Figuring out where to stay in Greenland is just one of the logistical concerns you need to think about when planning a trip to this unique territory. A trip to this picturesque destination is one to remember, but also one that requires a lot more planning than your typical city break.
This guide can help you prepare for visiting the country and choosing the right accommodation. Although there are not many hotel options in Greenland, those that are present certainly do stand out. Ready to start? So are we — let’s dive in!
The Best Places to Stay in Greenland
The 4 best areas to stay in when visiting Greenland include:
- Nuuk Centrum: Best area for amenities, comfort, and transportation within and away from Greenland
- Nuuk Outskirts: Best area for budget travelers
- Ilulissat: Best area for glacier and iceberg spotting
- Sisimiut: Best area for exploring the Arctic
Where to Stay in Greenland: Best Areas & Hotels
There aren’t very many hotels in Greenland, but those that exist are great choices for tourists. Whether you opt for a more luxurious hotel in Nuuk or a homestay in one of the smaller villages, you are sure to have a stay like no other.
However, your choices in terms of hotels will differ greatly depending on where you stay. Keep reading to learn more about what your options are for staying in Greenland.
1. Nuuk Centrum
Nuuk is Greenland’s capital and largest city. As such, it has the largest selection of hotels in the entire territory, from budget hostels to more high-end options.
It also has the closest thing you can get to creature comforts in the country, such as shopping malls. Plus, staying in Nuuk Centrum means you will be close to Nuuk Airport, the easiest way to get to and from Greenland as well as travel to other parts of the massive island.
Most of the amenities and hotels are concentrated in Nuuk Centrum, the central area of the capital. Nuuk Centrum also has some of the most important locations for the island’s history and culture.
For a crash course on what you should know about the island, check out the Greenland National Museum. The museum follows thousands of years of history, from indigenous inhabitants to Viking rule.
Nuuk retains its name and culture from the local Inuit people. While staying in Nuuk, you’ll have the unique opportunity to learn more about the people who have called Greenland home for thousands of years.
Visit the Katuaq Cultural Center to learn more about local heritage and catch a performance if you time your visit right. You can also buy traditional souvenirs at boutiques such as Anori Art, which sells local handicrafts.
Nuuk may be the capital, but you are never far away from nature, not even in its biggest city. You can take many excursions leaving from Nuuk Centrum, which is close to the ferry departure point.
In the summer, a popular activity is whale watching. You’ll have few other opportunities to get so up close and personal with these majestic creatures.
Nuuk is not like most global capitals in that it is still close to nature, and it’s very easy to get out of the city. However, if you were hoping for a more rugged Greenland experience, you should stay in one of the smaller towns or villages.
Nuuk Centrum Budget Hotels
- Hotel Søma Nuuk. This classy hotel offers comfortable rooms, some with ocean views, breakfast, and extra services such as airport transfers.
- HHE Express. Perfect for a shorter stay, this hotel has spacious rooms with their own bathrooms and desks, a shared restaurant and bar area, and free breakfast. Staff are usually trilingual and widely praised for their service and efficiency.
Nuuk Centrum Mid-Range Hotels
- Hotel Aurora. This colorful hotel offers comfy rooms, a newly renovated hotel with Wi-Fi, and great service. Guests can choose from single, double, and family rooms.
- Norbo in Centrum. If you want a bit more space, you can rent apartments at this aparthotel, which all have their own sofa beds, bathrooms, and kitchens.
Nuuk Centrum Luxury Hotels
- Nuuk Hotel Apartments by HHE. This hotel is a great option for a long-term stay, thanks to its spacious apartments, modern building, and guaranteed parking for all guests.
- Hotel Hans Egede. Nuuk’s most famous hotel earns its well-deserved reputation with modern, comfortable rooms, a world-class restaurant serving some of the best food in the city, and a great central location.
