Ålesund - the Jugend Town of Norway

Alesund, Norway
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This town is beautiful. Alesund was awarded the title of "The most beautiful town in Norway" by the Norwegian people.

Located at the western Norwegian coast, 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.

Alesund has a lot to show you when you come:

  • the viewpoint at mount Aksla
  • the Jugend museum
  • Ålesund Aquarium
  • Sunnmøre Museum
  • City Sightseeing

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 one of the most beautiful towns in Norway, in an amazing Jugendstyle architecture.

Fjellstua, Mount Aksla and the city streets

Alesund Fjellstua restaurant
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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.

- "Art nouveau architecture. A Norwegian food festival and a historic harbor. Fjords and mountains. Ålesund could be the backdrop for a Nordic fairy tale—with a modern plot twist".

Quote from National Geographic

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.

Click to see full size Street in Alesund, Norway
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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 Alesund 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
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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

Ålesund Coat of Arms

ålesund coat of arms

The Coat of Arms has been in use since 1898, and symbolizes the importance of fishery.
In 1838 Ålesund was established as a municipality, and received it's City Rights in 1848.

Cruise season

In 2015 more than 100 cruiseships visited Ålesund.  This year (2016) more than 114 ships are expected, bringing more than 200 000 passengers.

Møre and Trøndelag Guideservice

Looking for guideservice in Ålesund? Take a look!

Old nautical shop in Ålesund
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Click to see full size: Brosundet in Alesund, Norway, and the photo is taken in May 2013.
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Click to see full size image: small fishingboat in Ålesund harbour
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Click to see full size image: Jugend style architecture in Ålesund
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Click to see full size photo: Aalesund overview from the harbour
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ålesund norway
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Click to see full size Fjellstua in Ålesund
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