If you can think of Greenland without picturing barfights and leaping into airborne helicopters, then you haven’t seen The Secret Life of Walter Mitty as many times as we have.
And if you do love that movie as much as we do, then you’ll need no urging to go to Greenland. Films aside, Greenland is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Sweeping ice sheets, charming snow-cloaked towns, and all the fish you could ever dream of abound in this epic continent-sized country.
Okay, sure. Most of Greenland’s massive perceived size is due to the difficulty of translating a globe-shaped world to a flat piece of paper. In actuality, Greenland is only about 22% of the landmass of the United States.
Still, that’s a lot of wiggle room, especially considering its population is less than 2% that of America’s. In other words, you won’t find any bustling cities here.
You’ll find gorgeous hikes, whale watching tours, and breathtaking glacier views. To enjoy all that, though, you’ll need to plan ahead and budget carefully.
If you shell out without bargain-hunting, your trip can easily cost thousands of dollars more than if you’re smart about your plans. That’s where this guide comes in! Read on and discover how you can save money through smart Greenland travel today.
Average Trip to Greenland Cost in 2023
An average one-week trip to Greenland for two people will cost around $5,200:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $100 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $1,200 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $125 per person, per day
- Transportation: $300
- Total Cost: $5,200
As you can see, Greenland isn’t the cheapest trip you’ll ever go on. The cost of living is higher in this country than it is in many other travel destinations, especially developing nations.
Estimates for basic costs range from 25% to 50% higher than in the United States, which will be passed on to you as a traveler. The Danish Krone (also used in Denmark and the Faroe Islands) is strong, which will also translate to higher costs for the visitor.
However, there’s no reason you shouldn’t still go. As long as you keep costs done and live frugally while you’re there, it’s as doable as any trip to a European country.
Just keep the following hacks in mind and you’ll do fine.
Specifically, let’s take a look at accommodations, flights, activities, food and drink, and transportation. By the time you’re done reading our comprehensive guide, you’ll know exactly where to spend and where to save on your trip to Greenland!
Greenland Trip Cost: Average by Item
Any trip will vary depending on the needs and interests of the travelers taking it. The following prices are averages that will change according to how many people are traveling, what time of year you visit, what you see, what you eat, and where you lay your head.
However, they offer a good starting point for costs, so dig in to get a basic idea.
Hotels in Greenland are a bit pricy, ranging from $120 to $240 a night. You’ll have better luck on Airbnb if you’re willing to give up space and amenities. A small rental unit will cost around $65 while a private room in a house is more like $75.
Overall, assuming you do want to stay somewhere that offers a roof over your head, plan to spend about $100 a night on average if you mix the two options.
Another way to save money is to hike and camp. Greenland’s sweeping coastlines, many fjords, and lush fields make it an amazing place to pitch a tent during the summer months, which will cost you only a few dollars a day – if it’s not free.
Make sure to book hotels for when you really want to be in Greenland, though. Despite its name – given to it by Erik the Red, who was exiled to Greenland for a time and wanted others to move there – Greenland is not very green.
(Similarly, Iceland is more green than icy. Though in that case, the moniker stems from Viking Flóki Vilgerðarson’s spotting an icy fjord.) As such, winter is a brutal time to visit.
Many people choose to go in late spring, summer, or early fall, when the country has thawed a bit (though inland is always one giant ice sheet). However, Greenland is an excellent place to spend Christmas.
Nuuk, Greenland’s capital city, offers activities such as dog-sledding under the Northern Lights, igloo camping, and ice cap walking.
If you don’t mind traveling outside the holidays but in winter, you’ll find the cheapest prices for flights and accommodations in January or February, when you can still do all of the above activities.
Flying to Greenland is not cheap. It costs, on average, more than $1,200. If you’re flying from New York or LA, you will pay around that much.
If you have to connect to a major hub, expect to pony up a few hundred dollars more per person, though you can always keep costs down by booking ahead of time. One thing to consider when it comes to Greenland travel is the possibility of combining it with Iceland.
These two countries are between 1.5 to 3.5 hours away from each other by air, making it easy to wrap both into one trip. This is a cost-effective move as well.
For instance, consider a ticket from New York to Nuuk, which will cost you around $1,250 round trip. Or, you could instead fly New York to Reykjavik for $500 round trip, then fly from Reykjavik to Nuuk mid-vacation for about $800.
Combined, that’s $1,300. As you can see, you can fly to Rejkavik then back to Nuuk for the same price as flying straight to Nuuk, except you get to wrap Iceland into your trip as well.
Yes, there’s a little bit of backtracking involved, but if you have a week to spend, then you’ll be okay. You can take three days out of the middle of your Iceland trip to hop to your point of interest in Greenland, then return for more Icelandic adventures before you fly home.
