Ålesund is built on a row of islands extending towards the Atlantic. The compact old city centre is thus surrounded by water and Ålesund is a major fisheries harbour.
The old city centre of Ålesund was destroyed by fire in the first years of the 20th century. Much international aid, including personal gifts from Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany who used to holiday there, helped to rebuild in the most modern style, Art Nouveau.
From the city there is a beautiful view of the Sunnmøre Alps in the East.
Much of the joy of seeing Ålesund is to be found in just strolling past the many art nouveau shops and other buildings.
AA restaurant and a bistro. The latter is moderately priced and has an interestingly varied clientele.