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“A magnificent building right on the water”

Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre
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USD 47.34*
and up
Icelandic Sagas: The Greatest Hits Theater Show
Ranked #20 of 187 things to do in Reykjavik
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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 6 April 2018

I spent about 2 1/2 hours exploring each floor od this wonderful concert hall. The architecture is quite unique! The glass is faceted adn quite mesmerizing, both from inside looking out and outside looking. A wonderful gift store, fancy restaurant and free art exhibits ( photography) when I visited. Comfy couches on the 3rd floor with a wonderful view out over the water and waterfront walking area.

Thank Anneliese M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"beautiful building"
in 533 reviews
"amazing architecture"
in 155 reviews
"modern architecture"
in 132 reviews
"inside the building"
in 60 reviews
"wander around"
in 70 reviews
"light show"
in 88 reviews
"guided tour"
in 154 reviews
"gift shop"
in 194 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 221 reviews
"icelandic sagas"
in 58 reviews
"northern lights"
in 164 reviews
"performance"
in 394 reviews
"honeycomb"
in 66 reviews
"acoustics"
in 201 reviews
"opera"
in 91 reviews
"facade"
in 64 reviews
"shapes"
in 62 reviews
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306 - 310 of 7,028 reviews

Reviewed 5 April 2018

This is definitely worth going to see even if you don't see a concert. The building is incredible and truly beautiful. A short walk from the city centre and free to look around.

Thank Becky S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

The Harpa is the concert / conference venue at the edge of the harbor. It was built to house the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, which had been performing in a movie theater. Started in 2007 as a public / private project, it was 40% complete when the Icelandic economy tanked in 2008. At that point, with the private partners bankrupt, the government had to decide whether to continue. They did, with a somewhat scaled-back version. The design, by Olafur Eliasson who was born in Iceland but raised in Denmark, is inspired by Iceland’s volcanic geology. The interior is mostly a matte black, meant to evoke basalt. The side facing away from the harbor comprises 10,000 windows rising three stories and arranged in three dimensions like basalt columns, which also serves to create a thermal baffle. LEDs run along the sides of the windows, so the whole wall becomes a canvas for changing images at night. The complex contains a big concert hall and three smaller halls. The concert hall is a brilliant red, representing lava, with lots of moveable parts (ceiling over orchestra, e.g.) which allow it to be “tuned”. The guide says it can change the speed of reverberation from 1 second to 3.7 seconds (!), the longer time needed for organ music (the hall was supposed to have an organ, but that was cut in 2008. You can see where it will be installed.). On the outside edge of each side of the auditorium seating is a hidden hallway about 12 feet wide which can be covered with cloth (or not) to change the acoustics. The building has won awards both for its architecture and its acoustics. The tour is short, but I’m glad I went; the building is amazing! It would have been wonderful to have gone to a concert there.

Thank Dzumbush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

I really regret not seeing a concert here while we were visiting Iceland. However, we did get to explore the hall. It is quite beautiful and symbolic of Iceland. One night we saw lights flashing through the windows.

Thank bookworm8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 April 2018 via mobile

Found this hall while we was on a short walk from our hotel. Wow, what a building, amazing architecture.
Looks even better at night lit up.

Thank vinniethespark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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