OK, we’ll admit right away that shopping in the Faroe Islands isn’t like shopping on Bond Street in London, or Avenue Montaigne in Paris or Fifth Avenue in New York City. Neither would you expect it to be. What you do get is quiet, charming shops spread out across the cities and towns – and less traffic, obviously.
Faroe Islanders are creative by nature, and many have chosen to express their creativeness by making clothing and products inspired by the Faroe Islands and using resources found on the different islands.
One such example is designer clothing company Guðrun & Guðrun, who use Faroese wool, which would otherwise be thrown away, to produce high-end fashion products that are sold worldwide. Their most well-known piece of clothing is the so called ‘Star jumper’, which became famous when Sobie Gråbøl’s character, Sarah Lund, wore the hand-knit sweater in the popular Danish TV series Forbrydelsen, also shown on the BBC as ‘The Killing’.
Knitting in the Faroe Islands has been a part of the Faroese clothing culture for centuries. Even today, large numbers of (mainly) women still knit various types of clothing, such as sweaters, underwear and socks. A number of Faroese companies have made great use of the know-how which these women possess. Companies such as Navia and Sirri make beautiful products using Faroese wool. The same goes for various Faroese designers, such as Jóhanna av Steinum and Soul Made.
But shopping isn’t only woolly in the Faroe Islands! There are all sorts of interesting things to purchase, such as the Faroese products on the display at Østrøm, Faroese souvenirs at Visit Tórshavn, Faroese glassware at Rabarbuglas and Mikkalina Glas, Faroese music at Tutl and Faroese alcohol at Rúsan.
Where to shop
The three main locations for shopping in the Faroe Islands are Tórshavn, Klaksvík and Runavík.
Most shops offer tax-free, so remember to ask for this while shopping (read more under practical information).
Note: Opening hours vary from place to place, but most shops are open from 10am to 6pm on weekdays, and from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays. Most shops, including grocery, are closed on Sundays.
Read more about Tax Free shopping.
Shopping in Tórshavn
With shops spread out across Tórshavn’s city centre – many fitted into small, old wooden houses – the capital city is a great location for shopping. There are a wide range of shops featuring high-end fashion, local designers selling Faroese design, music shops, bookstores and Faroese glassware and pottery. There are also a range of shops which sell Faroese design and souvenirs from the Faroe Islands. All the shops are located in close proximity, making it easy to get around from one to another.
Tórshavn is home to the country’s largest shopping mall, called SMS. It includes clothing stores, a bookstore, a toy store, a pharmacy, a large grocery store and an electronics store, among others. It even has a Burger King, one of only two international fast-food chains anywhere on the islands!