The Best of Alesund Norway

If you’re looking for an unforgettable trip to Scandinavia, read on for pro travel tips on how to explore Alesund Norway.

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but Ålesund Norway is considered one of the most beautiful cities in all of Scandinavia.

It’s small fairytale town but has a great vibe and perfect for people who want to get away from big city life, even if only for a day trip.

Ålesund is one of those Norwegian towns with an intense love of life. It’s what makes this place so special, the people are always up for something new and exciting. 

With its beautiful scenery, Norwegian culture, and delicious food you’ll never want to leave!

Alesund

Ålesund is the perfect destination for any traveler looking to have fun in Norway or even just escape from it all.

You will never regret coming to this incredible place when you visit Norway – I promise!

Where is Alesund?

Ålesund is a picturesque coastal city that should be at the top of every Norway bucket list.

The nearest large city, Bergen, is a four hour drive away.

Despite its distance from other places, Ålesund Norway has a lot to offer travelers who are willing to make the trek for it’s rich culture and natural beauty.

alesund norway

“Ålesund could be the backdrop for a Nordic fairy tale, with its modern plot twist.” 

This is how National Geographic magazine has characterized this quaint Norwegian town and they are not wrong!

How do you get to Ålesund, Norway?

Getting to Ålesund Norway from Oslo Norway is not difficult.

You can fly or take a train. If you choose to fly, there are multiple options in the region of Oslo-Alesund.

The flight to Ålesund can be between two and four hours long.

It is also a popular destination for cruise ships so you have plenty of options for making your way to this beautiful city.

What is the best way to get around Ålesund?

You could hire a rental car, but it really isn’t necessary.

The best thing about most of Europe is the excellent public transportation available.

I think the best way to get around Ålesund is walking or by hop off bus.

There are three different lines that cover the city center, which includes the central station, and also some of the main areas in the city.

The buses are numbered 1-4, and they run every 20 minutes on the hour.

What is the weather like in Ålesund Norway?

The weather in Ålesund Norway is very unpredictable, but is typically very mild with an average temperature of around 10°C (50°F) year-round.

You can expect it to be wet most of the year, but don’t let this stop you from exploring the beautiful coastal town!

alesund town center

Ålesund summers tend to be cool, mostly cloudy and short.

The winters are very cold, windy and overcast and long! It can get chilly due to the location being so close to the Arctic Circle.

The best time to go is between May and September when it’s warmer out, but not too hot that you’ll melt away – perfect for a fjord cruise.

What is the midnight sun?

Northern Norway is a region of extremes, where the midnight sun shines for days on end in summer and darkness reigns in winter.

The midnight sun is a beautiful experience that many of us don’t get the chance to witness.

It’s one of those rare moments in life where time slows down and you feel like you’re living in a dream world.

Midnight Sun in Alesund
Midnight Sun in Alesund

Ålesund is an extraordinary place to witness the magic that occurs when these two worlds collide.

The 24 hours of sunlight make it possible to explore all day without having to worry about nightfall coming around too quickly!

What clothing should I pack?

In general, it’s best to dress in layers when visiting Norway.

This way, you’ll be able to take off or put on clothes as needed depending on how cold it gets during the day.

In addition, bring gloves and a hat with ear flaps because it will get really chilly outside once night falls.

There are also plenty of warm cafes where you can find warmth inside.

Can you see the northern lights in Ålesund Norway?

Northern lights (Aurora Borealis) are a spectacular natural phenomenon that occurs when large eruptions from the sun’s surface send electrically charged particles into Earth’s atmosphere.

Norway is regarded as one of the best places to see these beautiful displays, and Ålesund has become one of Norway’s most popular tourist destinations for this reason.

alesund norway northern lights

During the winter months, it is not uncommon for people in Ålesund to see northern lights on an almost nightly basis.

If you’re looking for something truly unique and magical to do with your loved ones this Christmas season, consider spending at least 2-3 nights here for your best chances of viewing this amazing sight.

Things to Do in Alesund

For those who love to explore, Ålesund is a hidden treasure and the perfect destination for a few day visit before continuing into the nearby fjords. 

There are so many exciting things to do in Alesund that you won’t know where to begin.

Renowned for its spectacular art nouveau architecture and iconic fjords, Ålesund is unlike any other Norwegian town.

Overflowing with fairytale towers, spires, radical balconies, and turrets, Ålesund is comprised of seven islands that are all connected by tunnels.

Alesund Norway

The town is famous for its cod liver oil production. 

It is also a gateway to the surrounding region with outdoor adventures in the beautiful Sunnmøre Alps or boat trips in the nearby Norwegian fjords. 

It’s also worth noting that there are several festivals throughout the year including:

  • The Norwegian International Film Festival (NIFF) held each October
  • The Ålesund Christmas Market. An impressive winter festival at Christmastime where visitors from around Europe enjoy amazing local food, drink and entertainment.

Some of the top attractions include: 

Visit the Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium (Atlantic Sea Park)

The Atlanterhavsparken is one of the world’s most impressive and largest saltwater aquariums.

The saltwater is pulled directly from the sea, meaning nothing is treated!

Atlantic Sea Park Alesund

Feed the catfish, watch deep sea divers hand-feed the fish, explore Seal Bay (Europe’s largest seal construction), or learn about Humboldt penguins (the most endangered species of penguin on Earth).

Perfect for families or those interested in learning more about our vast oceans and conservation efforts, this aquarium goes out of its way to use best practices and environmental regulations!

Varden

A bird’s eye view point that is a must-see attraction with a 360 degree view of the city and a great place for a great photo.

You will be able to see the famous Molde panorama, with its 222 partially snow-clad peaks.

It takes about 10 minutes by car or about an hour on foot via an easy hike along the nature trail from the centre of Molde.

At the top you will find the restaurant Vardestua, where it’s well worth a stop for refreshments (open May-October).

Puffin Watching at Runde Bird Island

Runde is the southernmost nesting cliff in Norway, and it is home to some of its most diverse bird life.

It has a lot to offer bird enthusiasts with an active population of over 200 species.

Runde Island Puffin Watching

Year-round, there are plenty of species that thrive off this harsh climate but the most famous inhabitants are puffins.

Fun fact: The Dutch ship “Akerendam” wrecked here in 1725 with gold on board, giving Runde it’s nickname of Treasure Island.

Take an Art Nouveau Center Architecture Tour

Sign up for a walking tour to see the best (and most Instagrammable) art nouveau style architecture in Ålesund.

Guided by a local expert, wind your way through enchanting city streets, through the fishing port of Bosundet, past the fisherman’s wife statues, and end in Ålesund’s famous shopping district.

Be sure to check out the hand-blown glasswork at Ingrid Glassverksted.

Climb the Steps up Mt. Aksla

For the best views from town, climb the 400+ steps up to the Mt. Aksla viewpoint.

Mt. Aksla Alesund

Celebrate your triumphant summit with an ice-cream cone at the top or meal at the scenic Fjellstua Restaurant.

Gamle Alesund

Another popular attraction in Norway is Gamle Ålesund, a beautiful collection of old wooden buildings that have been preserved since the 1800s.

This area has a lovely village feel and you can walk around freely admiring all its beauty with no admission fee.

Geirangerfjord

The Geirangerfjord is known as one of the jewels of the Norwegian fjords with its characteristic S shape, a high waterfall and abandoned mountain farms.

Between February and June this mountain is ideal for off-piste skiing and ski touring.

Geirangerfjord

A gentle slope for skiing and cross-country skiing is also available.

Ålesund at Night

The city’s natural beauty never ceases to amaze visitors with its stunning coastal views and picturesque old town, but it’s only at night when this alpine village really comes alive!

The streets are lit up by lanterns, music fills the air from street performers playing acoustic guitars or singing folk songs, while vendors sell everything from grilled fish sandwiches to steaming cups of coffee.

It feels like being transported back centuries ago as you wander through this beautiful Norwegian gem.

Whether you’re visiting for a weekend getaway or staying a few weeks a time, a night in Ålesund is a must!

Where to Eat in Alesund

Ålesund’s Fisketorget (Fish Market) is worth a visit!

Grab a bowl of fish soup here for lunch and find a quiet park bench by the water to eat.

Or head to XL Diner for dinner to sample some bacalao (salted cod-fish).

For vegan/vegetarian options try the organic sister-owned Søstrene Fryd.

Or treat yourself to Maki, a Norwegian-Asian Fusion establishment in the uber-classy Hotel Brosundet.

This hotel is amazing if you are looking for a place to stay. And if you’re up for a bit of mystery, ask for room 47, and you’ll end up with a quirky chic room in the bright red Molja Lighthouse.

Bakeries, Sweets and Coffee

Are waffles whispering sweet nothings in your ear at night? Wafting their way through your dreams?

Well, fortunately for you, Ålesund is home to a pretty awesome array of bakeries and sweets shops.

norway bakery

Stop by the family-owned Martin Walderhaug Bakery for some to-die-for grovkake (spice cake with vanilla icing). This place has been cooking up Norwegian sweets since 1893.

Or try the Apotekeren Cafe in the Art Nouveau Centre (and former pharmacy lab) for chocolate cake and a heavenly cappuccino.

Jacu coffee takes the proverbial cake in town! Head here for an award-winning morning blend or to pick up some beans.

Or try the quirky Invit Espresso Bar — half designer furniture store, half espresso bar where you can enjoy a cappuccino (or a slice of heavenly chocolate cake) out on a barge.

Tips for eating out in Ålesund

When you’re visiting a new country, it’s always a good idea to immerse yourself and experience the local cuisine.

To do this like a pro, go for dinner early (between 18:00 – 19:30) and make your reservation as soon as possible because restaurants fill up quickly!

Also, try sticking with Norwegian classics such as fish stew or meatballs if you want to fit right into the culture—and don’t forget dessert!

Ålesund is known for its delicious waffles that come topped with ice cream, fruit, chocolate sauce–you name it!  

Try them at least once your visit as they are a local favorite.

Where to stay in Alesund Norway

Quality Hotel Waterfront Ålesund is a great option for those who want to enjoy the beauty of this city.

Its modern design and sea views are perfect for those who want to be close to nature.

Guests rave about its contemporary design and great breakfast.

The First Hotel Atlantica has an excellent position in the town center.

Norhostel Apartment and Ytterland Apartments are great for those on a budget.

There are also several cheaper-than-life accommodations farther out of city, including several camping sites.

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