18 hours in Ålesund

18 hours in Ålesund

View of Ålesund from Aksla at 10 p.m.

Ålesund is a beautiful city built on islands surrounded by fjords and right by the Atlantic ocean. The city center is filled with Art Noveau houses from the beginning of the 20th century after a fire in 1904 that destroyed almost the whole city. The city is perfect for relaxing walks along the stone cobbled streets for a couple of hours. 


Ålesund is a 2 hours drive from famous must seens like the Geirangerfjord, Trollstigen and Atlanterhavsveien. It is a perfect place to spend a night in if you want a few hours in a city during a round trip. Luckily, there are several nice hotels and restaurants serving local food in Ålesund.

Arriving in Ålesund you immediately feel the attraction of the city´s small and welcoming city center. Walking around you can hardly take your eyes off from the beautiful 3 to 4 floor stone buildings in different colours, some of them steeping right into the water.

After the fire in 1904, that more or less destroyed all buildings in Ålesund, the city was rebuilt during the following three years partly financed by the German emperor Wilhelm II who was found of the people and the city.

Besides walking around the beatuiful and charming city center a walk up to the mountain Aksla is probably a must. From there you have an impressive view of Ålesund, the fjords and the islands. Walking to the top of Aksla will take you about 30 minutes. There are several viewpoints along the way.

Almost on the top of Aksla is a restaurant, Fjellstua, with a terrace that gives you the perfect view of Ålesund. It costs about 30 NOK to go out on the terrace.

Another (free) option is to walk a little further up to Kniven which gives you more or less the same view. In July the sunset is around 11 p.m. and Kniven is definately the place to be at that hour. It gives you the most amazing sunset as seen on the photo below.

Another great thing to do is going on a kayaking tour through the city to the islands. We did not do that but if we had stayed a little longer it seemed like a great thing to do. Half a day kayaking with a guide costs about 800 NOK.

Where to stay in Ålesund?

Hotel Brosundet is a lovely 4-star boutique hotel with a perfect location, great design and a really good restaurant and bar. If you have spent a few nights free camping it is money well spent to stay here. Family rooms available. Hotel Brosundet is also one of our favourite boutique hotels.

Where to eat in Ålesund?

There are several options for dinner in Ålesund, for example the fish restaurant XL Diner which is famous for its bacalao (klippfisk). Also, Hotel Brosundet has a lovely restaurant where you can sit outside by the water if the weather is nice.

How to get to Ålesund?

From Oslo and Bergen it is a 7 hours drive. From Trondheim a 5 hours drive. You can also go there by train to Otta from where you go by bus.

From Molde there is car ferry (30 minutes) across the beautiful Moldefjorden. After reaching the shore you have a 2 hours drive to Ålesund.

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