Did I ever mention that before going to Trondheim, I really contemplated moving to Lesund, Norway? It’s one of Norway’s most beautiful cities, with plenty of things to do, and it’s an ideal base for seeing the Norwegian fjords and mountains. How about perfect?
In fact, one of the most interesting aspects about Lesund is how proud the inhabitants are of it. If you ask anybody in Lesund how they feel about living there (and because I was thinking about relocating there, I asked everyone!) they will go on and on about how it is not just Norway’s most beautiful city, but the most beautiful city in the world.
While the latter may be exaggerated, I can affirm that Lesund is by far the most gorgeous city I’ve seen throughout my years in Norway.
Furthermore, it is close to some of Norway’s most beautiful natural wonders, such as Geiranger Fjord and Trollstigen, making it an ideal base from which to explore the nation.
I would propose flying directly into Lesund (low flights to Lesund can be found here), getting a hotel immediately in Lesund (compare hotels here), and then hiring a car to explore the local region (I prefer Sixt, check prices here).
Because, while there are enough of things to do in Lesund that will keep you busy for many days (2-3 days is recommended), there is also much to do in the surrounding region.
Trollstigen and Geirangerfjord / two of Norway’s most famous (and breathtaking!) natural wonders. More information is available here.
Gamle Strynefjellsvegen / this is the most gorgeous road drive I’ve ever taken in Norway, and most people are unaware of it! More information is available here.
If you wish to go a little farther north, you may visit Molde, Kristiansund, and Norway’s most renowned route, the Atlantic Ocean Road.
Alternatively, if you want to explore more of Norway, a trip to Lesund is included in a couple of my one-week Norway itineraries.
Travel Guides to Norway! In two 95-page ebooks, I’ve compiled all of my best advice for planning an incredible trip through Southern and Northern Norway, including my top recommendations for places to visit (both on and off the beaten path), the best times of year to visit, how long to stay, the best accommodation options, transportation, what to eat, what to pack, and how to plan the perfect itinerary.
The Table of Contents Activities in Lesund, Norway
Lesund is situated on a string of islands spreading out into the sea, but it’s most recognised for its gorgeous architecture, which not many (if any?) Norwegian cities can claim. After a fire devastated the city in 1904, it was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style.
And that’s what I love about Lesund – I’d seen images of the downtown before, but I always believed it was simply a few gorgeous Art Nouveau buildings strewn around.
However, because the entire city had to be reconstructed, everything is Art Nouveau. I felt like I was in the streets of a Central European city rather than a Norwegian one (in a good way).
Lesund is highly walkable because the downtown isn’t too big, and the city’s famed viewpoint, Fjellstua, is just a 418-step stroll up from the city park. Okay, 418 stairs may seem like a lot, but it’s well worth it for the greatest view of Lesund!
Lesund also has Norway’s most major fishing port! Of course, you must consume some fish while you are there.
Plus, nothing beats a steaming cup of fish soup on a wet day. If the weather permits, you may sit outdoors with some fresh fish and chips and take in the views of the waterfront.
And, completely unrelated, I ate the finest pizza I’ve ever had in Norway here. It was at a tiny pizza/kebab establishment in the main square that I can’t remember the name of, but you’ll see it if you go there.
Because you don’t have to eat fish every day in Lesund (but don’t tell any locals I recommended you to eat pizza!).
If you enjoy music, you’re in luck since Lesund offers numerous excellent record stores.
The first place I went was Jukebox, which was located in the heart of town. It’s one of those very fancy shops where the workers wear suits, and when I’m browsing through records, I try to pause on ones that I know are cool in the hopes that no one sees that I’m not even somewhat cool.
The next shop, Serie Antikvariatet, was considerably more laid back. I talked to the guy who ran it (who mistook me for Danish! ha) and looked through loads and piles of albums, antique periodicals, and movie stills.
And I left certain that when I relocate to Lesund, I will frequent this store. Because, yeah, after hanging out here, I wanted to relocate back to Lesund.
Lesund’s aquarium is well-known throughout Norway, and with good reason. Penguins, otters, and other sea species can be found here. This one is ideal for families or anyone searching for something to do on a wet day.
I’m not a huge museum guy, but this lifeboat display was fantastic! The museum provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about Lesund’s history and culture.
