Best Time to Visit - 10 min read

Best Time To Visit Greenland (Gorgeous Glaciers & Northern Lights!)

Alexis Musgrave

Alexis Musgrave, Updated November 15, 2022

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Greenland is a unique nordic island full of striking glaciers and natural wonders. This country can get surprisingly warm in the summer and is great for adventurers looking for a new place to explore! Travel can be quite expensive to Greenland due to its remote location, but that should not scare you away from the amazing experience. 

The best time to visit Greenland is April, with low crowds and nice spring weather with temperatures reaching 20℉. A flight from Copenhagen will cost about $800. You will find great opportunities to explore nature and the unique culture of Greenland. September is another good time to visit, with temperatures reaching 43℉ and musical festivals across the country.

This hidden gem is not well known to tourists and it can be hard to determine the best time and place to explore Greenland. Follow along with this article to get a sense of the climate, activities, and costs available each month of the year!

When Not To Visit Greenland

As one might expect, winter is incredibly cold in Greenland. Temperatures never get above freezing and sunlight is scarce.

Because of the climate, there is not much to do in early winter, so you may not enjoy a visit in November and December.

December 21st is the shortest day of the year and some parts of Greenland do not see any sun at all, while others only get a few hours. 

This makes it perfect for Northern Lights viewings but not an ideal time for other activities. You will have more options available in late winter and early spring to enjoy everything this place has to offer

Cheapest Month To Visit Greenland

The cheapest month to visit Greenland is February. Travel to Greenland overall can be pretty expensive, as very few airlines fly there and access between towns is sparse. But few cultural activities are going on in February so prices and tourism are low.

Flights to Greenland will cost about $600 round trip from Copenhagen, but if you are living anywhere else in the world there are no direct flights. A nice hotel in the capital Nuuk will cost about $150, but you can find much more affordable housing by staying in popular hostels!

Best Month To Visit Greenland

If you are looking to visit Greenland with the best combination of prices, weather, and tourism level it is best to travel there during the shoulder seasons. September is the best month to visit in fall, with warm temperatures reaching 43℉ and fall festivities everywhere.

Visiting Greenland in spring will let you experience the beautiful white snow without the constant frigid temperatures. April is the best month to visit in spring, as you will find cultural events such as dogsled races and pristine glaciers to explore.

When is the Best Time To Visit Greenland: Monthly Breakdown

January: Best Time To See The Northern Lights

January is the coldest month of the year in Greenland, with peak temperatures reaching just -5℃ or 23℉. You will see about 1.5 inches of snowfall throughout the month and not much sunlight. With only 7 hours of sunlight on average, it is a great time to see the northern lights!

This is a pretty cheap time to visit Greenland seeing as it is quite dark and cold. A flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk will be about $700 roundtrip. 

  • Experince Mitaartut aka Greenlandic Halloween
  • Watch the Northern Lights

Related Read: The Best Time to Visit Iceland

February: Cheapest Month To Visit

It is still very frigid in Greenland in February, with the temperature reaching -5℃ or 23℉ at its highest. There are about 1.7 inches of snow that fall this month. You will find very few crowds and the towns will be peaceful to explore as the sunlight hours increase.

This is the cheapest month to visit Greenland, as a flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk will be about $600 roundtrip. With a good jacket, you can explore the winter scape of Greenland by exploring the beautiful glaciers and wildlife this time of year!

  • Visit the Greenland Ice sheet and Russell Glacier to watch the northern lights
  • Go wildlife spotting in Kangerlussuaq

March: Enjoy Spring Cultural Festivals

The temperatures stay very similar to the rest of the year so far, with temperatures peaking at -5℃ or 23℉. Spring snow brings about 1.9 inches of snowfall over the month. It is a great time to explore the countryside while still catching the northern lights in all their glory.

Prices begin to increase for Greenland travel as the increased sunlight makes snow adventuring perfect! A flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk will be about $700 roundtrip. You will find several festivals in the capital of Nuuk that are worth visiting this time of year!

  • Nuuk Multi Kulti 
  • Experience the ice/snow sculptures of the Nuuk Snow Festival 

April: Arctic Palerfik Dogsled Race

Temperatures begin to increase in Greenland, reaching -1℃ or 20℉ at their peak. With only 1.7 inches of snow falling this month, it is a perfect time to explore the country with mild weather and fewer crowds.

Although April is not the cheapest time to visit Greenland, a flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk will be about $800 roundtrip. However, with the perfect weather and pristine winter landscape, it is an ideal time to visit

  • Watch the Arctic Palerfik dogsled race in Illulissat
  • Taste unique Greenlandic beer at Brewery Immiaq

May: Best Time For Outdoor Sporting

Summer is finally upon Greenland with high temperatures above freezing at 3℃ or 30℉ on average. There is not much precipitation this month, with the country only seeing 1.2 inches of rain and snow on average.

A flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk will be about $900 roundtrip as prices continue to increase as summer approaches. It is the perfect time to catch sight of whales as they venture into cooler waters, and outdoor sporting is at its peak with the warm weather and remaining snow.

  • Maaji Nuan (free sporting activities)
  • Go whale watching

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Denmark

June: High Season Begins

The popular season begins in Greenland in June as average temperatures reach 8℃ or 44℉ and the days are long. There is a good about of rain and snow this month with an average of 2.3 inches of rain falling during the month.

It does begin to get much more expensive to visit in the summer, as a flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk will be about $1,100 roundtrip. You will find 24 hours of sunlight in most parts of the country over the month of the summer solstice, which makes for the perfect time to explore the landscape!

  • Greenlands National Day and the longest day of the year on June 21st
  • Midnight Sun Marathon in Aasiaat

July: Most Expensive Month To Visit

The weather is perfect in Greenland during July, with temperature peaks reaching 10℃ or 50℉ on average! You might run into some cloudy weather, as the island country sees roughly 3.2 inches of rain throughout the month.

July is the most expensive month to visit Greenland, with a single flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk will be about $1,300 roundtrip. You will find various cultural festivals in July and it is a great time to explore the incredible fjords surrounding the major coastal towns.

  • Visit the Aasiaat Kulturfestival 
  • Kayak around a fjord

August: Best Time To Enjoy Arctic Summer

August is the last month of summer in Greenland, as temperatures average to highs of 10℃ or 50℉. The most precipitation of the year falls in August, with an average of 3.6 inches of rain measured throughout the month.

Travel to Greenland is still expensive at the end of the summer season. A flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk will be about $1,200 roundtrip. You will be able to find plenty of festivals to enjoy across the country in major cities.

  • Colourful Nuuk Marathon
  • Disko Arts Festival in Illulissat

September: Nuuk Food Festival

Temperatures begin to cool down as the Northern Hemisphere tilts away from the sun. Average temperature highs in the country reach 6℃ or 43℉. The country sees roughly 3.4 inches of rain throughout the month.

It is still a bit expensive to visit the country, but much more affordable than the summer season. A flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk will be about $900 roundtrip. Between the weather and abundant fall festivals, this is one of the best months to visit Greenland!

  • Qooqqut Festival 
  • Nuuk Food Festival

October: Nordic Cultural Festivals

It is officially cold once again in Greenland in October, as the highest temperatures reach just 1℃ or 34℉. On average the country sees about 2.6 inches of snow and the glaciers begin to grow once again.

Prices bottom out for the rest of the year as the tourist season is officially over. A flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk will be only $700 roundtrip. There are several special festivals celebrating nordic culture to enjoy before the sun begins to disappear for the rest of the year!

  • Akisuanerit Music Festival
  • Nuuk Nordisk Festival 

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Canada

November: Experience Northern Lights On A Glacier

The weather becomes quite frigid in Greenland this month, with peak temperature only reaching -2℃ or 28℉. There are only about 2.8 inches of snowfall during November. This is a pretty moderate time to visit the country!

Prices are cheap in November as there are not many events in action this time of year. A flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk will be about $700 roundtrip. It is a great time to explore traditional Inuit culture to learn how they thrived in the fascinating landscape!

  • Visit the Eqi Glacier in Illulissat
  • Explore Inuit culture

December: Christmas In The Arctic

It is cold and dark in December, with high temperatures reaching -4℃ or 25℉. The winter solstice brings total darkness in parts of the country, which is great for viewing the Northern Lights! It is also a pretty dry month, with Greenland only seeing about 1.2 inches of snow throughout the month.

There are not many activities to partake in this time of year, so your visit will likely be calm, festive, and decorated with nature’s colorful northern lights!

Prices increase slightly for the holiday season in December, with a flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk costing about $800 roundtrip.

  • Take an ocean cruise
  • Take part in unique Greenlandic Christmas traditions

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Norway

When Is The Best Time To Avoid Crowds

October is the best time to visit Greenland to avoid crowds. The temperatures begin to cool as winter sets in, so tourists enjoying the summer sun will have gone already. And since there is not much snow or glaciers to see you will also avoid the winter adventurer crowds. 

Greenland is not the most popular travel destination due to the cold weather and remote locations, you will not run into too many crowds year-round. There will be larger groups in the summer and springtime, but not to the point of having to push your way through the streets!

Can You See The Northern Lights In Greenland? 

Greenland is a great place to see the Northern Lights as in some places they can be seen year round! Visiting the northern parts in winter will give you days of total darkness and around-the-clock northern lights to view. 

In the summertime, you can still see the lights in the evenings, but they will not be as pronounced as in winter.

If you happen to visit during the times of Midnight Sun, you may not see them at all. But you can easily find locations to view the lights throughout most of the year.

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