Nuuk city – Tourist’s guide to the capital of Greenland

Nuuk, Greenland – a magical town where Santa Claus has built his residence. Aurora borealis is quite common here, and the amazing nature is fascinating. In the capital of Greenland, you can try real culinary masterpieces that are prepared only in Nuuk, and, of course, see unique sights. Nuuk is a great travel destination for those who prefer a non-standard holiday, the only nuance that should be taken into account when planning a trip is quite high prices for accommodation and meals, and getting to the capital is not so simple. However, the efforts expended will be more than compensated by vivid emotions and acquaintance with the original culture of Greenland.

City Nuuk

Photo: Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.

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general information

The capital is located in the west of Greenland, at the foot of Mount Sermitsiak. According to official figures, a little more than 15 thousand inhabitants live here. The official foundation date of the capital of Greenland, Nuuk is 1728

Interesting fact! In the local dialect, the name of the city sounds – Gothob, which in translation means – Good hope. Until 1979, this name was official, and Nuuk is the name given to the city by the Eskimos.

Nuuk Historic District, Greenland

Given the geographical location of the city – next to the Arctic Circle in the north – during the spring and summer, there comes a period of white nights. Thanks to the warm West Greenland current, the climate in Nuuk is quite mild – in the summer the air warms up to +15 degrees, in winter there are practically no severe frosts and the sea does not freeze. For this reason, Nuuk is the fishing center of Greenland.

On the territory of the modern city, Eskimo camps were located, but archaeologists managed to find traces of more ancient settlements, whose age is more than 4 thousand years. Confirmed fact – in the 9th century the Vikings settled in Nuuk and lived here until the 15th century.

Nuuk is an economic center, there is a university (the only one in Greenland) and a teacher training college. Despite the fact that today Nuuk cannot be called a popular tourist destination, however, the tourism sector in the city is actively developing. Many travelers note the exotic city, of particular interest are the houses of local residents, painted in different colors and surprisingly contrasting with the harsh subarctic landscape.

Good to know! The time difference between Nuuk, Kiev and Moscow is 5 hours.

Night Nuuk, Greenland

Photo of the city of Nuuk.

Infrastructure

The city of Nuuk – the largest settlement of the island is located on the shores of the fjord of Good Hope, off the coast of the sea of ​​Labrador. The modern capital of Greenland is an unusual combination of ancient architecture and individual intersperses of original, modern examples of urban planning on the island. If you look at the city from a bird’s eye view, you get the feeling that his houses are built, as if from Lego.

Interesting to know! The old quarters of the capital of Greenland – Kolonykhavnen, is the historical core of Nuuk.

Interesting places of the city:

Left - National Museum, in the center - Cathedral, Nuuk, Greenland
  • Egede – a residence where official receptions and special events are held;
  • temples and churches;
  • Arctic garden;
  • University, college and seminary;
  • meat market;
  • Queen’s Memorial;
  • library;
  • Cultural Center;
  • kayak club.
Statue of Hans - founder of Nuuk
Statue of hans

Most of the attractions are compactly concentrated on the streets that run between the hospital, college and post office of Santa.

A large collection of exhibits is collected at the National Museum of Greenland and the National Archives, which occupy one building. It is interesting to visit the house of Nils Linges – a famous artist and clergyman. Of course, you can not ignore the Residence of Santa Claus, which has its own office and mail.

Nuuk presents unique climatic and geographical conditions for playing sports. The capital is surrounded by the sea, on the shore there is an original observation deck, where tourists come to watch whales, there is a polar yacht parking nearby, and near the airport there is a rest area Oorruak. The main feature of the city is compactness, you can reach all sights and places of rest on foot. From the same part of the city, all excursions deep into the island to the picturesque fjords begin.

Interesting fact! One of the most fascinating and unusual excursions in the capital of Greenland is to the snow-white wall of the ice sheet located in the west of Nuuk.

sights

Despite the fact that the city is quite compact and small, there are many interesting tourist places that are undoubtedly worth visiting to get acquainted with the culture, history and traditions of Greenland.

National Museum of Greenland

This is the first museum that opened in the city of Nuuk on the island of Greenland in the mid 60s of the last century. The collection was replenished with exhibits from the National Museum of Denmark. The expositions are dedicated to archeology, history, crafts and art.

Mummies in the museum

Among the exhibits are fragments of ancient buildings, burials and ruins. The exposition covers a period of 4.5 thousand years. The most popular is the collection of mummies and an exhibition of vehicles of the peoples of the north:

  • boats;
  • dog sledding.
Museum boat

Unusual transport, adapted to difficult weather conditions. For the manufacture, local materials were used – driftwood, animal skins and tendons, tusks and a whalebone. The pride of the collection is an Eskimo boat 9 meters long and dog teams.

A separate collection with clothes that are perfectly adapted to the cold and the hunters ’special lifestyle. The smallest details are thought out so that sweat does not cause discomfort. Many clothing models are transforming.

Greenland national costumes

The museum has an amazing atmosphere of magic, shamanism and cultural traditions. Visiting the attraction, you will understand how people live in such difficult climatic conditions, imbued with interest in the harsh and at the same time magical Greenland.

Practical information.

The building is located on the waterfront, next to the Citycenter bus stop, at 8 Hans Egedesvej;

National Museum of Greenland

Schedule depends on the time of year:

  • in the winter (from September 16 to March 31) – from 13-00 to 16-00, every day except Monday;
  • in the summer (from June 1 to September 15) – from 10-00 to 16-00, daily.

