Greenland has always been a country for travellers, from the very first moment, about 4500 years ago; when the first people set their seal skin clad feet on the rocks of Greenland to the European explorers at the start of the last century.

The huge distances then, as today, made long voyages necessary and this long historical journey is particularly evident in the narratives of our history at our local museums. You will gain a better understanding of how our ancestors survived in the harsh environment and how they managed to make the best of what the country and the sea had to offer in the way of game animals and materials, as well as learn, how the ability for cultural change and the adaption of new materials was developed.

You will gain a better understanding of how our ancestors survived in the harsh environment.

“The National Museum was fabulous! Accolades to whoever put that together! It was beautiful. We will go back!”


There are museums in all the larger towns in Greenland and they all tell about our connection with the past, each with a focus on the local environment and cultural conditions. Throughout the year special exhibitions are on display at the local museums, including art and photo exhibitions by local and international artists.

Although our history is old, the world of museums in Greenland is fairly new as all the museums have been established within the last forty to fifty years. Each part of the country has its own unique history to tell, sometimes expanded by theme museums like the art museums in Nuuk and Ilulissat, or a museum in the South of Greenland devoted to the history of communication, from the transfer of messages by kayak to the internet.

The airports in Narsarsuaq and Kangerlussuaq, built by the Americans, each have their own museum describing the history of aviation and the importance of the air transports during the Second World War.


Often the museums themselves are part of the narrative they tell, as they are usually located in old buildings near the harbour, in buildings from the colonial era, or in buildings tied to airports.

At the same time, the museums are centers of knowledge of historical events in the local community and the local museum can show the way to ruins from the era of the Norsemen or sites where tents and huts were erected or built by Eskimo immigrants.

At the museums, the stories of the different cultures coming to Greenland meet, and through viewing artifacts and reading about the history, you will learn how waves of nomadic peoples, Norsemen, Christian Europeans, and with time, people from all over the world, have shaped the history of Greenland, and are shaping our modern society of today.

“I think the National Museum should be much more famous than it is. It tells a lot about how people came here and about the struggles between Inuit and the people from the north.”