Greenland (Arctic)

Quick Facts

Region: Arctic



Evangelical Lutheran is the established church.


The official languages of Greenland are Greenlandic (Kalaallisut) and Danish, and most of the population speak both of the languages. Greenlandic is spoken by about 50,000 people, some of whom are monolingual. A minority of Danish migrants with no Inuit ancestry speak Danish as their first, or only, language. English is widely spoken as a third language. The Greenlandic language is the most populous of the languages of the Eskimo-Aleut language family and it has as many speakers as all the other languages of the family combined.

Area (sq. km):
2,166,086 square meters



When To Travel

Greenland has an arctic climate with mean temperatures that do not exceed 10° C (50° F) in the warmest summer months. In the southern part of the country and the innermost parts of the long fjords, the temperature can, however, rise to more than 20° C (68° F) in June, July or August.

The summer months (mid-July to the first week in September) are peak time for tourists and feel-good time for Greenlanders; the days are long, the tundra is a riot of wild flowers and red berries and there is a general feeling of wellbeing and contentment throughout the land. It is still relatively mild in summer, reaching 19-20 degrees.

Useful Travel Facts


The major airport is Kangerlussuaq Airport on the west coast at Kangerlussuaq on Sondrestrom Fjord. Intercontinental flights connect mainly to Copenhagen.




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Meat from marine mammals, game, birds and fish has been the main ingredient in Greenlandic food for generations. The high meat content in the diet provided energy and nourishment all year round for a physically demanding existence where the harsh Arctic winter could seriously tax one’s reserves of energy. Food made from Greenlandic ingredients is always a culinary experience and the ingredients are often organic, since fish, game and marine animals roam free in their natural environment and are not given artificial feed or flavourings.


In Greenland there are no roads connecting the towns, so all transport takes place by plane or by ship. The Arctic climate, which at times can be extreme, places great demands on safety during transport, demands which Greenland’s transport companies satisfy in full. When travelling over shorter distances outside the towns the local population uses their own boats, dogsleds or snowmobiles.


Inuit Art, Jewellery

Visa: Visa not required for stays up to 90 days, need onward flight ticket and sufficient funds during stay. This applies to Australians, New Zealanders, Brits, Canadians and Americans.

Useful Words & Phrases

Further Reading Lonely Planet Greenland and the Arctic The Greenlanders – Jane Smiley This Cold Heaven, Seven Seasons in Greenland – Gretel Ehrlich