How to get to Greenland from anywhere in the world

Greenland offers travellers the chance to experience one of the last great wildernesses on Earth. Whilst Greenland is a remote island (the largest on Earth) getting there is relatively straightforward and today Greenland has multiple travel connections.

If you are looking to explore the majestic beauty of Greenland don’t forget to check our unique Expedition Micro Cruises with 12 guests that explore Greenland during the summer months.

There are two main ways to get to Greenland, either by plane or ship.

By Air

The easiest way to get to Greenland is to fly from Copenhagen in Denmark or from Reykjavik in Iceland.

Option 1: Fly with Air Greenland from Copenhagen, Denmark to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland.

Air Greenland offers a daily flight between the Danish capital Copenhagen and Kangerlussuaq located in West Greenland which takes 4 hours and 40 minutes on a modern Airbus A330-800 neo.

Kangerlussuaq is located around 100 miles inland. It acts as a major hub for Air Greenland and from there you can take a connecting flight to all the major towns in Greenland including Nuuk, Ilulissat and Narsasuaq on smaller aircraft.

The benefit of using this route is that you can stop over in Kangerlussuaq which is one of the easiest places to access the Greenland Ice cap.

The disadvantage of this route is that it involves using connecting flights to reach your final destination. To see timetables and fares please visit Air Greenland.

Option 2: Fly from Iceland with Air Greenland to Nuuk or IcelandAir to Ilulissat, Nuuk, Narsasuaq and Kulusuk in Greenland.

Iceland Air offers direct flights between Keflavík Airport (located around 40 minutes away from the capital Reykjavik) and Nuuk (the capital of Greenland), the town of Ilulissat on the west coast, Narsasuaq in the south and Kulusuk on the east coast. 

The advantage of flying from Iceland is that flights are direct which means less chance of delay. Iceland has great international connections to Europe and North America which helps to reduce travel times rather than flying via Copenhagen depending on your country of origin. Flying via Iceland can also cost less as it removes the need for a connecting flight if visiting Nuuk, Narsasuaq or Ilulissat. 

For guests looking to join a Secret Atlas Micro Expedition Cruise in East Greenland we include a charter flight between Iceland and Scoresby Sund. Find out more here. 

Travel note: From 2025 two airports are undergoing major runway extensions in Nukk and Ilulissat. Currently these are only served by smaller aircraft. When the runways are lengthened there will be added connections. Whilst nothing is confirmed it is hoped that there will be direct connections to North America and Europe.  

By Sea

The other way to travel to Greenland is by ship on an expedition cruise. There are no scheduled ferry routes to Greenland, so a cruise is the only real option.

Expedition cruises to Greenland often depart from Iceland or Northern Europe and visit several Arctic destinations including Greenland. 

The disadvantage of sailing to Greenland is that you spend more of your cruise time crossing at times often tough ocean and less time exploring. 

The advantage of flying to Greenland and joining a cruise is that you are immediately expedition cruising without any long sea days. 

Our East Greenland Explorer Fly and Cruise with just 12 guests spends all its time in the tranquil waters of Scoresby Sund with no ocean crossings.

Greenland Travel tips

  • Flights in Greenland can often be delayed due to weather and fog. It is worth allowing extra time in your travel itinerary to allow for delays which are frequent. 
  • Always book in advance as flights have limited spaces during the summer months. 
  • Use Skyscanner to help find you the best price and connections.
  • Consider a stop over in either Iceland or Copenhagen on your way to Greenland to enjoy these wonderful destinations.

Arriving In Greenland

If you are joining a Secret Atlas Micro Expedition Cruise a transfer will be provided from the airport to the ship. 

For our expeditions in Scoresby Sund, we will transfer you and your luggage from the remote airstrip at Constable Point to the ship that will be anchored close by.

Arriving In Kangerlussuaq

If you are flying from Copenhagen with Air Greenland you will land at Kangerlussuaq airport. 

If you are staying in Kangerlussuaq the airport is on the edge of the small town. You can either walk to your accommodation, take a taxi or use the local bus service.

If you are taking a connecting flight to your final destination then you will likely have a short layover at the airport. Kangerlussuaq airport has limited facilities including a small shop and cafe. If you exit the airport there is also a supermarket a short walking distance. 

