Explore North

FAQ & Tourist Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to set up my tent?
  • Camping  
    Ilulissat does not have an official camping site yet, but the municipality is working on it.
    People are often recommended to camp near the Ilulissat Icefjord Centre, as there are facilities nearby in the opening hours of the Icefjord Centre.  
  • Inside Unesco Heritage Area
    If you are inside Unesco heritage area, you have to move at least 100 meters a day, to protect the vegetation from trampling and pressure damage.
  • Outside Unesco Heritage Area
    Unfortunately we don’t have a official camping site in town. 
    You are allowed to camp in nature, but take your garbage with you when you leave and be careful with fire.
    Try to camp on spots in nature with no heavy traffic, for instance outside the trails, and you also have to be 5 meters away from houses and roads.  
Where are the public toilets?

When nature calls, you have to go!

In Nature:

  • Dig a small cathole for doing your business. Try not to disturb the arctic flora too much when doing so.
    Please bring out all toiletpaper and other waste from your hikes. I.e. do not leave the toiletpaper in nature. It will be incinerated in town.


  • There is a public toilet by the meat/fish market in Ilulissat and also by the harbour area there’s a public toilet by the containers. 
    Otherwise try one of the cafes, you might have to be a paying customer to be allowed to use their facilities.
    The Icefiord Centre has also several toilets. The sports hall also has some toilets and showers available for a small fee.


  • There are toilet facilities in the Pilersuisoq store. Cafe Emma also has a toilet for paying customers. The sports hall also has available toilets, if it is open.


  • There are toilet facilities in the Pilersuisoq store. The sports hall also has available toilets, if it is open. Otherwise there are no public toilets.


Polar Bear Encounters

The goal should be never place yourself in a scenario where you or the bear are in danger, but you must be ready in case one does. This requires packing a powerful enough weapon, when travelling outside of Greenlandic towns or settlements, in areas with polar bear activity. The strongest defense against polar bears is a powerful rifle (caliber.308 Win or 30-06 or more powerful). Learn how to handle it safely both when it's not being used and when you're under pressure and need to shoot to hit. 
Additionally, arm yourself with a flare gun, which works wonders at keeping polar bears at bay. If a polar bear is close, get rid of it right away. If it has time to settle down near your camp or lodge, it can be significantly harder to scare away. 
How to act if you encounter a polar bear:

  1. Make noise: Polar bears are generally scared of loud noises, so shouting, clapping, or banging pots and pans together can scare them away.
  2. Use flares: Flares can be an effective way to scare off a polar bear. Aim the flare at the ground near the bear, and it should run away from the sudden bright light.
  3. Fire a warning shot: If you are carrying a firearm, firing a warning shot into the air can be an effective way to scare off a polar bear. However, it's important to remember that firearms should only be used as a last resort and only if you are trained in their use.

If you do encounter a polar bear, remember to stay calm and avoid direct eye contact. Slowly back away from the bear while making loud noises and try to make yourself look bigger. If the bear attacks you, stand your ground and use your deterrents.

Gun Laws in Greenland

Tourists are allowed to buy, borrow or rent a rifle in Greenland. However, automatic & semi-automatic firearms -  as well as handguns - are not allowed to be used by tourists. 
If you intend to bring a personal firearm into or out of the country, please contact the police for the proper permits: https://politi.gl/soeg-tilladelse/vaaben/turist 
If you intend to carry a rifle, make sure you are knowledgeable about gun safety. 
Here are the essential tips about gun safety: 

  1. Treat every firearm as if it's loaded: Even if you think the firearm is unloaded, always treat it as if it is loaded. This means keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, keeping your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot, and never pointing the firearm at anyone or anything you do not intend to shoot. 
  2. Use appropriate safety equipment: Wearing appropriate safety equipment, such as eye and ear protection, can help protect you from accidental injury. Make sure you wear safety equipment whenever you are shooting or handling firearms. 
  3. Know your firearm: How it works, how to load and unload it safely, how the safety works and at what distances it should be used. Both for the safety of the people around you and yourself, but also for the animals that you might encounter while out in the Greenlandic nature. 
Boat Season: Navigating Arctic Waters

The boat season in North Greenland is a captivating -yet challenging experience. For larger ships, it is possible to sail all year around, depending on the sea ice situation. For smaller vessels, the season usually spans from May to October in Ilulissat.

In Uummannaq, Upernavik, Qaanaaq and settlements in these areas, the season is very variable depending on the sea ice each year. 
Sea ice dominates the region during the winter months, but as summer arrives, it begins to break up, creating passages for vessels. However, caution is paramount as remnants of sea ice can still linger, causing potential hazards to navigation. Skilled sailors are essential for safe passage, through the se ice.
One of the awe-inspiring sights during the boat season is the majestic presence of icebergs. Towering giants, sculpted by nature's artistry, drift through the frigid waters, creating a surreal and breathtaking atmosphere. Safety distances to icebergs should always be kept, as calvings and rolling icebergs can create tsunami waves. Furthermore, you must pay close attention to iceberg distribution and drift patterns to avoid collisions. 
Temperatures in North Greenland during the boat season can range from 0 to 20 degrees Celsius, with occasional drops below freezing. Proper insulation and layered clothing are vital to withstand the cold and maintain safety. 
Whales are a common sight in these waters during the boat season. Many species of whales gracefully navigate the Arctic depths, providing a captivating spectacle for sailors. Respecting their space and adhering to guidelines for responsible wildlife viewing is crucial to preserve their natural habitat. 
The boat season in North Greenland offers a unique opportunity to witness the wonders of the Arctic. However, it demands the expertise, caution, and respect to navigate treacherous sea ice, admire towering icebergs, endure cold temperatures, and appreciate the majestic presence of whales. 

Where is the pharmacy?

The only pharmacy in most of the towns in North Greenland are at the hospitals, where you need a prescription, after calling the hospital (see the numbers "In case of emergency"

Pills for headache and coughing (Paracetamol, Ibuprophen or Strepsil) or as such can be bought at the local supermarkets, ask the staff.