The Discoverer
The Discoverer
Nuuk, Greenland
Edition 89   |   5‌:‌0‌2 r‌ea‌d t‌im‌e
Nuuk, Greenland | @larsen.mikael00
Nuuk is as cosmopolitan as Greenland gets. A city marked by colorful homes set on an icy fjord, it may not be the obvious choice for a getaway but it should be on your list anyway. This gateway to Arctic adventures delights with its own smattering of outdoor adventures and cultural attractions for travelers of all kinds.
Fun Fact:
Nuuk is one of the smallest capitals in the world, with only around 17,500 inhabitants. Still, it accounts for about a third of Greenland’s total population.
June — September
Of course, everyone wants to see the northern lights, which are visible from September to May. The best time to see the natural phenomenon is during the dark months between October to March. These are the coldest months, however, so if you’re looking to enjoy more than star-gazing, plan your travel in summer, from late June to September.
#exploregreenland | @greenland_explorer
How Far I’ll Go
If you hit Nuuk when the weather is right, you’ll get to participate in a local favorite activity — sailing. Perched on the entrance to the Nuuk fjord, or Nuup Kangerlua, the city has perfect access to some of the smoothest, iciest water in the world. Take a boat out for an afternoon picnic across the fjord in the vacation region of Qooqqut. Catch your own dinner right off the side of the boat before handing it off to chefs who will prepare it just for you on a fish ‘n dish tour. Spot eagles and whales or explore little rocky beaches. If your sea legs aren’t warmed up, take to the surrounding mountains for some spectacular hikes. Check out Quassussuaq and Ukkusissat for marked trails leading to more and more drool-worthy views.
#colourfulnuuk | @emilstach
Walk Through History
Nuuk is the cultural center of Greenland and home to some of the nation’s best museums. The Nuuk Art Museum covers the culture and identity of Greenland through its art while the National Museum focuses on the region’s history from the Stone Age on. The Katuaq Cultural Centre is a central location for tourists and locals alike. With cultural performances and a tasty restaurant serving up traditional dishes, you won’t want to miss it. Finally, make a stop at Kittat Economusee, a Greenlandic traditional costume maker which offers unique insight into the traditional garb of native Greenlanders.
#northernlights | @yannickbelley
Winter Green and Gold
As with most wintry destinations, skiing is a main attraction in Nuuk. Whether you prefer downhill slopes or cross country, there’s a little something for everyone. Glide through the crisp Arctic air and enjoy a light and smooth snow ideal for skiing. Twenty minutes outside the city, skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling are at your disposal at Kangerluarsunnguaq Ski Center. At night, the aurora borealis steals the show, lighting up the dark skies with colors you didn’t know existed. You won’t even have to go far out of the city to enjoy the phenomenon, as the city is dark enough to still spot the colors in the sky.
Ilulissat, Greenland | @zgentes
Ferry Me Away
Nuuk is a gateway to the rest of Greenland, so while you may start your journey here, there’s no reason you have to stay put. If you don’t want to go too far, take a trip up the coast to another nearby treat — Ilulissat. Here you can participate in even more classic Greenland activities, like dog sledding and even more sailing. Hop aboard the coastal ferry to make this trip in a night, keeping your eyes peeled for icebergs the size of a house and the northern lights.
Lasse's Discovery
"There’s nothing better than to go sailing. The fjords around Nuuk do not freeze during the winter, and most families own a boat (there are no roads connecting cities in Greenland - boats are one of the key modes of transportation in the country), so heading out into the wilderness to enjoy the silence, fish hunt and prepare food over a fire with friends and family is one of my favourite things to do. In a country with 0.3 people per square kilometre (only counting the ice-free areas), getting away from civilization is easy in Greenland!"
#kalaaliaraq | @lailanuuk76
Whale Blubber, Anyone?
Traditional Greenlandic food includes some pretty unusual ingredients (think reindeer and narwhal blubber) mixed with the familiar (salmon and lamb). Seafood obviously features heavily on most menus and you’ll love how fresh it tastes. The Katuaq Cultural House Cafétuaq serves up tapas of traditional Greenlandic food, and for something a bit more high end try Restaurant Sarfalik in the Hotel Hans Egede for a multi-course meal of seasonal favorites. Cafe Esmeralda is another fine option with a more casual atmosphere. Following dinner, warm up with a traditional Greenlandic coffee — a strong, warm drink with whiskey, Kahlua and Grand Marnier mixed in.
#nuuk | @melissacherry04
Beneath the Stars
Hotel options are slightly limited in Nuuk, but the 4-star Hotel Hans Egede is about as classic as you can get. Set in the middle of the city, it has all the amenities you’d expect from a traditional hotel. For something untraditional, try Inuk Hostels, a series of cabins with unbeatable views of the fjord. Finally, local Discoverer @stineselmera recommends Asimut Tours and Camp, a collection of four cabins at the base of the Nuuk fjord. “What you get here is both an understanding of life in a traditional Greenlandic settlement...but you also have hiking trails to the icefjord (note: icebergs for the win), fishing, mountain climbing and much more right outside the doorstep of the cabin.”
#greenlandpioneer | @lukassen_photography
Let the App Guide You
"An insider tip is to download the Colourful Nuuk app - it is an app that gives you information about the city, upcoming events and emergency contact info. The smart thing is also, that the app has an offline city map so you can always find your way around the city in spite of the lack of free WiFi." – @stineselmera
Shop Around
"For souvenirs, get musk ox underwool, also known as Qiviut. It’s one of the warmest and softest wools in the world, easily rivalling its more well-known counterpart - merino wool. It is quite expensive, as it is difficult to harvest, but it is a favourite amongst locals, and you’ll find a variety of useful and good looking products all over Greenland." – @greenland_explorer
The Discoverer
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