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Nuuk

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Nuuk (Greenlandic meaning "The Headland"), also known by its Danish name of Godthåb (Good Hope), is the capital and administrative centre of Greenland, with a population of around 15,000 (about 1/4 of the entire population of the country). The city is sometimes accused of being rather soulless, with many high-rise blocks.

Understand

Climate

Nuuk, along with most of Greenland, has a subarctic climate. Being on the coast helps moderate temperatures somewhat, and winter temperatures are not unlike those of northern Europe or central Canada. However, in July the average temperature is only 7 °C (45 °F), with highs rarely above 15 °C (59 °F).

Autumn has the highest rainfall and snowfall, although it is fairly steady all year round.

Get in

There are no roads or railways connecting cities within Greenland. The only practical means to travel is by boat or air. On foot is less practical and far more strenuous.

By plane

The capital's airport, because of length constraints of its runway, only accommodates small aircraft and domestic flights. Flying to Nuuk from abroad requires changing from a large airliner to a smaller aircraft at a neighbouring airport like Kangerlussuaq.

  • Nuuk Airport (GOH IATA) (about 4 km northeast of town).  
    • Air Greenland offers connections to various destinations in Greenland, including Kangerlussuaq which has flights to Copenhagen, a major airport. During the summer months they fly to Keflavík Airport, Iceland.
    • Air Iceland flies year-round to Reykjavík (domestic airport), three times a week during the summer and twice a week during the winter months.

By boat

Arctic Umiaq Line has a passenger terminal to Maniitsoq-Sisimiut-Aasiaat-Uummannaq and Paamiut-Qaqortoq-Narsaq-Narsarsuaq.

Royal Arctic Line and Blue Water are cargo-boat companies operating out of Nuuk.

Get around

Nuuk has a small bus company (Nuup Bussii A/S).

  • Nuup Bussii A/S, ☏ +299 342 300, fax: +299 342 301, ✉ post@bus.gl. Six bus routes. Ticket costs 15 kr for adults and is good for 90 min. 
  • Nuuk Biludlejning, Iggiaanut 3a, ☏ +299 31 25 58, ✉ biludlejning@nuuk-biludlejning.com. Rental cars and SUVs 400-775 kr/day. (updated Apr 2020)

See

  • 1 Greenland National Museum (Greenlandic: Nunatta katersugaasivia allagaateqarfialu), Hans Egedesvej 8, ☏ +299 32 26 11, ✉ NKA@natmus.gl. 16 Sep - 31 May: Tu-Su 13:00 - 16:00; 1 Jun - 15 Sep: 10:00 - 16:00 daily. The crown pieces of the museum are 500 year old mummies discovered in 1978 and remarkably well preserved, with some of their facial tattoos still recognisable. Free entry in winter and on Sundays, DKK 30 in summer. (updated Jul 2020)
  • 2 Nuuk Art Museum (Danish: Nuuk Kunstmuseum), Kissarneqqortuunnguaq 5, ☏ +299 32 77 33, ✉ kunstmuseum@sermersooq.gl. (updated Feb 2020)

The old colonial town is on the east coast side of the town centre.

Here you will also find the statue of Hans Egede, Hans Egede's House and church.

  • 3 Statue of Hans Egede. (updated Oct 2017)
  • 4 Hans Egede's House. Built in 1728 and reputably the oldest house in the country. The former residence of Hans Egede and later used for the country's prime minister. It is now used for government receptions. (updated Oct 2017)
  • 5 Hans Egede Church. A wooden Evangelical Lutheran church. (updated Oct 2017)

Do

  • 1 Katuaq (Danish: Grønlands Kulturhus), ☏ +299 36 37 70, ✉ reception@katuaq.gl. (updated Oct 2017)

Excursions

  • Nuuk Marathon.  
  • Whale watching by boat.
  • Helicopter ride to the inland ice, Norse ruins and kaffemik at a nearby village.

Several hiking routes start from Nuuk:

  • An easy hike from the Circuslake around the mountain Little Marlene follows a marked trail.
  • A unmarked trek goes up Big Marlene and offers a view over Nuuk from above. Parts of this trail is on mountain sides with large boulders or steep climbs up loose rocks.

