Top Things to do in Trondheim
Trondheim is one of the oldest cities in Norway and, in fact, the third-largest one. It boasts a rich history that saw the crowning of new kings, and it was Norway's capital until late 1217.
It lies on a peninsula in the Trøndelag County, where River Nidelva ends in the Trondheimsfjord.
The city is adjacent to the Archbishop’s Palace, home to Norway's Regalia or crown jewels.
Trondheim is adorned with art, starting with famous museums such as the National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum), the Archbishop’s Palace (Erkebispegården), and the Trondheim Art Museum.
Additionally, the city hosts the Rockheim, the national museum for popular music.
Trondheim comes alive at night, with about 40,000 students and tourists enjoying the city's fantastic cuisine, live music, and lovely charming shops. The coastal ferry that connects Bergen and Kirkenes docks at Trondheim, making it perfect for fjord cruises.
The best part is, Trondheim doesn’t experience darkness between mid-May and mid-July. The mild maritime climate makes it the perfect skiing destination.
To help you decide where to start, here are some top things to do in Trondheim.
Spend a Day in Bakklandet
The best way to explore the city is through the local people. The people living in Trondheim are warm, inviting, and very proud of their locality. Besides the in-depth knowledge of the best spots, you can count on their captivating stories. A great starting point is taking a day tour through Bakklandet.
It is home to Trondheim's richest history and has the most atmospheric neighborhood. It's famous for its café culture, cyclists, and picturesque old wooden houses. You’ll enjoy the view while strolling on the cobbled streets. Should you choose to cycle, you'll be safe on the special pavements designated for cyclists and a bicycle lift to assist you in climbing the steepest hill.
Bakklandet has the feel of a small village, with restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and galleries lining the riverside. You'll love sitting outside to enjoy the warm days.
While you’re there, make time for a meal at Kalas & Canasta. Externally, it could pass for a modern café, but inside, you'll be amazed by the cosy, old Bakklandet style dining room.
Visit the Kristiansten Fortress
The Kristiansten Fortress (Kristiansten Festning) stands on a hill towards the city’s east side, on the bank of the Nidelven River. The fortress, built between 1681 and 1695, protected the city from attack. After the climb to the fort, you'll love the breath-taking view of the city from the tower and the small museum free of charge.
There's a grim reminder of 20th-century history, specifically World War II. On the bright side, you can pay homage to the memorial dedicated to the prisoners executed there. You'll find the cells that the Nazis used to hold Norwegian Resistance members.
There’s a lovely view of the river and city from the fortress’s gun positions. You can also visit the Spartan, the Donjonen, and the whitewashed defensive tower.
During summer, the parks fill up with people enjoying the pleasant weather while grilling or picnicking.
Capture Moments at Old Town Bridge
The Old Town Bridge, also known as the Gamle Bybro or Bybroa cuts across the Nidelva River. It starts from the southern end of the Kjøpmannsgata Street to Bakklandet.
Johan Caspar von Cicignon constructed this bridge in 1681, after the great fire. It served as a strategic military position.
You can count on amazing photos, scenic views of the painted wooden houses on the riverfront, and cathedral spire while standing over the Gamle Bybro.
The picturesque Bymarka park and nature reserve is on the western side of Trondheim. It's accessible via road or a short ride via the Gråkall Line tram line.
It covers a whopping 80 square kilometres (31 sq miles) and has over 200 kilometres (120 miles) of tracks you can explore on foot.
Bymarka is perfect for winter skiing, hiking, strolling, or jogging in summer. If you enjoy golfing, you’ll appreciate the golf course at the end near the city.
If nature resonates with you, you'll enjoy the numerous lakes and bogs, although forests cover most areas. Several non-native tree species include the Sycamore maple, Douglas fir, European ash and larch.
As the highest mountain around Trondheim, you’ll have an unobstructed, stunning view of the city, the fjord, and the mountain ranges such as Sylane and Trollheimen.
Go Sightseeing at Trondheim Fjord
The Trondheim fjord is the third-longest fjord in Norway. It stretches about 80 miles (130 km) from the Norwegian Sea, between Agdenes lighthouse and Hjellebotn, forming a natural boundary between north and south of Norway.
Trondheims Fjord forms smaller fjords such as the Beitstadfjorden, Orkdalsfjorden, Strindfjorden and Åsenfjorden. You can explore the different islands as well, such as Ytterøya. Bordering the fjord is a stretch of fertile agricultural land next to the steep mountains.
When sailing into the Trondheim fjord, you’ll want to pay attention to your surroundings between the Trondheim – Rørvik and Kristiansund - Trondheim passages. The view of the rolling green hills, the historic sites and diverse birdlife on both sides will take your breath away.
Visit Nidaros Cathedral
Nidaros Cathedral, the most beautiful church in Scandinavia, rests above the tomb of St. Olav, the patron saint of Norway. King Olav Kyrre (1066-93) built the cathedral, and it's also the northernmost medieval cathedral in the world and a great tourist attraction in Trondheim.
Since 1814, the Norwegian constitution requires the king or monarch crowning to be in the Nidaros Cathedral. Kings were christened and buried in this cathedral. It boasts a late Romanesque style, with the transept and chapterhouse designed in England’s Norman architecture.
The western façade is a popular image filled with saints’ scriptures and kings on both sides of a sublime rose window. Beneath the nave, there’s a crypt with tomb monuments dating back to the Middle Ages.
Trondheim is a serene, picturesque city with a rich culture and history. It cuts across town, where you can then take a walk from the fjord towards the town. A great way to leave no stone unturned is by starting your tour at Bakklandet and just going with the flow (of the river, of course). On the way, stop at local cafes and pubs to enjoy local delicacies such as the seafood at Kafé Skuret at the seafront.