Architecture in Brodsundet in Ålesund.

Explore Fjord Norway: The City of Art Nouveau

PHOTO Marte Kopperud/

It is difficult not to be fascinated by the architecture of Ålesund, says Widerøe employee Katrin Vasset Hoel. The City of Art Nouveau has been voted as the most beautiful town in Norway.

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Ålesund is best known as the City of Art Nouveau in Sunnmøre in Western Norway. The city with the distinctive architecture was erected after the great fire in 1904 when 850 wooden houses were destroyed. Over a period of three years the centre was rebuilt, with brick houses in art nouveau style with towers, spires and imaginative ornamentation on the facades.

The art nouveau houses of Ålesund.


Andres Giubelli/

ARCHITECTURE: Between 1904 and 1908, the town was rebuilt, and Ålesund is today the town with the largest concentration of buildings in the art nouveau style.

– I recommend that everyone who visits Ålesund, walks around the streets and sees the fantastic architecture with their own eyes, says Widerøe cabin crew member Katrin Vasset Hoel, who was born and raised in the town.

Fly with Widerøe to Ålesund and you can judge for yourself whether or not it is Norway’s most beautiful town.

Two people in a boat in the city of Ålesund.


Frithjof Fure/

ON THE SEA: The town centre of Ålesund is located on the islands Aspøya and Nørvøya.

The festival town of Ålesund

Ålesund has far more to offer than just beautiful houses – in summer it is more than anything else a festival town. Just see the list of what is happening:

  • It starts with Ålesund Live from June 15th-16th.
  • On July, 14th it is time for the Ålesund Boat Festival and from August 17th-18th it is the Jugendfest youth festival, when among others the band A-ha will be performing!
  • The summer festivals ends with the Norwegian Food Festival from August 23rd-25th where you get to eat all different varieties of salted fish.
  • The Terminalen arena also regularly hosts concerts by major artists separate from the festivals.

Europe’s best bacalao?

There are many good places to eat in Ålesund, but if Katrin has to pick out one, then it is the XL Diner where they supposedly have Europe’s best bacalao.

A group of penguins in the Atlantic Sea Park, Ålesund.



PENGUINS: Watch huge cod, halibut, catfish, conger eels and salmon being fed together in the Atlantic Sea-park, where you should also not miss seeing the penguins. since they are so well dressed themselves, they are fed by employees in full evening dress!

here are also lots of fish in the Atlantic Sea-Park, which has been named the best aquarium in the Nordic region. – Here you find every kind of fish you can imagine, and also penguins, says Katrin.

A photogenic town

The inhabitants of Sunnmøre are not well known for their modesty, but it is no exaggeration to call Ålesund for one of the country’s most photogenic cities. A picture of the view from the Brosund is “mandatory”.

View on the city of Ålesund in winter.


Katrin Vasset Hoel

AT SUNSET: Is this the most beautiful town in Norway? Many agree that it is!

You will also get a great view if you climb the 418 steps up to the Fjellstua, which is Ålesund’s oldest restaurant that has very good food and is also well known for its soft ice cream.

To the fjords or the mountains?

– If you have time then it is also nice to take a boat trip to Geiranger and the Hjørundfjord. The Sunnmøre Alps are also not far away, here you can take the gondola to the summit of Strandafjellet at 1,042 m.a.s.l., says Katrin

On the top of the mountain Råna in Sunnmøre


Håvard Myklebust/

UP THE MOUNTAINS: Hiking options for all abilities in the Sunnmøre Alps, even for those who want an adrenaline rush.

If you have a car and want to explore the area more, you should drop by Valldal and taste the best strawberries in the world, and of course drive the Trollstigen.

– And finally, let’s not forget about shopping! The pedestrian area offers shops you cannot find anywhere else, and there are several major shopping centres just outside the town. Welcome to Ålesund!