- Where is the tourist information centre?
Visit Scotland's Lerwick iCentre is located in the centre of Lerwick at the Market Cross. As well as help with your visitor queries, the centre also stocks a range of Shetland's finest locally made crafts, from Fair Isle knitting to silver jewellery. Open Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm and Sunday 10am-4pm.
- Where can I exchange currency?
You can exchange currency at the Post Office located inside the retail shop Conochies on Commercial Street and the Freefield Post Office at the Toll Clock Shopping Centre, situated on North Road.
- Where can I access Wi-Fi?
You can access free WiFi at the arts venue Mareel, the Shetland Museum and Archives and the Shetland Library. Most cafes also have free WiFi, providing you purchase something to eat or drink on the premises. If you’re out and about, you can also access free WiFi on the Esplanade, next to the Bressay Ferry Terminal.
- Where do the shuttle buses depart from?
Shuttle buses pick up from Mair’s Pier and Holmsgarth and drop off at Harrison Square in the town centre. Please note, the shuttle buses are exclusively for passengers travelling to and from their ships and are not guided tour buses. They typically run up to 45 minutes prior to a ship's departure.
- Can I book a trip or tour when I arrive in Shetland?
When ships berth in Lerwick there can sometimes be as many as 4,000 passengers on-shore at one time, meaning most trip and tour operators may already be very busy. To avoid disappointment, it’s advisable to book in advance. Book directly through your cruise provider or use the Activity Finder tool on this website to find an excursion to suit you.
- Where are the best places to shop?
If you're looking for souvenirs and gifts, Commercial Street, just off the Esplanade in the town centre, is the best place to visit. There you'll find Fair Isle knitwear, jewellery, arts, crafts, books, handmade confectionery and traditional Shetland music. There's also the Toll Clock Shopping Centre, near Holmsgarth, which sells artisan produce, arts, crafts and gifts.
Most shops are open 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday and occassionally Sundays. There are also two main supermarkets, open daily til late - Tesco and Co-op.
- Can we do a tour of Shetland with a public bus?
As Shetland is a long narrow set of islands the public bus routes are linear. The bus routes which have timings best suited for cruise visits are the Number 4 service between Lerwick and Scalloway and the Number 6 service between Lerwick and Sumburgh. Bus timetables can be viewed at www.zettrans.org.uk
- My cruise ship isn't docking in Lerwick, what are the facilities like at other ports?
As Shetland's main town, Lerwick has got the majority of tourist facilities, shops and cafes. You may, however, stop off at one of the islands' smaller ports on your cruise; these are Baltasound, Scalloway and Fair Isle. To find out more about the facilities available at these ports, visit our Ports page.
- What is the weather like?
The sunniest months in Shetland are April to August. Because we're so far north, from mid-May to mid-July Shetland enjoys the 'simmer dim' (summer twilight) when the sun only dips below the northern horizon for a few hours. In July and August, temperatures average between 14°C and 18°C, but on some days, it can climb into the low 20s. Shetland’s weather can be changeable – sometimes you’ll experience four seasons in a single day – but it’s all part of the islands’ enduring beauty and charm.
- Will I be able to hear traditional Shetland music?
You may be treated to a quayside taster of the isles' lively traditional fiddle music on arrival. If not, and you are visiting Shetland for a short time, your best chance of hearing traditional Shetland music is at High Level Music, situated at the Market Cross. During the summer months, you also have the chance to catch impromptu live music sessions on Victoria Pier and Commercial Street.
- Where does Shetland's fictional detective Jimmy Perez live?
You can find the house of Jimmy Perez, the main character in the TV series ‘Shetland’, at the south end of Commercial Street. This example of a traditional waterside merchant’s store, shop, workshop and house is one of the most photographed buildings in Shetland. Privately owned, but exterior selfies are welcome!
- Where can I see a Shetland Pony?
Small, stocky and hardy Shetland Ponies can be found grazing on the heathery hills across Shetland, although very few are to be found in the main town of Lerwick. To guarantee a viewing, book a tour with a taxi or coach company and your guide can take you directly to them. Or, you can catch the Number 4 bus from Lerwick to Scalloway and you can usually see Shetland Ponies in the field next to Scalloway Museum.
- Where can I print my photographs?
The Camera Centre on Commercial Street has an instant-print photography service. You can print photos directly from your phone or camera via Wi-Fi connection.
- Does the main town of Lerwick have a hop on/hop off tour bus?
Lerwick isn’t quite big enough to warrant a regular guided bus tour, but thankfully you can explore it easily on foot. Visit Scotland's Lerwick iCentre can provide you with a printed circular route to follow.
- Where are Lerwick's public toilets?
Located on the Esplanade, across from Victoria Pier in the town centre (where the shuttle buses pick up/drop off).
- My ship is anchoring at Lerwick; how accessible are the facilities?
Larger vessels are accommodated at anchor with easy transfer of passengers by launch to dedicated modern landing pontoons located in a sheltered dock adjacent to the town centre, providing a safe dedicated area for assembly. Pontoons are a step ashore from the tender, with ramps to the quayside for disembarkation. At inner anchor, the tender distance is 0.3 miles which takes around 5 minutes. For cruise ships anchored at Brei Wick, tender times can be longer (between 10-20 minutes weather dependent).