15 Apr Ålesund
Welcome to Ålesund
Ålesund is a town and municipality in Møre og Romsdal County, Norway. It is located on the west coast of Norway, on several islands and surrounded by mountains and fjords. It is known for its Art Nouveau architecture. The town has approximately 47,000 people and is an essential fishing and seafood processing centre.
The port of Ålesund is also a vital hub for shipping and transportation in the region, with tourism being a significant industry in Ålesund. You will be drawn to the town’s unique architecture, beautiful natural surroundings, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Walking through the streets is like stepping back in time, with colourful buildings adorned with intricate details and whimsical flourishes. We couldn’t resist taking endless photos of the picturesque streets and charming storefronts.
One of the best ways to take in the architecture of Ålesund is to climb the 418 steps up to the Aksla viewpoint. From here, you can see the town spread out before you, with its colourful buildings and picturesque harbour nestled among the surrounding mountains and fjords. It’s a bit of a climb, but the view is worth it. Ålesund was heavily damaged by a fire in 1904, which destroyed most of the town. As a result, it was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style, which gives the city its distinctive look today.
Another highlight of my visit was the Atlantic Sea Park, one of Northern Europe’s largest aquariums. I saw various marine life here, including seals, penguins, and sharks. There were also interactive exhibits where I could touch starfish and crabs and a tunnel to watch fish swimming overhead.
Our favourite part of Ålesund was wandering the streets and soaking up the atmosphere. The town has a laid-back vibe that feels both cosy and cosmopolitan at the same time. We loved exploring the local shops and cafes and chatting with friendly locals who were always happy to share recommendations for things to see and do.
Another highlight of my trip was exploring the nearby islands and fjords. I took a boat tour through the stunning Hjørundfjord, surrounded by dramatic cliffs and waterfalls. We also stopped at a small island to explore and take in even more views of the surrounding landscape.
Ålesund is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves architecture, nature, and good food. With its unique blend of history and stunning natural beauty, it’s a place to leave a lasting impression.
How To Get There
Depending on your starting point and preferences, there are several ways to get to Ålesund, Norway.
By Air: The nearest airport to Ålesund is Ålesund Airport, Vigra (AES), located on the island of Vigra, about 17 kilometres from the town centre. There are several daily flights to and from Oslo, Bergen, and other Norwegian and European cities. From the airport, you can take a bus or taxi to Ålesund.
By Car: If you’re driving, you can reach Ålesund via the E39 highway, which connects the town to other major cities in Norway, including Bergen, Trondheim, and Oslo. The journey from Oslo takes about 7-8 hours, while the drive from Bergen takes around 5-6 hours.
By Bus: There are several daily bus services to Ålesund from other Norwegian cities, including Bergen, Trondheim, and Oslo. The journey time varies depending on the starting point but typically takes 6-7 hours from Oslo and 5-6 hours from Bergen.
Where To Stay
Ålesund offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Here are some popular options:
Hotel Brosundet: This boutique hotel is housed in a historic building in the heart of Ålesund, offering unique and stylish rooms with modern amenities. It’s within walking distance of many of the town’s top attractions and has an on-site restaurant serving delicious seafood.
Scandic Parken: This modern hotel is located on Ålesund’s main street, with easy access to shopping, dining, and entertainment. It offers comfortable rooms with great views and a fitness centre, sauna, and on-site restaurant.
Volsdalen Camping: Volsdalen Camping hotel is a scenic accommodation in Ålesund, Norway, offering cozy cabins, caravans, and tent pitches, as well as a restaurant, playground, and stunning fjord views.
Jugendstilsenteret Hotel: Located in a beautifully restored Art Nouveau building, this hotel is perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in Ålesund’s architectural history fully. The rooms are elegantly designed, and feature Art Nouveau details and the hotel also houses a museum dedicated to the town’s Art Nouveau heritage.
Norhostel Apartment: Norhostel Apartment hotel is a budget-friendly accommodation in Ålesund, Norway, providing comfortable apartments with kitchenettes, free Wi-Fi, and easy access to nearby attractions.
No matter where you stay in Ålesund, you will be surrounded by stunning views and plenty of opportunities for adventure and relaxation.
Where To Eat
Of course, no trip to Ålesund is complete without trying some local cuisine. Being a coastal town, seafood is abundant and delicious. We particularly enjoyed a meal of freshly caught fish at a local restaurant, paired with a glass of crisp white wine. And, of course, no visit to Norway is complete without trying some of the local salmon – it was some of the best we’ve ever had. Ålesund is known for its delicious seafood, but the town also offers many other culinary delights.
Here are some popular dining options in Ålesund:
Sjøbua: This waterfront restaurant specializes in fresh seafood, including fish, shellfish, and platters. The menu changes seasonally to reflect the freshest local ingredients, and the restaurant has a cosy atmosphere with views of the harbour.
XL Diner: If you’re in the mood for a classic burger or hot dog, head to XL Diner. This retro-style diner serves American-style comfort food, milkshakes, and other sweet treats.
Apotekergata 5: This trendy restaurant and bar are located in a historic building in the heart of Ålesund. The menu features modern Nordic cuisine, with dishes like reindeer tartare and pan-seared cod, and the bar serves up creative cocktails and craft beer.
Fjellstua Cafe: Located at the top of the Aksla viewpoint, Fjellstua Cafe offers stunning views of Ålesund and the surrounding mountains. The menu includes light bites like sandwiches, salads, coffee, cakes, and pastries.
Bro: This cosy restaurant is located in a historic town centre building and serves modern Norwegian cuisine. The menu changes regularly to reflect seasonal ingredients, and the restaurant has an impressive wine list.
No matter where you dine in Ålesund, you will find delicious food and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
If you’re looking for a unique and personable travel destination, we highly recommend visiting Ålesund. Whether you’re interested in art and architecture, outdoor adventures, or simply soaking up the local culture, this town has something for everyone.
Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own.