Backpacking in the Faroe Islands: Top 6 Sights in Torshavn

Backpacking in the Faroe Islands: Top 5 Sights in Torshavn

Backpacking in the Faroe Islands: Top 6 Sights in Torshavn

Torshavn is the capital city of the Faroe Islands. This small nation consists of a group of 18 islands and it’s north of Scotland and west of Norway. While the country is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, you won’t see many Danish flags here. This is a proud and patriotic country, a beautiful one and a special place to go backpacking in.

Touring Torshavn, Faroe Islands

Touring Torshavn, Faroe Islands

The country has a population of 49,000 and around 12,000 of them live in the capital city, Torshavn, After touring a few of the islands in the west and hiking to Traelanipa and Gasadalur, I based myself in the capital city of Torshavn. I stayed in the best hotel in the country which is the 4 Star Hotel Foroyar. The Northern Ireland and Faroe Islands football teams were also staying here.

Hotel Foroyar, Torshavn

Hotel Foroyar, Torshavn

As well as watching the Faroe Islands v. Northern Ireland football match, I toured the city of Torshavn, the centre of which is quite small. It is a cool city to visit, similar to Reykjavik in Iceland in many ways. Here are my personal top 6 sights, you’ll no doubt find a lot more to see and do here, but football was my priority on my visit.

The city of Torshavn, Faroe Islands

The city of Torshavn, Faroe Islands

1.Skansin Old Fort
Down by the seafront is the Skansin Old Fort. It’s small and you can visit it in less than an hour. The cannons still remain and you can get a view of the city from the top.

Skansin Old Fort

Skansin Old Fort

2. Tinganes (Government)
Without doubt, the official government and parliament in the Faroe Islands is the most quirky and unusual I have ever seen. Basically on a small peninsula in the main harbour in Torshavn, a series of wooden huts known collectively as Tinganes make up the government!

Touring Tinganes, Faroese government area

Touring Tinganes, Faroese government area

Touring Tinganes, Faroese government area

Touring Tinganes, Faroese government area

You can visit the Prime Minister’s Office, walk all around the government and read the tourist information boards. It’s a good looking part of the city and I was also amused by the “Backpacker’s House”, at least that’s what I translated it as.

Outside the Prime Minister's Office

Outside the Prime Minister’s Office

Backpacker's House

Backpacker’s House

3.Tórsvøllur (National Football Stadium)
The national sport in the Faroe Islands is football and since their first ever competitive match in 1990, a 1-0 win over Austria, the country has developed a number of excellent football stadiums. The largest of these is Tórsvøllur.

Caught on camera at the football stadium during Northern Ireland's 3-1 win

Caught on camera at the football stadium during Northern Ireland’s 3-1 win

Indeed, my own country Northern Ireland have played the Faroe Islands away three times, and each time was in a different stadium (once they played in Sweden). Here in Torshavn is the largest stadium and a party atmosphere is evident here at home matches. They recently beat Greece 2-1 at home and 1-0 away – Greece a last 16 team in the 2014 World Cup do they mean business.

The national football stadium in Torshavn

The national football stadium in Torshavn

The stadium is just a 15 minute walk up the hill from the city centre and it holds around 6,000. When the Faroe Islands play at home, more than 10% of the country, will be at the match!

Pre match banter with Andrew Milliken in Glitnir Bar

Pre match banter with Andrew Milliken in Glitnir Bar

4.Seafront and Harbour
Take a walk around the pretty seafront in Torshavn. Here you will see large ships coming in from Denmark, Iceland and further afield. There are some smaller boats and the harbour front buildings are colourful and pretty.

The seafront and harbour in Torshavn

The seafront and harbour in Torshavn

There are also some cool handicraft shops in this area, plus a coffee shop (with WiFi) and the Cafe Natur Bar, which is where I met up with fellow Northern Ireland fans before the match.

