What no one tells you about moving to Greenland

suitcase mountains

Moving to Greenland – photo from www.artsfon.com

  1. That you can transport all of your life’s belongings with you if you get a job that comes with housing. There are less companies who have this option now, but a significant number of jobs that offer this perk.
  2. That houses here are rented out without a dishwasher and fridge. This one is for the Danes, who normally have these appliances included in their rentals. So if you have the chance, bring along your existing dishwasher and fridge. (Better than in Germany, where you have to bring your own kitchen with you!)
  3. That no one ever checks for ID at the pub. At least, not even when you are ‘young looking’ like me. Maybe because everyone looks young since Greenlanders are the cousins of Asians.
  4. That there’s no such thing as cheap wine, but that expensive wine is reasonably priced. And so is Baileys. So bring other alcohol along with you!
  5. That 2.9 kilos of Quality Street chocolate will cost you $A100 (as of Dec 2015 the cost of sweets and non-smoking tobacco and fireworks are taxed much more heavily).
  6. That you have to ask to get anything. Normally people don’t dish out information on a platter, so if you need to find out something follow up. Even asking for directions, since there are hardly any signs in Greenland (this will change in Nuuk with the Arctic Winter Games in 2016).
  7. That giant mosquitoes will irritate you for a month during the summer.
  8. That it’s actually warm here in the summer time. You can get by with t-shirt and shorts on the warmer days, although when there are giant mosquitoes so you may opt to cover up anyway.
  9. That winter is for eight months of the year (to someone from the tropics). And that you’re probably going to be warmer indoors in Greenland, than indoors in winter in Australia.
  10. That in Greenland, autumn means the beginning of the snow season. Winter and spring are white. And summertime is when the snow melts. So I guess it’s only summer and winter, really.
  11. That the main way people get a regular doctor appointment in Greenland is by ringing between 8.15 – 8.30 in the morning. You can also get online advice at doktor.gl, but you won’t be able to get an appointment. If you ring in you will be in queue for at least half an hour. And you won’t have a regular doctor.
  12. That healthcare is free here. Actually lots of things are free here.
  13. This is so that you can spend all of your money on kaffemiks, and coffee.
  14. That Greenlanders enjoy a rather slapstick humour where they make fun of you. If you fall down from your bike and hurt yourself, they will laugh at you (unless it is very serious). You’re expected to laugh, too.
  15. That there is a higher threshold of acceptance with sex-related jokes in the workplace. Americans, beware 😉

Got any other points? Do share!


12 thoughts on “What no one tells you about moving to Greenland

  1. August 26 2019. I’m interested in moving to Greenland and looking how to do this from Oakland Maryland US. I’m 67 wonder if they have senior citizen apartments. Do I need to get a Visa to live there? My family is partly from Denmark but I only speak English.im Charles Lovell thank you

  2. I love cold weather, thick snow…Ohh yes I love northern lights, though I not seen them when I was in Greenland recently. Sydney is me too hot and the winter is laughable, not cold to me, I seem like a polar bear some say, the colder the better,,,I take cold over noxious heat any day!..I seem a winter soul…Heat sensitive!

    Only how to immigrate from here?….Hmm?!?

  3. You are expected to laugh too. Got me giggling just reading it.
    If you look greenlandic, you are expected to speak greenlandic. Takes me a few days to get in to it.

  4. That is amazing to hear that they’ll ship all your stuff when you move for work. Amazing. Hopefully the boxes they supply are ones that hold your stuff well 😀

    I could live without a dishwasher. Don’t use one and I find washing dishes by hand so much faster. As for a fridge, can’t live without one. And I don’t think I experience such cold weather for so long in a year. I am certainly a person who thrives in the tropics!

    • Hi David. That’s a New one. Everyone is horrified over it!! 😉 but hash has been very expensive for a long time.

      I dont Think this list so so shocking more so that it is the little things that people don’t really think is important enough to tell you 🙂

      On Saturday, 5 December 2015, The Fourth Continent wrote:


  5. Didn’t know that you have to bring your own kitchen in Germany 😮

    I think countries with cold winters do a very good job in getting houses isolated. When I think about it in China in comparison…

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