Welcome to Alesund!
One of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, Alesund, Norway, is a beautiful coastal town surrounded by fjords and blessed with over 320 picturesque Art Nouveau buildings. The city’s architectural revival comes from a huge fire that happened at the beginning of the 20th century and destroyed nearly 1,000 old timber buildings and houses. To prevent this from happening again, the city council came up with the idea to rebuild the houses by using plaster, stone, and brick. Today, the city is easy to access via the Bergen to Alesund ferry, is home to one of the largest shipping ports for Klipfish in the world, and is an ideal destination for travelers interested in culture and nature-based activities and attractions.
While tourists rarely venture outside Alesund’s main sights, a worldwide local is a traveler who thinks outside the box and wishes to explore every nook and cranny of the city. This is an insider’s guide of some of the finest attractions in Alesund.
Where to Begin
Explore Alesund’s picturesque Art Nouveau center and admire its magnificent towers. You’ll also learn more about the city’s architecture by paying a visit to the Art Nouveau Center where you will have an opportunity to see a variety of interactive exhibits and displays. Guided tours are available and there is a nice café on-site.
Worldwide Local Tip: To experience Alesund from a different perspective, go on a kayak trip and paddle through places like Brosundet, Slinnings, and Aspevågen. If you are planning this kayak adventure in summer, make sure to pack sunscreen and a hat.
For a local experience, head out to local record shops in Alesund. Serie Antikvariatet is a great place to find rare records and vintage magazines, while Jukebox is a modern record store located in the center of the city. Travelers who wish to learn about the history of Alesund can check out the fantastic Alesund museum. Although the museum is small in size, it offers plenty of material, like how the town was rebuilt after the fire.
Worldwide Local Tip: There are many cool day trips from Alesund worth experiencing. The manager at your Alesund hotel can tell you about the Geirangerfjord and Hjørundfjord, which are the two most picturesque fjords in Norway. There are also many boat tours from Alesund that can take you around the region.
Nature lovers and bird-watching enthusiasts visiting Alesund should visit the lovely Runde Island, the most southerly seabird cliff in the country. The locals call it the Bird Island for a reason. Expect to find 220 different species of birds at this remarkable site. To see the colonies up close, all you have to do is hike up a marked path.
Reaching the peak of Mount Aksla is definitely a must when exploring the coastal city of Alesund. Getting to the top is relatively easy. From going up 418 steps to hopping on a bus or train, there are many ways to reach the top of the mountain. Once you reach the peak, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of the city and the Sunnmøre Alps to rival the sights seen from the air when flying into Alesund airport.
Shopping in Alesund
The locals know about the best shopping spots and will point you in the direction of Trankokeriet, in Moloveien. Situated inside an old warehouse, this cute shop and café offers everything from magazines and postcards, to porcelain and some rather unusual maritime effects. Besides shopping, you can enjoy a good cup of coffee here.
Worldwide Local Tip: Travelers with a sweet tooth will fall in love with Alesund’s treats, from svele, a traditional crescent-shaped butter cake, to skilpadde, a sponge cake with vanilla cream. Stop in at a bakery and warm up from the crisp Alesund weather. There are certainly plenty of seriously delicious desserts to enjoy while visiting Alesund.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Alesund offers something for every traveler. Whether you wish to learn more about the local culture or enjoy outdoor activities, exploring Alesund’s hidden gems and admiring the city’s Art Nouveau buildings as a worldwide local is a travel experience unlike any other.