Alesund is built on a row of islands extending in a hooklike form towards the Atlantic.The old city,which is completley surrounded by water, was destroyed by fire in 1904 and was rebuilt with international help and expertise in Art Nouveau of the time especially from the German Emperor Wilhelm II. Included in the rebuilding and designing by young Norwegian German-trained architects were the traditional motifs and ornamentations such as turrets, spires and gargoyles.The best examples of these are to be found along Apotekargata, Owregata, Louvenvoldgata and especially Kongensgata. Most of the present day population live across on the islands and peninsula away from the crowded old centre.
There are so many things you can do there. Visit the old centre and see the Art Nouveau of the time. Visit the Atlantic Ocean Park which has the largest saltwater park in all of northern Europe containing a gigantic aquarium. This deserves an entire day and has something for all ages. You can see the richness of the undersea world and the numerous species of sea life. You can play with catching the crabs. Children will love watching the shellfish and crustaceans and snails and in the summertime you can see the larger sea animals being fed. Special buses ply back and forth all day.
The Art Nouveau Centre shows the history of the rebuilding of the old town. If you visit the old Bank of Norway building you will see great examples of architecture. Very energetic people who don’t want to use a taxi, can spend 20 minutes climbing the 418 steps that lead to the summit of Aksla which will provide you with an excellent view of Alesund and the surrounding sea, islands and mountains. If you want a refreshing drink it is available at the top. In Alesund’s Town Museum you can follow the history of sealing, the fishing and shipping industry, the history of the fire, the story of the Nazi occupation of the city during the Second World War. You will see a collection of boats and ships including a lifeboat which was peddled across the Atlantic in 1904. In Sunmore Museum just four kilometres from the centre you can see a collection of historic boats, replicas of Viking ships and a vessel from about the year 1,000.
You will never be hungry for long here. The place is full of restaurants and other places such as hotels , pizzarias, seafood places, bistros. You will get an opportunity to taste the best seafood in Europe here in XI Diner where it is a speciality with so many different sauces.
To get there you can come from Oslo by bus which is a 10 hour journey or take a 9 hour journey from Bergen or Trondheim in 7 hours. You have a choice of three flights each day from Bergen, two from Trondheim and eight from Oslo. There are flights from London also. Travel by boat along the coast or by coastal ferries from Bergen, 8 hours.