With a population of just over 22,000 people, Tórshavn may be one of the smallest capital cities in the world, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of things to do in Tórshavn! The city has a Scandinavian charm, a cozy city center and plenty of quaint corners to discover.
Grass roofs, cobbled streets, and historic buildings set the scene for this picturesque capital of Faroe Islands, whether you choose it as your base for your adventures, or simply pass through it on your way to the other islands. Here is the ultimate guide to Tórshavn, the capital of Faroe Islands.
10 Things to do and see in Torshavn
1. Tórshavn marina
Colorful boats and buildings make this marina a treat for photographers! Walk around, or grab some lunch or a coffee overlooking the boats as they come and go into the marina.
2. Reyn – Tórshavn old town
Reyn and Undir Ryggi – Tórshavn’s old town, is home to small black-tarred wooden houses with grass roofs and white-framed windows. The Tórshavn old town is perfect for a stroll along the narrow passageways and lanes.
Note: Do not take photos too close up to the windows. People live in these houses so it is important to respect their privacy.
Tinganes (or “parliament point”) is the historic location of the Faroese government and a part of Tórshavn. It is said to be one of the oldest parliamentary meeting places in the world and it was here, in around year 900, that the Viking parliament first began meeting every summer.
This part is very nice to stroll around in and you might even get to see the prime minister wander the streets in Tinganes.
4. Hoyvíkar Kirkja and Vesturkirkjan
Vesturkirkjan is a stylish and modern church and one of Torshamn’s landmarks. Its shape resembles a sailing ship and the 42-meter high tower is shaped like a vertically halved pointed pyramid. It is located in the western part of Tórshavn and seats 800 people. This church serves as a parish church for the western part of the city, while Hoyvíkar Kirkja (Tórshavn cathedral) serves the eastern part of the city.
5. Kongaminnid viewpoint
If you want front row seats to the best sunset view in Tórshavn, make sure you stop by the Kongaminnid viewpoint. At the location, an obelisk is erected to commemorate the visit of the Danish king Christian IX’s to the Faroe Islands in 1874. And you might even get lucky with some sheep coming by to say hello.
6. The Fort – Skansin
Whether you’re into history or picnics, Skansin is the perfect place for both. Primarily built to protect the trading center of Tórshavn from an increasing number of seaborne attacks, the original fortification only lasted until 1677, when French pirates destroyed the fort.
During the Second World War, Skansin served as the British Royal Navy headquarters and the two guns that face out to sea from behind the fort were used to defend the islands against German attack. Now you can also see the cannons and a lighthouse here, and also enjoy a picnic on the grass lawn.
7. Trappan – City Park
Just a stone’s throw away from the marina lies Trappan. Trappan means staircase and it’s exactly what you think it is – a giant staircase. A great place for people to gather, chat and rest after touristing around Tórshavn.
Summers in Tórshavn are short, cloudy and windy, with an average high of 55°F / 13°C and a low of 49°F / 9°C. The winters are long, cold, wet, and very windy.
The best time to visit Tórshavn is from mid-July to mid-August. Make sure you pack clothes that are good for layering, as well as comfortable shoes for all the hikes and walks.
Hotels in Tórshavn
For your stay in Tórshavn I highly suggest you book an Airbnb. Hotels are quite pricey and the lack of a ‘local’ feel is very present in many of them.
We stayed in an Airbnb in central Tórshavn and we loved having our own kitchen to cook in and have breakfast. So ditch the hotels on your trip to the Faroe Islands and book hose local accommodations instead!
When you arrive to the Faroe Islands you will land on the neighboring island of Vágar, where the main airport also lies. To get from Vágar to Torshavn you will need to either take a taxi or rent a car. I recommend you stay on Vagar for at least 2 nights and experience everything the island has to offer, before you head off to the capital.
Tórshavn is a very small capital and definitely does not compare to the busy nightlife of many other European capitals. However, that is not to say there is nothing going on there! Since the city is very small, you will be able to walk in between all the places.
The party at the clubs is usually happening on Fridays and Saturdays from midnight onwards. Before that, the locals will either hang out at home or at a local bar or pub. Most of the clubs close at 4 am and if you want to do it like the locals – gather on the main street and get a slice of pizza or a hot dog on your way home.
Here are some of the locals’ favorites:
Located in the heart of Tórshavn, Basecamp is where you’ll be able to dance all night long!
Another central club, Bassalt, has a lower entry age which makes it perfect for young adults to dance to the tunes of a live DJ.
Luux is a 2-story nightclub – a lounge on the first floor and a club on the second.
If you’re looking for an LGBT-friendly club, then make sure you head to Sirkus Føroyar. They are openly gay-friendly and at times even host LGBT events.
Torshavn restaurant – Where to eat & drink
The amazing thing about Tórshavn is that the city might be small, but it’s packed with delicious restaurants and cozy cafés! A good idea, if you’re traveling in the high season, is to book a table before you travel, since many of the popular restaurants are fully booked months in advance. Tórshavn will be the only place on your entire trip with this much choice for food, so make sure you book your favorites.
Here are some of the best cafés and restaurants in Tórshavn:
Áarstova – Scandinavian food
Barbara Fish House – Seafood
Etika – Sushi, Japanese
Haps Burgarabar – Burgers
Koks – Local and Nordic. Closed in 2022 and 2023, but a sister restaurant Ræst is now in the outskirts of Tórshavn.
Paname Café – Coffee and cakes
Kaffihusid – Coffee and tea
Umami – Coffee, sandwiches, and cakes
Gomagott – Cakes