Want to know a little more about Tórshavn? Great, let’s tell you a bit about us, then. As the capital of the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn is far and away the biggest and most vibrant town in the country – about 20,000 people live here at the southern end of the island of Streymoy (one of the 18 islands which make up the Faroes). If you sail to the Faroes with Smyril Line onboard the Norröna ferry, you’ll dock here – and, to be honest, there’s no better way to see Tórshavn than from the water.
The Faroese capital is built on a hillside and, as you pull into the harbour, you’ll see the entire town banking up the hill before you. We hope you’ll agree – it looks pretty impressive! Back in Viking times, it was down here on the waterfront that the town was first established. The wooden buildings you see here, all painted red and with turf roofs, are home to the Faroese government and Prime Minister. They’re located on the very same spot the first settlers held their yearly ting, or parliament. We don’t know the exact date, of course, but the town’s history can be traced back to around 900AD when the first Viking settlers arrived here by longboat from Norway.
Naturally, as the nation’s capital, Tórshavn is the place you’ll find the Faroes’ key institutions: the government, banking sector, university, national library and main hospital, to name but a few, are all here. So, too, are cultural attractions such as the national theatre, cinema and several excellent museums. It’s in the capital, too, that you’ll come across the biggest and best selection of restaurants and food stores if you’re self-catering. If all roads lead to Rome, then in the Faroes all roads lead to Tórshavn, and, consequently it’s from the capital that you easily explore the rest of the country – bus routes (including the service to and from the airport) and ferry routes radiate from here. So yes, it’s perfectly possible to base yourself here and make day trips to other islands and towns, if you wish.