Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall, that opened its doors in 2011 quickly became a status symbol of Reykjavik and is considered a place one must visit, an impressive and unusual structure immediately catches the eye.
The meaning of the word Harpa in Iceland means harp and it received its name because the structure itself resembles, from afar, a harp. The external walls are made from woven pieces of hexagonal glass tiles in different shapes and colors, diagonal to each other. Some of the tiles are mirrored whilst others are made from colored glass, so that when the sunrays hit them they create a charming color scheme that changes in accordance with the angle you look.
In the dark, flickering colored digital lights on every face add beauty and interest to passersby. The lighting constantly changes every few days, depending on events taking place in Reykjavik, for example; lights in the shape and colors of the Icelandic flag during national and pink lighting in October to mark the breast cancer awareness month. Harpa has four concerts halls of various sizes and is home to the Icelandic Opera and the Iceland Symphony. Additionally international ballet performances, music events held by top artists from around the world and a variety of concerts held during Reykjavik concerts are hosted at Harpa .
Almost every week a variety of musical performances are held in Harpa. The Iceland Symphony Orchestra performs in the main hall 'Eldborg' that has fantastic acoustics. Recital and jazz performances are also held at Harpa and more information can be found at the ticket counter in the lobby of the building.
"How to become Icelandic in 60 minutes" a stand-up comedy show in English, running successfully since 2012 showing off the Icelandic culture and making it accessible to the average tourist via entertaining and humorous stories.
Daily guided tours in English are available in which visitors receive explanations about the architectural structure and unique design as well as a glimpse of the halls. The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and tickets can be bought at the ticket counter at the entrance floor.
Killing two birds with one stone! Enjoy eating delicious food and the breathtaking views of Reykjavik Bay and the mountains on the horizon, visible through glass windows. Smurstöðin Cafe-Bar is located on the entrance floor and offers Scandinavian-style cuisine serving open sandwiches with an emphasis on raw Icelandic materials, pastries and a variety of hot and cold drinks.
Kolabrautin, located on the top floor is known as one of the best and most prestigious restaurants in Reykjavik. The dishes served there made with local raw materials, upgraded, and served in a Mediterranean style. The restaurant also offers a bar with a selection of alcoholic beverages.
We recommend a wander around just to enjoy the way light rays penetrate into the b building from all sides and illuminate the inside in different shades. Visit the top floor which has a staircase adjacent to the glass walls that is divided into levels, each with comfortable armchairs. Sit with a cup of coffee on a chair and just fathom the light and colors that hit you in every direction that you look, even the ceiling is covered in hexagon shaped mirrors that create an illusion that it is endless.