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How to spend your stopover in Nuuk, Greenland

Tuesday 15 February 2022

Nuuk, the capital city of Greenland, is a fantastic cruise destination but somewhere many don’t know too much about due to its remote location and understated culture. However, if you are visiting on a premium cruise there is a lot on offer for your stopover. In this article, we explore the best ways to spend your day in Nuuk, Greenland.

READ MORE: Lesser-known cruise destinations

Explore the Greenland National Museum

If you are looking to really get under the skin of the island’s culture, then a visit to Greenland National Museum & Archives is essential and is located right in the heart of Nuuk. Learn about Greenland’s history from the Stone Age through to more modern history, with exhibitions on the first people of Greenland through to whale oil refining equipment used up until World War II.

This is something that Nellie from Wild Junket recommends: “For a crash course in Greenland’s history, head to the Greenland National Museum right behind Nuuk’s colonial harbour. Greenland’s largest cultural history museum houses artefacts from all over the country.

The most impressive exhibits include the famous mummies and costumes from Qilakitsoq in northwest Greenland, as well as the world’s oldest and almost completely intact skin boat – the Pearyland Umiaq.

Take in the Nuuk Art Museum

If you like to look at art to learn more about another culture, then the Nuuk Art Museum is your place. With an impressive collection of Greenlandic art including over 300 paintings and 400 figures, you can see a range of crafts and works from the 20th century to the modern day. The museum itself is housed within an old church and, unlike commercial art galleries you may have been to, as the collection is privately owned it has a homely feel to it as you walk around and take everything in.

Stop at the Katuaq Cultural Centre

A concert hall and exhibition space, Katuaq is the cultural hub of Nuuk and there are often events taking place here from film screenings to conferences. The building itself is incredibly impressive, modelled on the northern lights it stands out from the more traditional panelled buildings around the city with flowing walls that almost appear to be moving. There is a great café here if you want to stop by for something to eat during your day in the city.

READ MORE: How to plan a stress-free cruise

See Nuuk Cathedral

The buildings around Nuuk are all iconic, with bright-coloured panels and white trim, however, the one that stands out most for us is the Nuuk Cathedral. First established in 1849, the building actually started out as a church, The Church of Our Saviour, before officially becoming a cathedral in 1993. The cathedral is still active to this day, so lucky visitors might witness a wedding or baptism on their visit.

Macca from An Adventurous World recommends a walk here, explaining: “My favourite place in Nuuk is down by the harbour. Nuuk Cathedral (the Church of Our Saviour) overlooks the water and it is in such a beautiful spot. That whole area along the coastline is just stunning. Stand there and really take in the capital.”

Walk by the oldest house in the country

The original home of Hans Egede, the founder of Nuuk (first a fort called Godt-Haab), the Hans Egede House is the oldest in the country, dating back to 1728 and still stands proud to this day. After Egede, the house was the official residence of the Greenland prime minister but is now used for official government receptions. Despite its age, the building itself blends in perfectly with the rest of the city and, unless pointed out to you, you might not realise you’re looking at a piece of history.

Travel to Qoornoq

If you are in search of a unique experience, a short trip to Qoornoq is what you need. An island within the fjord, Qoornoq is a now-abandoned settlement where only ruins and one restaurant remains. You can travel here by boat from Nuuk where you’ll catch your dinner on route and then get served a fresh-cooked meal before heading back to the capital. Talk about a once in a lifetime opportunity.

What to do in Nuuk, Greenland

  • Explore the Greenland National Museum

  • Take in the Nuuk Art Museum

  • Stop at the Katuaq Cultural Centre

  • See Nuuk Cathedral

  • Visit the oldest house in the country

  • Travel to Qoornoq

If you plan on visiting Nuuk on a cruise to Greenland, now you know the main attractions and ways to spend your stopover in this wondrous city. Sometimes, it’s the lesser-known destinations that have the most to offer those who take the time to visit them.

For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our blog page.

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