Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, is one of the most remote places on Earth. This doesn’t stop it from being a wild, unspoilt and beautiful island. With colourful houses set against backdrops of iceberg-filled fjords, snow capped mountains, or lush green sheep farms, it is a photographer’s paradise. Traditional Inuit culture combined with modern Danish society, and incredible wildlife and nature opportunities, make for an intriguing year-round (yes, year-round) destination. This means Greenland tours are nothing short of amazing. Explore remarkable landscapes, watch the northern lights dance across the sky and view breathtaking arctic wildlife. Ready for the experience of a lifetime? Book one of our tours online today or get in touch with one of our friendly Travel Specialists.

Greenland Facts & Tips

Capital — Nuuk
Population — 56 Thousand
Language — Greenlandic & Danish
Religion — Christianity
Time Zone
Time Zone — 10 hours behind AEST
Currency — Danish Krone
  • Greenland is the world’s largest non-continental island with the world’s sparsest population
  • The Inuit name for Greenland – Inuit Nunaat – means ‘Land of the People’  
  • While on most maps, Greenland looks to be about the same size as Africa due to the Mercator Projection (distortion at the Poles), in reality it is slightly smaller than Mexico
  • The entire north-east of Greenland is a National Park, the only one in Greenland and the largest in the world at 972,000 km2 
  • Inuit hunters from Greenland invented the kayak, it comes from the Greenlandic word ‘qajaq’ which is a smaller, narrower version and each ‘qajaq’ was custom built for the person using it 
  • Greenland is located on the North American Tectonic Plate, but politically and culturally part of Europe, specifically Denmark, for more than a millennium  
  • In the late 900’s, the Norse Explorer Erik the Red was exiled from Iceland for murder and travelled to Greenland, he was the one to name it Greenland as he thought people would be more attracted to settle here if it has a favourable name! 
  • 80% of Greenland is covered by one of the largest ice sheets in the world, second only to Antarctica 

Australian passport holders travelling to Greenland do not need a visa at this time.

We require that your passport is valid for travel for at least six months from the date you are planning to return to Australia. Your passport must be valid to travel internationally and must be machine-readable. You also need to carry a valid return ticket on you.

Whether travelling on an Australian passport or the passport of another country, all travellers require visas for a number of countries, and it is your responsibility to secure what may be required before departing Australia. You can consult with your travel agent, but it is also recommended that you check the foreign embassy website for your respective destination as it can also provide you with useful information.

The Australian Embassy in Denmark is responsible for Greenland:

Dampfaergevej 26, 2nd floor
Copenhagen 2100
Ph. +45 7026 3676
Fax. +45 7026 3686

The official currency of Greenland is the Danish Krone (DKK). Notes come in denominations of Kr. 1000, Kr. 500, Kr. 200, Kr. 100, Kr. 50. 

Advise your bank of your travel plans so that they can make a note of it, otherwise they may cancel your credit card as a safety measure due to the overseas transactions. Also make a note of the 24-hour emergency contact number of the bank or building society which issued your credit card in the unlikely event that your card is lost or stolen. 

Whenever possible use ATMs when the banks are open (Mon – Fri) so that if a machine ‘eats’ your card you can then deal with it straight away. It is always advisable to carry a supply of cash in addition to your credit card. Many of the smaller towns and settlements do not have ATM’s or credit card facilities, so please make sure you have enough cash with you.   

If you don’t have Danish Krone with you on arrival, we advise you to exchange some money into the local currency at the airport even if the exchange rate is not the best, this way you’ll have money to get a drink, snack or give a tip during those first few hours of arrival. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to exchange money. 
Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many places outside of Australia. 

  • The price of a cappuccino in Nuuk is approximately €5 
  • The price of an inexpensive lunch is approximately €11 
  • The price of dinner in a moderate restaurant is approximately €30
  • The price of a beer in a local pub is approximately €7

Traditional Greenlandic food is based on hunting and fishing, whale, seal, seafood, musk-ox, caribou, and ptarmigan. Given this, vegetarians and vegans (and others that are used to a plant-based diet) may struggle to find many suitable options. As importing food and goods from Europe is very expensive, Greenlanders have made the best of the natural world around them.  
Preserving and drying meat and fish (called panertut) to last the long winters is common, and many families still hunt using traditional and sustainable methods to survive the long cold and dark winters. They also use all parts of the animals so that nothing is wasted. Some of the whale-based foods include: mattak, the skin and fat of a narwhal or white (beluga) whale, is typically cut into small cubes and served raw; arfeq nikkui, cured whale meat that is similar to beef jerky; and raw whale blubber, typically served with soy sauce and aromat, a salty yellow seasoning. 

