Alesund is not usually the first town that springs to mind when most people go about planning a trip to Norway. However, this small waterfront town spread across seven tiny islands is one of Norway’s prettiest hidden gems and is definitely worth the trip. Although Norway is known for its chilly weather and long, dark winters, it is possible to get some beautiful weather there. The best bet for this is to go in the summer season (from the beginning of June to the end of August). Mid-May and September can also be a great times to visit though as there is still the chance of lovely weather and you might find it a little cheaper than the peak season.
What is particularly unique about Alesund is the Art Nouveau architecture of the town centre. In the early 20th Century, an enormous fire destroyed the majority of the town requiring it to be completely rebuilt. Today, Alesund is made up of adorable colourful buildings and is a spectacular place to explore.
For the most incredible view, climb the 418 steps up the Aksla Hill to the Kniven viewpoint and gaze over the beautiful city of Alesund as well as the breathtaking views across the surrounding mountains and islands. The walk to the viewpoint starts in the city centre and only takes about fifteen minutes! Other sites in Alesund include the Jugendstil Senteret, a former pharmacy which is now a museum and the first listed Jugendstil monument in the city. The museum houses a variety of Norwegian Art Nouveau objects including furtinure, ceramics, textiles and jewellery among others. There are also multimedia shows providing information about the town’s history.
Just a 30-40 minute drive from Alesund is the beautiful lighthouse in Alnes, a tiny isolated town on the island of Godøya. Here you can go for a stroll along the rocky beaches and enjoy the spectacular views across the sea.
As a major supplier of seafood to the rest of Europe, Alesund has some wonderful seafood restaurants. XL Diner is a bacalao restaurant overlooking the harbour and serves delicious dishes made up of fresh, local ingredients that are full of flavour. Another option is Maki, also a seafood restaurant but with more of an international influence on its dishes. For lunches, Invit is a great choice. This stylish café serves salads that change daily as well as homemade cakes and delicious coffee.
Although it may not have been on your itinerary before, we really hope that you add Alesund to your list if you are planning to visit Norway. This fascinating little city is absolutely unforgettable.