Ilulissat is Greenland's third largest city and is beautifully situated in Disko Bay on the famous ice fjord, approx. 300 km. north of the polar circle. During the more than 250 years that have passed since the establishment of Ilulissat, the town has steadily flourished. Today, Ilulissat is Greenland’s third largest town with more than 4,500 inhabitants. The town is very vibrant, welcoming and lively, with a wide range of cultural attractions, according to Greenlandic standards.
In Disko Bay, which is located just off the coast of Ilulissat, gigantic icebergs linger in the freezing waters. These icebergs come from the Icefjord, which is located a half hour’s hike south of Ilulissat. These impressive frozen structures are born some 70km/43,5 miles deeper into the fjord by the enormous Sermeq Kujalleq glacier. This 10km/6 miles-wide glacier is the most productive glacier outside of Antarctica. Whereas most glaciers only calve at a rate of approximately a metre/three feet a day, the Ilulissat glacier calves at a rate of 25m/82 feet per day. The icebergs produced by the glacier represent more than 10% of all icebergs in Greenland, corresponding to 20 million tonnes/22 million us tons of ice per day!
These facts, together with the fjord’s extreme beauty, have secured the Icefjord a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Of course, it is not without reason that Ilulissat is the most popular town to visit among guests coming from all over the world to experience the ice fjord, the midnight sun, and the beauty of the Disko Bay in the summer - and in the winter the northern lights and the sled culture… and not least the Greenlandic hospitality. Ilulissat is a very vibrant and pleasant town with a range of cultural attractions, such as Knud Rasmussen's birthplace and art museum, which has a collection of Emanuel A. Petersen's paintings. It was in Ilulissat that the polar explorer Knud Rasmussen was born, as well as his good friend, the eminent dog musher Jørgen Brønlund, who died during an infamous expedition in Northeast Greenland just over a hundred years ago.
Hotel Hvide Falk is centrally located, and as you walk out the front door and head towards the church and museum area just around the corner, you’ll find yourself amid a cultural-historical city walk among Greenlandic culture, the history of the town and modern life. Visit Knud Rasmussen's birthplace and the old wooden Zion Church. A few hundred meters in the direction of the east is the fish and meat market where today's catch of fish and game is sold.
Did you know?
Ilulissat is home to a large number of sled dogs and the dogsled culture is highly cherished here. The many local fishermen use dogsleds when they go out on the Icefjord and load their sleds with large Greenland halibut. The sled is a useful tool just like it has been for more than a thousand years.