Ålesund municipality encompasses a large geographical area made up of islands and mountains.The island of Sula, home to Mount Sulafjellet and the Devold factory, and the island of Giske, home to Alnes lighthouse and the lovely beaches at Vigra, are also nearby.

But let’s start in the centre of Ålesund itself. One stormy winter’s night in 1904, Ålesund was devastated by a dramatic fire which razed the whole town to the ground and made more than 10,000 people homeless.However, Ålesund was very quickly rebuilt in the distinctive Art Nouveau style by young architects and craftsmen.This gave the town a unique architectural style, and Ålesund now has the biggest continuous concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in Norway. The Art Nouveau Centre in the heart of Ålesund is a national resource centre on the Art Nouveau style.Take the amusing time machine at the centre back to 1904 and soak up this exciting period of Norwegian history.
Walking up the 418 steps to the top of Mount Aksla is a rewarding experience.There are no skyscrapers in Ålesund, but if you want to get to the town’s roof, this is the way to go.You can’t even really say that you’ve been in Ålesund unless you’ve been on the top of this mountain.The pedestrian street is a good place to start, and you can walk a few steps away from the Tusenårstrappa steps to the first great viewpoint across the town.You then cross Byparken park where you can nod to the statue of Viking king Rollon from Giske.Enjoy the various viewpoints with names such as Strykejernet and Byrampen on the way up.

If the walk up and the steps haven’t taken your breath away, then the view surely will, of the North Sea on one side and the Sunnmøre Alps on the other, the town at your feet and the bird island Runde on the horizon. After a short break, you can follow the path further into the mountains to Rundskue and walk down to the road Borgernes veg, which follows the sea back to the town, or you can study the fun wooden figures in the forest on the way back down through Vannspringdalen valley.Conclude the walk with one of the town’s well-known fish dishes, such as Bacalao de Noruega, lobster soup or clipfish pizza.

Ålesund is surrounded by the sea, and fisheries have been the very lifeblood of the town.You should thus pay a visit to Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium and Science Centre to experience life in the sea.

Other experiences nearby

The coast has a rich industry and fishery history.The sea was no obstacle to islanders.Although the islands are now linked to the mainland by bridges, island hopping to Nordøyane and Ona is still a great experience.This is the perfect area for a cycling holiday, visiting the beautiful white sandy beaches and the different lighthouses on your way.

The fjords are also closer than you might think.The Geirangerfjord and the Hjørundfjord are the two best known fjords in Norway.They are as spectacular in winter as in summer, maybe even more so, especially when it’s cold and frosty.

How to get to Ålesund

Ålesund Airport Vigra is the closest airport, just a 20-minute drive from the centre of town.It has daily departures to other large Norwegian cities and towns, and international flights.

The train to Åndalsnes corresponds with buses to Ålesund.
By boat: Havila Voyages and the Hurtigruten coastal express.
By bus: Night and day bus services from Oslo, as well as good bus services to Bergen and Trondheim.
By car: Easy to get to from Bergen, Oslo and Trondheim.

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Travel Inspiration

Articles written by our team of local guides and experts to give you an insight into the range of experiences to explore in the Northwest region. Figure out what you would like to see on your trip and then add specific activities, accomodation, places to eat and transport in your custom trip planner.

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