As a picturesque port, Ålesund gets most of its visitors from cruise ships. The town is walking distance from the terminal, and even if you don’t go on any excursions you will have an amazing day just walking around and enjoy beautiful Jugendstil (art nouveau) architecture.
The city was built on a row of several islands and from the top of the cliff to Fjellstua you can have a breathtaking view of local fjords and mountains. Take the stairs to the top, from the pedestrian shopping street Kongensgata, follow Lihauggata pass the Rollon statue to the Byparken.
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The attractions in Ålesund and close by:
- The Atlantic Sea Park – Atlanterhavsparken
This is the biggest saltwater aquarium in Northern Europe (4 million liters). Marine animals represent rich northern Atlantic and fjord wildlife. Children will love the touch pool with crabs and fishes. around the aquarium, there are scenic coastal walking trails.
- Fisheries Museum
The museum is located in the 1861 Holmbua warehouse which is one of the rare original buildings that survived a horrific 1904 fire. See the story of fishermen in the area and development of the fishing industry. At the entrance, you will pass through an old grocery shop.
Here you can see Norwegian contemporary artists and other temporary design shows. From the top of the old Bank of Norway building where the museum is located, you can see the entire harbor. With the ticket to this museum, you can also enter to Jugendstil Senteret.
- Aalesunds Museum
Learn about the Sunnmøre Region and its history in this museum. You can see boats and ships, including the Uræd lifeboat and other historic artifacts. With the same ticket, you can go into this museum and the Fisheries Museum on the same day.
This historic island is famous for the Skjonghellaren caves. Here you can see fossils of Arctic fox, sea otter, and ringed seal. There is evidence of human life for at least 2000 years in the caves. The caves are located about 11km from downtown.
- Rollon Statue
If you watched “Vikings” then you remember Ragnar Lothbrok’s brother Rollo. He is the biking that founded Normandy in 911. The statue is located near the steps that take you to the top of Mount Aksla.
- Jugendstil Senteret
This museum is located in an old pharmacy downtown. Check out amazing interior, including a sinuous staircase and florid dining room. On display, you can see textiles, ceramics, furniture, posters, and other artifacts.
- Kniven Viewpoint
It takes 418 steps from downtown to get to this breathtaking viewpoint. Amazing panorama of islands, fjords, and the ocean is going to leave you speechless. It is especially beautiful on a sunny day or at sunset and sunrise.
- Sunnmøre Museum
Just 4km from the city center you can visit this exceptional living village with buildings from the 11th to 16th century. There are over 50 traditional buildings, 40 historic boats, and replicas of Viking-era ships. You can walk around the village, enter homes, and enjoy the greenery.
If you want to go off the grid, this is a place to visit. This is the furthest island from Ålesund, 21 km from the city. Enjoy beautiful views of the ocean, long walks, and see the famous Alnes lighthouse from 1853.
This island has an exceptional bird-watching location at the Makkevika marshes. It is also famous for its 12th-century marble church and the Sommerfesten music festival in July.
- Ålesund Church
Beautiful stone walls and tall glass windows with the nautical theme make this church from 1909 worth visiting. It is just a few minutes walk from downtown and have a small cemetery and a park next to it.
This island is home to the Ålesund airport and also to a long white sand beach. This beach is great for a photoshoot or a long peaceful walk. It is located approximately 20km from Ålesund downtown.
- Waldehuset Yos
This is the only remaining house that was not burnt down in a fire of January 23rd, 1904 when the whole city vanished. Hear an incredible story from a tour guide and see the historic artifacts dedicated to this horrible accident.
It is just a shame to go to Norway and not do any hikes. This easy one-hour long hike offers marked trails and fantastic views from the top. You can see Ålesund and Sunnmørs Alps from here.
Where to stay in Ålesund:
- Aalesund City Apartment
Book this downtown apartment with a kitchen and a terrace if you want to experience life in Ålesund. Choose from 9 apartments of different sizes. Get free WiFi and housekeeping once a day.
- Hotel Brosundet
If you like luxurious hotels Scandinavian way check out this downtown 4-star hotel. The hotel has a restaurant and a bar lounge. Most of the rooms have gorgeous views of the city.
- Scandic Parken
Another 4-star hotel in the center of the city with daily housekeeping, fitness center, restaurant, and bar. They offer free WiFi, free cribs, and more. Check it out now!
- Quality Hotel Ålesund
Rooms with amazing views, free WiFi, free breakfast, terrace, and more are just some of the features of this 4-star hotel. If you want concierge services this is a place for you!
- Quality Hotel Waterfront Ålesund
Definitely one of the most romantic stays in the city, with gorgeous restaurants and bars with the waterfront. This beautiful luxury hotel is minutes away from the city center. See it here!
- Thon Hotel Baronen
In this 3-star hotel, you will get free WiFi, free breakfast, and airport shuttle. Stay here if you need a computer space and a conference room. See the options here.
- First Hotel Atlantica
Spacious rooms with sitting area and working station, free buffet breakfast and free WiFi are great reasons to stay at this hotel! The hotel is connected to a shopping center.
- Scandic Ålesund
Book this 3.5-star hotel if you are looking for a place to stay with the whole family. The hotel has an arcade room, convenient store, 24-hour front desk, and so much more.
- Hotel Noreg
The Art Deco hotel with an indoor pool and a bar is a great choice for couples or friends traveling together. It has a gym, free weekday breakfast, airport transfer, and more. See the deal here!
- Volsdanel Camping
For budget-friendly traveling stay at a no-frills cottage in Ålesund. The cottages are located near the beach. They have a garden, separate sitting area, a kitchen, and free WiFi.