9 Top Tips for Visiting Greenland with Kids

Are you considering a family trip to Greenland, but are not sure what to expect? Wondering if it’s easy to travel in Greenland with kids? Or maybe you are looking for ideas on what to see and do when visiting Greenland with children? Read on!

I recently visited Greenland with my son and I want to assure you that Greenland is a great destination for adventure-loving families. It’s such a wonderful place to visit for anyone who loves nature and appreciates natural wonders more than man-made entertainment.

In this article, you’ll find some inspiration for things to do when visiting Greenland with kids. In addition, we also share some experience-based tips and recommendations to make your Greenland vacation fun for the whole family.

“Greenland is a place where you can leave your busy schedules behind, truly disconnect, and spend some true quality time with your family.”

1. See the icebergs

Tips for visiting Greenland with kids. Photo by Jurga Rubinovaite

Tip

You can see icebergs all around Greenland, but one of the best places is probably Disko Bay. The best airport to fly to is Ilulissat.

You can easily get there directly from Reykjavik in Iceland or from Copenhagen in Denmark.

Seeing icebergs is the highlight of any trip to Greenland. But even more so for children! Just imagine huge chunks of ice – some of which are larger than a cruise ship or an apartment building – floating around you. 

Kids will love watching icebergs and I can guarantee you, they won’t tire of it. You can spend hours just looking at the ever-changing ice – different sizes, different shapes, and always on the move… You might even get lucky and see a calving or a rolling iceberg – it takes your breath away!

Icebergs are what makes traveling to Greenland so unique. They are always around you, but never the same, and so you never know how the place will look even an hour later… You go to sleep with one view and wake up in a completely new environment. For kids, it’s like traveling in a real wonderland! 

When I asked my son what was the most special thing about Greenland, he said ‘Icebergs, of course. It’s something you don’t see anywhere else’. 

2. Go whale watching

Whale watching from the shore in Qeqertarsuaq Greenland. Photo by Jurga Rubinovaite

Tip

Many places in Greenland offer whale watching tours by boat. It’s the best way to get even closer to these amazing giants, and something that you should definitely do when visiting Greenland with kids!

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With 16 different species of whales living in the waters around Greenland, they are the easiest wildlife to spot. The best thing is that you can easily see whales from the shore in Greenland. Whale watching has never been easier! 

Looking for whales is also a great way to keep your kids busy and entertained – you can try spotting whales every time you go for a walk, play on the beach, or take a boat ride.

Watching whales are some of our fondest memories from Greenland. We were lucky to see them so many times – from our hotel room window, from the restaurant terrace, when hiking, and also from an amazing black sand beach in Qeqertarsuaq on Disko Island. In addition to the floating icebergs and whales, this beach was dotted with big chunks of ice – it’s the best natural playground for children! 

3. Get off the beaten path

Hiking near Qeqertarsuaq in Greenland with kids. Jurga Rubinovaite

Tip

Don’t miss the Kuannit hike. It’s a family-friendly easy walk that takes about 3-4 hours at a leisurely pace. I suggest packing a picnic and making a day trip of it, especially if you are visiting with kids. My son loved climbing on the basalt columns and picking berries along the way. We took a thermos of tea and some cookies and spent quite some time watching whales from the shore. You can also pick some of the angelica plants that grow at the end of this hike and make some fresh angelica tea. Kids will love it!

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Traveling to Greenland is already off the beaten path, you might say, and you are absolutely right! But even in Greenland, there are more popular places and lesser-known, hidden gems that few tourists know about. 

If you want to experience what Greenland is truly about, I really recommend including one or two destinations that are a bit more off the beaten path into your itinerary. 

My top tip for families traveling to Greenland with kids is to visit Qeqertarsuaq on Disko Island. It’s easy to reach by a 2-hour boat ride from Ilulissat (or a short helicopter flight in winter), there are good facilities and a nice hotel in town with a fantastic restaurant, yet it’s like a whole other world. Disko Island is completely different from any other place in Greenland! 

Qeqertarsuaq, which literally means ‘the Big Island’, is the only town on Disko Island, which is the biggest island of Greenland, which – as you already know – is the biggest island in the world. Just telling your kids that they’ll be visiting the world’s biggest island’s biggest island named the Big Island, will get them excited! 

