From the northern lights to the midnight sun, Nuuk is nature’s own work of art. The fiords piercing through the glacial coastline of Greenland create a natural spectacle. Although the ‘Lady of Snow’ is a geopolitical part of North America, the culture and customs are deeply rooted in Europe – especially Denmark. A paradise for Nordic touring and arctic adventures, the Sermitsiaq mountain is a signature landmark in Nuuk’s alluring skyline.
The city is located at the mouth of Nuup Kangerlua fiord in the southwestern coast of Greenland.
Facts about Nuuk
- With a population of around 17,798, Nuuk is one of the smallest capital cities in the world.
- ‘Godthåb’, meaning Good Hope, is the Danish name of Nuuk.
- The Nuuk Tourist Office is the headquarters of the National Tourist Board of Greenland.
- Nuuk Marathon is a famous annual event.
- Northeast Greenland National Park, the largest national park in the world, covers an area of 375291.298 sq. miles.
- A very little area of Greenland is green, and the rest is covered in ice.
Places to Visit in Nuuk
Museums: The Greenland National Museum displays artifacts related to archeology & art, indigenous handicrafts, and information about preserved ruins and graveyards. Qilakitsoq mummies, the highlight of the museum, are one of the major reasons why the city must be explored. Other museums like The Nuuk Art Museum, are notable for its collection of drawings, paintings, and graphics.
Old Colonial Town: Situated on the east coast of the city, Hans Egede Church, Hans Egede Statue, and Hans Egede House are the attractions that grace this urban landscape.
Other Attractions: Katuaq, the cultural center of Greenland, hosts live concerts, exhibitions, and film screenings. Nuuk Center, a shopping mall, is adjacent to the L-shaped building of Katuaq. A delightful nine-hole golf course club, Nuuk Golf Club, is conveniently located overlooking the bay.
Ilulissat Icefjord, Disko Bay, and Uunartoq Hot Springs are other attractions to visit around Nuuk.
Things to Do in Nuuk
Fishing: The towns of Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut along the west coast, where about two dozen rivers flow, are favored by fish anglers. The locals will help you catch Arctic chars and migrating salmons. If you prefer pleasant ocean views and deep-sea fishing, an open boat equipped with gear is provided.
Hiking: Hike along the 4-mile-long Lille Malene trail to soak up the breathtaking coastal views of fiord system. As you pass by freshwater streams, ponds, and lakes, the reflections of Sermitsiaq mountain make the landscape more imposing than ever.
Skiing: Sisorarfiit-Skiliften ski resort – located in the outskirts of the city – allures the thrill-seekers. Hop on a boat for a 20-minute ride to Kangerluarsunnguaq Ski Center at the base of Teqqiinngallip glacier. To venture out in the remote Arctic wilderness, you can join the guided expeditions to the islands of Kulusuk.
Whale Watching: Come May, and most of the fiords start to melt and reveal a breathtaking coastline. Count on the tour operators for an encounter with Humpbacks, Orcas, Narwhals, Fin whales, and even Blue whales, if you’re lucky. Additionally, polar bear, walrus, musk oxen, and reindeer are wild species that inhabit the island.
Diving: Put on your hydrophobic suit and plunge into the pristine cold waters to discover the surprising world beneath the land. Submerged icebergs, strange plant formations, historic shipwrecks, and marine life are home to this biologically diverse area.
If the weather (or nature) permits, do not miss out on activities such as kayaking, dog-sledding, heli-skiing, and flight-seeing.
Hotel Hans Egede (4 star) and Hotel Seamen’s Home (3 star) are some of the top-notch luxury hotels in the urban area of Nuuk. Vandrehuset and Aanaa’s Hut are also good options for comforting stays. During cross-country skiing and fishing, you can always find hut-based accommodations and lodgings in rural towns to put up at.
Nuuk Food and Restaurants
Since most of the land is devoid of blooming vegetation, Greenlanders source the ingredients of their cuisine from the sea. Freshly caught (and hunted) birds, fish, and marine mammals are high in protein. Suaasat, served with rice and onions, is a traditional and national dish of Greenland. You can feast on delicious seafood at Igaffik, Bone’s Nuuk, and Nasiffik. Thailand may be thousands of miles away but you can devour Thai delicacies at Videobutikken Aps.
Best Time to Visit Nuuk
June and July are usually the best months for indulging in adventures and whale watching. To watch Aurelia Borealis, you ought to travel in winter – September through April. The landscape here in late winters is ideal for alpine skiing.
How to Reach Nuuk?
By Air – Nuuk Airport is located about 1-mile northeast of city center. The Kangerlussuaq Airport is the international gateway to Greenland. Daily flights are available between these two airports.
By Water – Two cargo-boat companies, Royal Arctic Line and Blue Water Greenland A/S, operate out of Nuuk.
By Land – Nuup Bussii A/S is a bus company that provides public transport services within the city. There is no train or road network connecting cities with each other on the island. However, Snowmobiles are one of the most efficient ways of long-distance travel around Nuuk.