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Ålesund is the largest city in Møre og Romsdal, Western Norway, with about 40.000 inhabitants.
Destination Ålesund & Sunnmøre Tourist Office, Skateflukaia.
Ålesund is built on a row of islands extending towards the Atlantic. The compact old city centre is thus surrounded by water and Ålesund is a major fisheries harbour.
The old city centre of Ålesund was destroyed by fire in the first years of the 20th century. Much international aid, including personal gifts from Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany who used to holiday there, helped to rebuild in the most modern style, Art Nouveau.
From the city there is a beautiful view of the Sunnmøre Alps in the East.
The following airlines serve Ålesund Airport, Vigra:
SAS Scandinavian Airlines from Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Copenhagen
airBaltic from Riga
Norwegian from Oslo and London
KLM from Amsterdam
WIZZ AIR from Gdansk and Vilnius
The local railway station is situated in Åndalsnes. The train line was supposed to continue to Ålesund city center but was never completed. There is a replacement bus service operating between Ålesund and Åndalsnes for every arrival and departure.
Trains go to Dombås and back three times a day, connecting with the main service from Trondheim to Oslo. In addition, a once-a-day service to Lillehammer operates, connecting with local trains to Oslo.
You can also change at Dombås for services from or to Trondheim, but this usually involves a considerable wait at Dombås. However, Dombås town center is very close to the station and has moderately priced restaurants and convenience shops as well as some tourist attractions on its own.
Hourly regional services between Ålesund and Kristiansund, Molde and Volda.
Nightly and daily departures from and to Oslo (takes approximately 10 hours).
Several daily services between Ålesund and Trondheim calling at Molde and Sunndalsøra.
Daily services from and to Bergen calling at Volda, Nordfjordeid and Førde with connecting services to Sogndal and Stryn.
Hurtigruten calls Ålesund, once daily in southern direction (from Trondheim towards Bergen), and once daily in northern direction (from Bergen towards Kirkenes).
Ålesund is also a regular stop for a lot of cruise liners.
Ålesund is at the end of the E136 main route, which starts at Dombås where it connects with the E6 main route between Oslo and Trondheim.
It is also on the E39 coastal main route between Bergen and Trondheim. Note that this route does involve taking quite a few ferries in either direction which makes it take as long to Trondheim as the ferry-less E136/E6 combo but more expensive.
If living in the city centre, most attractions are available within a short-medium walk. For the Atlantic Sea Park, there are special bus services from the city centre bus terminal.
In general there are plenty of bus services in Ålesund. It is worth noting, however, that they are very limited in the late evenings, after 5pm on Saturdays and all day Sundays. To get information about local buses.
Taxis in Norway are very expensive, expect to pay at least 200 NOK for even a short trip. They are also more expensive in the evenings and weekends.
What to see
Much of the joy of seeing Ålesund is to be found in just strolling past the many art nouveau shops and other buildings.
Aalesunds Museum, Rasmus Rønnebergsgt. 16
The Atlantic Sea-Park, Tueneset
Art Nouveau Centre, Apotekergt
Walk up the stairs to Fjellstua from the city park for a breathtaking view of local fjords and mountains. This can really not be underlined enough. Even if you are not up to climbing all 400 or so stairs, even half way up the view is stunning.
The Atlantic Sea Park at Tueneset is the biggest salt water aquarium in Northern Europe and is built into its stunning environment in the Tueneset conservation area. It offers a range of activities, including diving. After visiting, you can enjoy Tueneset itself which is a nice green area with walkways and a fascinating seemingly endless view of the Atlantic ocean.
In both of the above places you will find bunkers and remnants of the German war machinery from World War 2 for those that might find that interesting.
Brosundet separates the two central islands of Aspøy and Nørvøy, bridged by Hellebroa. The view of Brosundet is quite stunning. By Hellebroa there is an outdoor restaurant area which is very popular among tourists and locals alike. From there you can walk down onto the tourist boat area and further along to Skateflua with further restaurants and outdoors serving areas.
Also, from Skateflua, you can catch various tourist and express boats to popular destinations, buy fish directly from fishermen's boats and go rafting if the weather is nice.
You should also visit the Geirangerfjord, which is a world heritage site and arguably the most fabulous fjord experience there is. During the summer, catch the Hurtigruten to Geiranger and back. This leaves in the morning and returns you just in time for dinner, unless you want to enjoy it onboard, of course.
In the winter, catch a bus to one of the many mountains around the town to go skiing.