Harpa conference hall in Reykjavík

  • Harpa Concert and Conference Hall in Reykjavík
Mar 6 2017

In 2008 Iceland experienced a disastrous financial crash. What had looked like an endless path to growth, reaching back to the year 2000, came to a standstill taking a whole nation to an edge of a financial cliff. Among the significant symbols of growth and prosperity was a new conference and concert hall by the harbor. A symbol of success and wealth. A project that had started but a building that had barely surfaced. As the country seemed completely broke and more or less on the brink of bankruptcy at the mercy of the IMF, lacking resources to finance the healthcare and educational institutions, there was little interest in continuing with the immensely expensive conference hall. There was, of course, a very harsh dispute about the continuation of the project.  Some wanted to stop the project as others saw it as a symbol of not giving up. In the end, a new left-wing government faced with more difficulties than any other government had in recent history, decided to go ahead and build this very expensive building. At that time it became a symbol of a nation not altogether dead as it was the only project in the whole country.

Harpa has become an important social and cultural building in Iceland

In hindsight, one must admit that it was the right decision to continue with the project. Even though it was a highly controversial decision, the building has proven to be of great value to Reykjavík and Iceland and is currently one of the most recognized landmarks in Reykjavík with many architectural as well as a concert hall rewards. It has at least five excellent concert halls and conference halls, two restaurants, small shops and a grand space on many floors with a great overview over Reykjavík City Center.  It is a magnificent place to visit.

Harpa is a product of a cooperation between architects and a renowned Danish / Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson

The 28.000 square meter building was designed by the Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects and the Icelandic architectural firm Batteríið Architects. On Harpa´s website, the creative role of artist Ólafur Elíasson is described: Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson designed the south facade, and developed the principle for the remaining north/east/west facades and roof in collaboration with Henning Larsen Architects and Batteríið Architects. Elíasson deploys light, color, and natural phenomena to test how physical movement, sensual engagement, and the interaction of body and brain influence our perception of our surroundings.

Today Harpa is considered one of the most important buildings in Reykjavík

From the time Harpa opened in 2011 numerous concerts, music festivals, conferences, meetings and small gatherings have been held in Harpa. Ranging from Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Icelandic Opera to electronic music concerts and our famous festival, Iceland Airwaves.  It is truly a forum for a broad range of diversity. Harpa is also at the beginning of the famous Sculpture & Shorewalk path in Reykjavík. 

Tours and things to do in Reykjavík Iceland

Find an interesting tour in Reykjavík. A tour in Reykjavík or a day-tour to nearby natural wonders, a scenic drive or an adventure tour if you are ready for action.

Ice Super Truck adventure for a day

This adventurous one-day super truck tour takes you to the South coast with an added glacier activity. 

The day starts off with a visit to one of Iceland’s most famous and fascinating waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss. Here you can walk behind the falling water and experience something different.  But you need to be careful as the trail is narrow and most of the time a bit slippery.  Extra caution is required during winter, and proper footwear is recommended. This is one of the most photographed places in Iceland and for a good reason. During the winter, the waterfall is lit up so you can enjoy it’s magic all year round.

Southern Region in Iceland
Ice cave

Natural wonders, ice cave, icberg lagoon, northern lights

The south coast of Iceland is the home of some stunning natural wonders and spectacular places to visit.  This tour highlights the iceberg lagoon Jökulsárlón, the Diamond beach, a visit to an actual Ice cave, and the waterfall Seljalandsfoss.  As evening approaches on our way back to Reykjavík, we start looking for the Northern light’s and make a stop if we spot a glimpse of Aurora Borealis.

 

South Region in Iceland
Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Pursuing the Northern Lights around Reykjavík in a small group

Iceland is a perfect place to see the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis.  If conditions are right, the Northern Lights can be seen in all regions.  Reykjavík and nearby countryside is an excellent place to search for and see the Northern Lights. Come with us as we search for the best place to experience this unique phenomenon.

Reykjavík
2 Day South Coast Tour - Blue Ice cave - Jökulsárlón - and more

Blue Ice cave - Waterfalls - Jökulsárlón iceberg lagoon - Black Sands at Reynisfjara 

Join this tour along Iceland’s south coast to discover the unique landscape, natural blue Ice cave, glacier tongues, icebergs, lava fields, volcanos, black beaches, mighty rivers, and magic waterfalls.

Global Warming and Climate change adventure tour in Iceland

With a combination of travel and lectures, Geocamp Iceland and Hit Iceland offer a unique opportunity to get a view of and understand how climate change is affecting our planet in the form of a tour.  The trip takes you through exotic locations of volcanoes, glaciers, ice tongues, canyons, craters, lagoons, deep highland, small fishing towns, and other relevant and interesting places.  Our approach for this tour is based on geology, environmental science, and changes in nature.  We will also visit fishing villages to highlight how changes in the environment and natural resources affect various communities and their economy.

Northern Lights tour in Reykjavik

Iceland is one of the best places on the planet to see the Northern Lights.  This tour will take you to see this spectacular phenomenon near Reykjavík. We bring you away from the city lights to a place where the likelihood of a spotting Aurora Borealis increases even further. The destination varies, of course, depending on cloud cover, clear skies, aurora strength and likelihood of a sighting.  Visitors should be aware that although the tour endeavors to show the northern lights to as many of our guests as possible, seeing them is not guaranteed.  In winter weather always plays a large part in Iceland.

Golden Circle tour with Secret Lagoon

Step away from the crowd, the rush, and speed and enjoy the top sights and attractions in the south-western part of Iceland, without all the traffic. Take a convenient bus tour in a smaller bus and with a smaller group (max 16) at a time when fewer visitors are around. Why chase the crowds when you can enjoy the wonders of Iceland in a more friendly setting?  This peaceful excursion takes place in the afternoon and lasts into the evening and allows plenty of time to explore, view and photograph all the spectacular wonders.  And remember that evening in Iceland is bright during spring, summer and into the autumn. 

Þórsmörk tour

Þórsmörk is one of the most spectacular places in Iceland.  It is one of the most accessible areas in the Highland, a deep valley, and oasis cornered with glaciers on three sides.  It is truly a place of ice and fire as one of the glaciers; Eyjafjallajökull has recently erupted with glowing lava flowing into two parts of Þórsmörk.
2 presons minimum

Snæfellsnes Peninsula day tour from Reykjavík

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is one of the Regions in Iceland that offers an impressive scenic drive, many exciting attractions and natural wonders.  At the end is the Snæfellsjökull glacier towering over the landscape and dominating the view with its mystical power. A power sensed by many locals and visitors alike and inspired literary giants like Jules Verne and our Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxnes. 
3 persons minimum 

Landmannalaugar

Explore one of the most exciting places in the Icelandic highland in a super jeep day tour from Reykjavík.  Experience the magnificent colors of rhyolite mountains,  visit a beautiful waterfall, meet Hekla the active volcano and take a dip in the most famous geothermal pool in Iceland.   

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