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Ålesund is a town in Møre og Romsdal county in Western Norway. It is internationally famous for the high concentration of Art Nouveau architecture and very picturesque coastal scenery.

Quick Facts
Western Norway
Native Name
approx. 45,000
98.78 km² (38.14 sq mi)
Norwegian krone (NOK)
Time Zone
CET (UTC+1) / summer: CEST (UTC+2)
Main Language(s)
Norwegian (Nynorsk / Bokmål)
Nearest Airports
Ålesund - Vigra (AES)

In 1904 a great fire destroyed most of the town. Most of the houses in Ålesund had been built of wood. Due to strong winds, the fire spread very quickly. Many people lost their homes but only one person died in the fire. The German Emperor Wilhelm was very fond of Norway and often spent vacations there. He helped to rebuild Ålesund after fire. Art Nouveau was a very popular art style at that time, and most new buildings in Ålesund were built in that style. Nowadays this Norwegian town boasts uniquely consistent architecture in the central area, as most buildings there were built shortly after the great fire. There is an Art Nouveau Center in the downtown, called Jugendstilsenteret (Jugendstil is the Norwegian and German term for Art Nouveau).

As aesthetically pleasing as Art Nouveau may be (especially compared to some newer architecture), it is not the only reason why a photographer might want to visit Ålesund. The surrounding area is extremely picturesque with its fjords, mountains and coastal scenery. Every photographer visiting this part of Norway should at least once visit Mt. Aksla. The view from there is spectacular. How often can you get a picturesque town, sea and mountains in one frame?

Getting to Ålesund is easy. The nearby airport in Vigra handles relatively frequent flights to Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim. Other destinations include Stavanger, Amsterdam, Gdańsk and Kaunas. Ålesund is also a port of call for cruise vessels, including the famous Hurtigruten.

Ålesund, Norway - Panorama of the Town at Sunset

Have a look at some of my photos taken in Ålesund:

Ålesund, Norway - Panorama of the Southwestern Part of the Town Shortly after Sunset

Panorama of the Southwestern Part of the Town Shortly after Sunset

Mt. Aksla in Ålesund offers some amazing photo opportunities. I think that most often photographers visiting that great spot go for a wide angle composition, showing the old part of the town with the Brosundet channel, the sea and the surrounding mountains. […]

Ålesund, Norway - Moonrise over Mountains near Borgundfjorden

Moonrise over Mountains near Borgundfjorden, as Seen from Mt. Aksla in Norway

I was standing on Mt. Aksla in Ålesund, photographing a spectacular sunset over the town and the Norwegian Sea. And then, at one moment, I decided to look around and when turned to the southeast, I saw this beautiful moonrise above the mountains near Borgundfjorden. […]

Ålesund, Norway - Spectacular Sunset Colors and Cloud Formations over Valderhaugfjorden

Spectacular Sunset Colors over Valderhaugfjorden, Ålesund, Norway

The Norwegian town Ålesund is an extremely beautiful place, but it is not famous for good weather. As a matter of fact, most days there are rainy or cloudy. Unlike in some other parts of the world, there is no dry season and no wet season. Or perhaps the whole year is a “wet season”. Nevertheless, sunny days do happen in Ålesund and if you follow the weather forecast and book the flight for the right day, you have a chance to see there spectacular sunsets. […]

Ålesund, Norway - Evening Panorama of the Town

Evening Panorama of Ålesund as Seen from Mt. Aksla, Norway

The Norwegian town Ålesund must be one of the most picturesque towns in the whole of Scandinavia. It had been on my bucket list for a long time. The town is famous for its Art Nouveau architecture. […]