Practical information / FAQ Greenland

Do you have any questions about Greenland?

Do you have questions about your trip to Greenland? "FAQ Greenland" is the page where we collect the most frequently asked questions about Greenland.

Before departure

The flight time from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland is approximately 4.5 hours. All flights from Denmark land here and domestic flights will take you to your final destination. The domestic flight from Kangerlussuaq to Ilulissat takes about 1 hour.

The flight time from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Ilulissat, takes approximately 3 hours. From Reykjavik to Kulusuk in East Greenland, the flight time is 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Air Greenland recommends that you are ready to check in 2 hours prior to departure, as the check-in closes 1 hour before take-off. If you are transferring from an international flight, you should arrive no later than 3 hours before departure.

As the time of departure to Greenland is always around 9 a.m., we recommend that you travel to Copenhagen the day before your flight and spend the night in one of the hotels located near the airport. We are happy to help you make reservations.

As planes from Copenhagen to Greenland depart in the morning (at 9 or 11 AM), we advise you to spend the night in the Danish capital. We have compiled a list of hotels in Copenhagen, which we are happy to recommend to our travellers.

Whether your preference is based on location, price or comfort, you will likely find a hotel to match your requirements. And if not, feel free to contact us for further recommendations.

See our list of hotels in Copenhagen.

If you travel via Copenhagen on your way to or from Greenland, consider spending some time in the city. There are plenty of things to do and sights to see in and around the Danish capital. Some with relations to Greenland.

Go back in time by visiting famous Arctic explorer Knud Rasmussen’s home in Hundested or the old Greenland Harbour in Christianshavn. At the National Museum, you can dive into Greenland’s early history, and at the Geological Museum, you can see the third largest meteorite from Greenland.

Learn where you can experience Greenland in Copenhagen.

Clothing in Greenland is always practical. This applies whether you are standing on deck trying to spot whales or you are at a restaurant. Be prepared for sunny days but also for cold, fresh mornings and evenings. Clothing is also more casual in Greenland and is accepted in finer restaurants.

When packing think of the layer-upon-layer principle. This enables you to make fast and easy adjustments for the temperature so you can make yourself more comfortable. The inner layer keeps the body warm. The outer layer is for protection against rain and wind. For example, a pair of rain-proof outer pants can provide protection against wind.

Find more information and packing lists here.

Clothing in Greenland is always practical. This applies whether you are standing on deck trying to spot whales or you are at a restaurant. Be prepared for sunny days but also for cold, fresh mornings and evenings. Clothing is also more casual in Greenland and is accepted in finer restaurants.

When packing think of the layer-upon-layer principle. This enables you to make fast and easy adjustments for the temperature so you can make yourself more comfortable. The inner layer keeps the body warm. The outer layer is for protection against rain and wind. For example, a pair of rain-proof outer pants can provide protection against wind.

Find more information and packing lists here.

Preferably the warmest clothes that you have. But keep in mind that -20 degrees centigrade will not feel as cold in Greenland as it might elsewhere due to the dry air in Greenland. Sealskin clothing and boots are available for rent in Greenland if you are going on a sled ride or sailing on the icefjord.

See more information about what to wear in Greenland here.

Yes, most places in Greenland accept common credit cards. ATMs are found in all larger towns.

If you are travelling in summer, you will receive your tickets and vouchers 3-4 weeks prior to departure. For winter, spring and autumn trips, you will receive them 2 weeks before departure.

Greenland uses Danish kroner. We do not recommend that you bring Euro as only very few places accept this currency. You do not necessarily have to buy currency before your trip as most places in Greenland accept common credit cards, and ATMs are found in all larger towns.

Frequently asked questions about Greenland

Greenland uses four time zones. The capital of Greenland, Nuuk (Godthab), is GMT -3. Most of Greenland is GMT -3. Daylight Saving Time or Summer Time is used in Greenland, except in Danmarkshavn and Pituffik. In places observing Daylight Saving Time, it begins on the last Sunday in March at 1:00 a.m. UTC and ends on the last Sunday in October at 1:00 a.m. UTC. Greenland uses the same daylight saving time rules as the rest of Europe.

The air in Greenland is dry, so even 14 degrees centigrade will feel warm in the sun. Wearing T-shirts is common during summer. When sailing among icebergs and in winter, you should wear warm clothes – but not extremely warm. Warm sealskin clothing is available for rent if the weather is cold.

There is no easy answer to that question, as there is no scientific proof to back any such claim – yet. However, Kangerlussuaq in South-Western Greenland is actually home to a research station studying the ionosphere and the northern lights.

The often ideal weather conditions in Kangerlussuaq and the intense darkness provide excellent opportunities to study or simply enjoy nature’s own spectacular light show. Moreover, it is easily accessible, as all flights from Denmark arrive at Kangerlussuaq.