Local handicrafts

Local handicrafts

A good cafe with WiFi

A good cafe with WiFi

Nachos in Cafe Natur

Nachos in Cafe Natur

Nial and Aaron - Northern Ireland fans in Cafe Natur

Nial and Aaron – Northern Ireland fans in Cafe Natur

5. Havnar Kirkja (Torshavn Cathedral)
There are lots of churches in the Faroe Islands and Torshavn houses at least a hat-trick. In fact, it’s almost a given that every large village on the Faroe Islands will have two things (1) A Church and (2) A Football Pitch/Stadium. The  Havnar Kirkja is worth a look around.

Havnar Kirkja

Havnar Kirkja, Torshavn Cathedral

It is an Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is the religion here. The church is pretty and prominent and dominant down by the seafront. It is painted white, and roofed with slate, with green tiles on the clock tower section and it was established in 1788.

Downtown Torshavn, Faroe Islands

Downtown Torshavn, Faroe Islands

6.Viewpoint Over the City
The Hotel I stayed in, Hotel Foroyar already offered a magnificent vantage point over the city. It was dreamlike for sunrise and sunset. However, if you are staying downtown, simply walk up and up the hills towards the Hotel Foroyar and you will get a great view of the city. Definitely worth it.

Viewpoint over Torshavn, Faroe Islands

Viewpoint over Torshavn, Faroe Islands

On top of this top six, the city centre itself is just easy on the eye. It’s a chilled out peaceful little city and I loved it. A country of fresh air, friendly people and peaceful vibes. Torshavn also has an Art Museum, a Park, a Large Swimming Complex, more Churches and some decent shops. All in all it’s a great city to visit, and one of few capital cities in the world still without an airport, so that alone makes it worth it!

Backpacking in the Faroe Islands: Top 5 Sights in Torshavn

Backpacking in the Faroe Islands: Top 5 Sights in Torshavn

Here are some of my videos from my time backpacking in Torshavn in the Faroe Islands:

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5 thoughts on “Backpacking in the Faroe Islands: Top 6 Sights in Torshavn

  • Hey i was wondering if you consider the Faroe Islands and Aland Islands as independent countries?
    Cause if you visit them do you count them to your visited countries list?
    I have visited both and was wondering if i should recognize them as independent.
    Let me know your thoughts 🙂
    – Nemanja
    extra: i know a person who is 14 years old and has visited 34 countries including (Christiania and uzupis) Is that too much?

  • Hi Nemanja thanks for comment. On a personal level, yes I will class them as countries. The Faroe Islands has its own government, flag, football team and it’s completely different to Denmark. However if you notice on my Where I’ve Been page, I have two counts, one for properly recognised countries and one that includes all the “fakes”. At 14 years old I don’t personally think it’s a good idea to count them unless the person is a genius. I’ve done my backpacking as an adult as that way I understand the countries I visit. Aged 14, it would be hard to imagine they understand the history of the USSR and could have a good conversation down the pub. They can count them as they’ve been, but less banter down the pub if you know what I mean. Again, there is no right or wrong on what is a country and what is not. Some people even class the United Kingdom as a country, when nobody will ever say they are from a country called United Kingdom. Make up your own mind on your own personal journey and I will too! Safe travels. Jonny

  • Yeah it’s difficult but they dont have an UN place but that doesn’t really matter. Alot of other countries are not i the UN like Palestine or the Vatican city. Aland and Faroe islands are very similar to Jersey and Guernsey in my opinion 🙂
    TIP: I saw you have not visited the aland islands, there is a very cheap ferry from a city called “Grisslehamn” (Sweden) that goes to Mariehamn (capital of Aland islands) in 3 hours. The ticket costs about 5£ each and you can book online at Ekerro Linjen (Just a tip) But for you it might be easier from Helsinki or Stockholm but its more expensive

    Will you head to all the “stans” countries?

  • Hi Nemanja. I have been to Sweden three or four times but never to Alan, sounds like a good plan for my next visit! I hope to head to all the Stan countries at some point in my life. So far just Podjistan, Kurdistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan with a few more to come hopefully. Safe travels. Jonny

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