Alesund Travel Guide: Top 20 Things to Do in Alesund, Norway

Perched on the edge of the majestic Norwegian fjords, Ålesund is a city that often feels like a secret whispered among travelers. With its Art Nouveau architecture, stunning ocean views, and gateway to some of Norway’s most breathtaking natural wonders, Ålesund is a place that deserves to be more than just a footnote in your travel diary. It’s a city that combines beauty, history, and adventure in a package so picturesque, it feels like stepping into a postcard. I’m here to guide you through the enchanting world of Ålesund.

Alesund distinct downtown views in Norway

A City Reborn from Ashes

The Phoenix of Norway

In 1904, Ålesund faced a devastating fire that left the city in ruins. What rose from those ashes is nothing short of architectural poetry. The city was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style, making it a unique treasure trove of intricate facades, ornate towers, and whimsical turrets. Walking through Ålesund is like wandering through an open-air museum dedicated to Art Nouveau, with each building telling a story of resilience and rebirth.

Gateway to the Fjords

Nature’s Grandeur at Your Doorstep

Ålesund is your quintessential launchpad into the profound beauty of Norway’s fjords. The Geirangerfjord and Hjørundfjord are just a stone’s throw away, offering activities from kayaking in tranquil waters to hiking up daunting peaks for those panoramic shots that no camera can do justice to. The city itself, spread across several islands, is enveloped by the ocean, making it a haven for seafood lovers and maritime enthusiasts.

Culinary Delights and Cozy Corners

A Taste of the Sea

In Ålesund, the ocean doesn’t just shape the landscape; it flavors the cuisine. The city’s culinary scene is a delightful exploration of fresh, locally-sourced seafood. From elegant dining experiences to cozy, family-run establishments, the taste of the sea is never far from your plate. And let’s not forget about the coffee culture; there are numerous spots to enjoy a warm cup as you gaze at the harbor, wrapped in the comfort of Norwegian hospitality.

Adventure Awaits

Thrills for the Brave

For the adrenaline junkies and nature lovers, Ålesund doesn’t disappoint. Whether it’s summiting the Sukkertoppen for a stunning view of the city at sunset or venturing into the Sunnmøre Alps for skiing, climbing, or simply basking in the raw beauty of nature, Ålesund offers a myriad of outdoor activities. The city is an adventure hub that caters to every level of thrill-seeker.

Ålesund is a city that invites you to explore, taste, and dive into the heart of Norwegian culture. Whether you’re meandering through the Art Nouveau center, setting sail towards the fjords, or enjoying the simple pleasure of a freshly brewed coffee with a view, Ålesund is a city that promises to capture your heart and ignite your wanderlust.

Come check out our Alesund travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Alesund, Norway.

Alesund Travel Guide: Things to do in Alesund, Norway aerial views of the city

Alesund City Guide: A Brief History Of Alesund, Norway

Its history is as dramatic as the landscape that surrounds it, marked by a devastating event that reshaped its destiny. I’ve learned that to truly understand a place, you must delve into its past. So, let’s take a journey through time to uncover the storied history of Ålesund.

A City Born of the Sea

The Early Days

Long before it became known for its architectural beauty, Ålesund was a thriving fishing community. Its strategic location along Norway’s coast made it a natural hub for maritime trade and fishing, shaping the livelihoods of those who called it home. The sea wasn’t just a source of sustenance; it was the very lifeblood of the community, fostering a deep connection between the people and the wild waters.

Catastrophe Strikes

The Great Fire of 1904

In the early hours of January 23, 1904, a devastating fire swept through Ålesund, leaving the city in ruins. Fueled by strong winds and wooden structures, the flames consumed nearly everything, leaving over 10,000 people homeless in their wake. Yet, from this tragedy emerged a story of resilience and unity that defines Ålesund to this day.

A Remarkable Rebirth

Rebuilding in Art Nouveau Style

What makes Ålesund uniquely captivating is its phoenix-like rise from the ashes. With the help of international aid, including significant contributions from Germany, the city was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style, known in Norway as Jugendstil. Architects and artisans crafted a cityscape adorned with turrets, spires, and ornate facades, turning the town into a living canvas of this elegant architectural style.

A Modern Twist

Today, Ålesund stands as a testament to the determination of its people and the transformative power of creativity. Its streets tell a tale of recovery, with each building serving as a monument to the city’s resilience. It’s a place where history isn’t just remembered; it’s celebrated in every intricate detail and sweeping line.

The Heartbeat Continues

A Thriving Cultural Hub

In the years since its rebirth, Ålesund has evolved into much more than a fishing town. It’s a cultural hub, where the past and present merge. The city’s museums, galleries, and festivals breathe life into its history, inviting visitors and locals alike to partake in its rich heritage.

Ålesund’s story is also one of adventure. Positioned at the gateway to some of Norway’s most famous fjords and natural landscapes, it beckons travelers to explore beyond its streets. Whether it’s hiking up Aksla Mountain for a panoramic view of the city or setting sail toward the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, adventure is always just around the corner.

Alesund houses along the coast

Alesund Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Norway

Start your visit to Alesund by learning about its past at the Sunnmore Museum. This institution is an open-air living history museum that will show you how locals lived life a century ago. The dozens of house you’ll find here boast sod roofs, much as they did in Viking times.

