Greenland


Overview

Travelling to Greenland? Get travel advice and inspiration from Wanderlust. Want to know what to see or do? How to avoid the crowds? We have the tips for you

If it’s peace and quiet you’re after, this is the place, although be warned, it won’t come cheap.  With crisp air and majestic mountain scenery, here in Greenland you can hike, ski or dogsled through unspoilt wilderness or sail through fjords under the light show of the aurora borealis. Whenever you come and whatever you do, remember that mum knows best. As she’d tell you herself: wrap up warm.

Wanderlust Recommends

  1. Have a real winter touring Greenland’s icebergs
  2. Meet the Inuit
  3. Find out how dog sledding is really done at one of the many sledding festivals held around Easter in towns north of the Arctic Circle
  4. See the Aurora Borealis – best viewed against the dark skies of autumn and winter.

 

Wanderlust tips for travel in Greenland

Allow plenty of time for everything in Greenland as the weather won’t always be your friend. Patience and a good book are ideal travelling companions around these parts.

Alcoholism is a serious problem in Greenland. To combat this, alcoholic drinks can only be sold in shops from noon to 6pm and from 11am to 1pm on Saturday.

Further Reading

Travel in Greenland vital stats

 

  • Capital of Greenland: Nuuk
  • Population of Greenland: 57,000
  • Languages in Greenland: Inuit (Greenlandic), Danish
  • Time in Greenland: GMT – 3 (March – October GMT – 2)
  • International dialling code in Greenland: + 299
  • Voltage in Greenland: 220 AC 50 Hz
  • Visas for Greenland: Greenland visas
  • Money in Greenland: Danish Krone (Dkr) ATMs accept foreign cards. Travellers cheques are not widely accepted.
  • Greenland travel advice: Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Greenland tourism board: Greenland

     

     

    When to go to Greenland

    The climate in Greenland is sub-Arctic: summer is surprisingly comfortable, averaging 17°C, but temperatures plunge as low as -40°C in January. Peak tourist season is mid-May to mid-September.

    Be prepared for changeable conditions – pack waterproof clothes and sun cream. Before hiking, check the forecast at www.dmi.dk/dmi/index/gronland.htm

    International airports

    Nuuk (GOH) – 3.7km from centre.

     

    Getting around in Greenland

    The Transfers between major towns in Greenland are primarily by helicopter and it doesn’t come cheap.  In summer boat transfers are also possible while, in winter, skidoos and dogsleds are the mainstays of local transport. It is all weather dependent – be prepared for delays and cancellations.

     

    Greenland accommodation

    Hotels in Greenland are mostly pleasant, if modest. B&Bs are growing in popularity while seamen’s homes are cheap-and-cheerful hostel-like options. Tourist offices can usually help to organise homestays. Booking ahead is highly recommended.

    Greenland food & drink

    Hotels mainly offer full board, so chances to sample traditional Greenlandic fare are rare and invitations into private houses even rarer.

    In hotels, expect lots of fish and Danish specialities – vegetarians may struggle. A Northern Greenland speciality – only for the un-squeamish and very brave - is kivioq. To make it, small penguin-like birds are sown into hollowed-out seal carcasses and left to rot. Yum.

    Health & safety in Greenland

    When hiking, it’s essential to tell people where you are going and when you expect to be back. Conditions can change quickly so take it seriously, pack survival rations and be prepared for the cold.

    Always seek local advice before going out on a boat trip and err on the side of caution if in doubt.

     

    Alcohol-fuelled fights are not uncommon in pubs, especially on Fridays.

    Swarms of flies and mosquitoes can be a problem on hikes, particularly in July.