Welcome to Ålesund cruise port, Norway’s major cruise port and one of the most scenic fishing ports in the country. Nestled on the western coast of Norway, Alesund is a postcard-perfect coastal town known for its Art Nouveau architecture, stunning fjords, and maritime charm. Cruise ships dock in the heart of Alesund city, allowing you to easily access the town’s shopping zone and main attractions.
In this article, I’ll provide you with Alesund cruise terminal information and helpful cruise tips, along with the 7 best things to do in Alesund (including shore excursions).
Alesund Cruise Port
The port of Alesund is strategically located in the heart of the city and can accommodate up to three cruise vessels simultaneously. The city’s main attractions – the iconic Art Nouveau Town and Jugendstilsenteret (The Art Nouveau Centre), are located only 450 m (a 5-minute walk) from the Alesund cruise terminal.
The Tourist information center is situated right by the exit of the terminal, providing passengers with city maps, local tours, and car rental options. Alesund Hop On Hop Off bus tours are also available in front of the terminal and include stops at popular city attractions, such as Sunnmøre Museum, The Art Nouveau Centre & The Art Museum Kube, Aksla Viewpoint, Ålesund Church, Atlantic Sea-Park, and others.
- The currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone, also known as the kroner (NOK). 1 EUR equals 11.34 NOK; 1 USD equals 10.41 NOK. See the currency converter
- The main bus station is located right outside the terminal. Local buses are blue-colored, although you may not need them because the city is pedestrian-friendly. The local buses are operated by Fram and you can check out the schedules at https://frammr.no/. Tickets can be purchased at sales offices, online, through the FRAM app, Travel Card, or onboard the bus (in this case, it’s more expensive).
- Taxis are readily available outside the terminal, however, they can be limited. A large parking lot is also nearby, as well as the starting point for the Alesund City Train, a sightseeing train that will take you to Alesund’s main points of interest like Aksla viewpoint (aka Fjellstua Viewpoint) which offers spectacular views of the city.
- For those who love independent travel, rental car services are at your disposal. This gives you the freedom to explore the picturesque landscapes of western Norway at your own pace.
- The cruise high season in Alesund is between May and October. For useful cruise packing tips, have a look at my article What to Pack for a Cruise – Top 55 Cruise Essentials
- The major cruise lines sailing to Alesund include Norwegian Cruise Line, Viking Ocean Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, and Hurtigruten.
7 Best Things to Do in Alesund Cruise Port
From the city’s museums and historic landmarks to the magnificent fjords and natural treasures, the port of Alesund is a delightful blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. Immerse yourself in the charm of Alesund as we reveal its top attractions and activities.
1. Jugendstilsenteret og KUBE (Art Nouveau Centre)
Embark on an exciting exploration of Alesund’s Art Nouveau at Jugendstilsenteret Museum, an architectural gem dedicated to Norway’s Art Nouveau style, located just 450 m from the port. As you visit this cultural treasure, you’ll feel just like you have traveled through time, bringing you to an era of outstanding architecture and excellent craftsmanship.
The town of Ålesund underwent a significant transformation after a devastating fire in 1904, which destroyed much of the existing wooden architecture. The reconstruction efforts embraced the Art Nouveau style, and today, Ålesund is recognized as one of the best-preserved Art Nouveau towns in Europe. Each room within Jugendstilsenteret is a testament to the resilience and artistic revival, with period furnishings, ornate decorations, and well-organized displays that provide an insight into the town’s rebirth.
Jugendstilsenteret not only serves as a display of the wonderful Art Nouveau architecture that adorns Alesund’s streets but also as a glimpse into the period’s historical and cultural significance. The façade of the center is a piece of art in and of itself, covered with elaborate features and stylized motifs that distinguish the Art Nouveau movement, known as Jugendstil in Norway.
2. Alesund Town Center
Discover the heart of Alesund in its town center, a charming destination conveniently located right at the port’s doorstep. Visitors are treated to an amazing experience where Art Nouveau facades, local stores, and cozy cafés come together to create an unforgettable Norwegian coastal experience.
Immerse yourself in the charm of Alesund’s architectural beauty as you stroll through cobblestone streets adorned with Art Nouveau architectural details. Start with Kongens Gate, the main street in Ålesund’s city center located a 10-minute walk from the port, lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a great place to explore local cuisine, find traditional Norwegian souvenirs, and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Alesund City Hall (Ålesund Rådhus), housed in an imposing building with decorative elements characteristic of the Jugendstil style, overlooks the Alesund cruise terminal.
