Top 20 Things to Do in Stanley, Falklands

Top 20 Things to Do in Stanley, Falklands

Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands, is a key place to visit during your time across this archipelago, so I wanted to bring you my list of the best things to do there.

The place most travellers both begin and end their journeys in the Falklands, it’s likely you’ll spend at 2 least days in Stanley, if not more.

Home to the vast majority of the Falkland population, as well as the seat of the government and the hub of life across the islands, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Stanley and the welcome connection point it provided after so many days largely off-grid in “camp”.

“Camp” refers to any part of the Falklands that are not part of Stanley, and after the remote nature of these destinations, Stanley provides a great alternative travel experience with lots of different things to see and do.

Initially when I arrived in the Falklands, Stanley felt ridiculously quiet (especially as I’d arrived straight from London!), but after almost a week flying between remote destinations with max 10 people living in them, Stanley felt like the buzzing metropolis!

And after so much wildlife spotting, it was nice to experience some different Falkland attractions too.

From great museums and historical buildings, not to mention some character-filled pubs, quirky post offices and even checking out a road named after my homeland in the Channel Islands, here’s my list of the 20 things best to do in Stanley…

Falklands, Stanley, Me at Sign


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#1 Visit the Historic Dockyard Museum

Falklands, Stanley, Museum

The main museum across the Falkland Islands, the Historic Dockyard Museum is absolutely worth a visit.

This small, but incredibly detailed and well-curated museum is spread out across 2 floors and covers a wealth of information about the natural, as well as human history of this unique archipelago.

Downstairs, the stories of many key Falkland families is told, right from the time of settlement through to the present day, along with a section about the 1982 conflict, an exhibition called the Gateway to Antarctica and, when I visited, a special exhibition about FIGAS – the Falkland Islands Government Aviation Service  – that is well worth some time too.

Upstairs you can learn a lot about the geography of the islands and the unique wildlife species that call this place home.

All in all, visiting this excellent museum is definitely one of the top things to do in Stanley and you should allow at least a couple of hours to do it justice.

Tickets can be purchased at the museum entrance, which is open every day except Monday.

Don’t miss the nearby Teaberry Café for a cuppa afterwards.


#2 Snap Penguins at Yorke Bay

Falkland Islands, Yorke Bay, Gentoo Penguin Colony

And if you visit the museum in the morning or the afternoon, then you’ll have your evening in Stanley free to check out the amazing sunset spectacle at Yorke Bay.

Off limits for more than 20 years due to the presence of landmines following the 1982 conflict, Yorke Bay was finally cleared and listed as safe in November 2000.

And what they then discovered, was that Yorke Bay had actually been home to a huge colony of Gentoo penguins!

Now you can wander the dunes and see this amazing creatures up close and personal in the wild… and for free!

The best time to visit in my opinion is sunset – not only is this time that many penguins return to the dunes after a day foraging at sea, but you’ll also get an incredible light display across this expansive coastal area too.

It’s a good idea to go to Yorke Bay with a guide, not only so you don’t get lost, but you’ll because you’ll need a 4wd drive to get here.

Allow at least an hour for your visit.


#3 Hike to Gypsy Cove

Falklands, Stanley, Gypsy Cove

And don’t miss nearby Gypsy Cove either when you visit Stanley.

Here you can spot Magellanic Penguins making their nests at the edge of a stunning white sand beach.

A foot track allows you to safely move between the penguins’ burrows, but you’ll still need to take care of any penguins crossing!

Either you can drive from Stanley to Gypsy Cove, or you can undertake a 11-14km walking circular trail from Stanley to get here.

This includes passing the Lady Elizabeth Shipwreck and takes about 4-5 hours.

If going for on foot option, pick up a Self-Guided Walks brochure in the Falkland Island Visitor Centre for a route map and step-by-step guide, .


#4 See the Lady Elizabeth Shipwreck and Dolphins at Surf Beach

Falklands, Stanley, Lady Elizabeth

Marooned in the bay just outside of Stanley, the Lady Elizabeth shipwreck, half tilted on her side, is a pretty impressive sight.

Launched on the 4 June 1879, and originally built to replace the former Lady Elizabeth that sank off the coast of Rottnest Island, Western Australia in 1878, this latest version soon followed its predecessor’s footsteps in its sea-faring fate.

While you can’t, unfortunately, sail out and explore in Lady Elizabeth from Stanley, you can, however, enjoy watching and snapping her from the shoreline and learning about the history while you’re at it.

