern architecture"
in 118 reviews
"inside the building"
in 57 reviews
"light show"
in 94 reviews
"wander around"
in 67 reviews
"guided tour"
in 146 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 213 reviews
"gift shop"
in 170 reviews
"icelandic sagas"
in 55 reviews
"northern lights"
in 155 reviews
in 357 reviews
in 228 reviews
in 60 reviews
in 110 reviews
in 87 reviews
in 165 reviews

5,148 - 5,152 of 6,556 reviews

Reviewed August 20, 2012

A controversial building. Construction was started in the height of the last economic bubble 2007, it's size is a testament to the mad optimism that gripped Icelandic financiers. It was supposed to be a gift from one of the biggest players at the time.

When the bubble burst this would be donor went bankrupt and with him the project itself. Construction was halted as the government didn't have the money to continue it. Iceland was at the time under management of the IMF.

Despite suggestions to tear the half-finished building down, construction was finished in 2011.

Despite all, it's a magnificent building.

Thank Trausti R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Was not expecting this in Iceland. Pretty amazing building. Feel like I was in an mc escher picture! Would have liked to see a performance there. There is a fee to see concert halls.

Thank pamo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2012

Harpa dominates the waterfront in downtown Reykjavik; sleek....modern....it fits well into this quirky city, and the backdrop of water and snow covered mountains reflect beautifully in it's glass exterior.
Inside does not disappoint either, with several concert and meeting halls.
The main concert hall is comprised of 5 levels. I sat on level one for a classical concert, and on level 5 for a modern one - the acoustics were good in both locations.

Thank sheilds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 4, 2012

Good menu and very good service. A little pricey but that's expected in Iceland.. Will return in the winter to see northern lights

2  Thank Paulbds1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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