City Life Activities

Harpa Concert Hall was opened on May 4th, 2011 after a long construction process. Harpa has since its opening hosted more than 5 million visitors. The building serves as a landmark of Reykjavik and its central location makes it a destination easy to access. It's just a 12 minutes walk from Villa. If you choose to stay in our guesthouse and have a conference in Harpa you can expect to save time with taxis or parking costs.

Harpa has won numerous prizes and awards including an award for one of the best concert halls of the millennium by magazine Gramophone and the 2013 award for architecture by Mies Van der Rohe.

Harpa Concert Hall is situated by the sea and has glass walls in the shape of hexagons. The hexagon is a motif in Icelandic architecture. In nature, lava cools down and forms hexagons, as can be seen at Svartafoss waterfall in Skaftafell and in many other places. The lava cools down very quick and the metallic elements in the lava cause it to harden into straight lines. 

The facade of the building is made of glass illuminated by colorful neon lights controlled by a computer system. The light system is often programmed to alternate between colors creating different shapes or a magical ambiance, mesmerizing to watch. In fact, the facade of the building was through this computer system made into the world’s biggest Ping-Pong platform. Through you phone, you could connect to the computer system and thereby play Ping-Pong monitored on the Harpa facade.

In Harpa there are two restaurants and a traditional gift shop. Some weekends there is a farmers' market where you can taste local specialties right from the farmers stand. There is also a tour of Harpa which usually runs once a day and will give you plenty of information about the building.

Harpa is home to the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera. Many festivals use Harpa as one of their main venues, including: Iceland Airwaves festival, Reykjavik Arts festival, Sónar Reykjavik and many others. Harpa also hosts many international and national scientific conferences, such as conferences held by University of Iceland or Reykjavik University.