Travelling in the period from the beginning of October to mid-March gives you the best chances of seeing northern lights in Greenland. There is no light pollution in Greenland, which makes it possible to see the Northern Lights right from your doorstep. It is best seen in complete darkness and a clear sky. Take a look at a moon calendar and travel at times of new moon or crescent moon. You can also see the Northern Lights in the light of a full moon, though the glow will be a bit less.

That depends which part of Greenland you would want to visit. The midnight sun only shines north of the Arctic circle. And in Ilulissat and the Disco Bay, which are popular destinations, you can experience the midnight sun from about 20 May to 23 July. But already in late April and mid to late August the days are really long. This timetable shows when the sun rises and sets in Greenland.

The dogsled season usually lasts from January to mid-April. This obviously depends on snow conditions – some winters can be shorter while others will last longer.

Yes, absolutely. In fact, there are great advantages to travelling outside of the peak seasons. One of them being that the trips are cheaper than in peak seasons. Spring in Greenland is short and can be experienced on trips in May where the winter is waning, making the days longer and brighter, and the temperature rises significantly. Autumn in Greenland is a time of natural diversity – from beautiful, sunny days where the mountains are covered in tawny shades, to the dark skies of night where the northern lights appear. Very few tourists travel to Greenland during spring and autumn, so you can have it all to yourself.

Read more about the seasons in Greenland here. 

There are no roads connecting the towns and villages in Greenland, so you either have to sail or fly (or hike, ski or ride a dogsled or snow scooter). You are able to book your own flights and boat journeys, but we recommend that you use a travel agency as it provides coverage in case of irregularities (departures being cancelled due to bad weather, for instance).

There are many different ways in which you can spend your nights in Greenland today – from international four-star hotels to hostels, hotel apartments and simple sheep farms. Anywhere in Greenland, you can also always choose to spend the night in a tent with a five-star view!

In most places, you can buy Wi-Fi access. Be aware that Internet access is expensive in Greenland – also if you use your own smartphone, so you might want to disable data roaming on your phone.

Travelling on board the coastal vessel is not merely transportation but an experience regardless of the weather. At the same time, the journey allows you to get close to the locals. The vessel sails from Qaqortoq in the south and all the way up to Ilulissat in the Disco Bay. You can take the full journey or just parts of it. Generally, we recommend that you go from south to Nuuk or from Nuuk to Ilulissat. These are the most popular stretches among our travellers. But less might also do if, for instance, you just want to sail from Sisimiut to Ilulissat as included in our trip ‘The Golden Triangle’.

Read more about the coastal vessel, Sarfaq Ittuk here.

Greenlanders will come across as hospitable, cheerful and friendly – and a little shy. They are understandably proud of their country and happy to show it off. Greenlanders have adopted a modern way of life while still cherishing their old values. Thus, the everyday life of a Greenlander can be rather diverse: One minute they are sitting in an office landscape. The next they are standing in an open dingy, heading out for adventure in a nearby fjord.

Service charge and VAT are always included in the prices in Greenland. Thus, tipping is not required. The Greenlanders will not be offended, however, if you choose to tip because you have been very happy with the service.

All tundra regions on our earth are habitats of many mosquitoes, which is due to sour water climates as well as the permafrost and bedrock hindering the defrost water to sink deep into the grounds. The grounds are typically moist and form into many small lakes and puddles, in which the mosquitoes are happy to lay their eggs.

Mosquitoes are usually appearing around June and July, getting less in August (however you can still meet mosquitoes in August). The common gnat on the other side is quite present in August, but can be kept effectively away with bug spray. We recommend to bring a facial mosquito net from home and purchase bug spray once you are here in Greenland. In Greenland, a higher amount of “DEET” is allowed, which is the only effective substance. Remember after-bite remedy to treat itchiness after a mosquito buite.

The best remedy against mosquitoes is patience.

Greenland is a fishing and hunting society and most people are meat-lovers. It is possible to get vegetarian food in most towns and even in some settlements. The most accessible kind comes in the form of frozen or canned vegetables. In a lot of towns – especially the bigger ones – you can also get all kinds of fresh vegetables that are flown in from South Greenland, Denmark, or Iceland. It goes without saying, that these vegetables are rather expensive because of the air cargo rates.

Most restaurants will be happy to serve a vegetarian meal but it is a good idea to order this a good time ahead as they may have to shop especially for this.

To vegetarians who eat fish and poultry, Greenland is abundant with both and you can eat your heart out.

Vegetarians will not starve in Greenland but you will probably be happy to get a fresh salad when you get back home…
On the flights to and from Greenland, we can book vegetarian meals for you.

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