What Is The Capital Of Greenland? 1

What is the capital of Greenland? The Greenlandic capital of Nuuk

Even if you’re a huge fan of Scandinavia and the Nordic regions, you might not know all of the capital cities by heart. 

Some details you may not know until you hear them in the form of quiz questions or start to think about them when meeting someone new. 

For instance, have you ever wondered, “What is the capital of Greenland?” Although Greenland is a beautiful and interesting location, it’s also one that’s shrouded in mystery for many travellers. 

Greenland is home to many fashion boutiques, delightful gourmet restaurants, and amazing traditions. 

The Capital of Greenland is Nuuk, a city brimming with vitality, nature, and vibrant streets. Nuuk, like many capital cities, has some unique experiences to offer that you can’t find anywhere else in Greenland. 

You can visit the Greenland national museum or check out the old harbour for a journey through history. 

Let’s take a closer look… 

What Is The Capital Of Greenland? 2

What’s the capital of Greenland?

Nuuk is the eye-catching Capital of Greenland, and a city that looks right at home in Scandinavia. As the world’s largest island, Greenland spans over 800,000 square miles, but Nuuk itself only has a population of around 18,000 people. 

There are around 3 hotels to choose from in Nuuk, making it one of the smaller locations for tourism, though you will find an international airport here, with direct flights from Air Greenland and other airlines. 

The Arctic Umiaq ferry also docks in Nuuk twice per week. 

Nuuk was originally settled by the Paleo-Eskimo cultures in the early 2200s BC. Viking pioneers led by outlaw, Erik the Red didn’t arrive until 985 AD. 

The 100-mile fjord system through Nuuk, Nuup Kangerlua, is still speckled with the ruined foundations of farmsteads that originally belonged to the Vikings. 

Nuuk, Greenland sits on the south-western coast of the island, close to the mountain landmarks of Hjortetakken and Sermitsiaq. Near the city, you’ll find the mouth of the Godthab Fjord, and various beautiful natural sights.

Greenlandic capital fact file

Around 150 miles south of the Arctic circle, Nuuk might have a small population, but it’s brimming with Nordic intrigue

The city is home to a university, foreign consulates, vocational training schools, television and radio stations, a hospital, and tons of other important locations too. 

Nuuk is also a great location to visit if you’re interested in fishing and hunting. 

Although the history of Greenland’s city has met with some controversy in the past, most agree that it was founded by a Norwegian missionary named Hans Edge, who first named the city “Godthab”, which translates to good hope. 

  • Size: About 690 km squared
  • Population: 18,326 as of 2020
  • Time zone: West Greenland Standard time
  • Climate: Tundra 
  • Currency: Danish Krone

Nuuk, the new name of the Greenlandic capital, translates to “the headland”. The title makes sense when you consider the city’s position at the top of a giant fjord system. 

Although Greenland is a country in its own right, it’s also an autonomous Danish dependent territory, which often leads people to include the region in the definition of “Scandinavia”. 

Denmark contributes around two thirds of the budget revenue for Greenland, and the rest generally comes from fishing. Greenland also uses the Danish Krone for currency. 

What Is The Capital Of Greenland? 3

What is Greenland’s capital like today?

Those hoping to explore the mystery and wonders of Scandinavia often forget about Nuuk. 

As the biggest city in Greenland, Nuuk is brimming with industrial buildings, so it’s a good place to visit if you’re interested in shopping, trying haute cuisine, or even checking out some of the more modern aspects of Greenland. 

Check out the Katuaq cultural centre if you’re looking for a stunning insight into the newest architecture. 

The new location housing the Self Rule Government is also a very fresh looking building made of steel and glass. Urban regeneration is having a massive impact on the city, with lots of artwork and sculpture sprucing up the streets. 

Though Nuuk is a rapidly evolving capital city, it still has firm footholds in its history. Visiting the colonial harbour will show you a statue of Hans Egede, looking out over the city below. 

There’s also a quiet area called Myggedalen, which doesn’t offer a lot of entertaining things to do, but stands out as one of the most picturesque places in Nuuk. 

What is the Greenland capital known for? Fun facts

Nuuk might be small in terms of population and buildings, but it’s certainly brimming with character. 

Whether you’re looking for a glimpse into Viking heritage, or you’re hoping to see the new and modern architecture that’s making Greenland so impressive these days, there’s something in this location for practically everyone. 

Almost a quarter of the Greenland population lives in its capital city, and the location remains the biggest, most diverse space to visit in Greenland. 

Here are some fun facts that you might not know about Greenland’s capital city:

  • From Nuuk you can visit the Ilulissat Icefjord, which is a World Heritage Site, and the most productive glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. 
  • Greenland hasn’t always been covered in ice and snow. Originally named by Erik the Red, Greenland earned its title for its vast fields and green spaces. Greenland also means “Land of the People”. 
  • Fishing is one of the most popular pastimes in Nuuk, and it’s also a significant source of Greenland’s income. Ice fishing is the most common type in this region for obvious regions, as the majority of the location is covered in ice. 
  • Nuuk offers a range of ways to explore the city and surrounding areas. You can book guided tours, go on boat trips and fly from the international airport. Before you leave Nuuk, make sure that you check out at least one of the three World Heritage Sites close by. 
  • You can bathe in hot springs in Nuuk and other locations across the country. Although Iceland is better known for its hot springs, Greenland benefits from its own naturally-occurring spots of hot water. 
  • Nuuk is home to the country’s oldest house, the Hans Egede house, apparently built in 1728 for the Apostle of Greenland. 
  • Throughout Nuuk, you can see a sculpture of Sedna, the Inuit sea goddess, and the Annaassisitta Oqaluffia, which is the first cathedral built in the country since the middle ages. Crowds celebrate the longest day of the year here. 
  • The food in Greenland and Nuuk can be quite alarming for some foreigners. You can eat everything from seal to whale and reindeer, among other things. It’s definitely a good idea to check out some restaurants while you’re visiting — if only for the experience. 
What Is The Capital Of Greenland? 4

Discover the capital of Greenland

Greenland is well worth a visit if you’re looking for the complete Scandinavian experience. The location is packed full of amazing wildlife like sealions, reindeer, and whales. In Nuuk, you can even try some of those animals in the local food. 

Although Greenland can be a cold place, during the summer months, temperatures can raise to a mild and temperate point, depending on where you are. 

However, even in the winter, Greenland will entice and enchant you with its rugged landscape, beautiful culture, and amazing innovation. 

With a little luck, you’ll find the time to visit Nuuk and Greenland at some point during your Scandinavian journey. 

Remember to check out some of the local sites if you do visit, such as the Nuup Kangerlua remains, and the Kageq Island, the location of Hans Egede’s original quest. 

To learn more about the other countries and sites throughout Scandinavia, check out the other articles here on Scandification. 

Scandification: Discovering Scandinavia.

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Why is Greenland called Greenland?

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