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Torshavn

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Travel Guide Europe Faroe Islands Torshavn

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Introduction

Torshavn harbour

Torshavn harbour

© All Rights Reserved Utrecht

Torshavn is the capital of the Faroe Islands and is the main and largest settlement of the islands with about 13,000 people living in the city proper. It is located on the southeast coast of the island of Streymoy and is surrounded by hilly and rocky landscapes. The town is well over a 1,000 years old and exists since the Vikings settled in this place. Although it has been modernized a lot, it still manages to give that historical and cosy feeling for travellers and the town has great facilities lik hotels and restaurants and transport to see much more of the rest of the country.

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Neighbourhoods

  • Hoyvik - this is theoretically a separate village but in practice it is a suburb of Torshavn, containing the historical museum and the Tórshavn Outdoor Museum.

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Sights and Activities

  • Tinganes - the old part of the town
  • Torshavn Dome - one of the oldest churches in the country
  • Historical and natural historical museums
  • The Nordic House

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Weather

The weather is mild all year round, with temperatures rarely exceeding 20 °C or dropping below zero in winter. You should consider yourself very lucky if you don't have any rain, even if you just visit for a few days. Even the somewhat drier months of June to August still have 20 to 22 rainy days a month! From October to March it rains on all but a few days a month. Temperatures are never hot but it rarely gets really cold as well. Winter (December to March) night time temperatures average around 2 °C while average summer (July-August) temperatures hoover around a chilly 12 °C degrees.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max5 °C6 °C6 °C7 °C9 °C11 °C13 °C13 °C11 °C9 °C7 °C6 °C
Avg Min1 °C2 °C2 °C3 °C5 °C7 °C8 °C9 °C7 °C5 °C3 °C2 °C
Rainfall133 mm95 mm132 mm88 mm70 mm61 mm70 mm83 mm128 mm155 mm127 mm142 mm
Rain Days262326221918192023262627

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Getting There

By Plane

Atlantic Airways is the national airlines of the Faroe Islands with its base at Vágar Airport (FAE), about 45 minutes from the capital. It flies to and from Aberdeen, London, Copenhagen, Oslo, Reykjavik and Narsarsuaq in Greenland, among a few others. From 2008, it plans to fly to Stockholm. Air Iceland flies to Reykjavik as well. From Torshavn there are several opportunities to get to the other islands by helicopter and prices are surprisingly low.

By Car

Good tarred roads leave from Torshavn across the island of Streymoy and the northern islands and the international airport. Rental cars start at around €40 for the smallest car with the cheapest company. Check if you have the maximum insurance! Most of the international agencies like Avis have offices at the airport or in Torshavn. 62N represents Hertz, Europcar and Sixt on the Faroe Islands. For the best prices check smaller companies like BVK, Rentacar, Bilútleigan and Uni-Cars.

Bird sculpture in Tórshavn

Bird sculpture in Tórshavn

© All Rights Reserved Utrecht

By Bus

There are quite a few bus lines serving Torshavn with connections to most important cities and towns throughout the Faroe Islands. To get started, check this website, which has information on travelling by bus, ferry, helicopter, taxi and bicycle. Most buses can be combined with ferries and there are 4-day or 7-day bus passes with can be great value if you want to cover a lot of the islands. For adults, a 7-day pass is 700kr, a 4-day pass is 500kr. Also note that helicopters are a sort of fast public transport and prices are very low because the government subsidizes this form of transport.

By Boat

International
By boat your options are limited, time consuming and it's not a good deal at all unless you really want to bring your own car to visit the Faroe Islands. Smyril Line ferries leave from Denmark, Norway and Scotland on their route to Iceland , stopping en route at the Faroe Islands in the harbour of Torshavn.

The Icelandic cargo ship Eimskip has two vessels, the Dettifoss and Goðafoss which travel the route Rotterdam-Hamburg-Göteborg-Århus-Fredrikstad-Tórshavn-Reykjavík. It takes 8 days in total and the return trip goes via eastern Iceland and Tórshavn only. The vessel can take a maximum of 3 passengers but only between mid-April and mid-October.

Domestic
There are a few ferries from Torshavn which can be of some importance to travellers. These are the ones to Nolsoy, east of Torshavn, and the one to Suduroy, the southermost island of the country. You can take your (rental) car on most of them or just take the bus. Here is a complete list of all the ferries. Or check the timetable at the Strandfaraskip timetable, the operator for the ferries between the islands.

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Getting Around

By Car

There is no need to travel around by car in the central parts of Torshavn. If you decide to park your car, do so at the free car park near the harbour. Otherwise, there is a 2-3 hour parking limite during office hours during the week.

By Public Transport

Torshavn has a local bus service (red buses) that runs in the municipality which in addition to Torshavn covers Argir, Hoyvik and Kollafjørð. The schedule for the local busses can be found on board the busses or at the tourist information offices around the country. The local bus service is free of charge.

By Foot

As most sights, hotels and nightlife is within several hundreds of metres away from eachother, you don't really need any other transport than your own legs!

By Bike

Front door and post box, Torshavn

Front door and post box, Torshavn

© All Rights Reserved Utrecht

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Eat

Torshavn is home to the widest range of restaurants and take-away services on the Faroe Islands.
One of the best food experience on the islands is the sushi restaurant Etika.

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Drink

Torshavn has one of the 6 Rúsdrekkasøla Landsins (Government Monopoly Stores), where you can buy beer, wine and other hard liquors. Torshavn is as wild as you can get regarding drinking and nightlife in general. A good café is café Natur, next to the central harbour and square. Alcohol is expensive, even cans of Tuborg are €1.50 at the government stores. In bars a glass of 0.3L beer goes for around 30 kroner (around €4), while 0.5L is usually around 50 kroner (€6.50). Wine and hard liquor adds up even quicker, so fill up with a few beers from the government stores first.

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Sleep

the Skansin and Bládýpi guesthouses/hostels offer excellent value.

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Kerjalon HostelOyggjarvegur 49hostel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is internet at the tourism office for a fee. Wi-fi is regularly available at hotels and bars.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Post

Postverk Føroya is the postal service of the Faroe Islands. There are 34 postal offices throughout the country and if you want to send a postcard or letter, go either to one of them or just put them in one of the abudant blue postal boxes you will find throughout the islands.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 40.741755
  • Longitude: -91.337719

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This is version 17. Last edited at 13:08 on May 14, 13 by Sander. 11 articles link to this page.

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