In the main building, you’ll get a chance to check out various displays. These include artifacts dating from thousands of years ago, or reliefs that tell of local Nordic traditions. Perhaps this museum’s best holding: Its collection of Viking Ships. Each of these specimens is many centuries old. Given their well-preserved state, it makes them all the more impressive.

You can easily reach the Sunnmore Museum by hitching a ride on a hop-on-hop-off bus from Alesund. If you’re hungry while at this attraction, grab a bite at the on-site snack bar.

Fans of architecture and art will not want to miss Jugendstilsenteret on a visit to Alesund. This building was home to Swan Pharmacy after its completion in the early 20th century. Built in the Art Nouveau style by architect Hagbarth Martin Schytte-Berg, it is a stunning specimen.

These days, this spot no longer slings pills. Instead, it is one of the best places in town to scope out visual arts. During your visit, you’ll find paintings, illustrations, and other visual media from Norwegian artists on its walls. It also contains period furniture and other decor items from the early 1900s.

More Alesund Attractions

History lovers will also take something away from this attraction. This museum also contains a multimedia presentation which details the recovery of Alesund from its Great Fire. If you’re in the mood to linger in this beautiful space, grab a coffee in its small cafe.

If you’re an avid cathedral hunter, be sure to check out Alesund Church. Despite its stately and “old” appearance, this Lutheran church is young by European standards. Construction crews, following the plans of architect Sverre Knudsen, completed this Art Nouveau masterpiece in 1909.

The original church, which held its first Mass in 1855, was a victim of the Great Alesund Fire. Interior highlights include a model boat, a carved wooden entryway, and the mesmerizing background behind the altar.

Lovers of the outdoors will want to set aside a day to conquer Sukkertoppen. Known in English as “Sugar Top”, this mountain boasts unrivalled views over Alesund. Start by taking a bus to Hessa. Then, begin your trek up this massive ocean-facing promontory.

The trail grade is moderately difficult. As such, you’ll need some degree of fitness to get to the top. Bring lots of water, as well as clothes that will allow you to adjust to the weather. Conditions can go from clear to foggy to rainy in a matter of minutes, so be prepared.

Alesund water reflection in the water

Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Alesund, Norway

As we mentioned above, Alesund suffered a terrible fire in the early 1900s. While virtually the entire town went up in smoke, a couple of houses escaped intact. The Waldehuset Museum was one of those structures.

Known locally as the “miracle house,” legend holds that an angel promised the owner it wouldn’t burn. Story aside, it is a charming peek at what houses looked like before the Alesund Fire. The current owners offer warm greetings to visitors, as well as fresh baked goods.

Alesund locals have made their living off the sea for countless generations. Learn about the animals they’ve encountered, up close and personal, at Atlantic Sea Park. This attraction first opened its doors to tourists in 1951. However, they opened a new and improved facility in 1998. Since then, it has become one of Scandinavia’s biggest saltwater aquariums.

Cultural Things To Do

In all, they have 11 aquariums. This count includes two touch pools, where you can interact with marine life. You’ll see stingrays, groundfish, shrimp, seals, otters, and many others. Another aquarium boasts cold-water animal from the opposite end of the Earth: Penguins! As such, this is an attraction you should visit if you are travelling with children.

If you love marine lights, make time in your schedule to check out Alnes Lighthouse. This red-and-white-striped attraction is the most visited lighthouse in all of Norway. Today, it is not an actively-manned light (for navigation purposes). However, the old keeper’s house is home to an art gallery and a cute cafe.

Want to get a killer view of Alesund, but don’t fancy huff-and-puffing your way up Sukkertoppen? Check out the Fjellstua Viewpoint before you leave town. From an easily-reachable parking lot (serviced by the hop-on-hop-off-bus), you’ll have a short walk to a fantastic vantage point.

source: World Travel Guide on YouTube

Top 20 Things To Do in Alesund, Norway For Visitors

Here’s a list of the top 20 things to do in Alesund for an unforgettable visit:

1. Climb to the Fjellstua Viewpoint

The Fjellstua Viewpoint offers panoramic views of Ålesund, the surrounding archipelago, and the Sunnmøre Alps. A climb of 418 steps from the town park leads you to this spectacular vantage point. There’s also a driving route for those who prefer not to hike. The café at the top serves refreshments, making it a perfect spot to relax and take in the breathtaking scenery.

2. Explore Ålesund’s Art Nouveau Architecture

After a devastating fire in 1904, Ålesund was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style, making it a unique architectural gem in Norway. Guided walking tours are available to learn about the decorative buildings and their history. The Art Nouveau Centre (Jugendstilsenteret) offers deeper insights into the style and its significance. Don’t miss the KUBE, an art museum showcasing Norwegian and international contemporary art.

3. Visit the Atlantic Sea Park (Atlanterhavsparken)

One of Scandinavia’s largest saltwater aquariums, Atlanterhavsparken, is located in Ålesund. It offers close encounters with marine life, including fish from the North Atlantic, octopuses, and seals. The park focuses on education and conservation efforts. Daily activities include feeding times and diver presentations in the large ocean tank.