2. Nuuk Outskirts
Nuuk is made up of more than just the very center. Head to the outskirts, and you’ll get to stay in residential neighborhoods or places with historic charm. Plus, the other neighborhoods of Nuuk are far more affordable than Nuuk Centrum.
Greenland can be very expensive due to the high cost of importing everything, so if you are traveling on a budget, it is important to save when you can.
The area just outside of Nuuk Centrum (although it is sometimes classified as part of the center) is called Old Nuuk.
This is the area where Nuuk was first settled by Lutheran missionaries. Several important sites still stand in Old Nuuk, such as the Church of Our Savior, the most important church for Lutherans on the island.
Staying on the outskirts of Nuuk also gives you closer access to some of the natural wonders just outside of Nuuk, especially if you are driving yourself.
You can visit the Norse ruins and old farmsteads that dot the countryside around Nuuk or explore the spectacular fjords that make up the coast around Nuuk. However, for some travelers, staying in Nuuk’s other neighborhoods is the worst of both worlds.
You aren’t as close to the amenities of Nuuk Centrum, but you are still in the city and not in the rugged countryside. If that describes you, you may want to stay even further out.
Nuuk Outskirts Budget Hotels
- Kulukis Downtown Hostel. Guests at this hostel have their own rooms but share a bathroom with hallmates. The facilities are clean and comfortable and close to Nuuk Centrum.
- Inuk Hostels. Located just outside of the city, this hotel has spectacular views and feels like a world away from Nuuk. Highlights include the homey rooms and the restaurant, which serves some of the best breakfasts in Nuuk.
Nuuk Outskirts Mid-Range Hotels
- Kang Apartment. An apartment rental is a good choice for having a comfortable stay in Nuuk while saving some money. This apartment hotel has units with private kitchens, bathrooms, and rooms, plus their own terraces with spectacular sea views.
- Nuuk Villa Hostel. This authentic timbered building has beautiful views and comfy rooms, plus modern amenities such as Wi-Fi.
Nuuk Outskirts Luxury Hotels
- Hotel Nordbo. This colorful hotel hosts guests in private apartments with their own kitchens, private entrances, and bathrooms. Some rooms have views of the surrounding icebergs.
- Hotel Nuuk – Apartment Nanoq. Rent your own apartment and live like a local, except you’ll get to enjoy this spacious private villa with two bedrooms and a private terrace without worrying about mundane things such as cleaning.
The coastal town of Ilulissat, on Greenland’s western coast, literally translates to “iceberg,” which gives you an idea of what the main attraction is when you come into town.
The coastal waters off the coast of Ilulissat have some of the most spectacular icebergs on the planet. In fact, the Ilulissat Icefjord, the narrow mouth of water where the icebergs form, is a UNESCO-protected site.
Seeing icebergs is the most popular activity in Ilulissat. Tour operators offer cruises on freezing water to get as close to the icebergs as you can get, taking in their amazing size and surprisingly dynamic movement.
The more adventurous can go into the water on kayak tours, getting as close to the icebergs as safety allows.
If you prefer to stay on dry land, you can hike to the hills over Ilulissat for some spectacular views. Besides icebergs, there are plenty of other activities to do in Ilulissat for the outdoor adventurer.
The waters of Disko Bay are rich in more than just icebergs, featuring marine wildlife as well, especially whales. You can hike on your own, with a guided tour, or even with local sled dogs.
Ilulissat is mostly home to local Inuit people, and you can learn more about their way of life by signing up for a local get-together or heading to a homestead on snowshoes or snowmobile.
Ilulissat is perfect for lovers of snow and ice, especially for those who are anxious to see Greenland’s icebergs. However, it is a little short on creature comforts compared to Nuuk. In Greenland’s small towns, you are unlikely to find luxury amenities.
Ilulissat Budget Hotels
- HOTEL SØMA Ilulissat. This colorful hotel has clean, comfy rooms, staff who provide great service — including advice on which tours to book — and a balcony walkway with Icefjord views.
