Greenland Danish Krone - DKK
Most people have heard of Greenland even if they’re not sure where it is located on a map. However you may not know it uses a currency that was originally created for use in Denmark – the Danish krone.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
The krone has a subdivision called the ore. In reality though this isn’t far short of becoming a moot point as the ore now only exists as the 50 ore coin, although you might still see the 25 ore coin as well. The other smaller coins have long since been consigned to the inflationary part of history! The remainder of the coins you can use in Greenland are the 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 coins, all denominated in the krone.
You may also use the banknotes in circulation, ranging from the smallest one – the 50 kroner note – to the largest, which is the 1,000 kroner note. In between you can also find the 100, 200 and 500 kroner notes.
From past to present – the history of the Danish krone in Greenland
Originally the idea was for Greenland to have its own version of the krone in circulation. This, rather predictably, would have been called the Greenlandic krone. Even then it would not have been a currency in its own right, instead being marked out as another version of the krone as used in Denmark.
However even when Greenland was considering bringing in its own form of the currency, the Denmark-based version was being used in everyday life. According to reports gleaned online, the chances are the two currencies would have ended up being used together. This does make you wonder what the point would have been for bringing in a dedicated Greenlandic currency as well. Perhaps this was part of the reason for setting the idea aside.
How to get hold of the Danish krone in Greenland
Greenland is the type of country where you need to be quite well-prepared in terms of getting some money. You can pre-order the Danish krone at a variety of bureaux de change whether you are shopping online or at a local outlet. This is good news because you can be prepared to take some with you.
Once you are in Greenland you will notice it is far easier to get more cash when you are in the major towns. This applies regardless of the method you use to get it. For example the major places will have some cash machines but you’ll be lucky to find any outside of these. The same will apply if you take traveller’s cheques with you to cash in. This latter option isn’t always the best idea though, since traveller’s cheques aren’t the easiest of ways to get money. Not all outlets will exchange them so if you take any at all, make sure they’re not your only way to get any money.
The same pattern is followed when it comes to paying for anything via a credit or debit card. If you’re in a built-up town you should be fine, but anywhere else will be problematic. Put simply, if you are travelling out of town, make sure you have cash on you and plenty of it, just in case.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Danish krone
The Danish krone is a fairly popular currency and it is also used in the Faroe Islands other than Denmark and Greenland. As such it should be easy to place on any currency converter you use to compare it to your own currency. Just select the ISO code (DKK) to locate it quickly. Remember these figures won’t give you any insight into the amount of commission you’d have to pay when pre-ordering your currency, but it does provide you with a place to begin.
If you want to learn more about Greenland a good place to start is ironically the official website for Denmark in the UK at http://storbritannien.um.dk. If you use the search box to look for topics related to Greenland there is some information there that will be helpful.
Travelling safely with the Danish krone in Greenland
Travelling in Greenland is usually quite safe with regard to crime levels. However it should be noted that many crimes have a distinct connection to those who drink too much or take drugs. Thus it is often a good idea to remove yourself from situations where this could be the case. Petty crime and bag snatching isn’t a particular problem though.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember with regard to safe travel in Greenland concerns where it is in the world. This is part of the Arctic region and therefore temperatures here aren’t exactly warm! If you are keen to explore you should be prepared and aware that there are some extremely remote areas here. Many people travel to Greenland by cruise ship and only ever see the busier parts of it, but even then you do not want to be separated from your group or be late to catch your ship.
Where to spend your kroner in Greenland – and what to spend them on
Greenland actually qualifies as the world’s biggest island. It makes the United Kingdom, which is to the south-east of Greenland, look rather small in comparison. Between the UK and Greenland you will also find Iceland, which is fairly tiny compared with the looming and forbidding presence of Greenland. The Greenland Sea laps against the eastern side of the country, while the western side faces Baffin Bay.
The capital of Greenland is a place called Nuuk, which has to be one of the most impressively attractive capital cities in the world – and yet few people have probably heard of it. When you think of a city you probably think of somewhere populated by millions of people. However nothing could be further from the truth in Greenland, since it has well under 20,000 residents that call it home!
You can certainly get some impressive photos from a visit here though, since the city itself features lots of brightly-coloured buildings in shades of red, blue and yellow. Providing the most awe-inspiring backdrop is a mountain called Sermitsiaq, which has the effect of making all those houses look rather like little painted toys. Nuuk is located down in the south-western part of the island, and perhaps one of the best things to do here (other than to wander around one of the smallest cities in existence in terms of people) is to visit the Greenland National Museum. There are some enticing displays here that reveal much about the history of Greenland. You can find out more about archaeological finds here as well as more recent changes in the country. The undoubted highlight is a collection of Qilakitsoq mummies. There are four in total and they are so-called because Qilakitsoq is the name of the archaeological site where they were unearthed over 40 years ago.
If you travel all the way up to the north-eastern part of the country you’ll be in Greenland’s National Park. Not only is the entire island the biggest in the world, Greenland also holds the record for the biggest national park – and this is it. It covers just shy of one million square kilometres, which is so big it’s virtually impossible to even start to imagine. Here’s a rough idea though – the UK is a little over 243,000 square kilometres in size. That means you could fit four whole UKs into the Greenland National Park and still have some space left over! Now that’s some national park. Amazingly enough people do live here, although they number only a little over three dozen in total. Inuit cultures have survived and thrived here for many centuries.
As you can imagine there are some drawbacks to trying to explore much of Greenland. Much of the area is forbidding and not for the faint-of-heart to explore. That’s why an activity called flight-seeing is becoming more and more popular all the time. This basically involves booking a flight to take you over swathes of Greenland so you can see for a greater distance and see more as well. Indeed you will get the chance to look out over terrain that you would never even consider tackling on foot. You might even catch a sight of some of the animals that call this part of the world home, such as seals and whales for example.
Greenland is a country worth visiting if you want to get out and about and see some of nature. Anything from easy activities to far more demanding ones can be chosen, and these can change depending on the time of year. From dog sledding to hiking, this country is perhaps one of the planet’s most daring places for you to visit if you want to experience something truly different on your annual holiday.
We could write a much longer article than this on the delights awaiting you in Greenland. You can certainly spend a fair few kroner here with ease, especially if you pay for experiences such as the dog sledding and flight-seeing. However you would definitely agree that every krone is well-spent if it enables you to see and appreciate as much as possible of the world’s biggest and most impressively-forbidding island.