The perfect thing to do in Stanley if you’re already heading to Yorke Bay or Gypsy Cove from the capital, this is an easy thing to tick off your Falkland list at the same time.

And, if you’re in this area, don’t miss a quick stop at nearby Surf Bay as well to see how many dolphins you can spot in the water.


#5 Enter the Most Southerly Anglican Cathedral in the World

Falklands, Stanley, Cathedral

But back into the heart of Stanley we go now, because there’s no doubt one of the top things to do in this city is see the most southerly cathedral in the world.

Located on the main street – Ross Road – you can wander up to and into the Christ Church Cathedral (as it’s officially known) for free.

Open to the public every day outside of service times, this Cathedral was built in 1892 and boasts five bells, 19th and 20th-century stained glass windows and a two manual pipe organ built in Ireland.

A hub of the community and one of the key buildings to see in the Falklands, don’t visit Stanley and miss ticking this off your list – you’ll know you’re pretty far south when you get here!


#6 Discover the Whalebone Arch and its Significance

Falklands, Stanley, Whalebone Arch

And just outside the Cathedral is the iconic Whalebone Arch – another key monument you can’t miss in Stanley.

Assembled in 1933 to mark 100 years of continuous British administration in the Falklands, these huge crossed bones, arranged in an arch formation, are the large jawbones from blue whales which were brought to the islands from the South Shetlands in 1922.

Stanley is twinned with Whitby in the north of England, and you can also find a pair of crossed whalebones in this other UK coastal town – despite it being some 13,000km away!


#7 Love or Hate the Thatcher Bust

Falklands, Stanley, Thatcher Bust

And just up the road from the Cathedral and Whalebone Arch is another top thing to see in Stanley.

Yes love her or hate her, Margaret Thatcher (the British Prime Minster leading the country at the time of the Falklands invasion) certainly had a huge impact on the history of the islands.

To commemorate this, a bust of the Iron Lady’s head can be found in Stanley along the appropriately named Thatcher Drive.

It was unveiled on 10th January 2015  – the 10th of January being Thatcher Day in the Falklands’ calendar.

Close to the Historic Dockyard Museum and the Malvina House Hotel, you can easily walk here from central Stanley, especially as there’s pavement the whole way.


#8 Wander Past Government House

Falklands, Stanley, Government House

And carry on past the immortalised Margaret and you’ll find yourself at Stanley’s beautiful Government House.

As part of the British Isles, the Falkland Islands have their own official King’s representative in-situ, and this is the Lieutenant Governor’s House.

Although you can’t enter the house unless you have an official invitation, you can admire and snap the New England style building complete with its white picket fence and coastal views.

Built in 1845, the house has hosted many famous guests including Prince Philip in 1991 and Edward Shackleton a few years before then!

Fact of the day: one of the world’s southernmost grapes is grown here too – the Black Hamburg variety.


#9 Snap the Stanley Selfie Trail

Falklands, Stanley, Building

From classic British red phone boxes to characterful water hydrants, Pioneer Cottages to local radio station FIRS (which is worth tuning into FYI) there’s tons to do along the Stanley Selfie Route.

Pick up a copy of the trail from the Visitor Centre and don’t forget to share your trail snaps with the hashtag #stanleyselfie on Instagram.

Afterwards, why not carry on your own trail that includes The Narrows, Heritage Park, Boot Hill, Police Station and the Antarctic Survey building in Stanley.

In many ways, Stanley feels like a miniature toy town… only it’s real!


#10 Day Trip to Cape Pembroke Lighthouse

Falkland Islands, Volunteer Point, 4WD Tour

If you’ve got a spare day in Stanley and you’re looking to expend a bit of energy, then a full day hike out to Cape Pembroke Lighthouse is a fantastic thing to do.

You can also drive out there!

Number 2 in the Self-Guided Walks brochure you can pick up at the Falkland Island Visitor Centre, this 17km trail will take you via Stanley’s airport, Surf Bay, the Totem Pole and the HMS Glamorgan Memorial.

Don’t forget to grab the Lighthouse keys from the museum before you set off.

This will allow you to climb the lighthouse stairs on arrival and enjoy its fabulous views out to sea.


#11 See Seals on the Jetty

Falklands, Stanley, Jetty Seals

It’s true that wildlife is all around the Falklands, and Stanley is no exception!

While you can drive to many areas around the capital for animal-spotting, you don’t even have to go that far!

Just head to the jetty in Stanley, outside the red-roofed tourism office, to see seals lying around just metres away from you.

