Tórshavn City Guide

Tórshavn far exceeded my expectations for the capital city of such a small country: the Faroe Islands. We had kind of a crazy time because we got to see everything covered in snow…in April. But we loved it! It’s a great place to base yourself from when exploring the islands and definitely worth spending a day or two wandering.

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SEE

Tinganes | The capital’s government buildings and one of the oldest parliamentary meeting places in the world. We loved the fact that this area is completely open to visitors, not to mention how cute it is.

Tórshavn Harbor | Reminded me a little of Nyhavn in Copenhagen, only smaller. The cutest, most colorful row of buildings is lined with restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating along the water.

STAY

Hotel Havn | There are a number of reasons why I chose this hotel for our night in Tórshavn, even though it isn’t that great. It was relatively inexpensive, within walking distance of everything in the old town, and pickings were pretty slim for hotels fitting both those criteria. Also, the restaurant on the ground floor, Frumbiti, is actually really nice and conveniently where breakfast is located.

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EAT & DRINK

Paname Café | Definitely the cutest coffee shop in Tórshavn and a great little spot for a midday snack.

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Barbara | Pretty much every guide to Tórshavn will tell you to eat at Barbara’s Fish House. Housed in one of the oldest, most charming buildings in town, the atmosphere alone is reason enough to visit, but it helps that the food is amazing too. We went for the ceviche, horse mussels, and of course couldn’t resist getting the whole fried ocean perch.

Ræst | This was our second choice for dinner in the city, although we didn’t actually make it there on this trip. Like Barbara, Ræst offers extremely traditional Faroese food–everything on the menu is fermented! We ended up trying a platter of traditional fermented food at a different restaurant and they were mainly just hard to swallow. But I read that somehow the chefs at Ræst make it all very tasty.

Smyrjibreyðsbúðin | Being in a country associated with Denmark had us both craving  smørrebrød (open face sandwiches) so we were very happy to stumble upon this place. I wouldn’t recommend eating in, but it was perfect for a quick, reasonably priced lunch. Excellent smørrebrød.

Mikkeler | After having such a good experience with this Danish microbrewery in Copenhagen, we were excited to see they had a location in old town Tórshavn. It is such a relaxed place to spend an evening, for locals and tourists alike. Crazy story: the bartender we met was from Michigan!

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SHOP

As usual in any Scandinavian city, the shopping was great in the Faroese capital. Crazy expensive, but fun to look. Below are the places we actually considered buying things.

Føroya Heimavirkisfelag | A good place to look for traditional Faroese sweaters, if you’re interested. Also picked up a sheep horn here, which we thought was pretty cool.

Öström | A design shop selling Faroese made art, homewares, and clothing. The perfect place to pick up gifts and souvenirs.

Leirlist | Home of ceramicist, Guðrið Poulsen’s label: Leirlist. You can also find her work at Öström, but I loved checking out her studio and tiny shop at 16 Sjúrðargøta.

ByOlafsdottir | Shamelesss plug for the friend we made in the Faroes, photographer Harriet Olafsdottir (@byolafsdottir). We met through instagram and she invited us over for lunch after seeing we were visiting her home town. I have always loved her photos, especially those of her flower-crown adorned pet sheep, Bambi. You can find her prints in a few different shops all over the islands, but I’m not sure exactly which ones. Anyway, the link above is to her etsy shop!

 

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