 Seal, or puisi, is the main ingredient of Suaasat, the national dish. A thick broth traditionally made with seal but can also be whale, caribou, or seabirds, plus potatoes, barley, and onions. The seal skins are dyed and used as part of the vibrant national dress, to make sure that nothing is wasted. In the south, below the Arctic Circle in the part of Greenland that is mostly green, there are a few sheep farms. Greenlandic lamb (sava) is considered to be some of the best in the world due to the pristine conditions they live in and being almost exclusively raised free-range. Musk-ox, or Umimmak, is commonly served raw as a tartare in restaurants, and can also be found in soups, burgers, or as a steak. The musk-ox fur is used to make blankets, coats, and other clothing.   
Greenlandic coffee isn’t your normal coffee – this one includes whiskey, Kahlua, and whipped cream, then Grand Marnier is lit on fire and poured on top. Usually served as an after-dinner drink, it is an experience not to be missed! Ice beer, brewed with ice harvested from 2,000-year-old Artic ice, is only available in Greenland, as well as other beers brewed with local glacial water. 

There are many traditional Inuit delicacies that may not appeal to the masses (such as kiviaq, which is a seal with its innards removed and stuffed with hundreds of whole auk birds, then sealed up tightly before being left to ferment underground for 3+ months, once unearthed the birds are removed from the seal, plucked then washed before being eaten raw – this is still eaten on special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas), but pretty much everywhere these days serves Nordic/European, and surprisingly Thai as well, style cuisines.  
Important: When dining at buffets (i.e. breakfast) please refrain from taking food away with you to ‘save’ for later! If you feel that you’ll need snacks between meals, pack some dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars etc. 

If you have specific food allergies and/or preferences, we highly recommend you take every precaution before your tour, including carrying a small card with your food allergy listed in each language of every country you are travelling to show to table staff when ordering. Whilst we take all dietary requirements seriously, due to the serious nature of potential allergic reactions, it is your responsibility to be as prepared as possible. 

Greenland has an Arctic Climate, summer temperatures (June to August) generally do not exceed 10°C for the most part, however in the southern part of the island it can reach highs of 20°C. This is the best time to experience the Midnight Sun, as there is no night from late May until September. From November to April, the entire island is below freezing and days are short, that is when the sun even makes an appearance at all. These long nights are the best time to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), usually from October until April.  

Want to get out and explore on your own? 

Given that 80% of the island is covered by ice, and the remaining landscape is quite rugged with no roads or trains between townships, the only way to explore is by air or sea, and many of these services are seasonal. Getting around Nuuk is quite easy, as the town is quite small, pretty much everything is within walking distance! Taxis and busses are also available within the town.  
When catching taxis, have small change on you and choose one with a meter, if it doesn’t have one then negotiate the price before getting in. Also, ask your guide or hotel staff the names of reputable taxi companies. 

So, you’d love to bring home a special souvenir from Greenland… 

Tupilak are magical mythical creatures that were used to protect its owner against enemy attack, made from bones and other animal parts. These days, they are carved from reindeer antler, soapstone, wood, whale tooth, or musk-ox horn, and can be found in most tourist.  
Beaded jewellery and embroidered clothing with designs based on the traditional Greenlandic national costumes, and warm clothing created from the soft and insulating musk-ox wool (called qiviut) include hats, gloves, scarves, and ponchos to name a few. Clothing made from sealskin is readily available.  

There are very strict rules about what can be taken out of Greenland, especially regarding animal products (specifically food, skin, and bone products). Please also check if there are regulations about what you can bring into your home country.  