Watching them relax in the sun and then slip into the water to grab a feed, is a wonderful introduction to the amazing wildlife encounters the Falklands boasts.


#12 Day Trip to Volunteer Point

Falkland Islands, East Falkland, Volunteer Point

And talking of top wildlife encounters, it’s pretty hard to get better than Volunteer Point.

An ideal day trip from Stanley, if you want to see magnificent King Penguins then heading to Volunteer Point is definitely one of the best things to do from the capital.

Involving some seriously off-road 4×4 driving, it’s definitely best to take a tour for this one – not only for the experienced driving and knowledge of a guide, but also because they will sort out the £18 access permit you need to visit Volunteer Point.

The drive from Stanley takes around 3 hours and the first part, as far as the former island capital of Saint Louis, is mercifully paved!

After this you’ll head to Johnson’s Harbour – don’t miss the final toilet stop here and the honesty stand Bake Safe, for some home baked goodies (bring small change!)

From here, it’s then 90 mins across untamed and wild land to get to Volunteer Point, passing the stunning Magellan Bay enroute.

On arrival at Volunteer Point, you’ll need to sign in at the warden’s house, before driving to the car park and getting ready to explore the stunning white sand setting of this mind-blowing place.

Named after a ship, Volunteer Point boasts more than 2000 mating pairs of King Penguins and, if you visit in December as I did, you can see nesting and malting ones here, as well as those waddling down to the beach and diving into the sea for fish.

With the beach on side and the nesting birds on the other, it’s important you stick to the marked visitor areas here and don’t get too close to the birds.

There’s a toilet cabin here for your convenience, as well as a hut where you can enjoy lunch out of the wind.

The colours of the sea and the sand here are really unbelievable and, if you keep your eyes peeled, you might even see some waddling Gentoo penguins or foraging sea lions too!

If you want to see Rockhopper penguins near Stanley when you visit the Falklands, then Kidney Island is the place to go.

You’ll need a guide with a  boat to get here, but there’s plenty of options to choose from on the Falkland Island Tourism website.


#13 Splurge on a Round Robin Flight

Falkland Islands, Stanley, FIGAS Airport

Many travellers to the Falkland Islands base themselves in Stanley because they don’t have the time (or the cash) to visit the smaller outlying islands, wherre lodges can cost up to a few hundred pounds per person, per night (although this does include full board).

Anyway, the point is prices can quickly add up travelling in the Falklands, so if you want to keep budgets as tight as possible, but still head out and see some of the other islands, the cheat sheet way to do it, is to book a Round Robin flight with FIGAS.

These are possible to make year round, based on availability, as you’ll essentially be a “seat filler”.

Flights originate from Stanley and prices are split into 2 categories:

East-West mainland only – £55.00

East-West including the outer islands – £88.00

To book, get in touch with FIGAS directly.


#14 Send a Postcard with a Falkland Stamp

Falklands, Stanley, Postcard

So this isn’t a big wow moment on this list of things to do in Stanley, but it’s still very cool!

After all, it’s not often you get to see a Falklands’ stamp!

In Stanley, you’ll find the Post Office on the main Ross Road – it is housed in the same building as the Philatelic service – which is where you’ll want to head to get your iconic FI stamps between 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday.

When it comes to buying postcards themselves, some available in the Philatelic Bureau too, but personally I found much nicer options either in Studio 52, a few doors down, or the FI Tourism Office by the jetty.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to a grab a copy of the local rag, Penguin News, too!

Lucky enough to get my hands on Vol 35, No 15, it’s quite the read for 2 little pounds!


#15 Pick up a Penguin Souvenir

Falklands, Stanley, Souvenir

And talking of picking up a Falkland postcard, it’s probably a good idea to pick up a few Falklands souvenirs while you’re at it.

There’s a few good stores along the main Ross Road to do this, but my favourites were definitely the Visitor Centre and Studio 52.

The visitor centre has loads of lovely Falkland-made products, including knitted good and soft toys, so look out for the authentication label and stamp to ensure what you’re buying is produced on island and supports the local economy directly.

Studio 52, is on Ross Road and is a beautiful boutique gift and home store, with loads of lovely artwork and classier products that are tastefully presented and wonderfully wrapped.

Highly recommend!


#16 View the Historic Jubilee Villas + Jersey Road!

Falklands, Stanley, Jubilee Villas

You may have just come from the UK, but one of the things I loved most about travelling in the Falklands was the mix of British + a twist!

And this is certainly true of the Jubilee Villas.

