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Grytviken is a former whaling station on South Georgia. South Georgia's northern coast is pierced by many fjords, and during the height of the harvesting of whales about a dozen of these fjords had settlements devoted to whaling. Of these Grytviken is the only one with a small civilian population, and with some buildings kept in repair.

At the height of the whaling boom Grytviken even had a movie theatre. There is a museum in Grytviken, and cruise ships occasionally visit.

Several abandoned whale catchers have been beached, and abandoned along the shore of Grytviken.

Ernest Shackleton is known for the phenomenally arduous journey he, and a few of his men, made, in a converted lifeboat, from Antarctica to South Georgia, to seek help after their ship was wrecked. After making the 900 mile journey in some of the roughest waters on Planet Earth Shackleton climbed the icy pass from his landing place on the south shore to Grytviken.

Shackleton is buried in Grytviken.