Play the Mark Kozelek song.
Okay, you don’t have to listen to LESUND when you’re in LESUND, but it’s quite great to listen to the music while you’re there!
If you have a car and want to get away from the city, you may drive out to the Alnes Lighthouse on the island of Gody for some beautiful views.
The lighthouse is around 30 minutes away from the city. It’s quite quiet out there since there’s not much else but the lighthouse, so it’s a pretty nice retreat. On the summer, you could even spot some surfers in the bay!
If you do not rent a car, this shore excursion itinerary includes a visit to the Alnes Lighthouse.
Even if you are not religious, a visit to the Lesund Church is worthwhile. The stained glass windows are lovely, and the church gives you a feeling of what life was like for inhabitants in Lesund a century ago. It’s a nice small location, and I believe they only charge 3 kroner to visit.
Slogen is not an easy climb by any means, but if you’re looking for a challenge and some gorgeous mountain views near Lesund, this is the hike for you! The Sunnmre Alps may be seen from Slogen, and there are some startling dips into the sea (so keep your balance!).
Lesund is surrounded by beautiful mountains and fjords, the nearest of which is Hjrundfjord. The Sunnmre Alps, among of Norway’s most beautiful peaks, surround Hjrundfjord, making it even more spectacular.
You may drive here from Lesund, but taking the boat is an even more wonderful experience! You may reserve your boat excursion here.
The ferry ride from Lesund to Hjrundfjord takes 4 1/2 hours and includes lunch at the famed Hotel Union ye, which I’ve already written about.
The hotel was erected in 1891 and is generally referred to as Norway’s most beautiful hotel — most Norwegians are aware of it, even if they haven’t been fortunate enough to stay there.
I stayed here in the spring of 2020 and had a great time. If you want to enjoy the complete experience, you may combine your boat journey with a stay at a hotel.
Rather of walking, explore Lesund by kayak. On this excursion, you might either conduct an architecture-themed tour of the city or travel to an archipelago near the island of Ellingsya.
Sunmore Museum, Aksla Viewpoint, Parken Culture Centre, the Art Nouveau city centre, Alesund Church, and the Norwegian Aquarium are all served by the 24-hour bus. It may be the most convenient method to move about if you don’t have a car or don’t want to drive one day.
Ski touring at night in the Sunnmre Alps
Why ski during the day when you can explore the Alps at night with a headlamp?
Kayak from Lesund to Brosundet, then over Aspevgen. When you get to Hessa, you may trek up Mount Sukkertoppen to witness views of the ocean, the Sunnmre Alps, and Lesund.
The Best Hotels and Accommodation in Lesund
Hotel Brosundet is housed in a wonderfully renovated Art Nouveau building with river views. I adore the design here, which includes wooden beams in the rooms and creaking old wooden floors, but it still seems quite modern, with wonderful new bathrooms.
This is my number one choice for a premium hotel in Lesund!
Scandic Lesund is located on the seaside and provides large, roomy, contemporary rooms, many of which have sea views.
The location is ideal – in downtown – with stunning views, but the coolest aspect of this hotel may be the restaurant, which has incredible panoramic views.
The First Hotel Atlantica is a four-star hotel on the canal in downtown Lesund, yet it provides unexpectedly low mid-range hotel rates. The breakfast is fantastic, and the staff is quite pleasant.
The Scandic Scandinavie is housed in a 1905 Art Nouveau structure, yet its rooms are big and contemporary. This delightful setting is just a few minutes’ walk from the Lesund Museum and within easy walking distance of all of Lesund’s main attractions.
I stayed at this apartment the first time I visited Lesund since it was as inexpensive as a hostel and had a kitchen, so I didn’t have to pay for dining out (one of the biggest expenses when travelling in Norway).
Downtown, Alesund Hostel provides dorm lodging. To view current pricing and availability, please click here.
After a very rainy week on Norway’s coast, the weather prediction forecasted beautiful skies for the duration of my stay in Lesund!
Except that in Lesund, clear sky obviously means “clear skies,” or simply pouring rain. All the better because it meant we’d get to see what Lesund is actually like, as sunny days are allegedly scarce there.
What is the takeaway? Bring the right attire! Backcountry’s rain gear assortment is typically appealing to me.