Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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Ålesund, Norway

Ålesund, Norway

Ålesund, Norway


Northern European Itineraries

Take a step back in time to the fairy tale architecture of Ålesund. This little town is considered the most beautiful town in Norway by many, thanks to its Art Nouveau charm, panoramic views, and picturesque harbor. Visitors enjoy romantic strolls through town and robust hikes up the 418 steps to the mountain Aklsa.

Colorful Ålesund

AMBIENCE

Built on a chain of small islands that reach out toward the Atlantic, Ålesund is a quaint and colorful walking town with its own unique charm. Its narrow peninsula houses tightly-packed buildings ringed by numerous waterways and snow-capped mountains. Towers, turrets, and ornate decorations are sprinkled among the town’s architecture. And while this town lacks the rustic, wild nature of Olden, it’s also considerably less touristy than Bergen. This is a good port for strolling along the harbor, shopping for sweaters and pottery, and enjoying a meal of traditional Norwegian dishes such as seafood and wild game.

HISTORY

Ålesund’s earliest history is unclear, but the town may have been inhabited as for as long as 9,000 years. Its excellent harbor and convenience to fishing banks and sea routes have long made it a popular spot. More recently, Ålesund is well known for a devastating fire in 1904 that burned down nearly the entire town. In the wake of the disaster, Kaiser Wilhelm sent four ships with supplies to rebuild the town. Thanks to an inspired team of Norwegian architects, Ålesund was rebuilt in stone, brick, and mortar in the popular Art Nouveau style of the time. This gives the town its uniquely consistent architectural charm. Ålesund is also well known for its work in the Resistance during World War II.

FACTS

Size: 38 sq. mi. (98 sq. km.)
Climate: Maritime Temperatures: 39°F (4°C) to 57°F (14°C)
Population 45,000 Busy Season Summer
Language: Norwegian, English Money: Norwegian Krone (NOK) $1 US = 6 NOK
Time Zone: Central European Transportation: Walking, trams, ferries
Phones: Dial 011-47 from US, 110 for fire, 112 for police, 113 for ambulance
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