- Ilulissat Apartment. A homestay or aparthotel is a great way to save money, and this option offers a shared kitchen, spacious apartments or rooms, and a friendly owner on hand to assist with anything you may need.
Ilulissat Mid-Range Hotels
- Hotel Nuka. This small hotel offers intimate service with personalized touches such as organized shuttles, comfortable rooms, and breakfast at a café across the street.
- Best Western Plus Hotel Ilulissat. This hotel offers all the amenities you would expect from a Best Western, such as spacious rooms and a shared fitness center, with one of the best views in the world of the Icefjord.
Ilulissat Luxury Hotels
- Hotel Arctic. This comfy hotel has well-designed rooms with touches such as local artwork that stand out, plus amenities include free airport shuttle service and a fine dining restaurant on-site.
- Hotel Icefjord. This plush hotel offers rooms with seating and work areas, staff to help with organizing tours, and guaranteed views of Disko Bay in each room.
For wannabe polar explorers, Sisimiut is the best place to go in Greenland. Sisimiut is Greenland’s second-largest city and North America’s largest city above the Arctic Circle.
You can’t get much further north than this without venturing completely into the backcountry. Sisimiut’s northern location makes it perfect for all the polar activities you would want to do, from admiring the ice shelf to searching for the Northern Lights.
Sisimiut has a reputation as Greenland’s adventure travel hub, with many people basing themselves here so they can cross-country ski or hike the backcountry.
The town organizes festivals that celebrate this legacy, such as the annual Arctic Circle Race. Sisimiut is also important for Inuit culture.
The city is the gateway to the Aasivissuit-Nipisat UNESCO protected area, an ancient hunting ground that contains thousands of years of archeological ruins among spectacular landscapes.
Sisimiut, as Greenland’s second-largest town, has a few creature comforts to keep you happy along the main street when you’re done exploring the outdoors.
You can catch a show at the local cultural center or visit the Sisimiut Museum, an open-air museum containing authentic buildings and exhibits from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Sisimiut is on the water and offers coastal activities such as kayaking and cruise tours of local sights. However, it doesn’t have that many icebergs. If you are in Greenland for iceberg-watching, you are better off heading to Ilulissat.
Sisimiut Budget Hotels
- Sisimiut Bed & Breakfast. Guests at this comfy bed & breakfast get their own comfy rooms and share a bathroom and kitchen area with others. The friendly owners make the experience even better.
- Isi4u Hostel. Guests at this hostel can book private rooms or bunk beds in the dorm. Small touches such as a heated bathroom floor, dog hike tours, and great service make guests feel at home.
Sisimiut Mid-Range Hotels
- Isi4u apartments. Run by the same people who run the budget hostel in town, this accommodation allows you to have a whole apartment to yourself and participate in shared activities such as dog sledding.
- HOTEL SØMA Sisimiut. At this hotel, guests can enjoy an outdoor wellness center, comfortable rooms, a common library with books and newspapers, and a tasty cafeteria with great service.
Sisimiut Luxury Hotels
- Hotel Sisimiut. This is the most famous hotel in town, with good reason. Guests at this hotel enjoy comfy rooms with writing desks, help with tour organizing, and even a spa.
- Dejlig og et godt hus, Hotel. Renting an entire home is a plush choice in Sisimiut, and this option has three bedrooms, a flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi, beachfront access, and easy access to a nearby ski school.
So, Where Should You Stay in Greenland?
|🚂 High Accessibility Area||Nuuk Centrum|
|💲 Best for Budget Travel||Nuuk Outskirts|
|🧊 Best for Iceberg Spotting||Ilulissat|
|❄️ Best for Exploring the Arctic||Sisimiut|
The diverse, stark landscapes of Greenland make for a trip to remember. It doesn’t have much in the way of luxury resorts or other amenities, but the natural beauty is unparalleled.
A trip to Greenland requires some careful planning and logistics, including planning where you will stay. If you make the plans right, you will be rewarded with the trip of a lifetime. Happy travels!