Presentation of the destination
Ålesund is a town and municipality with a population of 45,033 people in Norway. Due to a fire in 1904, majority of the buildings in the town that stand today were all built between the years 1904 and 1907. Many of them were built in the Art nouveau style and this gives the town a unique architectural character. Ålesund is also a port city and due to its location on the sea, the climate is relatively mild throughout the entire year. High temperatures in the summer usually reach 15-16° C (59-61°F) and low temperatures in the winter usually do not drop below 0° C (32°F). The official language in Norway is Norwegian and a few other regional languages are also recognized. Norway is located in the time zone UTC +1 except for during Daylight Savings Time in the summer when the time changes to UTC +2. Majority of the population in Norway are ethnic Norwegians at 86% of the population. Norway’s currency is the Norwegian krone.
Points of interests / things to see
The Town Park is a municipal park built in Ålesund in 1885. It was built upon the west side of Mount Aksla and there are a variety of different plants and trees found on its grounds. The front of the park, or the part that faces the street, was built later than the rest, in the years 1921-1923. Visitors wishing to climb to the top of Mount Aksla can find the 418 steps leading to the top of the mountain in this park. The park also pays homage to two important people in the history of Ålesund. The most contemporary is the statue of German Kaiser Wilhelm II because of the aid he provided the city after the fire in 1904. He sent four ships with materials to Ålesund in order to build temporary shelters. The other statue is of a famous Viking from an island just off the coast of Ålesund, Giske Island, whose name is Gange-Rolf or more commonly known as Rollo. Rollo left the country in 911 and went to France and founded Normandy and the later Dukes of Normandy. He was also the ancestor of William the Conqueror who captured England in 1066 which would also make Rollo the ancestor of the English Royal Family.
The Atlanterhavsparken is an aquarium in the town of Ålesund. It is one of the largest aquariums in all of northern Europe and it is a saltwater aquarium. The aquarium was built right on the edge of the ocean, along the west coastline of Ålesund. The aquarium highlights sea life found in the areas around Norway including displays showing what life is like under the water around the fjords. The tanks at the aquarium also highlight the seascapes found below the ocean right off the coast of Norway to give visitors an authentic feel as to what life is like beneath the sea in the area. Visitors can watch the fish being fed every day at 13:00, and from June-August also at 15:30. On the weekends, visitors can feed the fish at 15:00 or instead feed the crabs at any point throughout the day. The aquarium was opened in 1998 by the King and Queen of Norway. Equally impressive as the aquarium are the grounds outside of it. There are great views of the Atlantic Ocean from its premises as well as a penguin park where visitors can see the penguins being fed every day at 14:30. Address: Tueneset Website: www.atlanterhavsparken.no Email address: email@example.com Phone number: +47 70 10 70 70 Opening hours: June 1-August 31: Monday-Friday, Sunday 10:00-18:00, Saturday 10:00-16:00; September 1-May 31: Monday-Saturday 11:00-16:00, Sunday 11:00-18:00. Entrance fees: Adults 155nok, children 75nok
The Fjord Geiranger Sightseeing Cruise departs from the city of Geiranger, located 107 km (67 mi) from Ålesund. Geiranger is a small village of 250 people that is situated where the Geirangelva River empties into the fjord. The Fjord Geiranger has been labeled a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is one of the most popular tourist sites in the country. Geirangerfjord is a 15 km (9 mi) branch of fjords off of a branch of the Great Fjord. The tour is upon the boat MS Geirangerfjord and the trip lasts about 1.5 hours and explains the history of the local fjord farms, the majority of which now lie abandoned. The cruise also goes past the Seven Sisters waterfall. The Seven Sisters waterfall is one waterfall that falls in seven different currents down the side of the fjord. Across from them on another fjord is a single waterfall, which has been named “the Suitor.” It is said that the Seven Sisters flirt and dance down the fjord for the suitor across the way while he watches and teases them from afar. Website: www.geirangerfjord.no Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone number: +47 70 26 30 07 Opening hours: The tour runs from the beginning of May until the end of September, Monday-Sunday at various times throughout the day. Entrance fees: Adults 195nok, children 105nok
Reinheimen National Park is situated approximately 84 km (52 mi) from Ålesund, close to the village of Valldal. The park is made up of a protected mountain area that is 1,969 km2 (790 mi2) in size. The mountains found in the park are part of the Tafjordfjella Mountains. The tallest mountain in the park measures 2,000m (6,600ft) in height. Within the park there is a large diversity of geography with the western portion boasting tall, jagged peaks and in the east, the terrain is less harsh and is characterized by plateaus as opposed to mountain peaks. Many rivers are found within the park as well. Part of the park is also a reindeer habitat that is found in the Ottadalen Valley. Reinheimen National Park is significant because it is one of the biggest wilderness areas that is still preserved today. Very little of the local ecosystem or environment has been harmed by humans and the plants and animals are still found in an intact environment not suffering destruction by humans. Some animals that live in the park include birds such as golden eagles or gyr falcons and mammals such as wolverines as well as wild reindeer. An option for visiting the park is to take a Troll Safari or a troll hike lasting about 1 to 1.5 hours. The troll safari takes visitors past Trollstigen, which means “Troll Ladder” and explains information about the park as well as trolls. More information on the troll safari can be found at: www.trollbinding.no.
