Ålesund, Norway

Get to know what it’s like to visit this destination.

Getting To Know Ålesund – Cruise Port Guide


Ålesund is a little art nouveau town that straddles three islands to form a hook shaped peninsula, considered by many to be Norway’s most beautiful city. It lies near the mouth of several converging fjords, including the Storefjord and Moldefjord, which leads into the Romsdalsfjord and is surrounded by multiple mountain peaks and islands. Our Ålesund cruise port guide is your useful tool to help you make the most of your time ashore. 

Ålesund was originally like many Norwegian towns in that its buildings were primarily made from timber. Unfortunately, on the night of 23rd January 1904 almost the entire town was destroyed by fire. Thankfully there were no large-scale casualty numbers, but 850 houses were burnt to the ground. Despite the devastation, the fire marked a turning point for Ålesund, as the rebuild took only three years with the help of foreign aid and turned the city into an art nouveau masterpiece.

Ålesund is not a very large place and is easy to navigate on foot from the cruise port close to the heart of town. If you choose to spend the day exploring here, you will find that it is a charming place. Quite a few of the buildings are decorated with towers and turrets and imaginative colourful ornaments. Just wandering along the waterfront is a very pleasant way to spend some time and right in the heart of the town you will find a canal. The buildings surrounding this canal are brightly painted in the typical colours of a Norwegian coastal community and make for delightful photographs. Here you will also find local fishermen selling their fresh catch straight from their boats.

For the best view of all these beautiful buildings and their colours, the must do in Ålesund is to head up to the viewing point on Mount Aksla. You may be wondering how you get up to this viewpoint? Well, you can walk straight from town and up the 418 steps to the top. But if that is too much, you could always look to take the local trolley train tour that makes a stop for people to admire the view on Mount Aksla, saving your legs in the process.

Travel Tips

The currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone. Norway has a reputation as one of the most expensive countries in Europe and the average price of a standard cup of coffee is around £3/$4. Budget accordingly if you plan to dine out each day, as meals are roughly around 110kr per person (£11/$13 per person).

If your cruise ship calls at both Ålesund and Åndalsnes, you may find that your cruise ship offers tours that explore similar routes to discover the surrounding area, including the Trollstigen or The Atlantic Coastal Road. It is always worth checking if you have booked excursions in advance what your itineraries are so you do not repeat anything and can maximise your time ashore in these locations.

Key highlights of Ålesund

  • Mount Aksla
  • Art Nouveau Buildings
    • The Art Nouveau Centre & The Art Museum Kube
  • Ålesund Church
  • Atlantic Sea Park
  • Ålesund Museum
  • Sunnmøre Museum
  • Fisheries Museum
  • Atlantic Ocean Road
Gran Canaria Port

Regular cruise line visitors

  • Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
  • Silversea
  • P&O Cruises
  • SAGA Cruises
  • Princess Cruises
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Viking Ocean 



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