Nanoq – the first arctic museum in Finland and in Europe

The Arctic Museum Nanoq was inaugurated in June 1991 in Jakobstad (Pietarsaari) in Finland and is the first Arctic museum in Europe. Nanoq displays the Arctic and Antarctica, as well as surrounding areas and is also a tribute to the cultures of the last Arctic peoples. The museum’s name Nanoq comes from Greenlandic and means polar bear. At Nanoq you can get acquainted with
Arctic peoples, cultures and customs, and hear exciting stories from famous expeditions to the North and South Pole.

Over the years the museum has grown to become a vibrant Arctic cultural centre, which is visited annually by thousands of guests from all over the world.
The museum area is situated in the middle of the forest and consists of different cottages that have been built over the years. Each cottage has their own story to tell. The main building is built to resemble a peat house from northern Greenland. Nanoq has had cooperation with various museums during the years, including the Andrée Museum in Gränna – Swedem, the National Museum of Helsinki, Arktikum in Rovaniemi and the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Italy.

In 2005, Nanoq was chosen as the most interesting tourist destination in Finland.



Pentti Kronqvist - Arctic explorer and museum director

Pentti Kronqvist is a retired firefighter from Pietarsaari, but he is also an arctic explorer and a museum director. Pentti was born in Vasa year 1938 and was adopted as a small boy to Fäboda, the area where the museum is now. He grew up near the sea and close to the woods. The broad ices of the Gulf of Bothnia fascinated him already as a young boy.

Pentti worked at the fire department in Jakobstad for 34 years before he retired from being head of the fire department in 1994. He was a specialised paramedic and rescue diver. He was also talented in doing sports, especially running 800 and 1500 meters. Training hard and having a challenging job gave him good qualities to survive the tough conditions in the arctic areas.

Pentti first participated in an expedition to Greenland in 1971. This was the beginning of his arctic adventures. In 1976, Pentti participated in a bigger challenge, skiing from northern Greenland to Canada together with Christer Boucht and Hans Koivusalo. During this trip he met the Thule inuits for the first time and got fascinated about their lifestyle. In May 1981, Pentti led the Finnish-Norwegian Trans-Greenland expedition across Greenland, the trip was almost 700 km.

Over the years, Pentti has made numerous trips to Greenland. He has also become a wanted lecturer about the Thule inuites and has held lectures in, i.a., Finland, Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and France.

The idea to start an arctic museum to Fäboda was born already in the 1970s, but the time was right to realize the plan in the late 1980s. Pentti has been working as a museum director at Nanoq from the beginning and has been the soul of the place the entire time it has existed. Pentti and the Nanoq Museum have received many honorary awards and medals from various organizations. Among other things, he is an honorary member of the Finnish Arctic Club and Uppik, the Finland-Greenland Association.

Opening hours

1.5 - 31.8 daily at 11-18 (closed in the midsummer weekend).
Outside the season the museum is open every first weekend of the month from 11.00-15.00.
Other times by agreement
Tel. 045 640 1312


Preschool children free
Children 5€
Students 8€ / with guided tour 13€
Adults10€ / with guided tour 15€


Notice board

Nanoq Escape 2022 season-opening on May 30th

Nanoq Escape

Special exhibition 2022

This summer Nanoq’s special exhibition is about the Sámi people, “MÁTTUT – Juuret – Rötter – Roots”.

The exhibition opens on May 27th.

The photographs and objects in the exhibition tell about the core of Sámi culture: family and nature, and thus also the beauty of the northern indigenous culture.

The exhibition is made in collaboration with the Sámi museum Siida.

Nanoq -team

The board of the association

Summerguides & personel 2021