The Sunnmøre Museum and Borgundkaupangen is an open-air museum in Ålesund that highlights and displays the culture of the Sunnmøre Alps region. The museum consists of houses on display as well as interior exhibits giving visitors an insight into the life of the inhabitants of the region. The region was first settled during the time of the Vikings, between the years 1000-1500. Many of the houses at the museum were built later, during the Medieval period up to 1900. The museum is comprised of 55 old homes and a tour through them allows the visitor to feel as if they had stepped back in time to when the houses were in use and illustrates what daily life was like in earlier times. The principal building of the museum features displays on culture and archaeology form the Sunnmøre Alps area showcasing the thousands of years of inhabitants in the region. In addition to the houses, the museum also has many boats on display including a replica of a Viking ship and a number of traditional fishing boats. On the grounds there is also a Medieval Museum that was constructed on top of remains from buildings that were built in the 12th century. The land surrounding the premises is beautiful and makes for a good place for walks. Website: www.sunnmore.museum.no Email address: email@example.com Opening hours: September 11-May 21: Mon/Tues/Fri 11:00-15:00, Sun 12:00-16:00; May 22-June 25 Mon-Fri 11:00-16:00, Sun 12:00-16:00; June 26-Aug 20 Mon-Sat 11:00-17:00, Sun 12:00-17:00; Aug 21-Sept 10 Mon-Fri 11:00-16:00, Sun 12:00-16:00. Entrance fees: Adults 65nok, children 15nok
Jugendstilsenteret is an Art nouveau building in Ålesund. It is located it what was previously the Swan Pharmacy building which was designed by the architect named Hagbarth Schytte-Berg and is an example of Art nouveau architecture. It was built between the years 1905-1907 and the interior is the best example of Art nouveau on the inside of a building in the entire town. Today the Jugendstilsenteret serves as an interpretation center explaining Art nouveau both in the town and internationally. There are various multimedia displays that explain to the visitor what is meant by Art nouveau. The Jugendstilsenteret opened in 2003 and was opened by Norway’s Queen Sonja.
Mount Aksla is a small mountain that overlooks the town of Ålesund. From the top, there are stunning views of the city with its Art nouveau architecture, the port, the sea and the Sunnmøre Alps in the distance. The top of Mount Aksla is called Fjellstua and at the top there is an outdoor restaurant with a platform to admire the view looking back down over the town. To get to the top, visitors can climb the 418 steps to reach the summit, take the City Train to the top, or drive a car. The path with the steps leading to the peak leaves from Ålesund’s Town Park.
The town of Ålesund offers a guided tour of the town to better understand all its subtleties as well as its important highlights. The tour takes about 1.5 hours and is conducted both in English and Norwegian and is led by a local guide. The tour explains the history of Ålesund as well as its Art nouveau architecture. The route of the tour includes a pedestrian street, the Brosundet square, and goes in front of the Aalesunds Museum. Participants are encouraged to ask questions while they explore the city. The tour leaves at 12:00 from the tourist office. Address: Skateflukaia Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Opening hours: June 16- August 18 (the exact days vary every year but the tours only happen in the summers, roughly mid-June to mid-August) at 12:00 (start the tour) until 13:30 (estimated finish time for the tour). Entrance fees: 100nok, children under 16 years are free.
The Aalesunds Museum is a museum explaining and showcasing the history of Ålesund. It informs visitors about the fishing, shipping and sealing industries in the region as well as the fire of 1904 that destroyed much of the city, the city’s occupation by the Nazis during World War II and an explanation of the city’s Art nouveau architecture. There are also boats and ships on display as well as other pictures and artifacts explaining the history of the city of Ålesund. The museum is centrally located in Ålesund and includes a beautiful museum park as well as a view of the harbor. The building that houses the museum was constructed in 1919. Address: Rasmus Rønnebergs Gate 16 Website: www.aalesunds.museum.no Email: email@example.com Opening hours: Mid-June through Mid-August: Mon-Fri 9:00-16:00, Sat 9:00-15:00, Sun 12:00-16:00. Entrance fees: Adults 50nok; children 20nok
Vacation rentals in Alesund (Møre og Romsdal)
How to get there ?
If arriving by plane to Norway, there are direct flights from the United States to Norway or from some European cities directly to Norway, particularly London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris or Copenhagen. Majority of the flights into the country fly into Oslo (website: www.osl.no/) but there are 50 airports located throughout the country so it is possible to reach many different cities by plane. Ålesund also has its own airport (website: www.avinor.no/lufthavn/alesund). The website BookNorway has information on flights to Norway as well as flights within the country (http://booking.visitnorway.com/en/flight). Public transportation is extremely efficient in Norway and provides a great service for getting around the country. Railways connect majority of the country although in the very far north, north of the city of Bodø, there are only bus and boat connections. Service with all forms of public transport are usually less frequent on Saturdays except for during peak tourist season. Trains are operated through Norwegian State Railways (website: www.nsb.no). Majority of bus routes throughout the country are operated by the company Nor-way Bussekspress (website: www.nor-way.no). The Hurtigruten coastal ferry is another option for public transportation and it travels along all the port cities on the coast between the cities of Bergen and Kirkenes. Within Ålesund and the regions surrounding the town, the best options for public transport are either by boat connecting the coastal cities or by bus. Local bus companies based out of each town often have routes connecting to most other towns in the area. Keep in mind that routes are less frequent on weekends.
Alesund city hall
Hotels in Alesund (Møre og Romsdal)