5 Things To Do In Ålesund That Everyone Will Enjoy
Norway continues to be a place that I reminisce about constantly. I loved the few weeks I spent there and hope to get back soon since there's still so much to see. One of the areas I had a lot of fun in was Ålesund, a city on the west coast of the country that is right at the entrance to the incredible Geirangerfjord.
The city is full of beautiful views, friendly people, and is the gateway to a lot of fantastic activities and excursions you can only find in Norway. While there are a lot more than just five things to do, these are some of my personal favorites.
If you look up pictures of Ålesund, you're most likely going to find a lot of shots from this spot. The top of this mountain provides a fantastic panoramic view of the city. You can see just how amazing the architecture and layout of the city is.
There are a few ways to get to the top, use the 418 steps to the top like I did, drive, or take the city train.
Once you're there, you can go out on the platform to get that winning picture and visit the restaurant or cafe if you'd like. If you take the steps like I did, the offerings from the cafe are a great way to reward yourself for making the climb, at least that's how I justified it.
One thing that Alesund is known for is its art nouveau inspired architecture and history. A great place to learn more about this is at the Art Nouveau center in the city. After a great fire in 1904 much of the city was destroyed and had to be rebuilt into the city it is now. Rooms inside the Art Nouveau center will show you what the city was like before the fire, and shows authentic decor from the period as well as several different exhibits.
If you're a history geek like I am, it's a neat place to learn more about how the city has morphed into what stands today.
Although it's slightly out of the main city, this open air museum was one of my favorite places in the area. When I visited I was lucky enough to get the place almost entirely to myself, so there was plenty of time to explore and enjoy the scenery.
Sunnmøre is basically a collection of old Norwegian homes. There are different exhibitions and activities that walk you through Norway's history and the development of their culture. Since it's outdoors, it's great for everyone since you don't have to be cooped up inside and there's plenty activities and things to do.
This striking red and white lighthouse is from 1876 and is a symbol of traditional Norwegian coastal culture. In fact, it's a protected site that now houses a small exhibition and offers some great homemade souvenirs.
The best part about the lighthouse is undoubtedly its incredible location and the scenery it offers. You can get a fantastic look at the ocean and Norway's amazing coastline. The main house also has a little cafe where you can try some traditional Norwegian treats, so this spot is a win-win in my book!
It's only open from March-September and the hours change depending on the season, so make sure you have all the correct and updated information before you decide to stop by.
I'm a firm believer that learning about the history of the places you visit will help you to appreciate the experience and culture more. It's for that reason that I recommend the Aalesunds Museum.
This isn't your normal history museum, though. It took me at least 15 minutes longer than expected to find because it's actually right on top of the center of the city! That's right - on top. You have to go up to find it, but once you do it's very rewarding with a great view over the entire city.
It's also another open-air museum, so you don't have to feel like you're wasting the day by staying cooped up inside. The different buildings and outdoor artifacts teach you about the history of the city, and is a part of history itself since the museum was built in 1919.
Make sure you check the opening hours, though. They can be kind of confusing and change with the seasons.
Alesund is a popular stop for cruises, but just a few hours in the city isn't enough time to do everything that this Norwegian gem has to offer. It's great location with a lot of activities that range from museums to going on sea wildlife safaris - yes, that's a real thing. If you're traveling as a couple or with a group, or solo like I did, this area is sure to have something that will make you smile!