Greenland is an autonomous country within Denmark situated in the northeastern part of North America. The country occupies the island with the same name and several neighboring islands. It is washed by the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The capital city is Nuuk.
The climate differs in different regions of Greenland. On the coast the climate is arctic and subarctic, in the ice sheet area it is continental arctic. The average temperature in winter can vary from -7°C to -36°C, and in summer the temperature is from +3°C to +10°C. The tourists prefer to come to Greenland from May to July when such a natural phenomenon as midnight sun occurs and see an amazing aurora borealis.
The majority of the population (around 40%) are the Lutherans.
The official language of this autonomous country is Greenlandic but people also speak Danish.
Greenland attracts the tourists because in this country they can watch the whales and enjoy a unique nature. On the largest island in the world, there is a unique Greenland National Park.
Greenland can offer many things for those who prefer active holidays. The tourists can go alpine skiing, climbing or diving. Anyone can go sailing or have a trip in a true Eskimo kayak. One will be greatly impressed by a flight over the ice sheet. In the waters around the island, there are a lot of fish which makes the fishing a really captivating experience. And hunters have a chance to get an excellent trophy. In the hot sources, you will receive a spa-procedure. Both children and adults can participate in dog sledding.
In Greenland, the travelers should visit the residence of Santa Claus which is near the capital city. In the city of Kolonihavnen, one can see historical and architectural monuments.
The tourists from CIS countries have to take transit flights to travel to Greenland. The citizens of some European countries can take a direct flight to Greenland. One can fly to Greenland without any stops from the airports of Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Germany and Belgium.
One can get to Greenland by one of the cruise ships which regularly arrive at the ports of the country. This way of traveling can be interesting for those tourists who plan to visit several northern countries during their trip. Typically, cruise ships also arrive at Iceland and Disko Bay archipelago.
The tourists planning their trip to Greenland should know that being the autonomous territory of Denmark, Greenland is not signed up to the Schengen Agreement, so a visa is required for visiting this country. The citizens of the European Union can stay in Greenland for 90 days visa-free. The citizens of Moldova can visit Greenland without obtaining a visa provided that they have a biometric passport. The tourists from other CIS countries must obtain a visa in the Embassy of Denmark or in a visa center.
The documents can be submitted personally, through a trusted person or a travel agency.
Normally, the time for processing the documents for a visa is from five to ten working days.
One can import and export national and foreign currency without any restrictions.
The tourists can bring in Greenland duty-free the following goods:
- a small amount of alcohol and cigarettes;
- a small amount of perfume;
- a small amount of tea and coffee;
- a small amount of canned food and confectionery products;
- personal belongings.
A special permit is required to export souvenirs made of the whalebone, walrus tusks and bones and also local semi-precious stones. The permit is given in the stores and touristic offices in Greenland.
The foodies will enjoy the taste of the dishes prepared by the local chefs. The staple food in Greenland is fish and marine mammals.
We recommend the tourists trying a casserole from the meat of musk-ox and a local specialty – a flesh of bear with red bilberry sauce.
From the meat of a seal in Greenland, they cook a soup Suaasat. Do not miss a chance to try a thick soup with whale meat.
Savory roast ptarmigan Rusty with potato balls will delight even those tourists who prefer traditional European cuisine.
The locals eat a lot of fish and seafood. The characteristic feature of the Greenlandic cuisine is minimal heat treatment of fruits de mer. If you crave for something not so exotic, you should try canapé with scallops, roast catfish with potatoes salad, crabs and shrimps.
In the menu of the local restaurants and eateries, you will find many traditional European desserts. But those who are not afraid to try something new, should treat themselves to the local ice-cream Akutak prepared from fish, whipped fat and berries with sugar.
Coffee is very popular in Greenland. The locals add whiskey and Kahlua and Grand Marnier liqueurs to it. Usually, such coffee is served with whipped creams.
Greenland imports alcoholic drinks from other countries.
The national currency of the autonomous country is Danish krone (DKK) which is subdivided into 100 øre. The bank notes from 50 to 1.000 krones and 25 and 50 øre coins and coins 2, 5, 10, and 20 krones are in circulation. Some stores accept Euro and US dollars.
The tourists can exchange currency only at banks in large cities.
Credit cards are accepted everywhere in the country.
ATMs are everywhere in all cities so it is not necessary to have cash.
One can cash traveler’s checks only at banks.
In Greenland, there are not so many tax-free shops. The tourists can refund VAT at the airport. They need to show a sales receipt from the store.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Greenland
The Ilulissat Icefjord with its flowing glacier was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is acknowledged as a unique natural phenomenon. One will be amazed by unusual landscapes as though from the other planet. The icebergs are formed on the glacier Sermeq Kujalleq and at a speed 20 meters a day they fall into the ocean with a roar.
In Greenland, there are two UNESCO candidate sites.
- A trip to the Norse/Eskimo cultural landscape in the Kujalleq Municipality will delight the lovers of historical and architectural monuments. The tourists will see the residence of the bishop and the ruins of an ancient church the first written records of which date from 1408. Take a walking tour to Brattahlid, a former estate of Erik Thorvaldsson who found the first settlement in Greenland. The church, which is now situated in the place of the first settlements of Vikings, has been reconstructed. In the churchyard, one can still find ancient tombstones with engraved writing in runes.
- The Greenland inland and coastal hunting area Arnangarnup Qoorua is a must-see for the lovers of hiking and country walks and, of course, for fishers and hunters.
In Greenland, the tourists can see many interesting sights:
- In the city of Nuuk, there is the Greenland National Museum.
- If you like historical and architectural monuments, visit the residence of the government in the former house of the founder of the city.
- Fans of hiking can take a trip to the old quarters and the historical center of Kolonihavnen.
- Feel a special atmosphere on the local meat market.
Souvenirs in Greenland
To remember your travel experience in Greenland, buy these souvenirs:
- a hand-made tupilaq;
- jewelry from unique local semi-precious stones;
- national costumes and masks;
- paintings of the local artists depicting the landscapes of Greenland.