Alesund, Norway | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Alesund, Norway

Ålesund is the largest city in Møre og Romsdal, Western Norway, with about 40.000 inhabitants (between 60.000-80.000 in the surrounding area).
Ålesund is built on a row of islands extending towards the Atlantic. The compact old city centre is thus surrounded by water and Ålesund is a major fisheries harbour.
The old city centre of Ålesund was destroyed by fire in the first years of the 20th century. Much international aid, including personal gifts from Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany who used to holiday there, helped to rebuild in the most modern style, Art Nouveau.
From the city there is a beautiful view of the Sunnmøre Alps in the East.

History

Legend has it that Gangerolf (outside of Norway better known as Rollo), the 10th century founder of the dynasty of the dukes of Normandy, hailed from... Read more

Alesund, Norway

Destination:
Ålesund is the largest city in Møre og Romsdal, Western Norway, with about 40.000 inhabitants (between 60.000-80.000 in the surrounding area).
Ålesund is built on a row of islands extending towards the Atlantic. The compact old city centre is thus surrounded by water and Ålesund is a major fisheries harbour.
The old city centre of Ålesund was destroyed by fire in the first years of the 20th century. Much international aid, including personal gifts from Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany who used to holiday there, helped to rebuild in the most modern style, Art Nouveau.
From the city there is a beautiful view of the Sunnmøre Alps in the East.

History

Legend has it that Gangerolf (outside of Norway better known as Rollo), the 10th century founder of the dynasty of the dukes of Normandy, hailed from the community of Giske, north-west of Ålesund. At least three statues of Rolle exist: in the town park in Ålesund, in the city of Rouen, France, and in Fargo, North Dakota, United States.

In 1835, Ålesund had 482 inhabitants. By 1900, the population had increased to 11,777.

In the night of 23 January 1904, the town was the scene of the Ålesund Fire, one of the most terrible of the many conflagrations to which Norwegian towns, once built largely of wood, have been subjected. Practically the entire town was destroyed during the night, a gale aiding the flames, and the population had to leave the town in the middle of the night with only a few minutes' notice. Only one person died in the fire, the 76-year-old Ane Heen, but more than 10,000 people were left without shelter. Jugendstilsenteret - The Art Nouveau Centre of NorwayKaiser Wilhelm of Germany had often been on vacation to Sunnmøre. After the fire, he sent four warships with materials to build temporary shelters and barracks. After a period of planning, the town was rebuilt in stone, brick, and mortar in Jugendstil (Art Nouveau), the architectural style of the time. The structures were designed by approximately 20 master builders and 30 Norwegian architects, most of them educated in Trondheim and Charlottenburg, Berlin, drawing inspiration from all over Europe. To honor Wilhelm, one of the most frequented streets of the town is named after him.

The town has an unusually consistent architecture, most of the buildings having been built between 1904 and 1907. Jugendstilsenteret is a national interpretation centre, visitors can learn more about the town fire, the rebuilding of the town and the Art Nouveau style. Ålesund is a partner in the Art nouveau network, a European network of co-operation created in 1999 for the study, safeguards and development of the Art nouveau.

The term "Little London" was often applied to the community during the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany due to the Norwegian resistance work that took place here. Among other things, the city was central to the flights to Scotland and England.

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Alesund, Norway: Port Information


A cruise liner docks at the pier in the center of the town.

Get around Alesund, Norway


Most attractions are available within a short-medium walk (less than 20 minutes).
For the

Atlantic Sea Park

, there are special bus services from the city centre bus terminal.
In general there are plenty of bus services in Ålesund. It is worth noting, however, that they are very limited in the late evenings, after 5pm on Saturdays and all day Sundays. To get information about local buses, call 177.
There are two taxi companies operating, and taxis can be booked by telephone at 7012 or 70103000. Taxis in Norway are very expensive, expect to pay at least 200 NOK for even a short trip. They are also more expensive in the evenings and weekends.

What to see in Alesund, Norway


Much of the joy of seeing Ålesund is to be found in just strolling past the many art nouveau shops and other buildings.

What to do in Alesund, Norway


Walk up the stairs to Fjellstua from the city park for a breathtaking view of local fjords and mountains. This can really not be underlined enough. Even if you are not up to climbing all 400 or so stairs, even half way up the view is stunning. Alternatively, you can get a taxi to drive you up there for the view from the top. This is a must-see. At the top of the mountain there are walkways that allow you to walk around in natural surroundings while enjoying the view of the islands and mountains around you. There is also a restaurant at Fjellstua serving basic dishes.
The Atlantic Sea Park (Atlanterhavsparken) at Tueneset is the biggest salt water aquarium in Northern Europe and is built into its stunning environment in the Tueneset conservation area. It offers a range of activities, including diving. After visiting, you can enjoy Tueneset itself which is a nice green area with walkways and a fascinating seemingly endless view of the Atlantic ocean.
In both of the above places you will find bunkers and remnants of the German war machinery from World War 2 for those that might find that interesting.
Brosundet separates the two central islands of Aspøy and Nørvøy, bridged by Hellebroa. The view of Brosundet is quite stunning. By Hellebroa there is an outdoor restaurant area which is very popular among tourists and locals alike. From there you can walk down onto the tourist boat area and further along to Skateflua with further restaurants and outdoors serving areas.
Also, from Skateflua, you can catch various tourist and express boats to popular destinations, buy fish directly from fishermen's boats and go rafting if the weather is nice.
You should also visit the

Geirangerfjord

, which is a world heritage site and arguably the most fabulous fjord experience there is. During the summer, catch the Hurtigruten to Geiranger and back. This leaves in the morning and returns you just in time for dinner, unless you want to enjoy it onboard, of course. At other times, take a bus to Hellesylt for a fjord cruise into Geiranger and catch a bus back to Ålesund from there.
In the winter, catch a bus to one of the many mountains around the town to go skiing.

