Alesund, Norway – with Kids

with 3 Comments
 A guide to Alesund, Norway. Tips for attractions, hotels, restaurants and fjord trips.
Photo Credit: Andrea Giubelli – Visitnorway.com

 

The town of Ålesund, Norway caught me by surprise. I was under the impression that perhaps the best of our two week long Norway trip was behind us, after several days exploring Oslo, an epic drive to Bergen, and a breathtaking hike to Pulpit Rock. To my great delight, however, I fell in love with Ålesund’s crowd-free cobblestone streets, art nouveau architecture (the whole city was rebuilt 100 years ago after a great fire), and charming harborside cafés.

Take a quick peek at our 1 minute video, or just read on to learn about our favourite Alesund attractions, restaurants and  hotels.

 

 

Things to Do in Ålesund with Kids

During our several days in Alesund, we enjoyed a number of attractions, as well as several great drives. Check out everything we enjoyed.

1. The Atlantic Sea Park Aquarium – Atlanterhavsparken

 

Alesund Atlantic Aquarium - Atlanterhavsparken

 

This award winning and architecturally beautiful aquarium is one of the best in all of the Nordic countries. The focus of the aquarium is to showcase life along the Norwegian coast and the Atlantic. Built right on the ocean, visitors can observe, experience and learn about life at sea – the natural way. Popular daily events include the diving show (as the divers feed giant fish in a giant aquarium), penguin feeding and seal feeding. Be sure to check their schedule of events before visiting so as not to miss out.

Learn more at: http://atlanterhavsparken.no/en

 

2. Aksla Viewpoint – Fjellstua

Askla Viewpoint Alesund
Photo Credit: Marte Kopperud – VisitNorway.com

 

Get the best panoramic view of Ålesund and the Sunnmøre Alps from the Aksla mountain viewpoint above town. Most people choose to get their heart rate going by walking the 418 steps to the top (but you can also take a train). Stay a while and enjoy Fjellstua, the mountain top restaurant and cafe (although please be warned that prices are quite dear). For kids, there is a little playground at the bottom of the mountain on the edge of town.

Learn more at: www.visitnorway.com

 

3. The Alnes Lighthouse

Alnes Lighthouse Alesund
Photo Credit: CH –  VisitNorway.com

Beach at Alnes Lighthouse Norway

 

The Alnes Lighthouse is set just above a beautiful beach. Our kids spent a good hour running on the sandy beach and parcouring on the adjoining rocks before we even approached the lighthouse. From the top of the lighthouse, you can enjoy sensational views of the ocean and coastline. The best part of our visit, however, was enjoying the delicious homemade cakes and traditional waffles from the lighthouse cafe. Go with a bit of an appetite because they are delicious.

 

Where to Eat Alesund

 

4. Day Trip to the Atlantic Ocean Road

The Atlantic Ocean Road
Photo Credit: m_dickson/Foap?VisitNorway.com

 

Although it was a bit of a journey (2.5 hours one way), we had seen such striking photos online of the Atlantic Ocean Road, that we decided to take a day trip from Alesund in order to drive it. Although slightly anticlimactic on calm day (no giant waves crashing towards the highway as we had seen in photos), the scenery is striking and the road is most certainly a magnificent feat of engineering. At the end of the road, there is a lovely little restaurant (Bjartmars Favorittkro) serving traditional Norwegian food and cloudberry ice cream. See our 1 minute video for more.

 

 

5. Driving to Geirangerfjord and the Trolls Highway (Trollstigen)

While this particular experience will merit a post of its own (when I eventually get there), this day trip was right up there with Pulpit Rock in terms of incredible experiences. We started our day in Hell…no really, there is a town called Hell in Norway, and then carried on to visit trolls, waterfalls, drive the Trollstigen mountain road (Trolls’ Highway, as it is known in English, has 11 hairpin bends!), took in breathtaking views above Geirangerfjord and so much more. We ate what tasted like the best strawberries in the world, popped by one Norway’s most architecturally stunning hotels – The Juvet Landscape Hotel (sadly, booked solid) and sipped wine on the patio of the Relais and Chateau Storfjord Hotel. Can you imagine a better day?

 

Trolls Highway Norway - Trollstigen

Geirangerfjord, Norway

 

For even more Alesund attractions, please see the www.visitnorway.com website.

 

Top Ålesund Hotels (family-friendy hotels too!)

While in Alesund, we chose to stay at the waterfront Scandic Alesund. We found the Scandic chain very good for families throughout our stay in Norway, because they had family-sized suites available, offered a complimentary breakfast, had healthy snacks for reasonable prices for sale in the lobby and often offered our children a welcome gift.

