The Faroese capital of Tórshavn is an interesting little place, with a historic harbour, colourful seaside houses, a busy marina, and a bustling little shopping centre. We went digging around for some music, culture and a damn fine cup of coffee—here’s what we found.
Stay: Hotels Føroyar & Hafnia
There are several hotel options in Tórshavn, depending on what you want. If you have a car, Hotel Føroyar, on the outskirts of the city, is the luxury choice; if you’re on foot or want to be able to walk home after a night on the town, try the smart and central Hotel Hafnia.
Shop: Gúðrun & Gúðrun
The Faroes’ only high-end fashion brand is Gúðrun & Gúðrun, who’ve received international acclaim for their knitwear. Visit their boutique to see clothing that builds on Faroese traditions with sharply observed designs and couture flourishes.
The Reykjavík version of this much-loved bar, which was also a social hub for artistic types, closed down in 2007. The Faroese iteration is the most interesting and progressive bar in town, and will immediately feel like home to those of a hipster-ish persuasion.
Venue: The Nordic House
Each Nordic capital has a Nordic House, and the Faroese version is one of the nicest. It’s an impressive piece of architecture with floor to ceiling glass windows, a good café, and several gallery and concert spaces—there are free concerts at 3pm on Mondays and Thursdays.
Gallery: Tórshavn Art Museum
In a park near the city centre is the Tórhavn Art Museum. Alongside a history of the Faroes’ short but rich art history, there’s a room dedicated to contemporary work. It’s an airy series of spaces and, combined with a walk in the woods, it’s a soothing place to spend an afternoon.
Tutl is the leading Faroese indie label and record store, specialising in releasing Faroese music. There’s a lot of folk in the racks, but a bit of digging reveals some true oddities, such as the digital punk of Power Oyster and the “club-gaze” of electronic experimentalists ORKA.
Koks is the first Michelin-starred restaurant in the Faroes Islands, located a fifteen-minute taxi ride from the city. It’s a one-off experience, with an accordingly long waiting list. Plan your trip around your booking, if you have to—it’s a special kind of meal.
Design: Öström & Steinprent
In a repurposed harbour building you’ll find Öström—a spacious store specialising in Faroese design, from clothing, to ornaments, to some great jewellry—and Steinprent, a lithography studio with a ground floor gallery and a first floor workshop that’s open to visitors.
Every capital city needs a nerdy coffee spot, and in Tórshavn, Brell is it. They import and roast the beans, and as well as good filter coffee and French press, you can get a Japanese-style siphon-brewed coffee, the making of which looks like a science experiment.
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