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€


Loved the small enchanting place . Exciting stories of the so kind owner that show us around although the museum was closed, and Bono his friendly Dog...thanks!
Tomi Rönkkö
Tomi Rönkkö
Very interesting and definitely worth a visit.
Mirjaleena Newman
Mirjaleena Newman
Extremely well executed and also very educational. The buildings look interesting both from the inside and the outside. The museum has received many impressve donations from various explorers. We could have easily spent more time there but sadly we arrived late and only had 1 hour. There are also organised activities for younger and older kids with rewards. I recommend the museum to everyone!
Sandra ST
Sandra ST
It is a hidden treasure in Pietarsaari, west coast of Finland You can feel the passion for Polar Bear (Nanoq) and Greenland in the founder and his volunteers of this museum. You have to park your car at the designated visitors parking lot. The entrance fee is 10€ per head for an adult. Recommended! Worth to go!
Ekaterina Kryshkina
Ekaterina Kryshkina
Awesome place to visit with very friendly staff! Everyone can find something interesting, from beautiful paintings to fascinating foundings from Arctic expeditions and, of course, wonderful nature around.
Saskia Smids
Saskia Smids
I have studied arctic social-cult.anthropology, so for me this museum was very interesting place, there was so much information that it almost exhausted us. We did'nt know anything about this museum, but the Jakobstad's turist information had advertisments about it. It was very very impressing!
Markus Oja
Markus Oja
One of the interesting hidden treasures of Finland. The different buildings and scenes are well worth seeing. Museum it self is interesting but could use some elimination. Now it's in many places a "pile of all the items we have" and a cafe would definitely be in order. I mean self service ice cream is ok, but would have gladly paid for some sandwiches or some such after a long visit.
Dave Cox
Dave Cox
Thoroughly enjoyed this exhibit of how several Arctic peoples live, and also Finish history, including the Winter War. Knowledge docents, some of which speak English. Structures were built by volunteers, started by one man whom has visited Northern Greenland 5 times.

Notice board

Summer Service on Sunday July 17th at 10 a.m.

Nanoq Bicykle Campaign 20.6 – 31.8.2022.


We here at Nanoq are very happy to announce that we are launching a bicycle campaign together with the kind cooperation of VM Sport and Sportmagasinet Mattsons. The bicycle is a sustainable choice!

Everyone that rides their bicycle to Nanoq gets a free coffee and bun together with a special coupon. You will still have to pay the entrance fee to our museum.
The coupon can be used at either VM Sport or Sportmagasinet Mattsons in Jakobstad.
VM Sport will give a -15% discount on bicycle helmets and bicycle lights when you show your coupon.
Sportmagasinet Mattsons will give a -20% discount on bicycle service and bicycle equipment (not bicycles) with the coupon.
If you don’t own a bicycle you can always rent one from the music café After Eight in Jakobstad.

Remember to ride carefully!

New Nanoq Adventure for Kids


This year the adventure is about Everyman’s Rights and sustainability, something we at Nanoq are very passionate about.The adventure is not only made for kids of all ages, but adults too will find it entertaining.

Our popular polar bear bingo is still part of the adventure, and the polar bears have yet again found new places to hide.

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