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Frequently Asked Questions About Greenland
Greenland is that big white space close to the north pole. Do people actually live there? Are there airports where planes can land? The below are some answers to get your planning started. We are here to make your adventure to Greenland come true. Come and explore our beautiful land with us.
How do I get to Greenland?
You can fly to Greenland from either Copenhagen, Denmark, or Reykjavik, Iceland. There are 6 international airports in Greenland.
Flights from Iceland are by small aircraft, that bring you to various towns around Greenland. Flights from Denmark are by large jets that bring you to the hub airport of Greenland (Kangerlussuaq), from where you can connect to domestic flights all around Greenland. Some international routes fly only in the summer.
Can I come to Greenland by ferry?
No, unfortunately, there are no ferry connections to Greenland. The only way to arrive by ship is to book a ticket onboard one of the many cruise ships that sail to Greenland in the summer.
Is there a good train network around Greenland?
There are no trains in Greenland and there are no highways either. Actually, there is no place where two towns are connected by road (Until the gravel road Kangerlussuaq – Sisimiut is not finished), so don’t plan a long distance cycling trip either. To travel from town to town, you need to book a plane, helicopter or ferry, find a tour boat, or go by dogsled if you’re traveling in winter in the north.
Every single town and settlement in Greenland is situated by the sea, and many lie on islands. Glaciers, cliffs, deep fiords and sheer distances make it impossible to make or maintain road systems outside towns. Getting around is an adventure in itself, with magnificent views from the air, water or sled.
How to get around Greenland?
There are no connecting roads, nor trains in Greenland, why you can only get from one town to another by flight, ferry, or private charter.
Where in Greenland should we go?
Greenland is a big country – the same size as Western Europe (from Portugal to Poland), or from Chicago to Mexico City. The different areas are quite diverse, from kayak hunters in the North to sheep farmers in the South.
Ilulissat and Disko Bay in the North are well-known for the gigantic icebergs coming from the World Heritage Ilulissat Icefjord. The capital Nuuk and the huge fjord system that surrounds it offers diverse outdoor activities. The mid-region from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut, and South Greenland, have fantastic outdoor opportunities and plenty of cultural sites. Smaller towns such as Maniitsoq, which can be reached by boat from Nuuk have fantastic mountains and fjords. Last but not least, East Greenland and the far north like Uummannaq, Upernavik, Qaanaaq have fascinating untouched nature and their own unique cultures in each area.
What is the capital of Greenland?
The capital of Greenland is Nuuk. With its inhabitants of approximately 19.000 (2021) and 3 districts, it is the largest city in Greenland. The city is located in the mid-west of Greenland, in one of the world’s largest fjord-systems – Nuuk Fjord.
Can I see the midnight sun anywhere in Greenland?
Above the Arctic circle, the sun stays above the horizon during the summer. The further north you go, the longer the period of the midnight sun. But also in southern Greenland, it doesn’t get dark at midnight. You just get a long sunset that turns into sunrise.
Can I go to Greenland in the winter?
Greenland is great to visit in the winter. It is one of the best places to witness the Northern lights, which are only visible during the winter months. If you love snowy landscapes or are into winter sports, this paradise is for you!
Where can I see the northern lights?
You can see Northern lights almost anywhere in Greenland, except the furthest north. The northern tip of Greenland is too far north to see them frequently.
Do people in Greenland living in igloos?
No, locals live in colorful Scandinavian type houses.
Can I bring my pet with me to Greenland?
In most of the cases, yes. However, you cannot bring any dogs above the article circle. Be aware that bringing pet to Greenland may require special vaccines. You can read more about bringing your pet to Greenland here:
Where can I visit UNESCO sites in Greenland?
There are 3 UNESCO world heritage areas in Greenland. One of the most famous and first-ever UNESCO sites in Greenland is Ilulissat icefjord and it is located in Ilulissat, Disko Bay. The Isua-glacier from where the icebergs of Ilulissat Icefjord originates from is one of the fastest retracting and most active glaciers in the world!
In 2017 different places in South Greenland (Kujataa) were recognized as UNESCO world heritage. The Kujataa UNESCO sites consist of Inuit farming by the Greenland Ice Cap. You can visit the UNESCO sites while staying in the towns and settlements of Narsaq, Narsasuaq or Qaqortoq.
The Newest UNESCO site in Greenland is located by the Arctic circle, between Sisimiut and Kangerlussuaq. Here the area of Aasivissuit and Nipisat island, an old Inuit hunting ground located between ice and the sea is recognized as a UNESCO cultural landscape. The best way to experience it is to go on the guided Arctic circle trail multi-day hike!
Where to go if you want to go dogsledding?
You can go dogsledding above the Arctic Circle and in East Greenland.
If you want a short experience of dogsledding in 2-4 hours we recommend going to Ilulissat, Sisimiut, Kangerlussuaq, or Tassiilaq. If you are more adventurous you can book multi-day tours from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut or join a dogsledding expedition in Uummannaq, Ittoqqortoormiit, or Tasiilaq to experience Inuit culture at first hand.
Where I can visit hot springs?
The most famous hot springs in Greenland are located in South Greenland. These are the Unartoq hot springs and have been well known by both the Norse men and ancient Inuit for many centuries. The Hot springs can be easily reached by boat or helicopter from Qaqortoq or other towns in South Greenland.
Where I can visit Vikings ruins in Greenland?
The Norsmans build farms and churches along the coast of southwestern Greenland. Today you can find the best preserve ruin- Hvalsey Church in South Greenland. Besides Hvalsey church you can also visit Igaliko settlement where the Norsemen established Garðar Cathedral for the bishop and had the biggest farm in Greenland and Qassiarsuk- Brattahlid where the Vikings came ashore!
Do I need to be very fit to travel to Greenland?
Greenland has activities for every level of fitness. Major towns have facilities that are friendly to the disabled, and we also see many elderly visitors. Boat trips take you close to icebergs and glaciers and sight in the fiords that cannot be accessed from land. 5 or 10 minutes out of town, you will find yourself walking in beautiful nature, and there are hiking opportunities for beginners and experts. If you are looking for long treks, kayaking, climbing, skiing etc., we promise you an experience of a lifetime. To make it easier for you to find tours all tours are marked with a certain level of difficulty.
What kind of risks are there? Isn’t it very wild and remote?
Not being ready for the weather is the greatest risk you have. Weather in the Arctic can change fast, and it’s not fun to be wet or cold or to be caught in high winds. It can be dangerous if you’re on a trek on your own. Dress properly, pay attention to the weather forecast, and ask your guide or local people for information. You can find advice on how to dress in winter and summer here.
One thing that is special about Greenland is that you need to be aware of icebergs. If you are kayaking, remember that only 10% is showing above the water and that it can roll or crack at any moment. Give big icebergs a wide berth. If you are onshore, icebergs cracking or glaciers fronts calving can cause a tsunami. If you hear a sound like thunder, look around, and go to higher ground if necessary.
Articles to help you discover more about Greenland and plan your vacation
The Ultimate Travel Guide to Nuuk
The Ultimate Travel Guide to Ilulissat
Experience the Northern Lights in Greenland
The Ultimate Travel Guide to Tasiilaq
The Ultimate Travel Guide to Sisimiut
Best hiking trails around Sisimiut
The Ultimate Travel Guide to Uummannaq
The Ultimate Travel Guide to Qaqortoq
Kangerlussuaq | What to do and where to go
The Ultimate Travel Guide to Aasiaat
South Greenland | What to do & where to go
Top things to do in Greenland
Book your complete trip with the best tour operators