4. Take a Day Trip to Geirangerfjord

Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is known for its dramatic scenery, waterfalls, and pristine nature. Several tour companies offer day trips from Ålesund, which typically include a cruise on the fjord. Highlights include the Seven Sisters Waterfall and the abandoned fjord farms. It’s an unforgettable experience that showcases Norway’s stunning natural beauty.

5. Stroll Along Brosundet

Brosundet, the canal that separates Ålesund’s islands of Nørvøy and Aspøy, is lined with historic warehouses converted into cozy cafes, restaurants, and boutique hotels. A walk along the canal at dusk offers picturesque views, with the lights reflecting on the water. Brosundet is also a great spot to watch boats come and go. The iconic Apotekergata No. 5 is a must-visit for dining along the canal.

6. Discover Ålesund Church

Ålesund Church, built in 1909, stands out with its stunning stained glass and beautiful interior. The church was one of the few buildings that survived the 1904 fire, making it a significant historical landmark. Guided tours are available, offering insights into its architecture and history. The church is an active place of worship, hosting regular services and concerts.

7. Hike Sukkertoppen (The Sugar Top)

Sukkertoppen is a popular local hiking destination offering another fantastic view of Ålesund and the surrounding area. The hike is relatively easy, suitable for most fitness levels, and takes about an hour to reach the top. From the summit, you can see as far as the islands of Giske and Godøy. It’s a perfect activity for nature lovers and those looking to capture stunning photographs.

8. Visit the Sunnmøre Museum

The Sunnmøre Museum is an open-air museum featuring traditional Norwegian houses and boats, showcasing the region’s cultural history. The museum has over 50 buildings, including farmhouses, fishermen’s cabins, and boat exhibits. A highlight is the replica of a Viking ship, where visitors can learn about Viking history in the area. The museum also hosts various events and workshops throughout the year.

9. Enjoy Ålesund’s Culinary Scene

Ålesund is renowned for its fresh seafood, with many restaurants offering dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. From fine dining to casual eateries, there’s something to suit every palate. Don’t miss trying the local bacalao, a traditional dish made from salted cod. For a unique experience, visit XL Diner, known as one of Europe’s best bacalao restaurants.

10. Kayak in the Ålesund Archipelago

Kayaking tours offer a unique perspective of Ålesund’s Art Nouveau architecture and the stunning coastline. Paddle through calm waters, explore small islands, and get up close to marine wildlife. No previous kayaking experience is required, and tours cater to all skill levels. It’s a peaceful way to connect with Norway’s natural beauty.

11. Explore Alnes Lighthouse on Godøy Island

A short drive from Ålesund, Alnes Lighthouse offers a quaint experience on the rugged coast of Godøy Island. Visitors can climb the lighthouse for magnificent ocean views and explore the small museum detailing the lighthouse’s history. The nearby cafe serves delicious cakes and Norwegian waffles. The surrounding area is great for walks along the beach and hiking.

12. Visit Aalesunds Museum

Aalesunds Museum provides an in-depth look at Ålesund’s history, including the great fire of 1904 and the town’s subsequent rebuilding. The museum also covers the maritime history of the area, with exhibits on fishing, shipping, and World War II. Interactive displays and artifacts make it engaging for all ages. It’s located in the center of Ålesund, making it easily accessible.

13. Take a Boat Tour to Runde Island

Runde Island is famous for its birdlife, with over 500,000 birds nesting here annually. Boat tours from Ålesund offer the chance to see puffins, eagles, and other seabirds in their natural habitat. The island also has hiking trails and a visitor center with information about the wildlife. It’s a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers.

14. Experience the Art Nouveau Architecture Night Walk

Ålesund’s Art Nouveau architecture is even more magical at night when the buildings are beautifully lit. Guided night walks are available, providing insights into the architectural style and stories behind some of the most iconic buildings. It’s a romantic and informative way to experience the city’s unique charm. The walk typically ends at a local café or bar, where you can warm up with a drink.

15. Go Skiing or Snowboarding at Strandafjellet

Just a short drive from Ålesund, Strandafjellet Ski Centre offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Norway. The resort boasts a range of slopes for all skill levels and stunning views of the fjords from the top. It’s a fantastic winter activity, with equipment rental and lessons available on-site. The ski season usually runs from December to April, depending on snow conditions.

16. Shop at the Kremmergaarden Shopping Centre

For those looking to do some shopping, Kremmergaarden Shopping Centre in the heart of Ålesund offers a variety of shops, from local boutiques to international brands. The center also has several cafes and restaurants, perfect for a break between shopping. It’s housed in a beautifully restored Art Nouveau building, adding to the shopping experience. Don’t miss the local craft and design shops for unique souvenirs.

17. Relax at Stadtlandet and Hoddevik Beach

Although a bit of a drive from Ålesund, the stunning beaches of Stadtlandet and Hoddevik are well worth the visit. Hoddevik is particularly popular among surfers for its excellent waves and beautiful sandy beach. Even if you’re not into surfing, the beaches offer a peaceful escape with dramatic landscape views. The area around Stadtlandet is also great for hiking and exploring small coastal villages.

