View of Alesund from Aksla viewpoint at sunset, Norway

Alesund Cruise Port:ย Your DIY Guide to a Perfect Day in Norway

I know, it’s actually ร…lesund. (But as I’m writing for an English audience, please excuse the use of Alesund for the rest of this blog post!) Now that we’ve got that sorted, welcome to Alesund, Norway’s enchanting Art Nouveau city!

If your cruise ship is making a port call here, get ready to be charmed. Many cruisers jump straight onto a coach to see sights further afield but Alesund offers a wealth of attractions within easy reach of the cruise port. So I hope this guide will help you discover the best of “things to do” in Alesund, Norway. Let’s get started!

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Alesund (Norway) Cruise Port: Is a DIY Excursion Easy? ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (Easy Peasy)

Alesund scores a perfect ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž for ease of a DIY shore excursion! The city centre, with its charming Art Nouveau architecture, is a mere 5-minute stroll from the cruise pier. No need for taxis or shuttles – simply walk off the ship and start exploring! Here’s why Alesund is easy to explore on your own:

  • Walkable City Centre: Most of the major attractions, including the Art Nouveau district, are easily accessible on foot.
  • Stunning Views Nearby: The breathtaking panorama from Aksla viewpoint is just a 30-minute walk away or a quick ride on the convenient CityTrain.
  • Excellent Transportation Options: The CityTrain is right outside the cruise pier and perfect for those with mobility issues. Regular bus services make it a breeze to explore further afield.

Alesund (Norway) Cruise Port Essentials: All You Need To Know

  • Alesund Cruise Port Address: Rutebilstasjonen, 6003 ร…lesund, Norway – see this marked in my map below ๐Ÿ‘‡
  • Currency: Norwegian Kroner (NOK). June 2024: US $1 = 10.50 NOK, GBP ยฃ1 = 13 NOK, CAD $1 = ~8 NOK, AUD $1 = ~7 NOK
  • Cash or Card: Norway is mostly cashless, so you don’t need cash! I’ve travelled extensively in Norway and have never needed cash!
  • Official Websites: Alesund Norway cruise port schedule, FRAM is the local bus authority
  • Recommended Transport App: Use Google Maps for walking directions. If you need the bus, then it will give you accurate bus routes & live departure times as well.
  • eSIM Roaming in Norway: For a great data connection without the huge roaming fees, use an eSim data pack from Airalo. I always recommend having a smartphone with a valid plan when youโ€™re at port touring independently. Get US$3 off your first eSIM data pack from Airalo when you use ROXANN1666 when you sign up or apply it at checkout
  • My Alesund Cruise Port Map: ๐Ÿ‘‡ Click on the upper right hand corner to see a bigger version of the map. Use buttons on bottom left to zoom in/out. If map is not loading, click here to see it directly on Google Maps.

Getting from Alesund Cruise Port to City Centre

The easiest way to reach the city centre is to walk. Alesund cruise port is a 10-minute walk from the heart of Alesund.

Tip: Most of the attractions are outdoors in Alesund, so be prepared for sudden changes of weather. As with other Norwegian coastal towns, you’ll need to be ready for 4 seasons in a day.

Top Things To Do in Alesund, Norway

1. Stroll Through Art Nouveau Charm

Alesund Art Nouveau Houses along the waterfront at sunset, Norway
Photo by Ramon Perucho

Alesund’s unique architectural heritage means the houses you’ll see are adorned with vibrant colours, with whimsical turrets and intricate orientation. Here are the main buildings and streets to walk through:

  • Apotekergata:  Less than 5 minutes walk from the cruise pier is the epicentre of ร…lesund’s Art Nouveau district. Take note of the facades of the former Swan Pharmacy (now the Art Nouveau Centre) and the other buildings, each with its own distinct character. You’ll see stylised flowers, flowing lines, and even faces hidden in the ornamentation.
  • Jugendstilsenteret (Art Nouveau Centre): Housed in the old Swan Pharmacy building, this museum delves deeper into the city’s architectural history. You’ll learn about the devastating fire of 1904 that led to the city’s Art Nouveau rebirth.
    • Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 5pm.
    • Tickets: NOK 120 for adults, free for kids under 18.
  • Brosundet Gjestebrygge: This waterfront area is lined with colourful Art Nouveau buildings and has lovely views of the harbour. Take a stroll along the promenade.