Ticket price:

  • adult – 30 kroons;
  • admission is free for children under 16;
  • You can visit the museum every Sunday for free.

Cultural Center Katouac
Concert in the cultural center of Katouac

For the capital of Greenland, this is a unique attraction, the building houses an exhibition center, a cinema, an art school, the Polar Institute, a cafe and an Internet club. Also inside there are conference rooms, concert venues. This is a favorite vacation spot not only for tourists, but also for local residents. In the dark, the cultural center turns into a platform for light shows.

The cultural center is located in the business center of Nuuk, in its central part. Despite the original design of the building, which resembles a wave frozen on the shore, it harmoniously fits into the Arctic landscape.

Cultural Center Katouac

Interesting fact! Each month, the Center hosts exhibitions of Greenland artists, theatrical performances.

Entrance to the cultural center is free, the schedule of attractions:

  • Monday to Friday – from 11-00 to 21-00;
  • Weekends – from 10-00 to 21-00.
Museum of Art

The exposition is represented by paintings by Scandinavian masters and European artists. You can also see figurines, household items used by the inhabitants of the north, photographs dedicated to Greenland. In one of the halls there is a collection of figures made of a variety of materials – bones, teeth, wood.

At the museum of art
  • The 600 m2 museum is housed in a former Adventist church at Kisarnkkortungunguake 5.
  • Entrance to the museum is paid – 30 kroons, but on Thursdays from 13-00 to 17-00 you can visit the attraction for free.
Museum of Art

It is important! In winter, the museum is usually closed; it is opened only in good weather and for no more than 4 hours. In the summer (from 07.05 to 30.09) you can visit the exhibition from Tuesday to Sunday from 13-00 to 17-00.

Cathedral

The attraction is also known as the Church of the Savior. Lutheran Cathedral was built in the middle of the 19th century. A small building thanks to its bright red color and high spire stands out in the urban interior. Visually, the cathedral is perceived as a bright spot on the background of snow-white Arctic landscapes. The entire population of the city gathers here during the celebration of National Greenland Day.

Cathedral, Nuuk

It is difficult to get inside the cathedral, because for visitors the doors open only during services. Near the church there is a rock, where a monument to Hans Egede, the priest who first preached Christianity in Greenland, was erected. At the entrance to the temple is a monument to the organist Jonathan Peterson.

Interesting fact! The cathedral is often depicted on postcards dedicated to Greenland.

Ski area Sisorarfiit
Ski area Sisorarfiit

If you relax in Nuuk in winter, be sure to visit Sisorarfiit, here you can go skiing, snowboarding and even sledding. There are two ski lifts on the territory – large and small, there is a cafe serving delicious dishes and hot drinks.

Sisorarfiit is equipped with tracks of different difficulty levels – for experienced athletes, beginners and even children. There is an equipment rental point where you can rent skis, snowboards and other necessary equipment. In summer, they offer fascinating hiking trips.

Snowboarding

Schedule:

  • Monday to Friday – from 14-00 to 19-00;
  • Weekends – from 10-00 to 18-00.

Visitors can purchase:

  • Subscription: adult – 1700 kroons, children – 600 kroons;
  • daily card: adult – 170 CZK, children – 90 CZK.

Accommodation

Hotel Sømandshjemmet Nuuk
Hotel Sømandshjemmet Nuuk

The choice of hotels in the capital of Greenland is extremely limited. Resource Booking.com offers only 5 accommodation options in Nuuk for tourists. The peculiarity of hotels in their location – no matter where you stay, getting around the sights of the city is not difficult. The maximum distance to the city center is 2 km. The most expensive double room will cost 160 euros, the minimum price is 105 euros.

Nuuk hotels are small houses with a height of no more than 2 floors with all amenities and services. In the summer, outdoor terraces work, offering a beautiful view of the fjords. The rooms include a bathroom, TV, free Internet access, telephone. Breakfast is included.

Good to know! In summer, you can rent an igloo-style cottage. Fans of eco-tourism stop on farms. If you want to save money, choose a hostel, here accommodation will cost several times cheaper than in a hotel.

Downtown Nuuk

Photo: Nuuk City, Greenland

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How to get to Nuuk

Nuuk Airport, Greenland
Nuuk Airport

The easiest and fastest way to get to Nuuk is by plane. The airport was opened in 1979, has one runway and accepts only domestic flights, as well as from Iceland. Check-in starts 2 hours before the flight and ends 40 minutes before departure. To register, you will need a passport and a boarding pass.

Airplane Greenland

Nuuk Airport accepts Air Greenland flights from Kangerlussuaq Airport. You can find flights with transfers in Copenhagen or Reykjavik. The flight duration is from 3 to 4 hours.

Nuuk Cruise Port

There is also a water connection – ships run between Narsarsuaq and Ilyulissat, but only in the warm season.

In Nuuk, a special Arctic road color reigns, you can move here in three ways:

  • by air – by planes and helicopters;
  • by water – tourists rent boats and boats;
  • on the ground – dog sledding, snowmobiles or skiing are used for this.

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Nuuk (Greenland), despite all the color and special charm, is not spoiled by the attention of tourists. This is largely due to the difficult geographical location of the city. Nevertheless, you will never regret that you made such a trip and visited one of the most unusual cities in the world.



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