The capital of the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn, is located on Streymoy island. Although it is the largest city in the islands, it claims to be the smallest capital in the world! When I arrived at the airport, my plan had been to travel to Tórshavn by bus. However, the rental car company offered me the car a day early, so I ended up driving via the sub-sea tunnel. There are not too many roads and it is sign-posted and easy to find the way. I found the capital to be colourful and scenic, with water and hills.
After I dropped the rental car back at the airport I had a second opportunity to travel to Tórshavn, this time by air. I took a helicopter and had the most magnificent views of the islands from above. Luckily, I also had more time to visit a few other shops in the city as well. Then I took the bus back to the airport, which takes about 50 minutes.
Tórshavn is a good place to be based for most of the sightseeing and tours (with the exception of Mykines). However, it is also the most expensive for accommodation. The islands are quite small so, with a car, you can really start from anywhere.
- Old Town Tórshavn and government buildings
- Svartafoss Waterfall is a very close walk from the town centre
- Hoyvíksgarður – open air museum part of the National Museum
- Listasavn Føroya – the national art gallery with interesting outdoor sculptures
- The Nordic House– cool architecture and you may be able to catch a cultural event
- Kongaminnið – monument and nice viewpoint
- Tórshavn Cathedral
- Skansin hill fort and lighthouse
- Football stadium
Before you go
- Tórshavn is the capital and largest city on Streymoy Island. Most other areas I visited were more like towns or villages, so it may be the only city in the islands
- Alcohol is very expensive and Tórshavn has one of the few national stores called Rúsdrekkasøla Landsins
- Restaurants tend to close on the earlier side so check the opening hours
- The Parliament (Løgting) and central government of the Faroe islands is located here
- From the airport, there is a bus through Strandfaraskip Landsins (SSL) but sometimes there can be a long wait. The alternative is to get a taxi, but that is a lot more expensive.
- I took one bus from Tórshavn to Vágar airport and it was comfortable and on time. It cost 90 DKK ~£10) for a one way ticket that could be bought with credit card on the bus. The journey is about 50 minutes
- If your budget allows, then hiring a car is an easier, quicker way to get around the islands
- Another lesser known mode of transport is to take a helicopter between cities on Atlantic Airways. There are scheduled flights between towns, and you can book online. It is actually quite affordable. I have heard this is because it is subsidised by the government as a necessity for residents. Keep in mind that you may get bumped if locals need the space or if there is a need for the helicopter for an emergency. The helicopters are part of the local search and rescue. Also weather may cause delayed or cancelled flights.
- In Tórshavn, I used my airline mileage points to stay at the four-star Hotel Brandan. The rooms were large and comfortable, and I had a view of the football stadium.
- It is a fancy spa hotel, though I didn’t get a chance to use the spa. Some Norwegian ladies I met hired a private jacuzzi and said that was definitely worth it! My room was clean and spacious. There is plenty of free parking and the hotel is a little ways outside of the town centre. It’s only about a 15-minute walk but coming back is a slight uphill walk.
- The breakfast buffet is delicious with lots of choices.
- Also, as an added bonus they have a happy hour every day between 17:00-18:00. Each guest can have a free glass of wine! The hotel is quite new so everything is modern. I really enjoyed my comfortable stay.
- One guy who I met on a tour was camping in Tórshavn. He said it was affordable and close to the town centre. However, with the cold evenings and wind, I am not sure I would have braved it!
When I was in Greenland in July 2022, I heard about the restaurant from the Faroe Islands called KOKS. It had been located just outside of Tórshavn and had two Michelin stars. However, in 2022, it took up a temporary residence in Greenland. Unfortunately, it was fully booked when I was there so I didn’t get to try it. Luckily, I was able to try the related restaurant called ROKS.
The culinary highlight of my trip was the seven-course tasting menu at ROKS. Although the menu says seven courses, it seems like more because some courses have multiple plates. There were many fish and seafood dishes, and some vegetables. Delicious flavours and some unusual combinations, including trout roe, cream and a waffle. I was so full that I could not finish the tasty dessert. However, I did manage to make space for the homemade chocolate at the very end!
For a quick meal before I caught the bus to Vágar, I went to Bitin. Their specialty is a wide selection of open-faced sandwiches. I had the salt cod sandwich with beetroot and greens on rye bread. It was delicious and filling. It seemed to be a very popular place with the locals.
I tried to order a takeaway from etika Sushi, but the wait was 90 minutes. Instead, I chose one of the ready-made salmon poke bowls with rice, mango, spring onion, red onion, avocado and edamame. It was very fresh and tasty. The place must be popular since it was so busy on a Sunday evening.
Thai Style Takeaway was a hole in the wall on a corner. It seemed many people had called in their orders ahead of time. I ordered and waited about fifteen minutes for my food to be ready. It was worth the wait! I tried the fried drumsticks with chili sauce, and the beef panang curry with rice. The flavour was delicious and the portion sizes were quite large. I was really hungry that evening so appreciated the tasty and hearty food.
Finally, I can recommend the locally-made chocolates from Gómagott. The shop is located in the building across from the Tórshavn tourist information centre. They have a great selection of chocolates, hot drinks and other desserts. It is a cafe so you can eat there or takeaway. They also have vouchers for wi-fi.
I tried looking for bakeries and the only one I found was in Tórshavn. Unfortunately, I never got to try it since they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Q: Do I need a tour guide?
A: No, getting around the city is very easy on foot and the main attractions are marked by signs. Most things are in the right place on GoogleMaps, but not everything…
Q: Do people speak English?
A: Yes almost everyone speaks at least some English so you don’t really need a translation app. However, if Faroese is not found on your app, then try Icelandic fo a close translation…. usually
Q: Is it a walkable city?
A: Yes it is walkable. There are some hills, but the roads are well-marked.
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