Ok. Let’s talk culture. Hey! Don’t panic! Not the French sort of culture with lots of ponderous philosophers pontificating about things nobody cares about. Nope. Culture here in the Faroe Islands is quite different. Let us explain.
Of course, no matter when you visit the Faroes, you can always dip into the islands’ rich culture – be it our stirring Viking heritage or the striking, modern art of today – there’s plenty to choose from. But on one very special day of the year we pull out all the stops for a real cultural frenzy: we call it Culture Night, or why not get your tongue around the Faroese name mentanarnáttin – ok, maybe not. We’ll stick with the English name, then!
If you think culture is just about visiting museums and galleries then it’s time to think again. Here in Tórshavn, Culture Night is so much more than that. It’s a chance for everyone, visitors and residents alike, to really see how the town ticks. Businesses and offices open their doors for a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes; the hospital might invite people inside to discover more about what it does; even the courthouse could be open to the public for a rare insight into the hallowed world of the law. With events changing from year to year, you never know what exciting adventures might be offer! And, of course, Tórshavn’s museums, galleries and exhibition spaces also host bespoke presentations to mark Culture Night. Know what? Perhaps the best thing of all? It’s free!
Culture Night is definitely one of the best times to visit Tórshavn. The whole town takes to the streets and there’s a veritable buzz in the air as people wend their way from one event to another. This is a real family occasion – children and adults of all ages enjoying the vibrant atmosphere in town – and, naturally, there’s music everywhere – on the streets and in the churches and there are often special concerts, too.
What’s more, the shops are open as well until midnight so you can add a spot of retail therapy to your night of culture – what could be better! Naturally, restaurants and cafés are open, too, offering the chance to put your feet up as you wander around town or, perhaps, pause for a bite to eat. Just be sure to book a table in advance as it’s the night everyone’s in town!
Why not end the night with a boat trip from the harbour? In June in the Faroes, it’s light until late into the evening and the chance to see Tórshavn twinkling in the magical evening light of high summer is a special treat. Either take to the water onboard one of the venerable old wooden boats preserved from generations past or skim the waves in a high speed RIB inflatable – the choice is yours, but it’s a chance you shouldn’t miss!
So when does all this happen? Well, generally, Culture Night is held on the first Friday in June and the official opening takes place at 6pm.