Built on a row of Norwegian islands that extends out toward the Atlantic, you’ll find the quaint city of Ålesund. The old city center is very compact and surrounded by water. This prime location has made it a major resource for fishing. In the early 20th century, the old city center was destroyed by fire. With international assistance, it was rebuilt in a fascinatingly modern way.
Visiting this unique city will give you a taste of art nouveau architecture as well as plenty more. It’s easy to get around here, and there’s lots to do and see. Among them, you simply must walk up the stairs from the city park to Fjellstua to take in an unforgettable view of the local fjords as well as the mountains. Going all the way to the top will give you the best views, but even if you can only handle half of the stairs (there are around 400 of them), it’s worth the effort.
You can also visit the largest salt water aquarium in Northern Europe. The Atlantic Sea Park at Tueneset is built into the natural conservation area there. It also has a variety of activities that go beyond simply observing the sea life, like diving. Throughout the area, you can also take in a bit of history by checking out the remains of the machinery from Germany in WW2 as well as the old bunkers.
There’s an abundance more to see too, including the two central islands of Aspøy and Nørvøy. Plus, you should make plans to visit the World Heritage Site, Geirangerfjord, for the most incredible fjord experience. If you’re visiting in the winter, you don’t want to miss your chance to get in on skiing. There are plenty of buses that you can catch to get a ride up the mountains for a day on the slopes.
Since it’s a modern place, you’ll find just about any food you care to eat. However, when you find yourself here, it makes sense to partake in the seafood of the coastal fishing town. Klippfisk is considered as a local specialty. This salted, dried codfish is something you should definitely taste while in Ålesund. You should try it in the popular dish of bacalao too.
But if you have more of a sweet tooth, you shouldn’t miss out on the tastes you’ll find in the many cafes and bakeries here. Svele is like a buttery pancake with sugar and butter in the center, while cakes like grovkake and skilpadde will steal your heart away.
From the mesmerizing beauty to the fantastic fare, coming to Ålesund, you’ll find a destination that you’ll never want to leave.