Think of a European capital… any capital and it’ll probably be a global city like London, Paris, Berlin, Rome or perhaps even possibly one that you live in yourself?

I’m guilty of this of course… when the cogs start turning, my imagination goes straight for these well-known destinations, but there’s a whole array of marvellous and quaint capital cities that can often be forgotten or overlooked! Including this pretty special one below…

This Is Why You Should Discover One Of Europe's Smallest Capital Cities, Tórshavn

What’s the name of this little Capital City?

It’s Tórshavn, so close to continental Europe but it can feel a million miles away. With a population of around 17,000 people it’s one of the smallest capital cities in Europe behind the likes of San Marino and some other pretty cool micro-states that are great to visit.

Where is Tórshavn?

11 Dramatic Sights You Have To Explore In The Faroe Islands (26)

Why You Should Discover One Of Europe's Smallest Capital Cities, Tórshavn (10)

Tórshavn always reminds me of that sneaky friend playing hide and seek… always so close to you but sometimes out of sight.  It’s positioned, on a relatively remote group of islands within the Norwegian Sea and North Atlantic Ocean (between Iceland and the highlands of Scotland).

Perched on the south east coast of the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn had been on my travel lust list for many, many years and with the islands being a short hop, skip and jump from London Town (well… a couple hours – its only 1 hour from Edinburgh), there really was no excuse for leaving it so long. Thankfully, I’ve now remedied that with a big ole’ dose of Faroese charm! 

  11 Dramatic Sights You Have To Explore In The Faroe Islands (28)

See Also:  We Are In Iceland!!!

What’s unique about Tórshavn? 

Why You Should Discover One Of Europe's Smallest Capital Cities, Tórshavn (5)

Why You Should Discover One Of Europe's Smallest Capital Cities, Tórshavn (9)

Tórshavn is a pretty small capital city, in fact, it’s smaller (in population) than my borough in London! With around 17,000 people calling Tórshavn home, the city holds a quaint charm, especially in the historic centre that is bursting with historic buildings.

Without sounding like a line from my old history teacher’s textbook, this area known as Tinganes is still home to the Faroese Government, one of the oldest Parliamentary meeting places in the whole world! Literally, there are only two other places that even come close – one being on the Isle of Man, UK and the other in Iceland.

With its grassy roofs and roughly cobbled alleyways, the whole area felt as if I’d been taken aback to a time when the Vikings ruled this beautiful group of islands. One thing that immediately struck me was the historic grass roofs that still call these buildings home… which, although historically built for purpose – look effortlessly cute today! 😉

Where to stay in Tórshavn?

Why You Should Discover One Of Europe's Smallest Capital Cities, Tórshavn (11)

Whilst in Tórshavn, we stayed in the Hotel Føroyar which is perched right on-top of the hills overlooking the city! It gives some pretty epic views, especially when it doesn’t really get dark in the summer months. We even spotted some of the cuddly locals plodding along right outside the hotel. 😉

See Also:  12 Essentials You Need To Pack For A Trip To The Faroe Islands

Why You Should Discover One Of Europe's Smallest Capital Cities, Tórshavn (2)

Why You Should Discover One Of Europe's Smallest Capital Cities, Tórshavn (3)

Where to eat?

For a surprisingly small city, Tórshavn has some pretty amazing restaurants. Make sure to drop in at Barbara – it’s the oldest restaurant in the country, still serving some of the delicious and traditional Faroese cuisine.

Why You Should Discover One Of Europe's Smallest Capital Cities, Tórshavn (14)

If you’re looking for a meal with more of a contemporary twist, make sure to head to Etika, where they’ve created the world’s first Faroese sushi bar!

Why You Should Discover One Of Europe's Smallest Capital Cities, Tórshavn (4)

What’s the weather like?

Why You Should Discover One Of Europe's Smallest Capital Cities, Tórshavn (13)

Why You Should Discover One Of Europe's Smallest Capital Cities, Tórshavn (8)

Without knocking out a load of scientific date and explanations that I don’t understand, I did, quite quickly learn that the Faroe Islands (and Tórshavn) sits within a sub-polar climate which, if I’m honest, means that it can get quite cold, especially in the long winter months!