 

Note: All of these hotels offer free wifi and a complimentary breakfast.

Scandic Alesund – 3.5 stars – for reviews and rates: TripAdvisor Booking.com

Radisson Blu Hotel Alesund – 4 stars – for reviews and rates: TripAdvisor / Booking.com

Clarion Collection Hotel Bryggen – 4 stars – for reviews and rates: TripAdvisor  / Booking.com

Scandic Parken – 4 stars – for reviews and rates: TripAdvisor / Booking.com

Hotel Brosundet – 4 stars – for reviews and rates: TripAdvisor / Booking.com


TripAdvisor
 

 

Best Restaurants in Ålesund

I immensely enjoyed my morning coffees at Invit Espresso Bar. We had an excellent lunch at Cafe Lystpunket – perfect after climbing to Mount Askla (if you don’t dine at Fjellstua, which incidentally also gets good reviews). We also enjoyed nice dinners at Anno and Kabb.

For more dining inspiration see the 10 Best Restaurants in Ålesund (according to Tripadvisor reviewers).

 

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Should you decide to buy or book anything through one of the links, a small percentage of that sale will go back to me, and allow me to keep writing about family travel (for which I am very grateful).

 

You May Also Enjoy the Following Posts:

 

10 Things to do in Oslo with Kids

Best Family Hotels in Oslo

Hiking Pulpit Rock, Norway with Kids

Driving From Oslo to Bergen by Car

Trollstigen, Norway – Driving the Trolls Road

A Guide to Bergen, Norway with Kids

The Incredible Juvet Landscape Hotel, Norway

Visiting the Lofoten Islands, Norway

 

3 Responses

  1. Kanika Bakshi
    | Reply

    Amazing blog Tara! Norway is a beautiful place and I would love to this country and enjoy my time there. Your blog is very helpful as you have given detailed information regarding Things to Do in Ålesund with Kids. Thank you for posting this wonderful blog.

  2. Hardeep
    | Reply

    Hello,
    Looking up information about Trollstigen came across your blogpost.
    Very informative. Thanks a lot for this post.
    But I still ahve a question so dropping a message.
    I’m traveling next month with my 8y/o son to Norway.
    I arrive early morning in Oslo on July 11, then meetup family & leave early evening for Alesund . Pick up car & go to Alnes Lighthouse & then check into hotel . Explore Alesund by evening.
    Then next day start early heading towards Juvet hotel. We are staying there for 1 night on July 12.
    Trollstigen & Geirangerford viewpoint & the chocolate store on my list . Don’t care about the ferry ride .
    MY Q IS : when I drive to Juvet , is Trollstigen or Geirangerford viewpoints on the way ?. If not could I finish it before I go to Juvet ?.
    Do I drive up or down Trollstigen while heading from Alesund main center to Juvet ?.
    Is Trollstigen on the way back to get airport or there is a different road to go from Juvet to airport.
    My flight leaves from Alesund on July 13 by 3pm.
    I’m trying to figure when to do do Trollstigen & the viewpoints. Not sure if I have time to drive up to Oye.
    Please help.
    Looking for guidance .
    Thank you kindly.

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hello Hardeep,

      Ironically, we will be leaving Norway just a day before you arrive. We will be much further north than you, however, in Tromso.

      First of all, may I say how jealous I am that you are going to the Juvet. It is so beautiful there. I’m not sure if this will work, but I have tried to create a Google Map of our drive (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1iJJvzfo891ux-fI4hXq8nzIgt7BLgnGN&usp=sharing). We drove in the order of the video: Alesund – Trollstigen – Juvet – Geirangerfjord – Alesund (with a stay at Storfjord because the Juvet was full). In that order, we drove UP the Trollstigen road. There is a lookout at the top which is quite spectacular. The Juvet is in the middle portion of the route. The drive from Alesund – Trollstigen – Juvet takes about 2.5 hours (then add at least 1/2 for exploring at the top of Trollstigen). The drive from the Juvet – Geirangerfjord – Alesund is almost 4 hours, but you would need to add time for stopping to admire the fjord and there is also a short ferry at one spot (also would require a short wait). I totally think you could do this loop in either direction (up or down Trollstigen), depending on which day is best for the longer drive. I would, however, make sure you enjoy every minute of your time at the Juvet. We did not get to Oye, but it seems perhaps a bit ambitious for your time limits…although I’m not one to say…we really like to push the limits. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.