• Date Cruise Ship PAX
    Jul 14 2024 Jewel of the Seas 2501
    Jul 15 2024 AIDAperla 4350
    Jul 16 2024 Anthem of the Seas 4905
    Jul 17 2024 MSC Euribia 6334
    Jul 17 2024 AIDAprima 3400

    The Port of Alesund

    The Port of Ålesund

    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.

    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.

    Port Facts

    Aalesund, a picturesque coastal town in Norway, invites you to experience its rich culture, stunning architecture, and natural beauty. The port is a gateway to fjords, mountains, and vibrant local traditions. 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.

    Touristic Information

    Aalesund, renowned for its Art Nouveau architecture, offers a blend of history and modernity. Enjoy panoramic views from Aksla viewpoint and explore the charming streets adorned with unique buildings.

    Top 5 Attractions

    1. Aksla Viewpoint: Enjoy breathtaking views of Aalesund and the surrounding islands. (Free to Access)
    2. Jugendstilsenteret: Visit the Art Nouveau Centre. (Entrance fee may apply)
    3. Ålesund Aquarium: Explore marine life. (Entrance fee may apply)
    4. The Norwegian Fisheries Museum: Discover Norway's maritime history. (Entrance fee may apply)
    5. Godøy Island: Visit Alnes Lighthouse. (Free to Access)

    Nice to Know Facts

    • Aalesund is known for its architectural heritage, rebuilt in Art Nouveau style after a fire in 1904.
    • The town is located on several islands stretching into the sea.
    • The official language is Norwegian, and the currency is the Norwegian Krone (NOK).


    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.
     
    Climate: Alesund 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.
     
    Language: The 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.

    Eating/Drinking

    Savor traditional Norwegian cuisine:

    • Rakfisk: Fermented fish with a unique taste.
    • Rømmegrøt: A creamy porridge served with sugar, cinnamon, and butter.
    • Koldtbord: A buffet-style meal with a variety of cold dishes.

    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

    Transportation

    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.

    Explore nearby attractions with these transportation options:

    • Taxis: Convenient for quick transfers within Aalesund and to nearby towns.
    • Bus Services: Access nearby cities within a short travel distance.

    Easily Accessible Cities:

    • Molde: Approximately 44 km (27 miles), 1 hour by road.
    • Geiranger: Approximately 130 km (81 miles), 2 hours by road.

    Local Customs

    When meeting locals, a simple "Hallo" (Hello) is appreciated. Tipping is customary, typically rounding up the bill in restaurants and taxis.

    Fun for Families

    Up to 6 Years Old: Visit the Ålesund Aquarium for an interactive marine experience.

    7-12 Years Old: Explore the mystical world of the Norwegian Fisheries Museum.

    13-18 Years Old: Hike to Aksla Viewpoint for an Instagram-worthy panorama.

    Google maps

    Alesund on Google Maps

    Local Tourism Office

    Discover more about Aalesund - Local Tourism Office


    Notice: Content and travel advice presented is created by a port moderator and/or AI, courtesy of ChatGPT. It is specifically designed for cruise passengers visiting this port of call. A port moderator could be a local individual, destination expert, port authority, or a tourism agency. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, we recommend that you verify critical information like visas, health and safety, customs, and transportation with official sources before departure.