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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > Greenland

Things to see and do in Greenland

Tourist offices

Visit Greenland

Address: Hans Egedesvej 29, P.O. Box 1615, Nuuk, 3900
Telephone: 342 820.
Website: http://www.greenland.com
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0800-1600.

VisitDenmark in the USA

Address: PO Box 4649, Grand Central Station, New York, 10063
Telephone: (212) 885 9700.
Website: http://www.goscandinavia.com
Opening times:

Not open to the public.

VisitDenmark in the UK

Address: 55 Sloane Street , London, SW1X 9SY
Telephone: (020) 7259 5959.
Website: http://www.visitdenmark.com
Opening times:

Mon, Wed and Fri 1000-1300.

Attractions in Greenland

Admire the architecture of Qaqortoq

The largest town in South Greenland is home to a small Inuit Museum, which includes an exact copy of a turf house. The town square is surrounded by some of the most well-preserved buildings of the colonial era, dating back 200 years. Examples of a unique art project called Stone and People, where sculptures are carved into granite, can also be found throughout the town.

Befriend the locals in Nuuk

An ever-popular destination for visitors, Nuuk ranks as one of the world's smallest capitals. With a population of about 15,000, the "city" was founded in 1728 by Norwegian missionary Hans Egede as the very first town of Greenland. Its colourful, wooden houses are overlooked by the snow-capped Sermitsiaq Mountain, which provides a beautiful backdrop to the town.

Discover the world's largest national park

Northeast Greenland National Park has bragging rights to being the world's largest and most northerly national park. Nearly four times the size of the United Kingdom, the park is home musk oxen, polar bears, walruses and myriad other species. The area is ideal for expedition trips in kayaks or on dog sledges. Permits are required to enter the park.

Don your hiking boots

Hiking is one of Greenland's big draws. The tourist board has published colour-coded hiking maps and guides for Qaqortoq, Narsaq and Narsarsuaq in South Greenland and Ammassalik in the east. The scenery is unremittingly beautiful and accommodation comes in the form of mountain huts, which are available in the Narsaq and Qaqortoq peninsulas, as well as Vatnahverfi.

Explore the macabre Greenland National Museum

One of Nuuk's major attractions, this morbid museum is home to the mummified remains of a group of women and children, who were thought to have died in about 1475 when their boat capsized. The museum is in the oldest part of the city where buildings date back to 1728.

Go whale watching

Many different species of whale can be found along Greenland's coasts. Try the area around Qeqertarsuaq, Aasiaat and Qasigiannguit, where, with a bit of luck, you might spot gigantic fin whales. Depending on the season, you may also get to see minke, beluga and humpback whales.

Marvel at the icebergs of Disko Bay

North Greenland, and in particular the area around Disko Bay, is one of the most popular destinations for travellers. That's thanks largely to the magnificent icebergs, which, during the summertime, glisten in the midnight sun.

Scale the heights of Nanortalik

Greenland's southernmost town, Nanortalik, is surrounded by the so-called Nanortalik Skyscrapers; the steep peaks and sheer mountain faces that rise from shimmering fjords. The area is a paradise for climbers and hikers but Ketil Mountain and Ulamertorsuaq should only be attempted by experienced hands. If you've not a head for heights, then the fishing and kayaking is also good here.

See the sights on a snowmobile

A vehicle for recreation and leisure, snowmobiles are ubiquitous in Greenland, and renting one is a great way to discover the country's beautiful scenery in winter. Not a cheap leisure activity, but one that's guaranteed to give you a huge adrenaline buzz.

Soak up the scenery in Ilulissat

Ilulissat (meaning "iceberg") is the gateway to Disko Bay and the whole of northern Greenland. Ilulissat boasts many modern as well as traditional buildings surrounded by breath-taking scenery. The explorer Knud Rasmussen was born here in 1879 and the house where he grew up has been transformed into the interesting Knud Rasmussen Museum.

Take a dog sled ride

The Inuit have been living with their dogs and using their sledges for thousands of years, and taking a dog-sled trip will give you an insight into their culture. This is a popular activity in Eastern Greenland and north of the Arctic Circle, with tours available for all levels and durations. Best months for this are from February to April.

Travel back to the Viking Age

Narsarsuaq and Qassiarsuk in southern Greenland are situated in the area first settled by the Viking Eric the Red 1,000 years ago. Many ruins from this epoch still survive and these Viking vestiges are popular with history buffs and hikers.

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