2. Take in the Views from Aksla

View of Alesund and Alesund cruise pier from Aksla viewpoint, Alesund, Norway
Image by Aline Dassel from Pixabay

If you’re looking for the ultimate photo op, head straight to Aksla viewpoint! Although it’s only 187 meters (~615 feet) above sea level, this vantage point offers a sweeping panorama of Alesund’s colourful cityscape, surrounding islands, and the sparkling waters of the fjord. 

How To Get There:

Steps on the climb up to Aksla viewpoint in Alesund, Norway
Photo by Wycher van Vliet
  • Walk: For the active explorers, the climb up to Aksla is worth the 418 steps! The path winds through lush greenery, offering glimpses of the view along the way. There are benches placed strategically for resting and there’s a cafe at the top for snacks, ice cream and coffee. If you’d like to walk, there’s two possible trails both within a 10-minute walk of the cruise pier.
    • Water & Snacks: Drop by the Eurospar convenience store for snacks & drinks before you start, if you didn’t bring your water bottle from the ship.
  • CityTrain” (Miniature Tourist Train): For those with limited mobility, take the guided tour on the CityTrain – it’s a loop around Alesund with a photo-stop at the top of Aksla for 15 minutes. Take this directly from outside the cruise terminal and it will bring you back to the cruise terminal.
    • Tickets: Purchase on the spot with a credit / debit card – note cash prices are higher, so don’t bother with cash in Norway! 320 NOK adults, 150 NOK kids under 15, 750 NOK for 2 adults and 2 kids.
  • Via Ferrata: For those truly adventurous (and fit), how about ascending up to Aksla on a via ferrata (protected climbing route)? The route starts a few minutes into the trail. Pre-book your hike here. You’ll be accompanied and all safety equipment will be provided on the day. The entire route is on solid rock and there are steps and hand-holds along the route. Note that you’ll have to walk back down. There’s no abseiling down.

3. Discover Local Culture at the Sunnmรธre Museum

Sunnmรธre Museum is an open-air museum about 15 minutes bus ride away from Alesund cruise port. I spent about two hours here before returning to the city centre. Here’s what there is to see:

  • Traditional Houses: There’s 50 historic buildings which had been relocated to the museum from nearby regions. You’ll see anything from humble farmhouses to grand manor houses, all furnished and decorated to reflect their original purpose.
  • Boat Collection: There’s also a traditional boat collection too!
  • How to Get There: From the cruise terminal, the central bus station is next door. (See this marked on my map above ๐Ÿ‘†). Use Bus routes #1 or #12. Get off at “Sunnmรธre Museum” stop and the museum entrance is a 2-minute walk away. Use Google Maps for live bus departure times. Otherwise you’ll find bus timetables here.
    • Bus Tickets: Either purchase at the ticket office before boarding the bus (cards are accepted), or download the FRAM app and buy online. Tickets are 46 NOK for adults one way, 23 NOK for kids. If you buy onboard the bus, there’s a 20 NOK surcharge for adults and 10 NOK for kids. You can buy your return ticket at the same time as the tickets need to be validated onboard the bus.
  • Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 5pm from May to September. Winter hours: 11am – 5pm Tuesday to Friday, 12 noon to 4pm weekends
  • Tickets: 120 NOK for adults, free for kids under 18

4. Explore the Atlantic Sea-Park

If an open-air museum doesn’t interest you, then spend time in the underwater world at the Atlantic Sea Park! It’s about 30 minutes away and is another kids-friendly activity. There’s penguins, seal feeding sessions and gigantic tanks of local fish to marvel at.

  • How to Get There: As above, walk to the central bus station next door from the cruise terminal. Bus #1 (towards Dronning Sonjas) will take you to Tuenesvegen (15 minutes bus ride) and from there, it’s a 15 minutes walk away.
  • Opening Hours: Daily, usually 10am to 4pm but double-check opening hours here before you set off from Alesund.
  • Tickets: 250 NOK for adults, 120 NOK for kids under 15.

Featured Photo by Ela Yudhanira

Wishing you a fantastic day exploring ร…lesund! If you found this guide helpful in planning your DIY excursion, I’d be so grateful if you can share it with your fellow cruisers in your roll call groups. Safe travels and happy exploring!

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