This is my favorite town in Norway, and actually Alesund has been awarded the title of "The most beautiful town in Norway" by the Norwegian people.
It is located at the western Norwegian coast, in Møre and Romsdal County, and this is an experience you must not miss. The unique Art nouveu style and the many canals dividing the city is amazing, and you will love walking around the streets of Ålesund.
The architecture makes Ålesund different from any other Norwegian city. In 1904, a huge city-fire totally destroyed about 850 buildings in the city centre.
After a relatively short time, Ålesund raised from the ashes, to become (in my opinion) the most beautiful town in Norway, in an amazing Jugendstyle architecture.
Just 20 minutes by car from the city centre in Ålesund you find Alnes Fyr (Lighthouse). It was build in 1876, and is a typical image on Norwegian coastal culture. The cafeteria in the lighthouse sells homemade cakes and coffee, and we recommend the trip to Godøy and Alnes.
This is worth a visit!
If you ever are in Ålesund I will recommend you take the time to visit Sunnmøre Museum and it's amazing exhibitions. Only a few minutes drive from the city centre you find this open-air museum, with a large collection of old houses, and a great collection of old boats and houses.
It's beautifully located, and you can walk around in the quiet surroundings and see how people in coastal Norway lived hundreds of years ago.
More than 55 well preserved buildings, a great collection of old boats and fishing equipment, and even replicas of beautiful viking ships.
The Medieval Age Museum is also located here, so be prepared to spend some exciting hours here.
How to get there:
Bus route 618 has a stop just outside the entrance, or you can take a taxi the short distance from the city centre.
Another "must" in Ålesund, is the amazing view point at 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, but the bus from the buss station in the city take you there in no time. Part of the tour the forest hides most of the view, but 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. The stairs are now beautifully restored.
You can also go by sightseeingbus from the bus station, or taking the small, city train.
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.
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.
Hotels and accomodation at your service when you need it
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.
The Jugend Style Architecture
This is the Jugendstyle Centre where you can learn more about the Art Noveau history. You find it in the center of the town, close to the bus station and the cruise ship harbour.
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
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 ....
Ålesund is accessable in many ways, by bus, boat, airplane and more.
Every day, all year through, the
Coastal Express, Hurtigruten
is calling Ålesund, on it's journey between Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the north. In the summertime, the North bound ship arrives the town around 11, and then departures for Geiranger, before it returns to Ålesund some hours later.
In the winter time, the
northbound Hurtigruten goes directly to Molde after docking in Ålesund. From the 2013 season the Hurtigruten has been cruising Hjørundfjorden in September and October, after the Geiranger season is over.
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.
Read about Norwegian Airlines
You can get here by express bus from Bergen and Trondheim. You can also go by train to Åndalsnes, and by bus from Åndalsnes to Ålesund.
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.
Ålesund has "sister-town" relations to