Important facts for travelers
Preparing your trip to the Faroe Islands, you are likely to have a lot of questions. Do I need to obtain a visa for entering the Faroe Islands? What is the currency? What kind of clothes do I need to pack? Am I expected to tip? This section answers these questions and provides you with other information and facts you may wish to know as a traveler to the Faroe Islands.
All alcoholic beverages over 2.8% vol. are imported and sold by the national monopoly on alcohol, Rúsdrekkasøla Landsins.
Rúsdrekkasøla Landsins has six outlets in the Faroe Islands. There are two beer breweries in the Faroe Islands, their beers are sold at the Rúsdrekkasøla outlets or at local beer outlets around the islands.
Restaurants, bars and clubs that have a license sell alcohol. There are two kinds of licences, half licence that only permits wine and beer and full licence that permits the sale of all legal alcoholic beverages.
Beer over 6,0% vol. are not legal in the Faroe Islands and the spirits must not be of a higher percentage than 60% vol.
See also customs regulations on import of beverages here
Most visitors find the climate in the Faroe Islands is surprisingly mild. Because of the Gulf Stream temperatures reach 15 degrees C in the summer to 6 degrees C in the winther. It is recomended to pack watertight and windproof jacket, hat and sweater, e.g. for sailing trips. If you intend to go hiking in the mountains we recommend to pack wollen jumper, rubber boots or waterproof hiking boots for mountain walking. Dressing in layers is always a good idea.
Always remember to bring sunglasses and sun lotion if you visit during the summer. A camera and binoculars are essential to bring back memories of the fantastic scenery, to really enjoy the view and for birdwatching!
220 volts AC (50 Hz) is the Faroese standard. The electric outlets take plugs common to most European contries but may differ from those in your home country. To be on the safe side you should bring a two-pin continental adapter with you.
Anglers travelling to the Faroe Islands do not need a veterinary certificate on the cleaning and disinfection of their fishing equipment. But prior to arrival in the Faroe Islands, all equipment, including rods, reels, rubber waders, or lures, must be disinfected in order to kill any fish-pathogens.
For further information please read Desinfection of fishing equipment.
Fishing permits are required and can be purchased in most tourist informations. Regulations for fishing in the lochs are printed on the permit. Coastal fishing is generally permitted, but please enquire about local exceptions.
For a worry-free holiday, take the time to plan ahead. There is a comprehensive booklet available detailing wheelchair access. This booklet and further information can be obtained by contacting the Faroese Association for Disabled, MBF
There are two currencies of equal values in the Faroe Islands: the Faroese króna and the Danish krone. While the Faroese goverment prints its own bank notes only Danish coins are used. Danish notes are equally acceptable as Faroese notes throughtout the country.
The series of banknotes comprises 5 denominations: 50 kroner, 100 kroner, 200 kroner, 500 kroner and 1000 kroner. And the coin (only Danish) series comprises six denominations: 50 øre, and 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 kroner.
There may be a few places in the major towns that accept foreign currency, but it is more the exception than the rule, and not surprisingly the exchange rate is rarely favourable. Exchange rates for the Faroese (Danish) króna as of April 2010 is roughly: dkr. 100 = €13.5 / £10.5 / $16.5
Most shops, restaurants, petrol stations, hotels and taxies accept credit cards, mainly VISA, but other credit cards such as MasterCard, Eurocard, Maestro and JCB are also accepted in large stores, shopping centres and resaurants.
It is possible to withdraw money with Visa, Visa-Dankort, Eurocard, Mastercard, Maestro and JCB from the many ATMs around the country. The ATMs are often found next to bank branches and can also be used outside the banks’ normal opening hours.
Banks are normally open Monday to Friday 09.30 to 16.00. Banks in smaller villages might have different and shorter opening hours. Banks are closed on all public holidays.
All non-residents of the Faroe Islands are entitled to claim back VAT paid on purchases that are brought out of the country at a value over DKK 300.
Shop where you see the TAX FREE sign (over 220 shops around the Faroe Islands) and ask for your refund cheque. Write your name, address and passport No. (or other ID) on the refund cheque before presenting it to the customs authorities at the airport or at the harbour.
When leaving the Faroe Islands, have your Tax Free Shopping Cheque stamped by the customs. Upon request show your purchases and passport (or other ID).When leaving the Faroe Islands with M/F “Norrøna”, the cheques must be stamped by customs before boarding. The customs will be in the departure hall.
You can cash your Tax Free Shopping Cheque at the Information desk at Vagar airport and on board the passenger ferry “Norrøna” when leaving Tórshavn. Refund will also find place onboard cruise liners.
For more information about TaxFree shopping.
Tipping and Service Charges
Sevice charges are always included in all stated prices, so you are not obliged to tip. Tipping for outstanding service is a matter of choice, but is not expected.
Passport and visa
The Faroe Islands are tied to the Danish immigration policy, but despite this there are some differences in working, residing and visiting. See also Living in the Faroe Islands.
Citizens of the Nordic countries, with passport from these countries, are not obliged to show passport, but have to be able to identify themselves with a document of identification that includes a picture.
EU citizens may enter the Faroe Islands with their ID cards that they use when travelling to countries in EU.
All other foreigners must show a valid passport
SCHENGEN-countries and other countries
Foreigners from these countries must show a valid passport. Foreigners from countries where a visa is mandatory must hold a visa valid for up to three months, or a residence permit. The list of countries requiring visa for entering the Faroe Islands is the same as for Denmark and can be seen here.
The Faroe Islands are not part of Schengen. Consequently people cannot enter the Faroe Islands based on their Schengen visas. When a visa is applied for at the Danish Embassy it must be specifically for the Faroe Islands.
Furthermore, the conditions for obtaining a visa for the Faroe Islands are similar to the conditions for obtaining a visa for Denmark.
A visa for Denmark does not give the holder the right to enter the Faroe Islands unless it is stated in the visa, just as a visa for the Faroe Islands does not give the holder the right to enter Denmark, if it is not stated in the visa. Visa is required for entering the Faroe Islands regardless of the person having a residence permit in Denmark. Correspondingly, a visa is required when entering Denmark, even though the person has a residence permit in the Faroe Islands.
Where to apply for a Visa
Contact the Royal Danish Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence for further information.
Time in the Faroe Islands is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) during the wither months and GMT + 1 hours during the summer. The daylight saving time takes place the late March and the clock is moved backwards again late in October.
The time in the Faroe Islands is always
- one hour less than in Copenhagen
- five hours more than in New York
- six hours less than in Bankok
- 10 hours less than in Sydney
- the same as in London