If you have more than a week to spend – 10 days is ideal – then this becomes an even better strategy. Either way, the price of a ticket for bargain hunters who plan ahead should come to around $1,200.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
Greenland has a whole lot of history, from Neolithic peoples to Viking settlers. Some researchers even believe that the Ancient Minoans made it as far as America circa 2,000 or so BCE, and their destinations could have included Greenland.
Whatever the case, there is a surprising amount to see given the small population size and brutal winters.
For instance, the National Museum of Greenland in Nuuk offers exhibits on Norse settlers, mummies from the abandoned northern settlement of Qilakitsoq, and items and demonstrations from Inuit culture.
At less than $8 per person and free for children under 16, this is a great way to spend a day without paying much. Greenland is also an amazing place to view humpback whales, minke whales, and fin whales.
A tour will cost you around $100 per person. Ditto tours to see the midnight sun or a frozen fjord. It’s probably wise to set aside some money for such fantastic sights!
Food and drink-wise, you can expect middling prices that roughly match those of the United States. A meal at a nice restaurant will cost around $80 for two, and Greenlanders do not expect a tip (though it never hurts to thank a good server!).
An inexpensive meal will cost around $40, and you can check out some additional basic cost-of-living prices here. Free activities abound in Greenland as well.
You can walk, hike, cycle, and stroll through summer wildflower meadows to your heart’s content. Interspersed with awe-inspiring tours, these can help you keep costs down.
Overall, by eating on the cheaper side and combining free activities with tours, you can get by on about $125 a day per person. If you skip the tours, drop that number down to $100 or so.
As with everything else, Greenland’s transportation costs are on the higher end. To rent a car, expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $70 a day. A 3-mile taxi ride will cost you about $10 and you’ll be charged quite a lot for the cab to wait for you.
A better bet for getting around Greenland is to stay in the quaint villages and go walking or hiking much of the time.
When you do leave your home base, take a tour, where the cost of transportation is wrapped into the already-high prices of whale watching, fjord viewing, or dog sledding.
Overall, assuming you only rent a car for a few days or take taxis to nearby places, plan on paying around $300. If your hotel offers free transport, so much the better.
Things to Consider
Here are a few other things to consider when planning your trip to Greenland:
- Establishments in Greenland may or may not accept dollars or euros. As such, while you can keep your native currency on hand, you should also change some of your money to krone. Also keep in mind that many stores, hotels, and restaurants still don’t accept credit or debit cards, so you’ll want to keep cash with you.
- There are almost no safety or security concerns in Greenland, so this is an excellent place for otherwise at-risk groups to travel safely. LGBTQ+ individuals or women traveling alone/as couples can travel freely here with only basic precautions.
- Many hotels offer transportation for free, so this is worth asking about when you’re still researching accommodations. Getting around is otherwise expensive, but combining this with tours can help cut sightseeing costs.
- Unpredictable weather is a common occurrence in Greenland. If you schedule a few days at each destination rather than hopping frequently, you have a better chance of keeping to your itinerary and seeing the places you care about seeing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Greenland expensive?
Yes, Greenland is typically on the more expensive side. You can save money by eating cheaply, buying your food at a grocery store, and staying in small rooms rather than spacious hotel accommodations.
Where should I go in Greenland?
Where you go depends on what you want to see. Disko Bay is one of the most stunning regions on Earth, whereas Nuuk (about 335 miles away) offers a lot of cultural attractions and an amazing Christmas scene.
Outdoor lovers will adore the remoteness of East Greenland, whereas Southern Greenland offers actually green landscapes with sheep farms and hiking.
When is the best time to visit Greenland?
The best time to visit Greenland depends on what you want to see there. If you’re looking to view the Northern Lights, travel between October and April, with the cheapest rates arising in January and February. If you want to camp, hike, and go whale watching, opt for between May and October.
Should I combine Greenland with another country?
Many people find that Iceland combines amazingly well with Greenland for a 7- or 10-day trip. It will take a little jimmying around of flights, but you can do it affordably if you fly to Greenland out of Iceland and don’t mind a little backtracking.
So, What Is the Average Cost for a Trip to Greenland?
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$100 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$1,200 per person|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$125 per person, per day|
|🚕 Transportation||$300 total|
|💲 Total Cost||$5,200|
The average cost of a one-week trip to Greenland is around $5,200 for two people.
Although the costs are a little higher due to the remoteness of the country, the expense of flights, and the higher per-diem costs, you can spend less by restricting your activities to the free sights and eating on the cheap.
On the other hand, if you want a luxury Northern experience, you can find that here as well. Whatever the cost, Greenland is a sight worth seeing in your lifetime and we strongly urge you to go!