The home base for Norway’s largest cod-fishing fleet, Ålesund sits on a narrow, fishhook-shaped sea-bound peninsula. Despite its primary source of income, this is no regular Norwegian port. After a devastating fire in 1904, the city was rebuilt in curvaceous Jugendstil – art nouveau – style and today remains Scandinavia’s most complete and harmonious example of the era. Here’s a list of Top 5 things to do while in Ålesund, Norway.
5. Visit the Ålesunds Museum
The town museum gives exciting insight into Ålesund’s history through pictures and artefacts. Explore the exhibitions of the great town fire of 1904, fisheries, regional boats and World War II, and the fantastic town model depicting Ålesund in 1898.
Ålesunds Museum is beautifully situated right in the middle of Ålesund town centre with excellent harbour view and museum park. The museum building itself is originally from 1919, and still today its distinctive character shows signs of earlier times.
The museum has a lot to see, so allow yourself time to visit the four floors and view the buildings outside. The real highlights are the upstairs rooms that were built to look like recreations of businesses from bygone eras. They have an excellent photography studio and darkroom setup with well explained instructions on how the elements functioned, a beauty salon, and a dentist’s office with the creepiest drawings of dentists you have ever seen. There is also a full sized replica of the enclosed life boat, with a sound track and an area to visit inside to see what it would be like living in it for six months!
4.Visit the Ålesund Church
The old church, built in 1855, burned down in the great fire of Aalesund in 1904. It was a stone church, but burning pieces of wood were blown through the windows and started a fire inside.
The present church was built in 1909 and designed by the Norwegian architect Sverre Knudsen in a romanesque style . The walls are in Norwegian marble and the church can seat 850 people.
The lime wood altarpiece carved by Nicolai Mejdell shows Jesus praying in the presence of his sleeping disciples. The big stained-glass rear wall window shows Jesus on the cross. There are several wood carvings and stained-glass windows, some with images of the main trade of Aalesund, fishing. The decorations were completed between 1918 and 1928.
Be advised that this place is not open to the public and if you want in, you will have to sneak in during service, for example at the Sunday service. The church is close one of the best viewpoints in Alesund, Markvegen.
3. Visit the Atlantic Sea Park
An outstanding opportunity to see close up, the creatures beneath the sea surface of the magnificent North Atlantic Seas. Good off road, flat parking.
It is ideal for all ages, it’s easy to access even with moderate difficulty walking, lots of pools filled with Fjord water and holding every conceivable type of crustacean, fish and many other types of species found in the deep, in semi natural tanks.
In addition, they have playful photogenic Otters, naturally entertaining Seals and Humboldt Penguins to make you grin and brighten your day.
A fivers feeds the fish in a vast tank while knowledgeable staff explain about the types of fish before you.
So all in all an ideal destination not to be missed by all ages or an entire family
2. Take a hiking trip to Sukkertoppen aka the Sugar top
From Sukkertoppen (The Sugar Top), you can get a magnificent view with both city, coast and fjord in one! From the centre of Ålesund you can drive, bicycle or take the local bus to Hessa and eventually park at the primary school, just west of the roundabout in Hessaskaret. Cross the road above the school and follow the Sukkertoppvegen westwards until you find the sign where the path starts, at the right by number 22. The path is gravelled in the beginning, passes a grove and the path is clearly visible (but might be wet and dirty) all the way to the top. You are past half the way when passing the transmitter mast. An unforgettable view expects you!
1. Go to the Fjellstua Viewpoint
And finally we get to our most recommended thing to do while in Ålesund. The Fjellstua viewpoint.
A striking panorama over the city of Älesund, Sunnmøre Alps and the ocean. A view that you’ll hardly forget. It will remain in your mind forever. Not necessary to mention that it’s special for unforgettable photos. There are many ways for anyone to reach this area. It depends on the weather on your visit day. It depends on your fitness too.
If you decide to go uphill on foot, it’s very steep and a little bit risky, because in some points the map isn’t very helping and you may be lost. You may use your car (if any) and climb the 418 steps from the Town Park. In summer there is a tourist train and try to get the details about it.