Mr Nordic

Visit the highlights of Tórshavn, the unique capital of the Faroe Islands

Tórshavn is the capital of the Faroe Islands, the remote archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Because of its location, the Faroe Islands are located between Iceland and Norway, Tórshavn is a true northern capital. And also the world’s smallest capital. Of the approximately 48,000 inhabitants that the country has, one third lives in Tórshavn.

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The rugged landscape of the Faroe Islands in combination with the constantly changing weather guarantee guaranteed beautiful photos and challenging experiences

Tórshavn means the port of Thor, the god of thunder and lightning from Norse mythology. Thor’s hammer occupies a considerable position on the city’s coat of arms. The city is located on the east coast of the island of Streymoy. This is the largest island of the Faroe Islands. In the north-west of the city lies the 347-meter high Húsareyn mountain and in the southwest is the Kirkjubøreyn mountain of 350 meters high. Tórshavn has an area of 185 km².

What to do

Although the city lacks the charm that is so characteristic of the other places on the archipelago, the city is certainly worth a visit. Because while in the rest of the country there is often a search for a restaurant (they are really rare in the Faroe Islands), you have it in abundance in Tórshavn. Shops, restaurants, all located around the cozy city center. Also visit the remains of the Skansin fort and the lighthouse. We also found the historical museum, the Foroya Fornminnissavn, highly recommended. Wander around for hours and delve into the Faroe history. Delicious.

The cathedral of Tórshavn is the second oldest church in the archipelago. The church is located in the old city center in the north of Tinganes. It is a Lutheran cathedral that has been the seat of the Bishop of Faroe Islands since 1990. The history of the church goes far back in time. Initially, during the Middle Ages there was a place of prayer at the place where the church can be found today. In 1609 a real church was built on the site by order of King Christian IV. The church was rebuilt in 1788 and in 1865 the cathedral was given a whole new look. The current church is a true stone masterpiece.

The Natural History Museum with a beautiful botanical garden with more than 150 Faroe Islands plant species is worth a visit.

The Skansin Fort is located on a hill next to the port of Tórshavn. It was built in 1580 to protect the city against pirates. The fort was expanded in 1780. During the Second World War the fort served as a military base for the English. There are several guns to be seen, both from the British occupation and the Danish period. The fort offers a fairytale view of the harbor, the surrounding landscape and the island of Nolsoy.

Exploring Tinganes: A Historic Gem in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

Tinganes is a charming and historic neighborhood nestled in the heart of Tórshavn, the capital city of the Faroe Islands. Boasting a picturesque waterfront setting, this area has played a significant role in Faroese history for centuries. With its vibrant red turf-roofed buildings and narrow cobblestone streets, Tinganes offers visitors an enchanting step back in time.

A Rich History

The name Tinganes translates to “parliament jetty” or “parliament point,” indicating the neighborhood’s historical importance. It has been the seat of power on the Faroe Islands since the Viking Age. The ancient assembly, known as “Løgting,” gathered here to discuss important matters and establish laws throughout medieval times.

Today, Tinganes continues to serve as the home for the Faroese government offices, while also preserving its rich cultural heritage. Some of the well-preserved and restored buildings date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

Nestled among the breathtaking landscapes and rugged beauty of the Faroe Islands lies a cultural gem, the Listasavn Føroya, or National Gallery of the Faroe Islands. Established in 1989, this remarkable institution is home to an extensive collection of artworks that showcase not only the talent and history of Faroese artists but also provides insights into their unique perspective on life in this remote part of the world.

A Journey through Faroese Art

The primary mission of Listasavn Føroya is to preserve and make accessible to visitors the rich artistic heritage of the Faroe Islands. Housed within its walls are over 2,500 works ranging from paintings, sculptures, graphic art, textiles, and photographs spanning a period from the early 19th century to contemporary times.

As you meander through its galleries, you will be captivated by pieces that tell stories infused with themes such as nature, society and religion – all reflecting aspects familiar to island life. Notable artists with works on display include Sámal Joensen-Mikines, Ingálvur av Reyni, Ruth Smith and more recently Edward Fuglø.

Discovering Skansin Fortress: A Glimpse into Faroese History

Located in the picturesque capital of Tórshavn, Skansin Fortress is an important historical site that offers visitors a wonderful opportunity to discover the rich history and heritage of the Faroe Islands. With panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscapes, this small coastal fort holds tales of battles, invasions, and resilience.

The Beginnings of Skansin Fortress

Built in 1580 by Magnus Heinason, a legendary Faroese naval hero, Skansin Fortress was initially constructed as a defense against pirate attacks. Over the years, it played a crucial role in protecting Tórshavn’s harbor from foreign invaders such as British and French forces. The fortress has been rebuilt and renovated multiple times due to extensive damage caused by conflicts or natural disasters.

A Walk through History

As you enter Skansin Fortress, you’re immediately transported back to an era when sailors and soldiers protected these shores with great courage. The fortress features several historic structures such as old barracks, gunpowder storage rooms, and munition depots. One of the most iconic landmarks within the fortress is an imposing watchtower that once functioned as a lighthouse.

Walking along the ramparts of Skansin Fortress offers stunning views of Tórshavn Harbor as well as breathtaking sights across the archipelago. Keep an eye out for seabirds like puffins and guillemots nesting on nearby cliffs during your visit.

red boat on body of water near gray concrete bridge during daytime

Explore the rest of the Faroe Islands

Of course you do not travel all the way to the Faroe Islands for just a short visit to the capital. The distance and the price of the tickets make that very difficult. And besides that, it’s also a shame if you don’t see more of this special northern group of islands than just Tórshavn. Because in comparison to the rest of the country, Tórshavn is a bit in terms of beauty.

Rent a car and take the time to explore the remote islands. Visit perhaps the most beautiful island in Europe, Mykines, which can only be reached by boat or helicopter. Or explore the breathtaking cliffs of Vestmanna from the water. The Faroe Islands have so much to offer in terms of nature, outdoor and history.

Cozy terraces & the latest Faeroese fashion

But why then to Tórshavn? Because sometimes it’s just really nice to visit the coziness of the city. In some places it is really difficult to find a restaurant and there is often no choice but to eat at the hotel or guesthouse where you stay. So explore the city, settle down on one of the terraces at the harbor, view the latest Faroe Islands fashion and above all have a chat with the local youth (who hardly seem to understand why you want to visit their country so badly) that delivers very nice conversations!

Last Updated on May 9, 2023

Mr Nordic

Mr Nordic

I'm a passionate travel blogger captivated by Scandinavia's stunning landscapes, diverse cultures, and Viking history. I explore offbeat destinations in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, providing authentic insights into Nordic life. When not adventuring, I share my experiences, photos, and love for Scandinavian cuisine. Join me as I uncover Scandinavia's hidden gems and magic!

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About Mr Nordic

Mr Nordic loves the Nordic. He travels all around Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden to find the greatest adventures, the most beautifull places and most exciting experiences. Here on you can read all about it. From food to living and from outdoor to culture, Mr Nordic covers it all.