While most of the buildings in Stanley are made from timber slats, these villas, built in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, are typical British terraced town houses from that age.

You can just about see the shepherd’s pie steaming behind the net curtains and the wireless gives the latest news in the background!

Afterwards head to nearby Jersey Road (which was actually named after the Channel Island I hail from!), to see houses built with money donated after the Falklands conflict, from one small island community to another.


#17 Enjoy a Falkland’s Craft Ale at Beerworks

Falklands, Stanley, Beerworks

But crikey, after all that sightseeing in Stanley, isn’t it time you also had some relax time on your holiday?!

Enter the Falkland Beerworks!

A new addition to the Stanley scene since 2012, this craft beer pub, essentially in the front of someone’s house (or that’s how it kinda feels), is the popping place to be on a Friday afternoon… or at least it was when I visited!

With fantastic craft beers featuring superb, locally-inspired titles, my favourite had to be the Golden Ale RockHopper.

Owned and run by local, Jeff, this is a truly fantastic place, adored for its low-key atmosphere, great pints and sociable crowd.

It does, however, have slightly hit and miss opening hours!

Check out the Falkland Beerworks Facebook page for the latest opening info and don’t miss out if you can possibly help it.


#18 Sample the Local Gin

Falklands, Stanley, Gin

Crikey, it’s not just beer on the local Falklands menu… they’ve even got their own gin!

Falkland Islands Distillers, found by the visitor centre, is a small craft gin-makers, that’s been distilling with local botanicals since 2016.

Their flagship gin, Darwin’s Botanicals, was launched in 2019 and is award-winning and (as I can vouch for) delicious.

Generally, these guys are open Thursday from 12- 5pm and Saturday 11:30am – 2pm, but as with most things of the Falklands, this is flexible, so it’s best to contact them via their website to check.


#19 Enjoy a Meal Out

Falklands, Stanley, Waterfront Boutique Hotel

And after all that booze, you probably want to grab something to soak it up!

Well you’re in luck, because Stanley has a few places to eat and trying at least one of them is a must-do thing here.

The fanciest place in town (fancy in Falklands terms anyway) is the Waterfront Boutique Hotel restaurant, which sadly I didn’t get to try, but have heard is excellent.

The Malvina House Hotel is another firm favourite.

With its sea view dining room, this place offer a huge menu, including veggie options, with something to suit everyone.

For a more casual and young feel, head to Groovy’s instead.

A diner come pool bar, this is a laidback, local spot, were the service is excellent and prices reasonable.


#20 Stay with a Local Family

Falklands, Stanley, Tu Guesthouse

And after all that food, booze and sightseeing, it’s probably time to hit the hay!

And what better way to experience local hospitality than to stay with locals?

Chris and Julio’s place Tu Guesthouse is brand new on the Stanley scene and serves up an amazing welcome (and breakfast) in cosy surroundings.

Near enough to the centre of Stanley to walk pretty much anywhere, this is a homely spot where you instantly feel part of the furniture.

Book your stay at Tu Guesthouse here.


Mini Travel Guide to the Falkland Islands

Falklands, Stanley, Me

When to Visit the Falklands?

It’s best to visit the islands (including Stanley) during the spring and summer season, which runs from November to February.


How Long to Spend in the Falklands?

I recommend 7-14 days across the archipelago, with 1-3 days in Stanley.

1 day is enough to explore the city, but allow more days if you’d like to enjoy day trips to Volunteer Point etc.


Where to Stay in Stanley?

I recommend Tu Guesthouse for its personal touches or Malvina House Hotel for a comfortable hotel stay.


Recommended Falkland Island Tours

If you’re keen to travel to the Falkland Islands, check out these amazing tours!


Top 5 Packing Items for the Falklands


Travel Insurance

World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.

Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.


Travel Money

There’s only 1 bank in the Falklands – in Stanley – so it pays to have some British cash on you, as well as a debit and credit card.

Most island lodges allow you to pay on card, which is what I did, using my Wise card.

The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups and no sneaky transaction fees, my Wise card works just like a debit card… and it links easily with Google and Apple pay – sold! Grab yours here.




So there you have it, the top 20 things to do in Stanley.

Hope the info was helpful and I’ve convinced you that spending some time in the capital of the Falklands is worth it!

Still have questions about travelling here?

Then don’t hesitate to drop them into the comments box below and I’ll get back to you…


My trip to the Falkland Islands was kindly sponsored by Falkland Island tourism but, as  always, all views are my own.

This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.


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