Our city guide will help you to find out what's up and the best tips from SAS crew and passengers. Explore some of Norway's most famous natural and cultural attractions from Aalesund, a town famous for its Art Nouveau architecture.
What's up in Ålesund
Unique concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in Aalesund.
Snack on the quay
Buy prawns from one of the fishing boats.
Norway has a long tradition of knitting sweaters. They will keep you warm in the winter.
The city of Ålesund is spread across three islands at the top of fjord country on the west coast of Norway. Ålesund is renowned for its Art Nouveau architecture—many of the city's original buildings were lost in a fire in 1904 and the city was rebuilt in Art Nouveau style. Take a walk through the town and you’ll see the turrets, towers, gargoyles and other ornamental decor that is representative of Art Nouveau architecture.
In addition to the architecture, Ålesund is host to one of the largest aquariums in Europe, the Atlantic Sea Park. In town, you can also climb the 418 stairs up Aksla mountain to the Kniven viewpoint, which offers a scenic view of Ålesund, across the islands and all the way to the Sunnmøre Alps.
Art Nouveau Center
The Art Nouveau Center documents the history of the Art Nouveau style in Ålesund. Multimedia displays and a "time machine" recount the story from the fire in 1904 to the rebuilding of the city.
The center is located in the restored "Swan Pharmacy," which has some of the finest and authentic interiors of the Art Nouveau style. Wander through the first floor dining room set for a dinner party and admire the beautiful decor from the time.
Atlantic Sea Park
If you're traveling with kids or even if you're not, the Atlantic Sea Park is a must-see when you’re in Ålesund. This is one of the largest aquariums in Europe—the building houses a giant 1.05-million-gallon (4 million liters) aquarium. A visit here gives you a look at the rich, coastal and underwater life in the surrounding fjords, including exhibits of marine life found only in the deepest waters.
The park is also a sanctuary for orphaned seals. There are also stunning views, hiking trails, fishing areas and beaches on the grounds.
Built on the site of an old trading center, the open-air Sunnmøre Museum features more than 50 buildings dating from the Middle Ages to the mid-19th century. There is also a large collection of fishing boats and replicas of Viking-era ships.