Faroe Islands Krona - no ISO code
The Faroe Islands use the Faroese krona as their daily currency. However the Danish krone is also used there and in reality the Faroese version is not a proper currency. Instead it is merely another version of the Danish krone.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
The krone is decimal, as are most currencies nowadays, and the sub-unit in the Faroe Islands is known here as the oyra. The plural of krona is kronor. This can get a little confusing though as the subunit of the Danish krone is the ore, so you may hear the two words used as you are exploring the Faroe Islands.
You can get just the one oyra coin, which is the 50 oyra coin. This is the equivalent of the 50 ore coin in the Danish currency. Aside from this there are five kronur coins, which are the 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 kronur coins. The islands actually use the exact same coinage as Denmark, they just have different names for them.
You can also use five banknotes for this currency, which are the 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 kronur notes.
From past to present – the history of the Faroese krona
Originally the Danish krone was the currency of choice in the Faroe Islands. However during the early years of the Second World War Denmark was invaded by the Germans. This meant there was no contact between the islands and Denmark, leaving the islands to come up with a currency that could be used independently of its parent country. This was named the Faroese krona but they were essentially little different from the Danish notes. Indeed all that happened was that they were stamped so people knew they had been released by the local bank.
Needless to say the currency went through some ups and downs during the war. Originally it was deemed to be worth the same as the Denmark krone, but towards the end of the year when Denmark became occupied, the Faroe Islands pegged their version of the currency to the British pound instead. This lasted until a few years after the war ended.
How to get hold of the Faroese krona
Since you can also use the Denmark krone in the Faroe Islands and the Faroese version is only used locally, the best course of action is to take Denmark notes onto the islands with you. The only coins used here are those created in Denmark, so the only difference you will notice is in the banknotes you get. Since both currencies are fine to use in the Faroe Islands you can use the Danish krone with ease, but you might occasionally get the local notes in change. One thing to note here is that you won’t be able to exchange local notes anywhere but on the islands. Even Denmark doesn’t exchange them although it is legal and acceptable to do so there; they don’t seem to know that fact!
The islands are quite well-served by cash machines so you can use your card to withdraw more money when you need it. Visa tends to be more popular but Mastercard is acceptable to use too. This also applies if you want to pay for something using a credit card. Do be aware however that not all shops will accept card payments. It might be worth checking, especially in smaller establishments, whether you can use your card there before trying to buy anything.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Faroese krona
Since you won’t usually find the Faroese krona on any currency converter, you should look for the Denmark krone instead (the ISO code to find it quickly is DKK). You can convert this to any currency of your choice to work out how far your own money will go when you convert it. You’ll need to adjust for the commission you’d be charged on converting it but it gives you a reasonable place to start from.
The best place to learn a little more about the Faroe Islands is by going to this page of the UK government website - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/denmark. That’s the page for Denmark which also includes a little information about the islands.
Travelling safely with the Faroese krona in the Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are a relatively safe place to be but you should be aware of a couple of things. Every year a whaling season takes place in this part of the world, but this has led to protests by those who disagree with the practice. It is a good idea to steer well clear of these whatever your beliefs, otherwise you could get caught up in the protests.
In terms of crime, you really don’t have too much to worry about in this respect. Some parts of the world advise you to take great care in certain locations, or not to go out at night, whether alone or with anyone else. None of this applies in the Faroe Islands thankfully, so this really is somewhere you can enjoy exploring without worrying about protecting your cash or hanging onto your bag. Basic common sense never hurts, but keeping a close hold on your belongings is more to make sure you don’t lose them yourself than anything else!
Where to spend your krona in the Faroe Islands – and what to spend them on
The Faroe Islands are called an archipelago – that is, a collection of islands. They are located far off the north-western coastline of Scotland, and to the south-east of Iceland.
The capital city is Torshavn, which you might also see written as Thorshavn in Danish. Just to confuse things further it is also sometimes called Havnin! It can be found on the south-eastern part of the largest island in the archipelago, and it is certainly exceptionally charming. It is perhaps most famous for its old town, which is called Tinganes. This is an area that is resplendent with brightly-coloured buildings, not to mention many a green roof. Look closer and you’ll discover the greenery is just that – real greenery, as in turf! The city was founded in the 900s so it has been around in one form or another for many centuries now.
Nearby you can also visit the harbour, an attractive area with lots of boats jostling for position in the calm waters. There are a couple of museums in the city too, most notable the historical museum and another dedicated to natural history. Both of these are worth a visit as they will share with you some fascinating facts about the capital and its long history. It is also home to the National Museum of the Faroe Islands, which reveals the history of the islands, who found them first and how they have developed over the centuries. If you arrive in the Faroe Islands knowing little about them, this will all change with a visit to the museum.
You only need to venture around an hour from the capital to find the charming village of Gjogv. This village has become well-known for being as environmentally-friendly as it is possible to be. Indeed it has been nominated for an award in recognition of its efforts, which has brought it before an even larger audience.
The Faroe Islands are also a popular spot for divers to visit. The water here is incredibly clean and clear, making it easy to see many of the delights that await under the surface. There are plenty of diving spots around, although three of the best ones are around one island in particular. This is called Eysturoy, so plan a trip here if you intend on making this a diving holiday.
Of course since you are in the Faroe Islands there is the opportunity to visit many of the individual islands. Nolsoy is worth a trip – the island and the one settlement here are both called the same. There is a small harbour that welcomes boats travelling across from the harbour at the capital city. Again you’ll see the brightly-painted houses that are a key feature of many settlements across the islands.
Few would consider the Faroe Islands as a destination worthy of a visit, but as you can see they are quite fascinating and have much to share with those looking for a holiday with a difference. It is reasonably easy to travel from one island to another as we’ve seen here. It helps to plan an itinerary before leaving home, so you can make the most of every minute you have here. The weather can be brutal at times but if you time it right you can really make the most of the outdoors.
If you’re into bird watching you’ll definitely get your money’s worth here. Many seabirds call the islands home, and there are some that are unique to the islands too. Watch out for seals around the waters on all the islands as you are bound to see quite a few of them. For those interested in nature, remote places and something different, the Faroe Islands could be the ideal destination.