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Ilulissat – the place with the famous Ice Fjord

Ilulissat – the city of icebergs – is situated right next to its impressive neighbor, the world-famous Ice Fjord. It became part of the UNESCO World Heritage in 2004.

Welcome to Ilulissat

Ilulissat – the city of icebergs – is situated right next to its impressive neighbor, the world-famous Ice Fjord. It became part of the UNESCO World Heritage in 2004.

 

The icebergs in the fjord are visible from almost anywhere in the town. They come all the way from the glacier Sermeq Kujalleq. Sermeq Kujalleq is the largest glacier in the northern hemisphere and at the same time, one of the fastest glaciers in the world. With its speed of 130 feet a day it is Greenland’s fastest glacier.

 

There are more than 4.500 inhabitants in Ilulissat, which makes it Greenland’s third largest town. And then there are the sled dogs. Word has it, that there is a sled dog for each and every person in Ilulissat – today, however, this is not quite true anymore. But there still are

about 2.500 sled dogs in the area.

 

If you get the opportunity to visit Ilulissat, look forward to meet a friendly and forthcoming community, where old traditions live side by side with modern society.

 

Easy hiking

When hiking in Greenland, expect that paths often are slightly uneven and not always marked consistently. However, there are some fine paths in Ilulissat and some well-marked routes along the Ice Fjord. We recommend two hikes: a short version and a longer day trip that you can walk on your own. It is also possible to join a guided tour with World of Greenland, where en experienced tour guide provides you with interesting information at the same time.

Easy hike to the abandoned settlement Sermermiut

This short walk is relatively easy and takes about 30 to 45 minutes by foot from the center of the town. You leave Ilulissat and walk to an incredibly beautiful place by the Ice Fjord, where there in the old days lay the settlement “Sermermiut”. The company of a tour guide can be of advantage, because they will be able to tell you more about the area and the settlement. But this hike is also suited for walking alone in the daytime or in the evening. Pack your backpack, take some lunch, your camera and maybe a good book and enjoy the amazing view. There is a footbridge all the way down to the Fjord. However, if you come here during the winter, it can be hard to find. When you get to the actual Fjord, walk up to get an even better view over the entire Ice Fjord. The last part of the route is not suited for people with difficulties to walk.

 

The long daytrip along the Ice Fjord

This is a day-long hike for people in an average physical condition. Start to follow the green route down to the settlement by the Ice Fjord. Continue on the blue route from here. Put water and food in your backpack. Remember warm clothing as well as sitting mats and everything else you need for a day “in the mountains”. The hike is relatively easy. The last part leads through a gorge, though, where you need to pass many stones. You have the choice to walk higher up instead of crossing the gorge. In that way, you’ll get a great view as a bonus. We recommend this tour to people that are used to hiking on uneven ground, are in average physical condition and a little experienced in hiking in the mountain areas.

Read more about Ilulissat.

 

Discover cultural experiences in Ilulissat

Before you continue to read, we would like to tell you about the guided tour ”Cultural and historical walk through Ilulissat”. This walk will introduce you to the town and its history. You’ll get some insight into all the sights, which you might oversee when walking by yourself. You will also get some insight into Greenlandic culture and history, while you will have the opportunity to ask the tour guide about anything on your way.

Ilulissat Museum

This museum is definitely worth a visit! The Danish arctic explorer Knud Rasmussen grew up in the house that today accommodates the museum. He was born in Ilulissat in 1879. The visit takes about an hour and you can choose to spend even more time with all the interesting exhibits.

Zion church and service

The church is situated right next to the museum. It is open on weekdays, and on Sundays you’ll get the chance to take part in a service, where people sing from the strength of their lungs. If you’re lucky, perhaps you can witness a christening, confirmation or a wedding.

Ilulissat Museum of Art

Another wonderful place to visit is the small local art museum. It has a large exhibition with the artworks of the Danish artist Emanuel A. Petersen. In the summer, they often show exhibitions with young Greenlandic artists. The house alone is a beautiful place with a special atmosphere – you can feel the time go back hundreds of years in here.

The lovely and busy harbor

Spend some time in the harbor. Sit down, relax and get the feeling of the fishermen’s busy life. They get ready to sail out on the sea, come back with the catch of the day or sit and work with their long lines. Down here, it is lively all year round. In the harbor, there is a small and cozy booth, where you can get anything from fishing gear to hunting equipment. And coffee, of course.

”Brættet” – the local fish and meat market

This is the place, where you can buy freshly caught fish and meat, smoked food and berries – in short: the storeroom of nature. The local catchers and fishermen come here with the catch of the day. It is a small market, where they sell their produce in small and large portions. “Brættet”, the bord, is located right in the center and is usually open on weekdays from 9am to 5 pm and from 9am to 1pm in the weekend.

