photo by Henrik Greve

Nuuk, also known by its Danish name of Godthåb (Good Hope), is the capital and administrative center of Greenland, with a population of around 15,000 (about 1/4 the entire population of the country). The city is sometimes accused of being rather soulless, with many high-rise blocks.


Nuuk, along with most of Greenland, has a subarctic climate. Being on the coast helps moderate temperatures somewhat, though, so winter temperatures are not unlike what one would experience in northern Europe or central Canada. However, in July the average temperature is only 45*F, with highs rarely making it out of the 50s, so don't plan on a warm day any time of year!

The fall is the time with the most rainfall and snowfall, but it is at a pretty steady rate all year round.

Getting there

There is absolutely no road or rail system connecting cities within Greenland. The only practical means to travel is by boat or air. On foot is less practical and far more strenuous, but somewhat plausible.

By plane

Nuuk has one airport (IATA : GOH), which is located about 4 km northeast of town.

  • Air Greenland is almost the only airline that flies in and out of Nuuk, though there are also occasional charter flights from smaller Canadian airlines.

  • Air Iceland flies during the summer months also to Reykjavík several times a week.

By boat

Arctic Umiaq Line has a passenger terminal to Maniitsoq-Sisimiut-Aasiaat-Uummannaq and Paamiut-Qaqortoq-Narsaq-Narsarsuaq.

Royal Arctic Line is the cargo-boat company.

Traveling around

Nuuk has a small bus company (Nuup Bussii A/S), or you can rent a car.

  • Nuup Bussii A/S , +299 342 300, +299 342 300


The old colonial town is located on the east coast side of the town center. Here you will also find the statue of Hans Egede, Hans Egede's House and church, the tourist office, the national museum and Santa Claus's post office and mailbox.

Brædtet, the board, is where fresh fish, seal and whale meat is sold.

Things to do

  • Whale watching by boat.

  • Helicopter ride to the inland ice, Norse ruins and kaffemik at a nearby village.

Several hiking routes start from Nuuk:

  • An easy hike from the Circuslake around the mountain Little Marlene follows a marked trail.

  • A unmarked trek goes up Big Marlene and offers a view over Nuuk from above. Parts of this trail is on mountain sides with large boulders or steep climbs up loose rocks.


A must is a stop for a beer at the pub "Takuss" just next to the library. About 6 out of 7 visits here you will probably be the only foreigner. Enjoy the atmosphere. Watch charming, drunk ladies dance to greenlandic folkmusic. It´s quite expensive here though, a big beer costs about 60 dkr.



Handmade seal skin gloves. They cost around 500 DKR but will serve you a long time. Ask for a shop near Colonial town.


As Nuuk is only a small town, with a population of about 15,000, there is more or less no crime, there are no slums, and no places you should avoid, you can walk around everywhere at anytime and stay safe if you just use your common sense.


Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Henrik Greve, Peter Løvstrøm, Lisa Risager, J- Nimb

Some photos courtesy of: , . The photos provided by Flickr, Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Mattias Meierkord, Peter Paluszewski, Todd VerBeek, Andrew Haggard, Jim Logan, Evan Prodromou and Niels Elgaard Larsen, Tatatabot, Cacahuate, Episteme and BigHaz

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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