What to eat and drink in Alesund, Norway


Eat

Ålesund is full of restaurants, and you can generally find anything for whatever taste you might have.
For cheap food, the town has quite a few pizza, kebab and burger shops. Next to the town square you will find Dolly Dimples pizza, a few meters away you will find Peppes Pizza and the local McDonalds restaurant, as well as a 7-eleven that is open 24/7 and sell hot food. You can usually get food for around NOK 100 in these restaurants.
For more regular restaurants, you have choices such as Hummer og Kanari (Kongens gate) and XL Diner (Skateflukaia). XL Diner is the largest clipfish/bacalao restaurant in Northern Europe. Expect to pay a minimum of NOK 300.
More upmarket restaurants include Sjøbua, a somewhat famous seafood restaurant, where all food is prepared from the local fishermen's catch of the day. The fish is kept in tanks in the restaurant for maximum freshness.
In general, if you're out in Ålesund, you should make sure to try the local seafood dishes. It is the centre of fish exports in Norway and has a unique tradition is seafood cuisine. Clip fish is a local speciality, and a dish that locally is known simply as "bacalao" is a favourite not easily found in other parts of the world.
Do note that wine is usually quite expensive in Norwegian restaurants, charging 300 NOK or more for a bottle of wine is not uncommon.

Drink

There are lots of places to go drinking in Ålesund. However, the price level is quite high, expect to pay 80-90 NOK for a pint of beer. This price level has resulted in a youth culture where people gather at someone's home first to drink and usually don't go out before midnight.
Most establishments are open, but the more youth oriented ones are usually close to empty before midnight. If you're a visitor out for some youthful partying, it might therefore be advisable to go somewhere else for a few pints first and then go out looking for where the action is after midnight.
All establishments close at 3 am by Norwegian law. This usually leads to complete chaos (as most people stay until then) and people standing around for hours in taxi queues. If you need transportation, it is therefore advisable to call the taxi company no later than 2 am. If you live in the city centre, it might be advisable to plan on leaving a little earlier as well, just to avoid drunk people in the streets.
If you want to buy alcohol from a shop, beer can be gotten in normal supermarkets until 8pm (6pm Saturdays) for 25 NOK for a 1/2 litre can. Anything stronger than 4.7% can only be got from state authorised Vinmonopolet (until 6pm weekdays, 3pm Saturdays), located in Kremmergaarden in the centre, as well as the Moa shopping centre in the suburbs. Note that supermarkets are not allowed to sell any alcohol after these hours, even if they are still open. Also, alcohol is not allowed to be sold in shops during Christian holidays such as Easter or Christmas.

Shopping in Alesund, Norway


There's a variety of shops in the town centre, particularly in Kremmergaarden near City hall and Aalesunds Storsenter near the town square.
The main shopping centre for the Sunnmøre region is located outside the city centre, 15 minutes away by express bus 628.

Safety in Alesund, Norway


Norway has a low crime rate. The most likely crimes for tourists to experience are car break-ins and bicycle theft. Pickpockets do also tend to be an increasing problem in urban areas in the summer season, but it's still nothing like in larger cities in Europe. It is always a good idea to look after your belongings, this includes never leaving valuable objects visual in your car and locking your bike safely.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Norway are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Although this is entirely dependant on which type of drug you get caught with. Cocaine and amphetamine for example will land you a much harsher punishment than possession of cannabis will. Also, possession will not land you a punishment anywhere near as severe as trafficking will, but this depends on the mood of the officers you encounter, as it is in most other countries. In Norway, driving under the influence (defined generally as 0.02% Blood Alcohol Content) could land you immediately in jail.

Single women should have few problems, although ordinary street sense is advised after dark. Especially the inner east side of Oslo has become more dangerous during night hours over the last decade. Even so, there are still relatively few violent crimes.

Norway is one of the countries with the least corruption in the world. Police and other authorities cannot be bribed, and travellers are strongly advised against attempting in any form of bribery.

The greatest dangers to tourists in Norway are found in nature. Every year, quite a few tourists get hurt, even killed, in the mountains or on the seas, usually after given, unheeded warnings. For example, do not approach a glacier front, big waves on the coast, or a big waterfall unless you know what you're doing, and do not walk on glaciers without proper training and equipment.

Norway has few dangerous wild animals. Car crashes with the mighty moose or the smaller red deer account for the bulk of wild animal-related deaths and injuries. Also note that in some rural districts, sheep, goats, cows or reindeer can be seen walking or sleeping on the road.

Contact. For minor injuries and illness, go to the local "Legevakt" (emergency room/physician seeing patients without appointment). In cities this is typically a municipal service centrally located, be prepared to wait for several hours. In rural districts you typically have to contact the "district physician" on duty. For inquiries about toxins (from mushrooms, plants, medicine or other chemicals) call the national Toxin Information Office at 22 59 13 00

LOCAL TIME

5:41 am
December 15, 2018
Europe/Oslo

CURRENT WEATHER

0.71 °C / 33.278 °F
sky is clear
Sat

-1.39 °C/29 °F
sky is clear
Sun

-1.3 °C/30 °F
sky is clear
Mon

-0.77 °C/31 °F
light snow
Tue

1.14 °C/34 °F
sky is clear

LOCAL CURRENCY

NOK

1 USD = 8.61 NOK
1 EUR = 9.74 NOK
1 GBP = 10.84 NOK
1 AUD = 6.19 NOK
1 CAD = 6.44 NOK

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