Cultural Souvenirs from Greenland
Photo – Magnus Biilmann Trolle, Visit Nuuk
Perfect souvenirs – do they exist?
If your definition of a perfect souvenir is something handmade or made with materials unique to the local culture you are visiting, then yes, the perfect souvenir does exist! The following places are where a local Nuummioq would recommend that you buy your traditional Greenlandic culture souvenirs. Please remember to check your country’s rules and regulations on importing caribou, musk ox, whale, and seal skin! Some countries require a slip from the shop where you bought your local treasure.
Buy directly from the artist
Some of the local artists walk around Nuuk to sell their handmade carvings. You’ll be able to find treasures made of tuttu (caribou) or even Greenlandic rubies! It is safe and it helps the local artist and the community when you buy art directly from the artists in Greenland. Usually, the artists will only be able to accept cash, but there are ATMs in Nuuk Center, Brugseni, and Grønlandsbanken. These artists won’t be able to give you the import slip.
A bit further away from the city center, (but close to Hotel Aurora, Kaffivik coffee shop, and Avi’s Play World), is the workshop for local carvers and artists. The artists at Ajagaq have a long Greenlandic tradition of hand-carved cultural art pieces.
With a visit to Ajagaq, you may have a chance to meet the artist at work and you’ll be able to buy your art as it is made.
With two shops (one in Nuuk Centre), Anori Art is a solid choice when you want a broad range of Inuit souvenirs. They have everything from footwear (think seal skin boots) to ceramics and even Greenlandic salt!
This cute shop is about 15 minutes from the city center, but a nice walk through a picturesque area called Mosquito Valley (in Danish). This is a place for the ‘design aware’ visitor, as Inuk Design has won several awards for its unique and eye-catching designs. The designs are available on cutting boards, pillows, posters, etc.! It’s definitely worth a visit if you are feeling adventurous.
Tupilaq Travel (which is across from Katuaq), also sells arts and crafts from local artists.
They have such things as sealskin loafers and cute tee shirts. Why not pop in when you’re strolling around Nuuk?
And while you’re they offer a wide range of tour experiences in collbaoration with the tour operators of Nuuk
Qivuit is for anyone who loves knitting and wearing knitted clothing made out of mainly musk ox wool. Did you know that musk ox wool is softer than cashmere, doesn’t shrink in the wash, and is warmer than sheep wool? What’s not to love?
If you love glass art and want to add to your collection back home, Dooit Design is the place for you! Even if you’re just curious, there are a lot of different arts and crafts to be enjoyed during a visit to the shop right in the heart of the city center.
Do you love books? If so, Atuagkat Bookstore is for you. They have a lot of Greenlandic books available that are also in English! They sell books about Inuit culture, cartoons, poetry, hikes, and nature. It is worth a visit!