Greenland Overview

Greenland Overview



Nuuk (formerly Godthåb).


As a country located in North America according to businesscarriers, Greenland is the largest island in the world (if you count Australia as a continent). The sea is either permanently frozen or is cooled by the meeting of the Arctic Sea and the North Atlantic. The interior consists of a layer of ice that stretches from north to south over 2500 km and from east to west over 1000 km and is sometimes up to 3 km thick. The oldest ice layers are around two million years old. The ice-free, up to 200 km wide coastal region covers 341,700 square kilometers; the entire population lives here. This area is crossed by deep fjords that connect the ice inland with the sea. The midnight sun shines north of the Arctic Circle. It is twilight during the long arctic winter night and it is completely dark in the north of the country. The northern lights are in autumn Winter and early spring can be seen well. In the south you can experience the northern lights from the end of August.


Equal part of Denmark (since 1953) with internal self-government (since 1979). Parliament (Landsting) with 31 members. Greenland sends two members to the Danish parliament.

Head of state

Queen Margrethe II., Since 1972, is represented by Mikaela Engell, since April 2011.

Head of government

Interim Prime Minister: Kim Kielsen, since October 2014.


220 V, 50 Hz. However, some villages have no electricity.



The Federal Foreign Office does not currently have a country-specific security notice for this country.


Other risks

Hepatitis B occurs. Vaccination is recommended for long-term stays and special exposure.

Extremely low temperatures in the winter months are a health risk.



1 Danish Krone = 100 Øre. Currency abbreviation: dkr, DKK (ISO code). Banknotes are available in denominations of 1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 50 dkr. Coins in denominations of 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 dkr as well as 50 Øre.

Credit cards

Visa, MasterCard and Diners are the most widely accepted and widely used as payment methods. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard
cards with the Cirrus or Maestro symbol are accepted throughout Europe and worldwide. Further information from banks and credit institutes.

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

ATMs are available in large cities, such as Ilulissat. Payment by debit card is increasingly accepted in shops and petrol stations.

Bank opening times

Mon-Thu 9.30 a.m.-3.30 p.m. and Fri 9.30 a.m.-3.00 p.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

Regulations see Denmark.

Currency Exchange

Cash, travelers checks and checks from Danish banks can be exchanged. Postal checks can be cashed at all post offices. The Greenland bank Grønlandsbanken ( has branches in Nuuk, Sisimiut, Oaqortoq, Ilulissat and Maniitsoq. The ferry company KNI / POST represents the bank in some cities and villages.



The official languages are Inuit and Danish. English is the language of communication and education.




The following articles can be imported into Greenland duty-free:
200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250 g tobacco (people aged 17 and over);
200 pieces of cigarette papers or cigarette sleeves;
1 l of spirits with an alcohol content of more than 22% or 2 l of spirits with an alcohol content of no more than 22% (people aged 18 and over);
2.25 l wine (people 18+);

2 liters of beer;

2 liters of soda water;
50 g perfume and 250 ml eau de toilette;
Gifts and other goods up to a value of DKK 1,000;

When entering and leaving Greenland, travelers have the option of duty-free shopping at the airports of Kangerlussuaq, Narsarsuaq, Kulusuk and Nuuk.

Import regulations

Pistols, automatic or semi-automatic weapons, narcotics and hunting rifles require a special permit, which can be applied for from the airlines.

Prohibited imports

Live animals (except guide dogs), fresh food and drugs.


Business etiquette

Suit or costume are common. Knowledge of Danish is very useful. Business hours: Mon-Fri 9 am-3pm.



Dial-up remote service.


Network operator is Tele Greenland (GSM 900, Internet:


The main provider is Tele Greenland (Internet: Internet cafes are currently in Nuuk, Sismut, Aasiaat, Itilleq and many other cities. Internet access is also available from a few public libraries.

Post Office

Greenland’s postage stamps are coveted collectibles. There are post offices in every city. Post to Europe takes about five days. Post office opening times: Mon-Fri 9 am-3pm.


Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: to request.



The range of goods corresponds to that of a small Danish town with higher prices. Nice souvenirs are bone and soapstone carvings, leather items and beadwork. East Greenland in particular is known for its handicrafts. Opening times of the shops: Mon-Thu 10 a.m.-5.30 p.m., Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (regionally different).




You can find hotels in the larger cities, but only in Ammassalik, Maniitsoq, Narsaq, Nuuk, Narsarsuaq, Qaqortoq, Sisimiut, Quasigiannguit, Søndre Strømfjord and Ummannaq do they meet international standards. The level is different in small towns. There is no accommodation in Upernavik, Thule and Scoresbysund. Advance booking recommended. Details from the Tourist Office in Copenhagen and Greenland Tourism a / s (see addresses).

: Hotels are classified by Greenland Tourism, the categories are based on the star system and roughly correspond to the Danish hotel categories. More information is available from Grønlands Arbeijds Giveforening(Greenland’s Employers Association), Tjalfesvej 3, PO Box 73, 3900 Nuuk. Tel: 321 500.


There are no designated campsites, but there are cheap places to camp in most regions. You can camp anywhere except in ruins and on the farmland of South Greenland.

Other accommodation options

There are youth hostels in Narsarsuaq, Narsaq, Nuuk, Kulusuk, Julianehåb and Ilulissat. In other parts of South Greenland (especially on the route from Sisimiut to Kangerlussuaq and around Ammassalik), mountain huts offer overnight accommodation. More information from the Tourist Office in Copenhagen (see addresses).



Church of Greenland (part of the Protestant Church of Denmark). There is also a Roman Catholic Church in Nuuk.

Social rules of conduct

The lifestyle is usually more leisurely than in Northern Europe, and one often hears the word Imaqa (“maybe”). Until recently there were few visitors. Kalaallit Nunaat (Inuit: “Land of the People”) is the name of the country in Greenland. taking photos during services is prohibited across the country. When taking photos, a UV filter and, if necessary, a sun visor should always be used. In winter, it should be noted that fully electronic cameras that are permanently exposed to extreme cold can easily fail. As a preventive measure, the camera should be carried in a warming bag and spare batteries carried along. In general, manual cameras are advantageous in extreme climatic conditions. The film material should be worn on the body so that it is also protected from extreme cold. Film development is not possible in Greenland; you should bring enough of your own films. Tips are usually included in all prices.


Best travel time

Arctic, due to the size of the country, the weather is very different. As the climate table shows (see below), winters can be extremely cold and summers in wind-protected regions can be quite mild. Highest rainfall on the coasts. In the north and inland there is an arctic climate, temperatures rise only just above freezing point, even in summer, and hardly any rainfall.

Nationwide, weather conditions can become dangerous when low temperatures and strong winds occur at the same time. Local weather forecasts should be taken very seriously.
dress: High-quality wind- and waterproof clothing and shoes with treaded soles are recommended regardless of the season. Thinner garments should also be taken with you; temperatures can change drastically within a day. On trekking tours you should be able to change clothes accordingly quickly. Sunglasses and sun lotion with a high sun protection factor are strongly recommended. In July and August mosquitoes can become a nuisance, a mosquito net should be carried. Extra warm clothing should be brought along for dog sledding.


Area code +299 Area (square km) 2166086 Population 57733 Population density (per square km) 0 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 112

Greenland Overview