Information about Nuuk

Downtown Nuuk at dusk with Store Malene rising behind - winter - Guide to Greenland

Nuuk is the capital of Greenland and the northernmost capital city in the world.

Despite its small population of just 18,000 people, Nuuk combines traditional and modern culture with unbeatable back-country exploration - perfect for both the culture-loving and nature-loving visitor. 

The brightly painted houses that contrast starkly with the environment of rock and Winter snow have given the city the nickname of “Colourful Nuuk”, and the result is a picture-perfect capital that is unlike any other in the world.


For the best and most practical information about what there is to see and do around Nuuk, read our Ultimate Travel Guide to Nuuk.


Geography

Nuuk is located on the mid-west coast of Greenland about 240km south of the Arctic Circle. It sits at the mouth of the Nuuk Fjord (Nuup Kangerlua) - the second-largest fjord system in the world - and is protected from the Labrador Sea/North Atlantic Ocean by a low-lying peninsula named Nordlandet.  

Flying over the Nuuk Fjord during winter - Guide to GreenlandFlying over the Nuuk Fjord

The mountains of Ukkusissat (Store Malene) and Quassussuaq (Lille Malene) rise directly behind the outskirts of the city, and Sermitsiaq mountain (an icon of Nuuk) can be seen from almost everywhere.

Culture & Food

Nuuk is the hub of culture in Greenland. 

Visit the National Museum and Archives and Nuuk Local Museum for a country-wide and city-specific look at the history and traditions of Greenland; explore both historic and modern Greenlandic art at the Nuuk Art Museum; watch the latest performance at the National Theatre; and try to catch a Greenlandic band playing live music (they are amazing musicians!) at the Katuaq Cultural Centre. These are just some of the many cultural activities on offer in Greenland’s capital. 

Kayaking display at the National Museum in NuukKayaking display at the National Museum in Nuuk

Nuuk is also a hotpot of gastronomic experimentation, where top chefs bring traditional foods together with modern techniques to create an interesting fusion that can be found nowhere else in the world. Many of the restaurants in Nuuk offer such specialties alongside traditional tasting plates/tapas and international cuisine. Good coffee, cakes and pastries can be had on every corner, and brunches are huge on the weekend.


For more information about exploring the cultural capital, read our Culture Lover’s Guide to Nuuk.


Outdoor Adventure

Just on the doorstep of Greenland’s capital city lies the spectacular backcountry of the Nuuk Fjord. 

Summer is the time to head out on a boat tour to explore the small settlements that still lie hidden within the numerous waterways. You may even spot a whale or go fishing for your lunch or dinner along the way! Alternatively, take a day hike up Quassussuaq (Lille Malene) or Ukkusissat (Store Malene) or, for those with less energy, take a helicopter flight for incredible views over Nuuk and its surroundings.

Twilight helicopter scenic flight with a summit landing on Sermitsiaq - summer - Nuuk - Guide to GreenlandHelicopter scenic flight and summit landing on Sermitsiaq Mountain

While it is still possible to explore the Nuuk Fjord by boat and helicopter during winter, you may prefer to strap on some snowshoes or skis instead. Nuuk boasts fantastic snowshoeing / cross-country skiing terrain and is also home to a small ski resort with a couple of decent runs. But no matter how you choose to fill your Winter days, remember to head out at night and look up! The Northern Lights shine bright in Nuuk and are one of the most magical displays you will ever see.


For more information about outdoor adventures around Nuuk, read our Nature Lover’s Guide to Nuuk.


 

Services near Nuuk

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Nuuk

Quassussuaq | Lille Malene

Quassussuaq (440 m / 1,380 ft) is an easily accessible mountain peak on the outskirts of Nuuk. It is more commonly known by its Danish name: Li...

View

Ukkusissat | Store Malene

Ukkusissat (772 m / 2,533 ft) is a mountain peak on the outskirts of Nuuk. It is more commonly known by its Danish name: Store M...

View

Nordlandet

...

View

Kangeq

Kangeq is an abandoned settlement located about 18km from Nuuk in the Nuuk Fjord. Archaeological middens show that the area has been occupie...

View

Nuuk Fjord

The Nuuk Fjord (Nuup Kangerlua) is the second-largest fjord system in the world and home to Greenland’s capital city. It is located about 240...

View

Qooqqut

Qooqqut is a small abandoned settlement about 43km from Nuuk, Greenland's capital. Surrounded by impressive mountains, it is a wonderful...

View

Qoornoq

Qoornoq is an abandoned settlement in the Nuuk Fjord that has found a new lease on life as a summer get-away for the families of those that used to li...

View

Quassussuaq

...

View

Kapisillit

Kapisillit is a settlement in the Nuuk Fjord, about 75km east of Nuuk. The name means "the place with salmon" as the Kapisillit River is the...

View

Apussuit Glacer

Apussuit is a skiing centre on top of a glacier, about 25 km east from Maniitsoq. Apussuit means ‘the big snow’ in West Greenlandic. Apus...

View

Arctic Circle Trail

The well-known Arctic Circle Trail is a 160 km long trail that stretches between Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut. It is a perfect hike to escape everyday&n...

View

Kangerlussuaq

Greenlands main entrance from the world. A unique place with easy access to plenty of adventures. Experience the amazing Greenlandic Ic...

View

Point 660

Point 660 is a place recently uncovered by ice with a scenic view of the Icecap slowly descending into the ice-free tundra, located some 40 kilom...

View

Russell Glacier

...

View

Narsarsuaq

South Greenland’s gates from the rest of the world. A unique place with easy access to plenty adventures. A place to experience the Greenland Ic...

View

Narsaq

On a flat tableland, lies a colorful town at the foot of two mountains, Qaqqarsuaq. The town’s name is Narsaq, with a self sufficing people with...

View

Qooroq Icefjord

The Qooroq glacier throws over 200.000 tons of ice into the fjord every day. It is a beautiful sight, to see the huge wall of ice tower out of the wat...

View

Qaqortoq

Explore the Arctic tundra of the south coast of Greenland. A place that will mesmerize any traveler with its green, grassy mountains and blue fjords. ...

View

Aasiaat

Experience the land famous for it seas, as arctic sea creatures, play hide and seek between the waves and icebergs. Aasiaat known for its waters, marv...

View

Uunartoq Hot Springs

Uunartoq Qeqertaq literally means "Very Hot Island" in Greenlandic. This scenic island is situated on the eastern side of the tip of South...

View