  • It is considered very impolite to refer to Greenlanders as ‘Eskimos’, they are Inuit or Kalaallit people
  • The Inuit kiss is not like the ‘Eskimo kiss’ where two people touch noses, in Greenland one person presses their face against the other persons’ cheek/neck and inhale deeply while rubbing their nose against them 
  • Tipping is not expected in Greenland, service charges and taxes are included in the pricing 

With the blending of Inuit and Danish culture in Greenland, there are a variety of different festivals celebrating both, and many others, including a Return of the Sun festival, or various sports (marathons, cycling, kayaking, etc). Given how much of the country is covered by snow and ice, it makes sense that Greenland celebrates it with the Nuuk Snow Festival in February/March. Teams from all over the world come together to create the best ice sculptures they can using traditional hand tools (no chainsaws here!) while battling the weather.  

The World Ice Golf Championship is held in mid/late-March on the island of Uummannaq. The 9-hole course is Greenland’s first golf course as well as being the world’s northernmost golf course, and the course changes each year depending on the location of the icebergs in the fjord!  
In April, the end of winter is celebrated with the Arctic Palerfik, a three-day dog sledding trip that follows the same path that Knud Rasmussen (the first European to cross the Northwest Passage via dogsled in the 1920s) used when he was training for his Arctic expeditions. At least 200 people on a hundred sleds plus about a thousand sled dogs make the journey, ending at Ilulissat Ice Fjord. The name ‘Palerfik’ translates to ‘place where you will get sunburned’, which is not surprising considering days are about 16 hours long at that time, and the reflection of the sun on the pure snow means sunscreen is definitely required!  

Greenland’s National Day is also the Summer Solstice and longest day of the year. Locals dress in national costume, plus there are exhibitions, folk dancing, kayaking displays, music, and speeches are held to celebrate their culture.  

Christmas in Greenland is a long event, starting on the first Sunday in the Advent at the end of November when families gather and light an orange star to be displayed in the window of their house for the entire Christmas period. In mid-December, children dress in white robes and hold a light for Lucia’s Parade, walking through the towns to hospitals and visiting the elderly. On Christmas Eve, after gifts are exchanged, children go carolling, receiving sweets from each house they visit. Christmas officially lasts until Epiphany on January 6th, when decorations are taken down. The last thing to be removed is the Christmas Star, which is packed away the following day.  

Other national public holidays to be aware of include: 

  • New Year's Day
  • Epiphany (January 6th)
  • Maundy Thursday (Thursday before Good Friday)
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday 
  • Great Prayer Day
  • May Day (May 1st)
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Monday
  • National Day (June 21st) 
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • New Year’s Eve 


Greenland Highlights

Greenland FAQs

Greenland is a tourist-friendly destination that is home to colourful scenery, magnificent ice fjords and remarkable wildlife. A Greenland holiday package is great for tourists who want to discover all the natural wonders of Greenland. At Bunnik Tours, we offer a Greenland Independent travel, starting from $23,895, where you will visit the magnificent sights of Canada, Greenland and Iceland on a luxury cruise with Aurora Expeditions.

The best time to book a Greenland tour is during summer, from March through to May, and winter from December to February. 

Summer is when the Greenland ice sheets begin to melt and the vast landscapes turn to a bright green. Tourists love to hike, sail, kayak, discover the northern lights, see the wild musk oxen and watch the midnight sun during this period. 

Meanwhile in winter, Greenland becomes a winter wonderland where tourists can go dog sledding, skiing across lakes and snow terrain, and see the magnificent glacial ice fjords.

You can choose to explore Greenland individually or book a small group tour. At Bunnik Tours, our Greenland group tours include cruising the Greenland Sea, kayaking to search for fin and humpback whales, hearing epic tales of early explorers, sightseeing and so much more. With a Greenland tour package, you'll also get plenty of chances to hike and explore the beauty of Greenland. Accommodation and meals are included.

As Greenland is the world’s largest island, we recommend spending at least a week to experience all the wonderful sights it has to offer. At Bunnik Tours, we have a 17 day Aurora Expeditions - Greenland Odyssey tour that takes you through the natural landscapes in Greenland, Canada and Iceland. You will spend 12 days in Greenland, where you experience ice fjords, ancient mountains, arctic wildlife and more. 

At Bunnik Tours, we believe in responsible travel and sustainable tourism. For more information, visit our Sustainable Tourism hub.

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