Welcome to my hometown, Ålesund. My city is actually called “little Venice” because of the city channel named, Brosundet. Some people means it reminds them of Venice. This is one of the most photographed area in Ålesund. The beauty of the coloured houses is a breathtaking scene. Over the years it has been one of the biggest tourist attractions especially for photographers. In the city centre you´ll find hotels, the art nouveau center, great dining places, shopping malls, museums, library, cinema, coffee bars, romantic atmosphere and a stunning architecture unlike no other city. The best part is all the outdoor activity you can do whenever you want.
Want to paddle a kayak or paddle a sup board through the city channel? Want to hike? Want to go on a boat trip? You can!
In the evening you`ll find the best nightclubs in town in Brosundet. And the town has a lot of restaurants and bars for those who likes to go out for dinner and drinks. The citizents in Ålesund are very proud of our town and loves to show it to new people, so don`t be afraid to ask anyone for directions, places to eat, things to do, etc.
THE CITY HISTORY!
In the middle of the night, January 23 th in 1904, the city of Ålesund started to burn.
It was a stormy night and the fire moved very fast. 850 houses was destroyed and 10000 people became homeless. It took three years to build the city up again and this time they build it in what we call, Jugendstil; A type of art nouveau architecture. Every house was build up in masonry and they are all different built. They all have soul and a unique beauty even today! So if you plan to visit Ålesund, please take a look around at the houses. Before the fire they all were tree houses. So the city had a big change in architecture and the beauty is overwhelming.
A DIFFERENT CITY VIEW
If you like hiking you should check out Sukkertoppen. This is a 314 meters high mountaintop that gives you a great city view. It is easy to hike to the top, but remember to wear good hiking shoes. The view up here is pretty beautiful. On one side you see an endless ocean and on the other side the city and the Sunnmøre Alps. Bring your camera! You won`t miss this!
The view from Sukkertoppen!
Sunsets from Sukkertoppen!
THE STAIRS TO HEAVEN?
In the city center you`ll find the city mountain, Aksla. May 16 th 2015, the popular stairs to Fjellstua, was reopened after 9 months with refurbishment. The reopening has been an success. I never seen that amount of people walk the stairs at the same time as at the reopening day. The locals really missed their exercise in the stairs.
There are 418 steps before you reach the top. On the top you`ll find the restaurant, Fjellstua and an AMAZING city view. I love this place! This is a place you must visit when you are in Ålesund, you could not get a more beautiful scenery of the city, than from here.
I use Aksla a lot for running and walks. A great escape from the hectic city life, even though it is located in the city centre. We also have a city sightseeing train who can take you to the Fjellstua viewing point, if you are not able to walk up the stairs.
This viewing point is a new one and has the name, Byrampen.
SUNNMØRE MUSEUM, SPEND A DAY BACK IN TIME
This museum is spectacular! An outdoor museum where you walk on small paths between old houses to see how Norwegian people once used to live. In this place you are taken years back in time. This area is one of a kind. The old houses comes from different parts of Sunnmøre. They all have an individual story wich the museum guides can tell you more about. This adorable area is a must see when you are visiting Ålesund.
Many of our locals use this place for sunday walks and recreation. You can see why!
WHEN TO VISIT ÅLESUND?
I highly recommend a visit in the summer when all the outdoor restaurants is filled with people and the city is crowded. The urban life is amazing in the summer. Try to buy fresh fish and prawns, from the fishermen's boats. Sit down and enjoy the seafood on the city harbor, watching the sun go down.
The harbour view! Try to spend a night in the lighthouse. It has actually become an unique hotel room.
You can also try fresh strawberrys from the city fruit square and enjoy them on one of the beaches, a few minutes drive from the city.
Did I mention the summer festivals? The Ålesund boat festival, The Tall Ships Races Ålesund (2015), Jugendfest (music), Ålesund Live (music), Sommerfesten på Giske (music), Ålesund Food festival and more. In the music festivals we had big artists like Prodigy, David Guetta, Marion Raven, Highasakite, Kygo, Alesso etc. The three last names will play this summer.
In the summer you can also go on fjord sightseeing which is spectacular in the summer months. We have so much to offer in the summer such as hiking trips, helicopter tours, fjord trips,a huge aquarium, open museums and so much more.
If you like hiking you arrived to the right place. I love to hike myself so I will make many posts about hiking around the area, Sunnmøre. If you all behave maybe I will take you to the mountains and fjords in my next post.
If you visit Ålesund in the wintertime you should try go skiing and visit the mountains around Ålesund for mountaineering activities.
I could go on and on with things to do around here but I will save some for later when the real fun begins ;)