Greenland, Everything You Need To Know.

Greenland for many a dream destination that seems way too hard and expensive to reach and explore. The world´s by far biggest island, almost three times the sizes of the nr two on the list with a small population of only around 57 000 people.

So it´s by far the least densely populated country on earth, and if rounded to the nearest decimal place, the population density of Greenland is officially 0.0. So it´s the perfect destination if you’re tired of overcrowded places.

I was lucky to visit and explore the world´s biggest island for 12 full days.

One of the many thousands of icebergs floating around the waters outside of Greenland
One of the many thousands of icebergs floating in the waters outside of Greenland

Greenland offers an endless amount of outdoor adventure and activities, some things that great since there’s no free WIFI on Greenland, but you are probably not here to spend time inside anyway.

Although Greenland it is still part of the Kingdom of Denmark, it was granted self-government effective in 1979, and it more recently it voted for more autonomy.
There´s a movement in effect to make Greenland a completely sperate and independent country.

This means that a visa to stay in Denmark doesn’t give you a permit to stay in Greenland.

Visa Rules.

A visa to enter Denmark or another Schengen country is not valid for an entry into Greenland. Greenland is not a are members of the EU, and they are not parties to the Schengen Agreement. But citizens of all European countries can visit Greenland together citizens of all western countries and citizens from China, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan.

There´s no Immigration on arrival or departure in Greenland, so it´s your own responsibility to ask the security guards at the airport to get your passport stamped when entering and leaving. 

Getting There.

The main airport in Greenland and only having international flights is Kangerlussuaq Airport, with the only two international routes being to Copenhagen, Denmark and Reykjavik, Iceland.

Air Greenland has an almost complete monopoly on flights and around Greenland with the only exception being Air Iceland Connect that offers routes to and from Iceland.

The airport is TINY for being an international one; it only has one gate for international flights and two gates for domestic flights, a small cafeteria, tourist shop and tax-free. There´s no free wifi at the airport.

Kangerlussuaq Airport, you're closer to the North Pole from here, than to anywhere else
Kangerlussuaq Airport, you’re closer to the North Pole from here, than to anywhere else from here.

NB. You will have to take a domestic flight to anywhere else on Greenland, also the capital. Kangerlussuaq Town is NOT connected to anywhere else on the island, so if you plan to go anywhere, will you have to take a domestic flight.

You can buy tax-free on arrival.

Getting Around.

There is no road or rail system. There´s only 150 km (90 mi) of roads in the whole country; 60 km (40 mi) of the roads are paved.
So your only option is either domestic flights or ferries (except when the ocean is completely frozen for about 3months of the year)
Domestic Flights are only with Air Greenland.
Ferry company: Arctic Umiaq Line travel from the Qaqortoq the biggest city in southern part of Greenland to Ilulissat in central Greenland, a trip that takes almost 6days.

The sleeping are on the Arctic Umiaq Line boat, just like a hostel dorm
The sleeping area on the Arctic Umiaq Line boat, just like a hostel dorm.
The Arctic Umiaq Line Schedule

For trips around the Disko bay is Diskoline your only option.

Top Things To Do.

During Summer Months: June, July, August and Early September.

Hiking The Arctic Circle Trail.
Hiking one of the most beautiful hikes in the world, a 9 – 11-day trek where you will have to be 100% self-supplied. Read My Post From When I Did The Hike Here! (coming soon)

Scenery from the Arctic Circle Trail
The scenery from the Arctic Circle Trail

*Visiting The Eqi Glacier, The Calvin Glacier.
Vist the biggest and one of the most active glaciers in Greenland. Only reachable by boat. Read My Post From My Visit Here.

Just a small part of the Eqi Glacier

*Explore The Ilulissat Icefjord.
The Ilulissat Icefjord is a Unesco World Heritage site, Icebergs from here can be many hundred meters tall.

Ilulissat Icefjord.
Ilulissat Icefjord from the flight

*Whale Watching.
Greenland might be the best place in the world to see whales.

During Winter: September to May.

*Nothern Light Safari.
Watch the amazing Northern light.

*Dog Sledding.
Almost the only way to get around here when the water freezes during winter.

Money.