Buy

Handmade seal skin gloves cost around 500 kr. Ask in shops near Colonial town.

  • 1 Nuuk Center. First shopping mall in Greenland. (updated Aug 2019)
  • 2 Atuagkat Bookstore (Danish: Atuagkat Boghandel), ☏ +299 32 17 37. (updated Aug 2019)

Eat

  • 1 Cafe Esmeralda, Aqqusinersuaq 6, 1. sal, ☏ +299 48 22 03, ✉ kontakt@cafeesmeralda.gl. 10:00-21:00, bar closes 01:00 on weekends. Pasta, wrap, burgers, omelettes and sandwiches. 100 kr. 
  • 2 Godthaab Bryghus, Imaneq 30, ☏ +299 34 80 80, ✉ info@nuukcafe.gl. This brewpub has good beer and good food. Burgers and steaks, often serves muskox, reindeer and lamb. 200 kr. 
  • 3 Sarfalik (In Hotel Hans Egede). Gourmet food at reasonable prices. They have both a global menu and a local menu with muskox, carabou, seal, whale, etc. the course menu: 550 kr. 
  • 4 Charoen Porn, Aqqusinersuaq 5, ☏ +299 325759, ✉ info@charoenporn.gl. Good Thai food with a Greenlandic touch: mattag, halibut, whale and musk ox 100 kr for mains, 300 kr for the big menu. 
  • 5 Red Dragon (努克), Imaneq 30, ☏ +299 34 80 80, ✉ info@reddragon.gl. A self-described Chinese-Greenlandic fusion restaurant, with a wide range of dishes. Main meals from around 80 kr. (updated Jul 2019)

Drink

Central Nuuk offers a variety of locations for the enjoyment of alcoholic beverages, all within quick walking distance of each other. Nearly all pubs offer the same selection of beer (Classic on tap and Tuborg and Carlsberg in bottles) at the same (expensive) price (60 kr for 40 cl of draught), but beer from Godthaab Bryghus is also available.

Greenlandic coffee is prepared with coffee, whisky, Kahlua, whipped cream and Grand Marnier. It is prepared at the table in a little show and if you ask, you also get the story.

Cafés

  • Barista, Spindlers Bakke 10C, ☏ +299 321114. 11:00-00:00. The place to get good coffee, slushies, and sandwiches 25 kr for coffee. 

Bars

  • 1 Kristinemut, Aqqusinersuaq 7, ☏ +299 348094. M-Th 13:00-midnight, F 13:00-03:00, Sa noon-03:00, Su noon-midnight. The oldest bar in Nuuk. Very lively 
  • 2 Daddy's, Imaneq 30 (Next to Godthåb Bryghus). Irish-inspired pub. 

Sleep

  • 1 Hotel Hans Egede, Aqqusinersuaq 1-5, ☏ +299 324222, fax: +299 324487, ✉ booking@hhe.gl. Nuuk's largest hotel. (updated Aug 2019)
  • 2 Hotel Seamen's Home, Marinevej 3 (At the harbour), ☏ +299 32 10 29, fax: +299 32 21 04, ✉ nuuk@soemandshjem.gl. Check-in: 10ː00, check-out: 14ː00. (updated Aug 2019)
  • 3 Hotel Nordbo, Vandsøvej 13, ☏ +299 32 66 44, fax: +299 32 66 00, ✉ info@nordbo.gl. From 895 kr. 
  • Hotel Centerbo & Nordbo Apartments, Samuel Kleinschmidtsvej 11, ☏ +299 32 66 44, fax: +299 32 66 00, ✉ info@nordbo.gl. 795 to 1 685 kr. 

Connect

  • 1 Public and National Library of Greenland, Imaneq 26, ☏ +299 32 11 56. (updated Sep 2019)

Stay safe

Nuuk is only a small town, with a population of about 15,000. Crime rates are very low, there are no slums and no places you should avoid.

Go next

You can choose among the destinations served by the boats and planes leaving Nuuk. The very adventurous can travel inland by foot or dog sled.


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