Fairytale architecture in a remarkable natural setting.
In stark contrast to other small Norwegian towns that are filled with white, dark red, and mustard yellow wooden houses, central Ålesund’s beautiful Art Nouveau architecture has more in common with Prague and Brussels.
After a fire devastated the former wooden city in 1904, German money and young Norwegian designers came together to rebuild the city in the popular fashion of the time. Today, the turrets, towers and carvings of Ålesund stand head and shoulders above any other Nordic city as a shining example of the style.
The town is delicately balanced on a collection of islands of all shapes and sizes, helping to create beautiful vistas from almost anywhere in the town. Sunsets at the end of summer can be truly spectacular.
- What to do: Discover the top sights in Ålesund
- Where to stay: Check out the best value hotels in Ålesund
- Getting around: Our guide to transport in Ålesund
- Tours & activities: Save money by pre-booking tours & activities
Ålesund is a great base for exploring the Geirangerfjord and Hjørundfjord, two of Norway’s most picturesque fjords. Hire a car and spend a couple of days touring the region, or take one of several organised boat tours from Ålesund.
If you’re driving yourself, don’t plan a round trip within a day. Spend a night in a hotel, hostel or cabin somewhere in the vicinity of the two fjords and reward yourself with a peaceful evening stroll along the waters edge.
Closer to the town, the Giske archipelago (home to the airport) is full of nature trails, hiking opportunities, beaches and a 12th century marble church.