Though, snow is rarely heavy (due to the salty air from the sea), there can be a bitter wind that lashes the island thanks to its northerly and exposed position.

Temperates can fluctuate from below freezing up to the mid 10C degrees on warm days. We visited in May and temperatures were just about freezing, rising as high as 8C – 10C by 2pm. Always pack a jacket, lots of layers and a raincoat for its changeable weather that’s been brilliantly describe as ‘being more erratic than an irritable toddler’. 😉

See our essential tips on what to pack for your Faroe Islands Adventure, here. 

How long do I need in the city?

11 Dramatic Sights You Have To Explore In The Faroe Islands (29)What Is It Like To Visit The Faroe Islands? (20)

Like I mentioned, Tórshavn itself is a pretty small capital, with its historic centre being less than 1 square mile, which is great for us travellers that are on tight schedules and want to cram in as much as possible and so, the city can be easily explored in just a few hours.

Are there sights to explore near the city?

What Is It Like To Visit The Faroe Islands? (2)

One of the amazing things about Tórshavn is that you can drive for less than 10 minutes and being in total, unspoilt wilderness – the whole country has a vast array of places to discover, which is made incredibly easy if you drive. I’d definitely recommend a few amazing places to see, that are within an hour of the city:

See Also:  Dyrhólaey, Iceland - A Photo Diary...

1.)  Vestmanna to explore the rugged cliffs and wildlife (literally, it reminded me out of scenes from Jurassic Park)

Around The Faroe Islands In 80 Minutes! (56)

2.) Sørvágsvatn Lake, which literally balances on top of the most incredibly high cliffs!

Arrival In The Faroe Islands (35)

3.) Gasadalur Waterfall, that showers the ocean from high above the cliffs.

The Most Amazing Waterfall In The Faroe Islands! (22)



You May Also Like

  • Tania Goh

    Hi, you mentioned here that you can get to Torshavn from Edinburgh in an hour? Is it by cruise/ship? i tried to find information on it online but can’t seem to get any. Appreciate if you could advise on how to get there from Ediburgh. Thanks!!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Hi Tania – Atlantic Airways schedules 2-3 flights leaving Edinburgh every week. The flight only takes an hour, though boats can take considerably longer (and can’t always dock because of choppy seas).

      Hope that helps 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Aaah I would love to visit someday! Your photos are absolutely stunning too.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s a stunning place isn’t it Silvia – thanks so much! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • gosh!stunning landscape!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It really is Tanja – you’d love it! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • As far as obscure goes Torshavn looks to be (to me at least) right up there with the other little-known capitals (which I can’t name, because subtlety is not my greatest feature). I love the feeling of calm and solitude I’m getting from these photos – it definitely looks like a ‘get away from it all’ destination! x

    Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It really was – we felt as though we were a million miles away from anywhere… the islands are so dramatic and the city, so peaceful (it was a world away from the hustle and bustle of London town).

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Lauren

    This looks gorgeous! Definitely another place to add to my growing list of places-to-see. Was it very expensive to stay there?

    Thanks for sharing,
    Lauren

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Oh, it was so beautiful Lauren – hotel costs vary and depend on what type of lodging you’d like. We stayed in the Hotel Føroyar (around £140 a night, for two… but you can definitely find much cheaper lodgings and AirBnB too).

      I’d say the biggest expense in the Faroe Islands will be accommodation, food and alcohol – though, you can get some good deals on the first two! 🙂

      Hope that helps! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Danielle Theriault

    The quaint European capitols and microstates are some of my favorites! I haven’t been here yet, but plan to now after reading this. As of right now my favorite quaint capitol is Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.ourpassportpages.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      We really want to visit Vaduz! It always looks so beautiful!

      So glad you like them too! You’ll love the Faroe Islands Danielle 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I can’t believe it was that chilly in May! The nature looks so beautiful here though, I’d love roaming through this city!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It was such a lovely, albeit a little chilly, place! So glad you’d love it too Rachel! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx