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The Port of Aalesund

The Port of Ålesund

About the City: The city of Alesund is located in the county of More og Romsdal, Western Norway. It’s the capital of Alesund province. The population of the city is about 43,000.

The city is surrounded by rugged mountains. It’s a popular fishing port, where every tourist can join in. According to a nationwide survey, Alesund is considered to be the most beautiful city in Norway.
The Port: Cruise ships dock in Stornespiren/Prestebrygga terminal, which is found south to the city center. The port is within a walking distance to the majority of sites. The cruise ship pier was enhanced for 200 meters in 2012.

Ålesund, Norway. Photo by Pettersenroar

Currency: The local currency is called Norwegian Krone. ATMs are available in the city and are called MiniBanks. However, it is better to use credit cards for restaurants and shops.
There are not so many currency exchange spots, so the best place to buy Krone is the Tourist Center of Alesund. 10 Krone is equal to 1.20 - 1.60 Dollar.
As a typical Scandinavian country, Norway is famous for extremely high prices for everything, including food and transport. Make sure to have a lot of money when visiting Norway.
Wi-Fi: There are NO free Wi-Fi spots in the city. Libraries do offer Internet access, and some cafes have Wi-Fi connections, which are, however, protected with a password.
ClimateAlesund has cool summers, and windy winters. The climate is marked with a considerable level of humidity. The minimum temperature is - 3°C and the maximum is 20°C. The warmest season is from June 24th to September 14. The cold season starts on November 21 and lasts till March 30. Despite this, you need to dress warmly even in summer, it’s never very warm or hot in Alesund.
LanguageThe local language is Norwegian, which is very similar to Finnish and Swedish. English is widely used by the locals and businesses. Some restaurants have bilingual menus.

Things to Do: 

As the city is very small and simple, there are not too many options for sightseeing. The main places of interest are connected to the natural wonders and historic sites.

City architecture – Alesund itself is an art exhibition. All buildings belong to the popular Art Nouveau style, which creates a magical atmosphere.

Sunnmore Museum is 4 km (2,4 miles) away from the city center. It is an open-air exhibition that consists of an old village and a museum. It displays the life of the locals before the fire of 1904, when all the houses were built of wood. The walls are compiled of logs, and roofs are covered with plants. There are farms, schools, and shops that date back to the 15th century. The Viking culture and history is also displayed in this museum. It has 50 houses and a huge replica of a ship dating back to 400 AD.

Atlantic Sea Park is one of the largest aquariums in Northern Europe. It contains a beautiful environment where the sea creatures of the Arctic Ocean feel completely at home.

Mount Aksia is a budget destination and a great choice for photographers. There is fantastic panorama of the city and the surrounding nature at the end of 418 stairs you’ll need to climb.

The Troll Stairs is a road to the mystical mountains, where you can see waterfalls, deep gorges and stunning fogs. Norwegians believe that the mountains are nothing less than trolls, which play a crucial role in local mythology. Make sure to visit the famous Troll’s Tongue; an extreme rock formation that looks like a viewing platform.

Geiranger Fjord is the most beautiful fjord in the world, according to UNESCO. It lies between spiky green mountains adorned with waterfalls.

Fishing – You can rent a fishing rod from the tourist center. Just leave 50 Krone, which you will get back after returning the rod. Fishing is allowed everywhere, no license is required, and it’s completely free.


Local Seafood Specialties: Ålesund is renowned for its seafood-centric cuisine, with various fish varieties prepared in diverse ways. Whether you dine in restaurants or cafes, you'll encounter an enticing selection of dishes encompassing both international and local flavors. Don't miss the opportunity to savor the city's key exports – cod and herring. Furthermore, you can embark on a culinary adventure by sampling seal or whale meat, typically available in restaurants. Crayfish, shrimp, and salmon also enjoy popularity.

Portion Considerations: Meals in Ålesund are typically served in smaller portions, so if you have a hearty appetite or are curious about serving sizes, it's prudent to inquire with your server before placing your order.

Open-Faced Sandwich Delight: A local culinary specialty in Ålesund is the assortment of open-faced sandwiches, creatively adorned with a medley of ingredients found in your refrigerator. These sandwiches offer a delightful and personalized dining experience.

Beer Enthusiast's Paradise: Beer holds a special place in Norwegian culture, and Ålesund is no exception. Alcohol, including beer, is readily available in restaurants and hotels throughout the day. However, please note that the sale of hard liquor is restricted until 3:00 pm. Moreover, it's essential to be aware that hard liquor sales are prohibited after midnight and on Sundays. The legal drinking age for liquor is 20, while it's 18 for beer and wine. Don't forget to sample schnapps, known locally as aquavit, often affectionately referred to as the "water of life".

Gratuities: While tipping isn't obligatory in Ålesund, it's a common practice among the locals. When settling your bill at a restaurant, it's customary to demonstrate your appreciation by leaving a gratuity for the waitstaff.

History & Culture

Viking Population: The area was previously populated by Vikings, who were early inhabitants of this region.

Seaport Founded in the 1700s: In the 1700s, a seaport with approximately 300 inhabitants was established in Ålesund.

City Status in 1848: Ålesund received the status of a city in 1848 when its population increased to around 1,200 people.

Regional Center: Since becoming a city, Ålesund has served as a regional center for religion, culture, and trade.

1904 Fire: In 1904, a devastating fire destroyed the entire city, including over 850 wooden houses.

Reconstruction Efforts: Emperor William II, who enjoyed vacationing in Ålesund, provided substantial international aid to the city. Military ships loaded with building materials, medicine, workers, and other necessities were sent to aid in the construction of a new town. Architects from around the world collaborated to design the new city, incorporating Gothic and Art Nouveau styles, with a shift from wood to more durable materials like brick.

Art Nouveau Style: The Norwegian version of Art Nouveau in Ålesund features decorations with images from Norse Mythology, including dragons, trolls, and other mythical creatures depicted on facades and sculptures

Local Etiquette: The people of Ålesund are renowned for their calm and polite demeanor, which aligns with the broader Norwegian cultural values. This includes a strong emphasis on self-control, modesty, and the ability to respond appropriately in various social situations. In this context, it is considered respectful to refrain from engaging in behaviors such as speaking or laughing loudly, excessive boasting, or overt displays of affection. The overarching principle is to avoid actions that might be perceived as "too much."

Respect for Personal Space and Privacy: Norwegians, including those in Ålesund, hold personal space and privacy in high regard. Respecting an individual's physical and emotional boundaries is an essential aspect of the local culture.

Friendly and Helpful Nature: Despite the emphasis on personal space and modesty, Norwegians are known for their genuine friendliness and informality. They readily extend a helping hand to strangers, reflecting their warm and welcoming disposition.

These cultural traits contribute to the unique social fabric of Ålesund and enrich the experience of interacting with its residents


Alesund is a small city, and everything is available within walking distance (around 20 minutes). Public transport includes buses and trains, which are very expensive. However, if you are planning to go out of the city boundaries, it is better to rent a car or take a ferry.

This is what ChatGTP advices:

Welcome to Ålesund, Norway! You're in for a treat as Ålesund is a charming coastal town known for its unique architecture, rich maritime history, and breathtaking fjord views. Since you only have one day, let me help you make the most of your time here.

Morning: Explore the Art Nouveau Architecture

Start your day by taking a stroll through the town center, which is renowned for its Art Nouveau architecture. The buildings are adorned with intricate details, and you'll find plenty of cozy cafes. Don't miss Jugendstilsenteret, the Art Nouveau Center, to learn more about the history and significance of this architectural style.

Late Morning: Aksla Viewpoint

Head to Aksla, a hill that offers a panoramic view of Ålesund and its surroundings. You can either climb the 418 steps or take the scenic road to the top. Once there, you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the town, islands, and the Sunnmøre Alps.

Lunch: Local Seafood

For lunch, indulge in some delicious local seafood. Ålesund is known for its fresh fish and seafood. Check out one of the seafood restaurants along the waterfront and savor dishes like bacalao (salted cod) or locally caught salmon.

Afternoon: Ålesund Aquarium and Atlanterhavsparken

Visit Ålesund Aquarium and Atlanterhavsparken, a modern and interactive aquarium. It's not only educational but also offers a chance to see marine life native to the Norwegian coastal waters. The highlight is the large Atlantic Ocean tank, where you can watch fish and marine creatures up close.

Late Afternoon: Explore Brosundet Canal

Take a leisurely walk along Brosundet, the picturesque canal that cuts through the town. Enjoy the atmosphere, stop at a cafe for some coffee or tea, and maybe try a traditional Norwegian pastry. The historic buildings along the canal provide a charming backdrop for your afternoon exploration.

Evening: Sunset at Godøy Island

To cap off your day, consider taking a short trip to Godøy Island. Visit Alnes Lighthouse for a fantastic view of the sunset over the North Sea. The island also has hiking trails if you're up for a bit of adventure.

Dinner: Local Cuisine

Return to the town center for dinner and explore Ålesund's culinary scene. Many restaurants offer a mix of traditional Norwegian dishes and modern cuisine. Try some local specialties and, if you're a seafood fan, don't miss the opportunity to savor the catch of the day.

Remember to take in the fresh sea air and the serene beauty of Ålesund. Enjoy your day in this enchanting coastal town!