Craft workshop

Local artists make beautiful craftwork and sell it. You can simply just walk in, when their workshop is open during the week and the locals sit and work here. The craft workshop is situated very centrally on the way to the harbor and not far from the “Brættet” and the local tourist office “World of Greenland”. Walk past the Bank of Greenland on your left hand side, and you’ll find the workshop on your left. There is a sign outside.

Sewing room

In the sewing room, there are many beautiful things made of seal skin and other local materials. They accept all kinds of usual credit cards, so you’ll soon be tempted. It is located centrally as well and not far from the craft workshop.

Eating out in Ilulissat

There is a number of restaurants and cafés in the town that offer very good food and often a fantastic view, as well. Many Greenlandic restaurants are inspired by international ways of cooking. The combination of local raw materials and international cuisine makes it a delicious and tasty experience to dine at a restaurant in Greenland. You will find, that some of Greenland’s best chefs are working right here in Ilulissat.

Greenlandic buffet

Spoil yourself with a Greenlandic buffet during your stay in Ilulissat. All the larger restaurants offer a Greenlandic buffet once a week. Book a table in advance, especially in the summer season. Greenlandic buffets consist of all kinds of Greenlandic specialties and dishes based on tasty, local ingredients.

Hotel Arctic

Hotel Arctic is known for its high standards in cuisine. Many of their chefs have won gastronomic prices over the years. At Restaurant Ulo in Hotel Arctic you are guaranteed a culinary experience. Moreover, the less formal Brasserie Ferdinand is located in the hotel and offers simple café-style dishes with the same great view over the Fjord.

Everybody is welcome at Hotel Arctic, so do not hesitate to come along. The view is extraordinary and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. There is Greenlandic buffet on Mondays and BBQ on Saturdays. In the summer, the grill is often smoking on the hotel’s terrace. Hotel Arctic is placed just outside the town. You can see it from the town, it consists of a number of red buildings and you can easily walk there (20 minutes).

Read more about Hotel Arctic.

 

Hotel Icefiord

Restaurant Icefiord at Hotel Icefiord offers Greenlandic buffet on Thursdays. There are huge panorama windows with a view to the Ice Fjord. The restaurant is open all week and offers a dinner and lunch menu. You can also order your Thai take-away from the restaurant.

Read more about Hotel Icefiord.

Hotel Hvide Falk

Hotel Hvide Falk (White Hawk) is located in the center of the city with an amazing view. Greenlandic buffet is on its restaurant’s menu each Thursday. Sometimes the buffet is a little Chinese-inspired with special cut vegetables in beautiful shapes.

Read more about Hotel Hvide falk.

Restaurant Mamartut

This small and cozy restaurant is situated on the way down to the Ice Fjord in a little house. From the outside it looks like a private house. You can take a break here on your way home from the Ice Fjord. It is only 5 to 10 minutes walk away from the center. They offer high quality food with many specialties. All dishes are based on local ingredients and even herbs from the garden by the house. They offer Greenlandic buffets at the restaurant on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from June to September. Remember to book a table in advance.

Read more on Mamartuts homepage. (this page is in Danish)

Hong Kong Grill

In the summer, you can enjoy a simple meal on their terrace with an Ice Fjord view, the town museum and the beautiful Zion church. The food is simple and consists of Thai-inspired dishes. They don’t serve alcohol. The grill is only a few hundred feet away from the town center.

 

Other places to eat in Ilulissat

There are a number of small and cozy cafés in the center of Ilulissat. Here you can get traditional café-style snacks and food. Get your cup of coffee here and enjoy sitting outside in the summer.

 

Excursions all year round in Ilulissat

Ilulissat and its surroundings invite you to many lovely excursions.

You can get to see whales, settlements, icebergs and calving glaciers on boat trips. Hiking tours take you to the Ice Fjord and abandoned settlements in wonderful mountains. You can also jump on a helicopter and get really close to the Greenland Ice Sheet and the edge of the glacier with an incredible view. If you dream about staying overnight very comfortably and close to nature, we highly recommend you the popular Glacier Lodge Eqi and the newly built, luxury Ilimanaq Lodge south of the Ice Fjord.

Read more about World of Greenland.

MAPS AND BOOKS

You can buy maps and books many places in Greenland. Find them on Scanmaps’ homepage too.

Travel literature on Greenland

  • Experience Kangia Ilulissat Icefjord – official guide to the World Heritage Site Ilulissat Icefjord – this book can be bought on på Greenlandtodays homepage.

More travel inspiration from Ilulissat

There is much more travel inspiration about Ilulissat on our homepage, where we have gathered movies, pictures and a lot valuable knowledge about the area.

Read more about Ilulissat.

"..Greenland for me was staggering in its beauty, size, remoteness and rawness.."

Ursula Mattson

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Contact:

+45 33 13 10 11

team@greenland-travel.dk

Address:

Wilders Plads 13A, 1.

DK – 1403 København K

Opening hours:

(Monday-Friday)

Business travel: 8:00-16:00

Private tours: 10.00-15.30

 

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