18. Attend the Ålesund Theatre Festival

If visiting in February, don’t miss the Ålesund Theatre Festival, which showcases a variety of performances from Norwegian and international artists. The festival includes everything from drama to comedy, dance, and children’s plays, providing entertainment for all ages. It’s hosted in various venues around the city, including the Ålesund Theatre. The festival highlights the city’s vibrant cultural scene and is a great way to experience Norwegian performing arts.

19. Visit the Jugendstilsenteret (Art Nouveau Centre)

Dedicated to the Art Nouveau style, the Jugendstilsenteret is both a museum and a national centre of Art Nouveau. The exhibitions detail the city’s rebuilding after the 1904 fire and the influence of Art Nouveau across Europe. The centre is housed in an old pharmacy, itself an example of the architectural style. Interactive displays and a well-curated gift shop make it a compelling visit for design and history enthusiasts.

20. Enjoy Ålesund’s Nightlife

Ålesund might be small, but its nightlife is vibrant, with bars, pubs, and clubs offering everything from live music to DJ sets. Terminalen Nightclub is a popular spot for live concerts featuring both local and international bands. For a more relaxed evening, Løkta Island Bar offers a cozy atmosphere with great drinks. It’s a perfect way to unwind after a day of exploring, offering a chance to mingle with locals and other travelers.

Fiskesuppe Norwegian fish soup is a must try dish in Alesund, Norway for travelers

What To Eat and Drink in Alesund, Norway

Ålesund is a coastal town in Norway known for its seafood, particularly its fresh fish, shrimp, and crab.

Here’s a comprehensive list of what to eat and drink while visiting this beautiful coastal city:

1. Bacalao

A must-try in Ålesund, Bacalao is a traditional Norwegian dish made from salted, dried codfish, stewed with tomatoes, onions, and potatoes. Often spiced with garlic and red peppers, it reflects Ålesund’s rich fishing heritage. The city’s location on the Norwegian Sea makes it a prime spot for the freshest cod.

2. Klipfish

Klipfish, or dried and salted cod, is another specialty of the region, given Ålesund’s status as a major fishing port. It’s an ingredient in many local dishes, including the aforementioned Bacalao, and is celebrated for its unique, intense flavor.

3. Fresh Seafood

The cold, clear waters around Ålesund yield an abundant variety of seafood, including salmon, herring, and mackerel. Seafood platters featuring freshly caught fish, along with mussels, shrimp, and crab, are common in local restaurants and offer a taste of the ocean’s bounty.

4. Fiskeboller

Fiskeboller, or fish balls, are made from minced white fish, typically cod or haddock, mixed with milk and flour. Served in a white sauce with boiled potatoes and vegetables, they’re a comfort food staple in Norwegian cuisine.

5. Raspeballer

A traditional Norwegian dumpling, raspeballer, is made from grated potatoes mixed with flour and salt. These hearty dumplings are often served with bacon, sausage, or lamb, along with a side of rutabaga or cabbage for a filling meal.

6. Norwegian Waffles

Norwegian waffles, softer and thicker than their Belgian counterparts, are a popular snack or dessert. Served heart-shaped, they’re typically topped with sour cream, jam, or brunost (a sweet, caramelized cheese), offering a sweet treat any time of the day.

7. Rømmegrøt

A traditional Norwegian porridge made from sour cream, whole milk, wheat flour, and butter, Rømmegrøt is often served with a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar, along with a pat of butter that melts into a rich, creamy delight.

8. Ålesund Fish Soup

A local variant of the classic Norwegian fish soup, Ålesund’s version is creamy and rich, loaded with pieces of fish, shellfish, and finely chopped vegetables. It’s a warm, comforting dish, perfect for the city’s cool, coastal climate.

9. Aquavit

No culinary exploration in Norway is complete without trying Aquavit, a traditional Scandinavian spirit flavored with herbs such as caraway or dill. It’s typically served chilled as an aperitif and is a staple at Norwegian celebrations and feasts.

10. Local Craft Beers

Ålesund’s microbreweries produce a range of craft beers, from pale ales and IPAs to stouts and porters. Sampling these local brews offers insight into Norway’s burgeoning craft beer scene, with many bars and restaurants in Ålesund featuring taps dedicated to Norwegian and specifically local brews.

Ålesund is a foodie’s paradise, offering a wide variety of fresh seafood dishes and local drinks that are sure to satisfy any craving.

Alesund pier dock views in Norway

Top Restaurants In Alesund, Norway

Alesund’s restaurants offer a diverse palette of flavors, from traditional Norwegian fare to international dishes, all with a focus on local ingredients and seafood. Here’s a guide to some of the top restaurants in Alesund that are sure to delight any food lover.

1. XL Diner

Known as one of the best bacalao restaurants in Norway, XL Diner sits at the forefront of Alesund’s culinary scene. Specializing in klippfisk (dried and salted cod), the restaurant elevates traditional dishes with modern twists, offering panoramic views of the harbor.

2. Sjobua Fish Restaurant

Sjobua Fish Restaurant has a long-standing reputation for serving high-quality seafood in a cozy, maritime setting. The menu is a celebration of the ocean’s bounty, with dishes crafted from the day’s catch to ensure the freshest dining experience.

