5 favorite activities in Ålesund Town, Norway
Ålesund is a town located on the West Coast of Norway, a 6-7 hours’ drive north of Bergen. It is a good starting point for visiting Geiranger, Trollveggen and the Alps of Sunnmøre, but is also worth some attention for its own beauty. We think Ålesund is a good place to be when traveling with kids. We have been there many times, and have picked 5 activities for the whole family to enjoy.
If your kids are big enough, you cannot be in Ålesund without walking up the 415 steps to Fjellstua, on top of the Aksla, the “city hill”. Ask all to count the number of steps and see how the numbers differ from each other when you after a while reach the restaurant at top. Here you can buy the local “svele” (almost like an American pancake) and enjoy the view of the town, the fjord and the islands around. The stairs start in the middle of the small City park, where you by the way also find the best play ground in town. Why not stop here on your way back? If you are two or more grown-ups, you can let the kids play and take shifts to visit the Art Gallery just in the other corner of the park, Ålesund Kunstforening.
2. The Atlantic Sea Park – “Atlanterhavsparken”
Instead of showing fish from all different parts of the word, this aquarium is showing the local fauna – well, expect for the penguins that is, but they are so cute that we can understand why they made an exception. We recommend to time your visit to the scheduled feeding times or when they arrange for the kids to fish their own crabs (check http://www.atlanterhavsparken.no/english ).
3. Indoor playground – “Barnas Lekeland”
Norway, and particularly the west coast, has some rainy days, and even if the nature can be spectacular in a storm or you may be so lucky to see the fog rolling in from the ocean you most likely will prefer to stay most of the time inside. For kids with a lot of energy to burn we will recommend a stop at Barnas Lekeland, the indoor activity centre and play area especially suited for those from 0-12 years. Children may enjoy obstacle courses, slides and climbing walls. For the grown-ups they offer coffe, cakes and other snacks when waiting for the kids. If your kids are older, we recommend the local swimming pool, Moa Svømmehall, with pools in different sizes and waterslides for the ones liking little more action.
4. Learn more about the Jugendstil/Art Nouveau style of Ålesund
Ålesund is most famous for its architecture. Almost the whole town burned to the ground in 1904, and after a period of planning, the town was rebuilt in stone, brick, and mortar in Jugendstil (Art Nouveau), the architectural style of the time. To learn more about the town we recommend to test out the new HopperGuide, that can be downloaded as an app from Itunes. You follow a specific route, and when you are getting close to an attraction the phone will automatically turn itself on and inform you about the place. The kids will love the inter action with the phone and the hunt for the next stop.
5. Enjoy a coffee and the view of the port of Ålesund
Our favorite café in town is Invit, where they serve excellent coffee and homemade cakes. The tables by the window give you an excellent view of the port of Ålesund and the city life on the other side of the canal. They also offer free wi-fi. Afterwards you can walk out to the tiny old lighthouse at the entrance of the port. The lighthouse is now turned into a hotel room belonging to Brosundet Hotell. Why not try a different hotel stay for the family?
Enjoy your family vacation!
The centre of Ålesund ( photo taken just outside Jugendstil centre, in Brosundet)
Visit Fjellstua – on top of the hill – to enjoy the view of the town and the ocean.
The fog is rolling in from the ocean – facinating to watch