Disko Island is volcanic in nature and it’s therefore very green. So, contrary to the popular belief that Greenland is all ice, there are actually green places in Greenland. A local legend says that Qeqertarsuaq actually belongs in South Greenland, but was pulled to the North by two seal hunters. A witch from Ilulissat spotted the lush green island and decided to keep it nearby – she cast a spell on it, stranding Qeqertarsuaq in Disko Bay, where it is today.

The area around Qeqertarsuaq is so beautiful that no words or pictures can do it justice. Black sand beaches, hot springs and green pastures with millions of wild flowers, a rocky coastline with basalt columns, waterfalls, and the Lyngmark Glacier towering high above the town – these are just a couple of the natural features that make Qeqertarsuaq truly unique.

4. Go hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, or fishing

Family kayaking between icebergs in Greenland. Photo by Jurga Rubinovaite

Tip

You can take your kids hiking or fishing, or why not go camping for a couple of days. With bigger kids and teenagers you can also opt for a mountain biking or join a kayaking tour between the icebergs.

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Traveling to Greenland is largely about the outdoors, but it’s a common misconception that you have to be really adventurous in order to enjoy what Greenland has to offer. 

Yes, you’ll need a little sense of adventure if you are planning to visit Greenland with kids and there are some really adventurous activities that you probably won’t be able to do with young children. But Greenland also has plenty of ‘soft adventures’ and some really fun activities that you can easily do with children as well. 

What you can do in Greenland with your kids will depend mostly on their age and ability, but also on the destinations you choose to visit. The good news is that with so many outdoor activities available all over the country, Greenland is the best playground for adventure-loving families.

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Package Tours

Greenland by Topas – Dog Sledding, Igloo Lodge and Northern Lights in Ilulissat

Greenland by Topas

Dog Sledding and Northern Lights in Ilulissat

Sled dogs are in their element under the frosty sky, crackling snow and fluttering Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) of the Greenlandic winter. Overnight stay in Igloo Lodge.

Greenland Tours: Disko Adventure

Greenland Tours

Disko Adventure

4 days in Disko Bay incl. hiking and kayaking

Greenland Tours: Hearts of the Inuit

Greenland Tours

Hearts of the Inuit

6 days during winter in Disko Bay with Inuit settlement visit

Greenland Tours: Northern Lights & Icebergs

Greenland Tours

Northern Lights & Icebergs

4 days in Ilulissat incl. dog sledding & Northern Lights tour

5. See the midnight sun

Midnight sun in Greenland. Photo by Jurga Rubinovaite

Tip

Check this website to find the sunset/sunrise times for where you are headed.

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One of the most special things to do in Greenland in summer is seeing the midnight sun. If you are traveling above the Arctic Circle between May and August, you can have endless days. The further north of the Arctic circle you travel, the longer the period of midnight sun lasts. 

Seeing the midnight sun was one of the absolute highlights of our trip to Greenland for my son. He just couldn’t believe that the days never ended and so we stayed up past midnight a couple of times and watched the never ending sunset from the terrace of our hotel. Unforgettable experience!

6. Experience a winter wonderland – with dog sledding, Northern Lights, and more

Husky sledding in Greenland with kids. Photo by Jurga Rubinovaite

Tip

Start your winter in Greenland journey here.

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Even in winter, Greenland has so much to offer for families with kids. What child wouldn’t get excited about meeting huskies and going dogsledding! 

In Greenland, dogsledding is a traditional way of getting around and one of the most popular ways for local people to travel in winter. Dogsledding here is, therefore, not purely a tourist attraction, as it is in many other places. You get to experience what it’s truly like – with traditional wooden sleds and real fur to keep you warm. Dogsledding in Greenland is an experience like no other and something the whole family will enjoy. 

The spectacular Northern Lights are another reason to take your kids to Greenland in winter. Greenland is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. Being so close to the North Pole and with pitch-black nights, the aurora display in Greenland is as good as it gets. 

Visiting Greenland in winter is also a great opportunity to go snowmobiling or get on a helicopter. These are the two most popular ways to travel between places when the sea is frozen, and it’s an experience your children will never forget!

7. Get to know the culture

Visiting Greenland with kids - book hotels in advance. Photo by Jurga Rubinovaite

Tip

Greenlandic people are really friendly, but many of them, especially in more remote areas, don’t speak much English. Traveling with kids makes it so much easier to meet the locals and get into a conversation with them. It’s your chance to experience a very unique culture, so don’t miss it!