Greenland is still largely a cash economy, with credit cards only being accepted in hotels, and the biggest supermarkets. Even the central post office in Sisimiut, the second biggest city in Greenland, did not accept foreign bank cards.

The local currency is the Danish Krone (DKK).
Euro and USD are only accepted in the big hotels, tour companies, and souvenir shops. The only place you can exchange your foreign currency is in a proper Bank.

Greenland is far from cheap; it´s more expensive than Denmark and even Norway. Luckily all hostels have a guest kitchen so you can cook yourself to save money.
A Dorm Bed in a hostel 250 – 350 DKK (33/47 Euro).
Pizza from a fast food restaurant: 20 Euro.
Meal in a good restaurant: 40 Euro.
Beer in a bar: 10 Euro.
Wifi prices: 3 Euro for 25min.
Local bus around the city: 2 Euro.

Internet.

There´s no free wifi on Greenland, not even in hotels, restaurant or at the airport.
You will have to buy a wifi card with a username and password to able to log on, the speed is nothing to brag about, so you won’t be doing any heavy uploading here.
The price is normally: 3Euro for 25min, 6Euro for 1hour. And 11 Euro for 2Hours.

Your RoamFri Data package in Europe, will NOT work here. And the roaming price here might be the highest in the world, with about 5Euro an MB.

One of many thousands of icebergs floating around
One of many thousands of icebergs floating around.

Saftey.

Greenland is a very sage country with crime, and violence toward foreigners, in general, general is virtually unknown in Greenland,
Tho domestic violence is a big problem here, 62% of Greenlandic women have experienced violence at least once in their lives according to The Mary Foundation.

The biggest dangers here is definitely the wheater, during my visit in July did I experience having 20+ degrees one day, and the next day having a snow blizzard and -5 degrees during the night. So be sure to bring warm clothes even during summer months.

Language.

The official language is Greenlandic, but “everyone” speaks Danish, and most people in the towns speaks English as well. I had personally never any problems with the language while I was here.

Food.

The food here is typical European / American but with a local twist, instead of beef (no cows here) will they use MoskOx meet.
Whale meat is common here, and you will even find Thai and Chinese restaurants serving typical Asian dishes with whale meat instead of chicken or pork.

Typical Greenlandic food, the meat in the back is musk ox, middle reindeer and the black meat in front is whale meat.

Seal meat and sea food, in general, is the most popular here, coz of the climate (there´s even no trees here) on Greenland is all vegetables and fruits imported here, so don´t expect many vegetarian-friendly options here.

The supermarket chain Brugsen is well stocked with imported food and all guesthouses/hostels have a guest kitchen, so you can easily cook your own favorite meal.

Alcohol.

Alcohol here is VERY expensive here, so you better off buying some bottles of booze in the tax-free on arrival.  Alcohol is only sold from 10 am – 18 pm Monday to Friday in supermarkets. You can NOT buy alcohol from shops during weekend and after 18.00pm.
While imported Danish beer like Carlsberg and Tuborg is the most common and cheapest beer here, so do Greenland has a few of its own beers.

Two of the local Qajaq Brewery beer. I could only find 2, but they are supposed to have 5.

Qajaq Brewery is sold in local supermarkets while Godthaab Bryghus is a local craft beer offered in some restaurants and hotels.

Things You should pack.

Depending on the season, during winter your warmest clothes and a touch.
Summer, waterproof and windproof clothes, I experienced -5 and snow even during July.

Electricity.

Greenland use the standard European power plug with the standard voltage is 230 V and frequency is 50 Hz.

Overall Experience.

I really liked Greenland it´s one of the wildest and beautiful countries in the world, the locals are super friendly and welcoming I have come by in a while, the older generation of locals was always eager to have a chat or invite you for a beer or dance in a bar.

Even tho Greenland was a lot more expensive than I was expected (and I’m from Norway), so did I feel that I got a very good value for my money here. I will definitely come back one day, hopefully during winter to experience the northern light and go on dog sledding.

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Ultimate Guide to Greenland the biggest island in the world, from hiking, icebergs, transportation
Ultimate Guide to Greenland the biggest island in the world, from hiking, icebergs, transportation

 

 

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