Information about Ilulissat

View of Ilulissat and Icefjord

Ilulissat is the 3rd largest city in Greenland and one of the biggest tourist draw cards for the country.

It is home to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Ilulissat Icefjord, and people come from all over the world to see the enormous icebergs that enter Disko Bay from just south of the city. In fact, Ilulissat literally means “Icebergs” in the Greenlandic language. 

Geography

Ilulissat is located ~350km North of the Arctic Circle on the West coast of Greenland. It lies at the mouth of the 40 kilometer long Kangia Icefjord, where the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier (the most productive in the Northern Hemisphere) disgorges massive icebergs into the waters of Disko Bay. 

Person taking a photo of the massive icebergs at the Ilulissat Icefjord

Although there are no particularly notable mountains in the Ilulissat area, the rolling Arctic tundra that extends from the town to the Greenland Ice Sheet (Inland Ice) is very beautiful to explore.

Culture and Food

Ilulissat has a great museum and art gallery that are definitely worth a visit. However, a large part of the Greenlandic cultural experience is lived and open-air. Explore the Sermermiut valley, which has been occupied by various cultures for thousands of years, visit the small settlements of Oqaatsut or Ilimanaq for a glimpse of the colonial history of Greenland, listen to the chorus of sled dogs as you wander around the town, and, if you are visiting during winter, travel as the Inuit still do on a dog sled - the most traditional form of Winter transportation in the Arctic.

Dogsledding is popular near Ilulissat

Because it is the most visited city in Greenland, Ilulissat has a number of excellent restaurants serving high quality food. If you are there during the Summer, make sure you scan the notice boards around town to find out when and where the Traditional Greenlandic Buffets are being held. They are the best way to taste several different  local dishes and are often great value.

Outdoor Adventure

Most of the outdoor activities in Ilulissat are focused on the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Listed Ilulissat Icefjord. For those who enjoy physical activity, there are several relatively easy hikes to viewpoints over Icefjord, or you can get a waterline perspective on the massive size of these icebergs by paddling amongst these frozen cathedrals in a kayak. If you are after a more relaxed outing, there are many different boat tours on offer, specific whale watching tours that also bring you close to the ice, and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the Icefjord from the air on a scenic flight that also takes you over the Ice Sheet and Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier.

Boat tours and whale watching amongst the enormous icebergs of the Ilulissat Icefjord

Further afield, it is possible to see multiple calving events at the face of the Eqi Glacier, and it is possible to go snowmobiling and Northern Lights hunting during the Winter months.


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


 

Services near Ilulissat

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Ilulissat

Ilimanaq

Ilimanaq is a tiny settlement just 15 km south of Ilulissat. During the summer there are several departures from Ilulissat to Ilimanaq, at a near dail...

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Oqaatsut

Oqaatsut (which means "cormorants" in Greenlandic) is a small settlement situated about 23km north of Ilulissat on the shores of Disko Bay.  Origin...

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Ilulissat Icefjord

The Ilulissat Icefjord (Kangia) is one of the most well known and popular tourist attractions in Greenland.   Fed by the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, t...

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Disko Bay

The Disko Bay is named after the Disko island in the middle of the bay. There are 2 villages on the Island, Qeqertarsuaq and the settlement of Kangerl...

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Sermeq Kujalleq | Ilulissat Glacier | Jakobshavn Glacier

The Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier feeds the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Ilulissat Icefjord and is one of the most famous and active glaciers in the world...

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Eqi Glacier

Eqi - The Calving Glacier - Located 80 kilometers north of Ilulissat in the Disko Bay within reach for day tours / trips, and available for accommodat...

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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...

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Uummannaq

Experience  the charismatic townsfolk of Uummanaq, explore the wild, wonderful and vast surroundings and get an insight to the daily lives of the Gree...

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Kangerlussuaq

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

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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 kilometers...

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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 l...

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Ice Sheet

The Greenlandic ice sheet is the second largest ice sheet in the world. It’s 1.730.000km², and the thickness is usually over 2km, and over 3 km at the...

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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. Apussuit has sno...

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Northern Lights

Northern Lights In Greenland Northern lights experience is on everyone's bucket list, and in order to make it happen, you may choose the right de...

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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...

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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 only know...

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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 240km sou...

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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: Lille M...

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Nuuk

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...

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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 Malene (Big Malene) a...

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