3. Maki

Offering a fine dining experience, Maki focuses on merging Norwegian ingredients with international flavors, creating a menu that’s both innovative and deeply rooted in local culinary traditions. The restaurant’s elegant atmosphere and attention to detail make it a must-visit for a special night out.

4. Lyst Café og Bar

Lyst Café og Bar is a favorite among locals and tourists alike for its relaxed atmosphere and diverse menu. From hearty breakfasts to delicious dinners and cocktails, Lyst is perfect for any time of day. Their commitment to using local ingredients shines through in every dish.

5. Apotekergata No. 5

Housed in a beautifully restored Art Nouveau building, Apotekergata No. 5 blends history with contemporary Nordic cuisine. The seasonal menu highlights the region’s best produce, offering a unique dining experience that’s both sophisticated and unpretentiously delightful.

6. Anno

Located in the heart of Alesund, Anno is a restaurant and bar that combines history with modern culinary techniques. The menu varies from classic Norwegian dishes to international cuisine, all prepared with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients. Anno’s vibrant atmosphere makes it a great spot for both dining and nightlife.

7. Let’s Eat Deli

A gem for those in search of a casual dining experience, Let’s Eat Deli is a charming spot offering sandwiches, salads, and more. With a focus on freshness and quality, it’s the perfect place to grab a quick and satisfying meal while exploring the city.

8. Bro – Fire Grilled Burgers & Bar

For burger enthusiasts, Bro is the go-to destination in Alesund. Offering a range of gourmet burgers alongside a selection of craft beers, this restaurant prides itself on its quality ingredients and the flame-grilled cooking method that gives their burgers a distinctive taste.

9. Momenti Liberi

For a taste of Italy in Alesund, Momenti Liberi provides an authentic Italian dining experience. From freshly made pasta to sumptuous pizzas, the restaurant offers a cozy escape with food that warms the soul.

10. Racoon Coffee & More

A café by day and a lively bar by night, Racoon Coffee & More serves excellent coffee, light meals, and tempting desserts. It’s the ideal spot for a relaxed brunch or an evening drink with friends, featuring an eclectic interior and a welcoming ambiance.

Alesund large red ship docking into the port

Tours For Visitors To Alesund, Norway

Whether you’re drawn to the city’s historical charm, the natural beauty of the surrounding areas, or the adventure of the great outdoors, Ålesund has something special for you. Here’s a detailed list of tours for visitors to Ålesund, ensuring a memorable experience in this jewel of Norway.

1. Art Nouveau City Walk

Dive into Ålesund’s architectural beauty with a guided walking tour around its Art Nouveau city center. Learn about the great fire of 1904 and the subsequent reconstruction that gave the city its distinctive style. This tour is perfect for architecture enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

2. Ålesund Aquarium Adventure

Explore the marine life of the Norwegian coast at the Ålesund Aquarium (Atlanterhavsparken). This tour offers insights into local marine species and ecosystems, including interactive exhibits and the chance to watch feeding times. It’s a family-friendly experience that brings the mysteries of the deep up close.

3. Fjord Sightseeing Cruise

Embark on a scenic cruise from Ålesund to discover the breathtaking beauty of the Norwegian fjords. These tours offer panoramic views of majestic mountains, waterfalls, and idyllic villages. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including seals and eagles.

4. Kayaking on the Ålesund Archipelago

For the more adventurous, a guided kayaking tour around the Ålesund archipelago offers a unique perspective of the city and its surroundings. Paddle through serene waters, explore hidden inlets, and enjoy the tranquility of the fjords.

5. Mount Aksla Viewpoint Hike

Hike up to the Mount Aksla Viewpoint for stunning panoramic views of Ålesund and the surrounding islands. This guided tour combines physical activity with breathtaking scenery, making it a rewarding experience for nature lovers.

6. Runde Bird Island Excursion

A tour to Runde, Norway’s southernmost bird island, is a must for birdwatching enthusiasts. Home to hundreds of thousands of seabirds, including puffins, the island offers an incredible spectacle, especially during the nesting season.

7. Norwegian Fjord Horse Riding

Experience the Norwegian countryside on horseback with a tour that takes you riding on Norwegian Fjord Horses, known for their gentle temperament. This tour is suitable for all levels of experience and offers a peaceful way to connect with nature.

8. Heritage Lighthouse Visit

Visit one of the historical lighthouses near Ålesund on a guided tour that shares the maritime history and cultural significance of these coastal guardians. Some tours may include a boat ride, offering additional sightseeing along the way.

9. Food and Culture Walking Tour

Taste your way through Ålesund on a culinary walking tour that combines local history with modern Norwegian cuisine. Sample traditional dishes, visit local eateries, and learn about the city’s culinary scene from an expert guide.

10. Geirangerfjord Day Trip

Take a day trip from Ålesund to the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, one of Norway’s most famous fjords. Tours typically include a bus trip through breathtaking landscapes, a visit to the famed Seven Sisters Waterfall, and a fjord cruise, providing a comprehensive experience of this natural wonder.

