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Top choice in Laugavegur & Skólavörðustígur

With its ever-changing facets glistening on the water's edge, Reykjavík’s sparkling Harpa concert hall and cultural centre is a beauty to behold. In addition to a season of top-notch shows (some free), the shimmering interior with harbour vistas is worth stopping in for, or take a highly recommended, 30-minute guided tour (1500kr); these run two to three times daily year-round, with up to eight daily tours between mid-June and mid-August.

Harpa dazzles the eye with an intricate lattice of convex and concave glass panels that sparkle at night like the switchboard of an alien spaceship. Designed by Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects, Icelandic firm Batteríið Architects and Danish-Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson, Harpa opened in 2011. The lobby houses design boutiques and a cafe, and gourmet restaurant Kolabrautin perches on the upper level. The Iceland Symphony and the Icelandic Opera are based here.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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2. Culture House


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8. Reykjavík Museum of Photography

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