Colorful buildings and coastal view of Torshavn in Faroe Islands, Denmark

Torshavn, Faroe Islands

Named after Thor, the Norse god of thunder, and flanked by the large mountains Húsareyn and Kirkjubøreyn, the Faroese capital is at once dramatic, peaceful, quaint and modern. Home to approximately a third of the Faroese population, the town was founded in the 10th century, making it one of the oldest capitals in Northern Europe, as well as one of the world’s smallest.

It’s a charming and fascinating place to explore, thanks to an abundance of turf-roofed houses, historical sites like the remnants of a 17th-century fortress and an attractive harbor area that still processes fish and produces wool goods. Windswept and atmospheric in winter, the city has a surprisingly vibrant aura in warmer months. As well as plentiful harborside cafés and buzzing bars, there’s cultural and retail activity spread throughout Tórshavn's small but perfectly formed center. In the summer, boat trips out to sea are possible, and the city hosts festivals and exhibitions to keep locals and visitors stimulated throughout the year.