11. Sunnmøre Museum Visit

Explore the open-air Sunnmøre Museum, where you can learn about the region’s history and see traditional Norwegian boats, old farmhouses, and historical artifacts. Guided tours offer in-depth insights into the local way of life in past centuries.

Alesund distinct windows and architecture

Alesund Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

Here’s a comprehensive guide to some of the best places to stay in Alesund.


1. Hotel Brosundet

An elegant option located right by the water, Hotel Brosundet offers a unique blend of modern design and historical ambiance. Each room is tastefully decorated, and the hotel features an in-house restaurant with stunning fjord views.

2. Scandic Parken

Situated in the heart of Alesund, Scandic Parken is known for its comfortable rooms and panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. The hotel also boasts extensive conference facilities, making it ideal for business travelers.

3. Quality Hotel Waterfront

Combining historic architectural elements with contemporary design, the Quality Hotel Waterfront promises a memorable stay. Guests can enjoy amenities such as a fitness center, several dining options, and uniquely decorated rooms that reflect Alesund’s maritime heritage.


4. Lille Kalvoy Coastal Guesthouse

For a more intimate experience, the Lille Kalvoy Coastal Guesthouse, situated on a small island accessible by boat, offers tranquility and stunning natural beauty. The guesthouse provides a traditional Norwegian experience, with fishing and hiking opportunities right at your doorstep.

5. Alesund Guesthouse

Located within walking distance of Alesund’s Art Nouveau center, this cozy guesthouse offers a homey atmosphere and friendly service. With a shared kitchen and comfortable lounge, it’s perfect for travelers looking to meet others.


6. Alesund Hostel

Offering both private rooms and dormitory options, Alesund Hostel is an affordable choice for budget travelers. Guests can take advantage of the communal kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and a central location that makes exploring the city convenient.

7. Norway Hostel Alesund

This hostel is praised for its cleanliness, friendly staff, and comfortable accommodations. With a mix of dormitories and private rooms, it caters to a variety of travelers, providing a comfortable base for those looking to explore Alesund and its surroundings.

Specialty Accommodations

8. Storfjord Hotel

For those seeking luxury in the lap of nature, Storfjord Hotel is a 4-star boutique hotel nestled in the woodlands with stunning views of the fjord. It offers a blend of rustic charm and luxury, complete with a gourmet restaurant and outdoor hot tubs.

9. Alnes Gard

This farmstay gives guests a unique opportunity to experience Norwegian rural life. Located on Godoya Island, Alnes Gard offers cozy accommodations, fresh farm produce, and the chance to engage in daily farm activities.

10. Sunnmore Alps Basecamp

Ideal for adventure seekers, this basecamp provides a comfortable retreat in the heart of the Sunnmore Alps. Offering a range of accommodations from rooms to cabins, it’s the perfect spot for those looking to hike, ski, or simply enjoy the great outdoors.

Whether it’s the luxury of a hotel, the charm of a guesthouse, or the affordability of a hostel, Alesund’s accommodations ensure a comfortable and welcoming stay for every visitor. With such a wide range of options, you’re sure to find the perfect place to call home during your Norwegian adventure.

Sunnmore Alps Is A Great Day Trip From Alesund, Norway

Day Trips From Alesund, Norway

Here’s a curated list of 10 day trips, each offering a unique adventure that promises to enrich your travel experience.

1. Geirangerfjord

Journey to the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, known for its breathtaking beauty, towering cliffs, and dramatic waterfalls like the Seven Sisters. A cruise along the fjord reveals some of Norway’s most spectacular scenery, accessible only by boat. The Eagle Road’s viewpoints provide panoramic vistas of the fjord below. Don’t miss the Norwegian Fjord Centre to learn about the natural and cultural history of this majestic area.

2. Atlantic Road

The Atlantic Road, an engineering marvel, winds its way through islands and skerries connected by several bridges, with the Storseisundet Bridge being the most iconic. This road trip offers dramatic ocean views, especially during stormy weather when waves crash over the pavement. Along the route, opportunities for fishing, diving, and birdwatching abound. The journey can easily be extended to include the charming coastal towns along the way.

3. Runde Bird Island

Runde Island, a haven for birdwatchers, is home to over 500,000 seabirds, including puffins, gannets, and eagles. The island’s hiking trails offer spectacular views and close encounters with its feathered inhabitants. Guided tours are available to learn about the island’s ecosystem and history, including shipwrecks and treasure discoveries. A visit during the nesting season, from February to August, provides the most lively experience.

4. Trollstigen and Valldal

Drive to the heart of Norway’s dramatic landscapes via the Trollstigen mountain road, known for its 11 hairpin turns and stunning vistas. At the top, a viewing platform offers breathtaking views of the mountains and valley. Continue to Valldal for adventures like rafting on the Valldøla River or relaxing at historic farms. The trip combines thrilling drives with the tranquility of Norway’s natural beauty.

5. Molde and The Romsdal Museum

Known as the ‘City of Roses,’ Molde offers enchanting views of over 220 mountain peaks from the Varden viewpoint. The open-air Romsdal Museum showcases traditional Norwegian buildings and daily life. During summer, Molde’s International Jazz Festival brings vibrant music to the city. A ferry ride back provides stunning fjord views, completing a day of cultural and natural exploration.