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Greenland has an incredibly rich culture and it’s something that you should try to experience when visiting Greenland with your children. Take your kids on a town tour and get to know why the houses are so colorful or what the double house numbers mean. Visit a local church, a museum or a crafts shop, talk to the locals, ask if you can see some huskies or husky puppies or try some traditional food

It’s also really interesting to see some traditional Greenlandic clothing. There are many types of costumes, each more beautiful than the last. Some of the handcrafted pieces take years to make. It’s definitely worth seeing! We were really lucky to stumble upon a local wedding in Qeqertarsuaq on Disko Island. It was so interesting to see the costumes and the way people were greeting and cheering the newlyweds when they came out of the church. There were also fireworks at midnight. Apparently, fireworks are used to celebrate all major life events in Greenland. It’s another local tradition that we had never encountered anywhere else before.

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Package Tours

Greenland by Topas – Summer tour: Disko Island, Icebergs and Eqi Glacier

Greenland by Topas

Summer tour: Disko Island, Icebergs and Eqi Glacier

Experience Disko Island’s glaciers, Disko Bay’s huge icebergs and legendary whales, then further north, Eqi Glacier's deafening calving events.

Greenland by Topas – Dog Sledding, Igloo Lodge and Northern Lights in Ilulissat

Greenland by Topas

Dog Sledding and Northern Lights in Ilulissat

Sled dogs are in their element under the frosty sky, crackling snow and fluttering Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) of the Greenlandic winter. Overnight stay in Igloo Lodge.

Greenland Tours: Northern Lights & Icebergs

Greenland Tours

Northern Lights & Icebergs

4 days in Ilulissat incl. dog sledding & Northern Lights tour

North Safari Outfitters: Fishing Expedition

North Safari Outfitters

Fishing Expedition

North Safari Outfitters offers a fishing adventure, in the Fjords of Kangerlussuaq , we will fish for cod, halibut, catfish and arctic char. 

8. Book in advance

Picnic table with icebergs in the background in Qeqertarsuaq on Disko Island in Greenland. Photo by Jurga Rubinovaite

Tip

Here you can find all the practical information for getting to and around Greenland.

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Greenland is now more accessible for all types of travelers than ever before and there is also more and more infrastructure coming every year. But there are also more tourists and most of them travel in the high season, from June to September, which is also the easiest time to visit Greenland with school-going children. 

Most hotels in Greenland have rooms for 2 people, sometimes they’ll accommodate 3 or 4 people in one room and other times you’ll have to book two rooms or look to rent an apartment or a house instead. Since family accommodation options are even more limited, if you are planning to travel to Greenland with kids, make sure to book your trip well in advance. For the summer months, I would recommend booking up to a year or at least 6 months in advance. 

This is also the case for flights, boat or helicopter transfers. The sooner you book – the better the prices and availability.

9. Take your time

Birds flying over floating icebergs in Disko Bay in Greenland. Photo by Jurga Rubinovaite

Tip

If you want to get a taste of what Greenland is truly about, you should plan to spend at least a couple of days in each place you visit. And even more so if you are traveling with kids!

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One of our most important tips for any trip to Greenland is to be flexible and plan more time at each place than you think you’d need. 

Greenland is the world’s biggest island and if you do some research, you’ll quickly understand that it’s impossible to see it all. Not only because Greenland has a lot more to offer than you’d think and not just because the towns are scattered all along the 44,000 km coastline, but mainly because traveling to Greenland requires some good planning, and it also takes time. Delays due to weather are not uncommon, so anticipate that and you’ll have a much more enjoyable trip.

Greenland with kids – a final note

Greenland with kids. Photo by Jurga Rubinovaite

Planning a family trip to Greenland always looked so intimidating to me, so I postponed it for many years. But if you look a bit deeper, you quickly realize that Greenland is a lot more accessible than it looks at first sight. It’s actually quite easy to visit Greenland on your own and it’s a great place to take your kids. 

That being said, every region and every place is different and you have to do some research and plan your family trip well. And when you know what to expect and you come to Greenland with a flexible attitude and an open mind, you and your kids will have the adventure of a lifetime. A trip you’ll never forget!

Article by:  Jurga Rubinovaite

Jurga is the founder and the chief adventure planner behind the family travel blog fullsuitcase.com. Together with her husband and their three boys, she discovers the world one trip at a time, sharing travel inspiration and experience-based tips and helping others to make a dream trip of their own.