A beautiful Alesund Church (Ålesund Kirke), built in a Gothic Revival style, is located on a hill offering panoramic views of the city and the surrounding islands. Of course, do not miss to visit the above-mentioned Jugendstilsenteret, as well as Alesund Town Park (Byparken), a pleasant park great for relaxing, taking a stroll, and enjoying the outdoors.
3. Mount Aksla Viewpoint
The Mount Aksla Viewpoint, also known as Fjellstua Viewpoint (after the restaurant of the same name) sits at the top of Alesund’s town mountain, Aksla. Located about 1.3 km/0.80 miles from the port of Alesund, the viewpoint offers a beautiful view of the town and its surrounding archipelago.
You can get to Mount Aksla on foot in about 25 minutes. The walk includes climbing a well-maintained staircase with 418 steps, gradually revealing a breathtaking view that awaits you at the top. You can also reach the viewpoint by Hop on Hop off bus, public bus (check which bus to take at the Tourist information center), or a taxi/car in about 15-20 minutes.
The view from the peak is nothing short of magnificent. Alesund sprawls below, surrounded by the archipelago’s sparkling waters, providing a magnificent and picture-perfect view. Make sure you have your camera ready!
4. Trollstigen (Troll’s Path)
Trollstigen is a famous mountain pass and one of the most visited tourist attractions known for its serpentine road with sharp turns and steep inclines. Built in the early 20th century, it winds through rugged mountains and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, including the spectacular Stigfossen waterfall. The name “Trollstigen” reflects the area’s folklore, with trolls being mythical creatures in Norwegian mythology.
At the top of Trollstigen, there is a modern visitor center that provides information about the history of the road, the surrounding landscape, and the flora and fauna of the region. The visitor center also has a viewing platform offering spectacular panoramic views of the mountains and the Stigfossen waterfall.
The Trollstigen road itself is a thrilling experience for those who enjoy scenic drives. The road is narrow, with steep gradients and sharp turns, making it an exciting and challenging route for drivers. It’s often open only during the summer months due to weather conditions. Trollstigen is located about 1 hour 30 minutes’ drive from Alesund cruise port and the best way to visit is by driving (rent-a-car) or on a guided shore excursion.
5. Atlantic Sea Park (Alesund Aquarium)
Atlanterhavsparken, also known as the Ålesund Aquarium, is a modern aquarium showcasing marine life from the Atlantic Ocean. Conveniently located on the waterfront in Alesund, about 4 km/2.5 miles (a 10-minute drive) from the cruise port, the aquarium features a variety of exhibits with fish, seals, and other sea creatures native to the cold waters of the North Atlantic.
As soon as you arrive, you’ll be attracted by a series of interactive displays that highlight the different marine ecosystems unique to the Norwegian coast. Besides providing an educational and interactive experience, the aquarium is also dedicated to conservation and education, making it a perfect location for families, marine lovers, and anyone interested in learning more about Norway’s diverse aquatic life. You can reach Alesund Aquarium by public bus, car, Hop on Hop off bus, and on a guided shore excursion.
6. Alnes Lighthouse
Situated on the island of Godøy, about 22 km/14 miles from Alesund cruise port, Alnes Lighthouse (Alnes Fyr) is a beautiful coastal jewel that allows you to relax amid historic beauty and enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding sea. Established in 1876, the lighthouse played a crucial role in guiding ships along the Norwegian coast.
Today, Alnes Lighthouse serves as a museum, showcasing the maritime history of the region. Visitors can explore exhibits, enjoy panoramic views, and learn about the lighthouse’s significance. The coastal ambiance and the distant sounds of the sea make Alnes Lighthouse an idyllic destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat from the bustling port.
7. Godøy Island
Discover the breathtaking beauty of Godøy Island, nestled on the western coast of Norway, around 20 km/12.5 (a 25-minute drive) from Alesund. This lovely island is easily accessible by ferry or taxi and is known for its gorgeous hiking trails and historic attractions, including the iconic 19th-century Alnes Lighthouse.
Known for its scenic landscapes and coastal beauty, the island is relatively small and features rocky shores and hiking trails that allow visitors to explore its natural beauty. The access to Godøy is typically by road, and it is connected to the mainland by bridges. Whether you choose a relaxing boat trip, a quick taxi ride, or a guided shore excursion, Godøy Island is definitely worth visiting!
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