6. Stranda and Fjord Gondola

Stranda, by the Storfjord, offers the unique Fjord Gondola, lifting visitors to breathtaking views of the fjord, mountains, and the village below. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike or ski (seasonally) the surrounding areas. The village itself is known for its local gastronomy, especially the famous Strandaskinke (cured ham). This day trip offers a blend of stunning scenery and culinary delights.

7. Hjørundfjord and Norangsdalen Valley

Discover the less-visited Hjørundfjord surrounded by the Sunnmøre Alps, offering some of the most beautiful fjord landscapes in Norway. The Norangsdalen Valley, one of Norway’s narrowest valleys, is filled with historical sites and natural beauty, including crystal-clear lakes. Guided tours provide insights into the area’s history, including tales of the valley’s old farms and the 1908 avalanche disaster. This trip is perfect for those seeking tranquility and untouched nature.

8. Kristiansund and The Atlantic Road

A longer trip north leads to Kristiansund, known for its distinctive islands and harbors, and the starting point of the Atlantic Road. The city’s Fishan dock is famous for its traditional bacalao. Kristiansund’s opera house hosts numerous cultural events, showcasing the city’s vibrant arts scene. This journey combines cultural exploration with one of Norway’s most scenic drives.

9. Trondheim

Though further afield, Trondheim can be visited in a long day trip, especially by fast ferry. As Norway’s historical capital, the city is home to the Nidaros Cathedral, Scandinavia’s largest medieval building. The old town, Bakklandet, charms visitors with its colorful wooden houses and cafes. Trondheim blends Norway’s ancient past with lively student-driven energy.

10. Sunnmørsalpene (The Sunnmøre Alps)

For hiking enthusiasts, the Sunnmøre Alps offer some of Norway’s most striking mountain landscapes. Guided hikes range from easy walks to challenging climbs, with panoramic views of fjords and peaks. Winter transforms the area into a skiing paradise. The alps are ideal for those seeking adventure amidst Norway’s dramatic natural beauty.

Alesund snowy winter views of the city

Alesund Transportation Guide

Whether you’re exploring the city’s Art Nouveau architecture, setting off on a fjord adventure, or connecting to nearby attractions, here’s a comprehensive guide to transportation in and around Ålesund.

1. Ålesund Airport, Vigra (AES)

  • The main gateway for international and domestic flights into Ålesund is Vigra Airport, located on an island about 20 kilometers north of the city center.
  • Regular shuttle bus services and taxis connect the airport to the city, offering convenient access for travelers.
  • The journey by bus takes approximately 25-30 minutes, with departures timed according to flight schedules.

2. Public Buses

  • Ålesund and the surrounding area are served by an extensive network of public buses, making it easy to travel within the city as well as to neighboring towns and attractions.
  • The central bus station (Rutebilstasjonen) is the main hub for local and regional bus services, including routes to popular destinations like Geiranger and the Sunnmøre Alps.
  • Tickets can be purchased on the bus, at ticket machines, or via the FRAM mobile app, which also provides route information and schedules.

3. Walking

  • Ålesund’s compact city center and scenic waterfront are best explored on foot.
  • The city’s layout makes it easy to navigate, with most major attractions, restaurants, and shops within walking distance of each other.
  • Strolling through Ålesund offers the chance to admire its unique architecture and beautiful setting at a leisurely pace.

4. Cycling

  • Ålesund is a bike-friendly city with designated cycling paths and bike rental services available, making it an enjoyable place to explore by bicycle.
  • Cycling is a great way to experience the city’s surroundings, including the nearby islands connected by bridges and tunnels.
  • Local tourist information centers can provide maps and suggest cycling routes suitable for various fitness levels.

5. Car Rental

  • Renting a car provides flexibility for exploring Ålesund and the wider region, especially for reaching more remote areas and attractions outside the city.
  • Car rental agencies are available at Ålesund Airport and within the city, offering a range of vehicles to suit different needs.
  • Driving in Norway requires attention to road rules, especially speed limits and the right-of-way at roundabouts, but offers unparalleled freedom to discover the stunning landscapes at your own pace.

6. Ferries and Boat Tours

  • The coastal location of Ålesund makes ferries and boat tours popular options for transportation and sightseeing.
  • Regular ferry services connect Ålesund to nearby islands and communities, offering beautiful views of the fjords and coastline.
  • Boat tours are available for exploring local attractions such as the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, providing a unique perspective on Norway’s dramatic natural beauty.

7. Taxis

  • Taxis are a convenient option for direct travel within Ålesund, especially outside the operating hours of public transport.
  • Taxi stands are located at key points in the city, including the airport, bus station, and major hotels, or can be booked by phone or app.
  • While taxis offer comfort and convenience, they are a more expensive option compared to other forms of transportation.

8. Hurtigruten Coastal Ferry

  • The Hurtigruten, also known as the Norwegian Coastal Express, makes regular stops in Ålesund, connecting it with other coastal towns and cities.
  • This iconic ferry service offers an excellent way to experience the Norwegian coastline, whether for transportation or as part of a scenic cruise.
  • Tickets and schedules are available online, with options ranging from short journeys to longer voyages exploring Norway’s coastal beauty.

