Alesund

Ålesund - the Jugend Town of Norway

ålesund city overview

Alesund is probably the most beautiful city in Norway, situated on islands and a peninsula, and with a unique architecture in Jugend style.

It is both a municipality and a city, located on the Norwegian North-Western coast, and has has a population of appr. 43.000.

The architecture makes this city different from any other Norwegian city.  In 1904, a huge city-fire totally destroyed about 850 buildings in the city centre.

The German Emperor Wilhelm II immediately offered his help, and only two days after the fire, the German vessels “Weimar” and “Prinz Heindrich” arrived the city, offering the "First Aid" help that was so needed.

After a relatively short time, Ålesund raised from the ashes, to become one of the most beautiful towns in Norway, in an amazing Jugendstyle architecture.


The Coat of Arms

ålesund coat of arms

The Coat of Arms has been in use since 1898, and symbolizes the importance of fishery for the city.

It shows a ship in silver on a red background. A ship that was so typical for the region during the 18th and 19th century. Then the waves and the fish were added to the arms drawing.

In 1838 Ålesund was established as a municipality. It received it's City Rights in 1848.


Fjellstua, Mount Aksla and the city streets

Alesund overview

If you ever visit Ålesund, you must make a visit to the amazing view point on Fjellstua, just above the city centre.

The Fjellstua Restaurant on Mount Aksla is offering a spectaculare view from the coffe tables, making you want to sit there for hours.

It's quite a steep and narrow road up in the hills, where forest hides most of the view.
And then, like all of a sudden, it all opens up like a widescreen picture, showing an amazing view over the town and the surrounding islands.

From the city park there are stairs leading up to the viewpoint, and many tourists takes this walk. It seems like the stairs will be closed during the 2014-season because of repair work. You can also go by sightseeingbus from the bus station, or by the small, city train.

Street in Alesund, Norway

Just outside the inner, city centre, the streets are getting steep and narrow. That in combination with the many beautiful buildings is adding a charming impression, which again is giving the town it's unique identity.

The climate in Alesund is relatively mild, but from time to time, during the winter, snow and ice makes driving and parking of cars quite a problem in these streets. Most people find them charming, and the streets ands the architecture of the buildings are no doubt adding personality to the city.


alesund hotel accommodation


    Hotels and accomodation at your service when you need it


Ålesund Norway Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik/Fjord Norge AS

A city like this has of course lots of hotels and other accomodations, many of them beautiful situated by the water, or almost in the water actually. If you are looking for cheaper alternatives, like hostels, these are also available.

As you can see from the photos, the city centre is divided by canals. In one of them we find "Brosundet", where the buildings makes the waterfront. Quite unique in Norway, and it's easy to understand why the inhabitants of Alesund are very proud of their town.

Brosundet actually IS the city centre. No other Norwegian city can offer you the environment and cityview you find at this exact spot.

From Brosundet you are at walking distance from the many attractions excellent hotels, fine restaurants, pubs, and much more that you find in Alesund.


Some recommendations

Building in Art Noveau style

From June 15. to August 15. you can attend guided walks in the city, learning about the history of the city, and about the amazing architecture.

Price NOK 100

Under age 16 is free

City Train Ålesund Photo: Arne Ringvold

From June 10. to Aug. 21. you can take the City Train on a guided roundtrip in the city, also including Mount Aksla and Restaurant Fjellstua.

Price NOK 150 (children NOK 70, and Family ticket is 400)

Citysightseeing Bus

From May to September you can buy tickets to "hop-on hop-off" trips with citysightseeing buses. Guided tours that takes you to all the main attractions like Sunnmøre Museum, The Atlantic Park, Ålesund Church and more.

Price NOK 200 (children 100)

Fred Jonny/Møre og Romsdal fylkeskommune   RIB boat

If you want something spectacular you can go on a Wildlife Sea Safari in an open high speed RIB boat.

See the city from the seaside, bird island Runde and a lot more. Bring your camera and have lifetime memories.

Price NOK 795 (must be over 16 years)


The Jugend Style Architecture

jugend style architecture

This is the Jugendstyle Centre where you can learn more about the Art Noveau history. These buildings has many beautiful ornaments, and are mostly in very good and authentic condition. This building is in the typical Jugend architecture.

Over the years, many of the old Art Noveau style houses has been demolished, and have given place for modern buildings in glass and concrete.

The Atlantic Park Aquarium

Fish in Aquarium Photo: Andre Pedersen Atlanterhavsparken

This is one of the largest saltwater aquariums in Northern Europe, and a very popular attraction in Ålesund.

See the fishes beeing fed by divers, and the penguins getting their food by staff members dressed in tails.

The entrance fee is NOK 140 (adults) and NOK 65 for children 3-15 years.

See more ....




How to get here

Norwegian Hurtigruten ship

Ålesund is accessable in many ways, by bus, boat, airplane and more.

Every day, all year through, the Coastal Express, Hurtigruten is calling Ålesund. In the summer, the North bound ship arrives the town around 11, and then departures for Geiranger.

In the winter time, the northbound Hurtigruten goes directly to Molde after docking in Ålesund. From the 2013 season the Hurtigruten will be cruising Hjørundfjorden in  September and October, after the Geiranger season is over.


Ålesund Airport: Photo by Avinor

Ålesund Airport Vigra is an important hub for the region, with connections to several destinations, both domestic and international. 
To get to and from the city airport, you will have to travel a subsea tunnel, as the airport is situated on Vigra, a small island just outside Alesund.

The airport has direct flights to these destinations: Alicante, Antalya, Bergen, Chania, Copenhagen, Las Palmas, London Gatwick, Oslo, Riga, Sharm el Sheik, Split, Stavanger and Trondheim.

Read about Norwegian Airlines


You can get here by express bus from Bergen, Trondheim or Oslo. You can also go by train to Åndalsnes, and by bus from Åndalsnes to Ålesund.


Like many other coastal towns and places, Ålesund has it's origin in the fisherys.  Read about the Fishery Museum in our Attractions in Ålesund page.

For hundreds of years, the town has been a trading centre for the region, and still is. Ålesund has also become an important centre for the maritime cluster of shipping, maritime industry and nautical education.


Sister Cities

Ålesund has "sister-town" relations to

  • Randers in Denmark since 1947,
  • Vesteras in Sweden since 1947,
  • Lahti in Finland since 1947,
  • Akureyri in Iceland since 1949,
  • Borgo a Mozzano in Italy since 1979,
  • Tacoma in USA since 1986,
  • Peterhead in Scotland since 1967
  • Münster in Germany since 2003











Cruise season

On February 18th, the first cruiseship of the year 2014 is arriving Ålesund.  This is the M/S Boudicca, on it's way from Bodø headed for Southampton, England. The day after is M/S Marco Polo visiting.

The main reason for cruise passengers travelling this time of the year is to see the Nordic Light, the Aurora Borealis.

Last year the city was visited by 121 cruise ships bringing  183.222 passengers to visit, while 126 ships has reported coming in 2014.



Møre and Trøndelag Guideservice

Looking for guideservice in Ålesund? Take a look!



Old nautical shop in Ålesund

This is the beautiful Brosundet in Alesund, Norway, and the photo is taken in May 2013.

small fishingboat in ålesund harbour

jugend style architecture in Ålesund

ålesund overview from the harbour

ålesund norway

Fjellstua in Ålesund