Arriving In Nuuk

Nuuk has a taxi and bus service. There are usually taxis available at Nuuk airport. You can also call Nuuk Taxi.

How to Travel Around Greenland

As Greenland’s towns and settlements are not connected by roads the main way to travel in Greenland is either by plane, helicopter or by the sea. All settlements have either a landing strip or heliport. A ferry runs along the coast of West Greenland covering the major towns and settlements.

A great way to travel around Greenland during the summer months is on an expedition cruise. This will allow you to see and experience many places that would otherwise be inaccessible. 

Secret Atlas offers Expedition Micro Cruises and Photo Tours to explore Greenland that take just 12 guests per voyage. You can find out more about them here.

How to Get to Greenland from the UK

There are currently no direct flights between the UK and Greenland. To get to Greenland from the UK you first have to fly to either Copenhagen or Iceland and take a connecting flight to Greenland.

London in the UK has frequent flights between both Keflavik airport in Iceland and Copenhagen airport in Denmark. 

Sometimes due to flight scheduling you will need to do an overnight stop in Copenhagen or Reykjavik. 

Both Copenhagen and Reykjavik are interesting cities to explore and we recommend a stop over to experience these wonderful cities. 

We recommend using Skyscanner to find the best price and connections.

How to Get to Greenland from Europe

The only countries to offer direct flights to Greenland are from Iceland and Denmark. If you are traveling from other European countries you will first need to fly to either Keflavik in Iceland or Copenhagen in Denmark. 

Both Iceland and Copenhagen are well connected to most northern European cities by daily flights. 

From Germany there are over 50 direct flights per day from Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich to Copenhagen and the route is served by Lufthansa and SAS. There are also  several direct flights a day to Keflavik in Iceland.

From Paris there are 15 direct flights per day to Copenhagen by Easyjet, Norwegian and Transavia.

How to get to Greenland from the USA and Canada

There are currently no direct flights between the USA and Greenland although this could change in 2025 with the opening of the new airports in Nuuk and Ilulissat. 

The easiest way to get to Greenland from the USA is to fly to Iceland and take a connecting flight to Greenland. From New York a direct flight to Iceland takes 5 hours and 45 minutes. IcelandAir and Delta fly this route up to 12 times a day from JFK. There are also direct flights to Iceland from Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago and Minneapolis.  

It is also possible to fly to Greenland from the USA via Copenhagen in Denmark although this is a longer route which takes 7 hours and 40 minutes from New York. 

From fly to Greenland from Canada, Air Canada and Icelandair offer direct flights between Toronto and Reykjavik. 

After a long flight a stopover in Reykjavik is recommended before taking a connecting flight to Greenland. 

How to Travel to Greenland from the rest of the world 

To get to Greenland from worldwide destinations you first need to fly to either Copenhagen in Denmark or Keflavik in Iceland.

Both airports  are well connected internationally with direct flights and non-direct flights via other European capitals.

Greenland Travel FAQ’s

How much does it cost to fly to Greenland?

Flights to Greenland are more expensive than average due to its remote location and the lack of airlines and flights. A return flight between Copenhagen and Kanglusuaq can cost upwards of £800 ($1015 USD) return. That is before the cost of adding connecting flights.

We always recommend booking flights in advance to secure the best price. Flights often get booked up in advance to early booking is essential.

How Long does it take to fly to Greenland? 

The flight from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq takes 4 hours and 40 minutes. 

The flight from Keflavik to Nuuk takes 3 hours and 20 minutes. 

Does Greenland have an airport? 

Yes! Greenland has a total of 14 airports located at Aasiaat, Ilulissat, Kangerlussuaq, Kulusuk, Maniitsoq, Narsarsuaq, Nerlerit Inaat, Nuuk Airport, Paamiut Airport, Thule, Qaanaaq, Qaarsut, Sisimiut and Upernavik.

The largest airport with the most passengers in Greenland is Kangerlussuaq Airport which sits just north of the polar circle. Currently Kangerlussuaq is the main hub airport in Greenland with connections across the entire country. 

Alongside the airports Greenland has 47 heliports across the country and 6 aerodromes with no scheduled services at the later. 

If you are looking to explore Greenland in a small group don’t forget to check out our expedition micro cruises to explore East Greenland. 

Explore Greenland