Alesund is a small and easy-to-navigate town, and there are several transportation options available for getting around and exploring the surrounding areas. Whether you’re looking for a quick bus ride, a scenic bike ride, or a convenient car rental, there’s a transportation option that will suit your needs.

Voss is a winter wonderland in Norway worth visiting after Alesund

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Alesund?

After exploring the art nouveau splendor and natural beauty of Ålesund, extend your adventure by discovering more of Norway and its neighboring countries. Each destination offers unique landscapes, rich history, and immersive experiences.

1. Bergen

Known as the gateway to the fjords, Bergen charms visitors with its colorful Bryggen Hanseatic wharf, historic hillside homes, and vibrant fish market. Take the Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen for panoramic city views. Explore the composer Edvard Grieg’s home at Troldhaugen. Bergen’s combination of natural beauty, cultural wealth, and historical significance makes it a must-visit.

2. Oslo

Norway’s capital, Oslo, balances modern architecture with abundant parks and waterfronts. The Oslo Opera House and the Astrup Fearnley Museum showcase stunning contemporary design. History enthusiasts will appreciate the Viking Ship Museum. The city’s vibrant café culture and nightlife offer a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

3. Lofoten Islands

Experience the Arctic beauty of the Lofoten Islands with their dramatic peaks, sheltered bays, and pristine beaches. Fishing villages like Reine and Nusfjord offer insights into traditional Norwegian life. Summer brings the midnight sun, while winter offers the northern lights. Outdoor activities abound, from hiking and kayaking to surfing.

4. Trondheim

As Norway’s historical capital, Trondheim is home to the magnificent Nidaros Cathedral, one of Northern Europe’s largest medieval buildings. The city’s old town, Bakklandet, features charming wooden houses and cafes by the Nidelva river. The Ringve Museum offers music history in a beautiful botanical garden setting. Trondheim combines a vibrant student life with rich historical layers.

5. Stavanger

Stavanger, the oil capital of Norway, also serves as the gateway to the Lysefjord and the iconic Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) hike. The city’s old town (Gamle Stavanger) has Europe’s highest concentration of wooden buildings. The Norwegian Petroleum Museum provides fascinating insights into the oil industry’s impact. Nearby beaches and the Flor & Fjære tropical garden on an island offer natural escapes.

6. Tromsø

Situated above the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is known as the “Gateway to the Arctic.” It’s a prime location for viewing the northern lights in winter and the midnight sun in summer. The city’s Arctic Cathedral and the Polar Museum are key attractions. Tromsø’s vibrant nightlife and cultural scene defy its northerly latitude.

7. The Norwegian Fjords

The western fjords of Norway, including Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord (both UNESCO World Heritage sites), offer some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. Cruises and kayak tours allow close encounters with waterfalls and steep cliffs. The scenic Flåm Railway provides breathtaking views. Hiking and cycling offer land-based perspectives of these natural wonders.

8. Svalbard

For a true Arctic adventure, head to Svalbard. This remote archipelago offers polar bear sightings, glacier hikes, and snowmobile safaris. Longyearbyen, the main settlement, has unique attractions like the Svalbard Museum and the Global Seed Vault. The stark beauty and extreme conditions make Svalbard a destination for the adventurous.

Alesund architecture overlooking the water in Norway

Alesund Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

Walking through Ålesund’s Art Nouveau streets, exploring its rich history, and basking in the natural wonders that surround it, one can’t help but feel a part of something truly special. Let’s encapsulate the essence of Ålesund and why it deserves a top spot on your travel bucket list.

A Living Canvas

Art Nouveau Splendor

Ålesund is a masterpiece, a city rebuilt from ashes into a living canvas of Art Nouveau architecture. It’s a visual feast for the eyes, where every building tells a story of rebirth and hope. As you wander through its streets, let the intricate designs and whimsical forms transport you to a bygone era, reminding you of the city’s phoenix-like rise.

Gateway to the Fjords

Nature’s Masterpiece

The natural beauty that frames Ålesund is unparalleled, acting as a gateway to some of the world’s most stunning landscapes. From the serene beauty of the Geirangerfjord to the rugged peaks of the Sunnmøre Alps, Ålesund is your launchpad into the wild heart of Norway. Here, nature is not just observed; it’s experienced, offering adventures that resonate with the soul.

Culinary and Cultural Journey

A Feast for the Senses

Ålesund’s culinary scene is a reflection of its maritime heritage, offering flavors as fresh as the ocean breeze. The city’s restaurants serve not just meals but stories, each dish a testament to the rich bounty of the sea. Beyond cuisine, the city’s festivals and museums offer a glimpse into the vibrant culture and traditions that make Ålesund truly unique.

Alesund stunning high vantage points

Ode To Alesund

The windswept city of Alesund, On Norway’s west coast so fair, Art Nouveau buildings standing tall, With fjords and mountains to spare.

A paradise for nature-lovers, With hikes and kayaking to explore, And seafood feasts to savor, On the waters and the shore.

From museums to festivals, A vibrant cultural scene, And warm hospitality, To make your visit serene.

So come and breathe in the beauty, Of Alesund’s pristine air, And leave with memories to cherish, Of Norway’s wonders rare.

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