Trondheim is often skipped by tourists in favour of the capital, the fjords or the draw of the northern lights. Yet Norway’s former Viking capital has a lot to offer the adventurous tourist, including incredible hiking opportunities, a splendid old town, and not one, but two of the country’s best music museums.
What to do
Trondheim is an ideal weekend destination with easy flight connections from all Norwegian cities along with Amsterdam, Copenhagen and London.
It’s main draw is the Nidaros cathedral that dominates over the low-rise and compact city centre. Built over the burial site of Saint Olav, the 11th century Norwegian king who became the patron saint of the nation, Nidaros Cathedral is the traditional location for royal coronations and consecrations in Norway. Adjacent to the cathedral is the Archbishop’s Palace, now home to a museum built over the ruins of the original buildings. In the west wing, you can get up close and personal with the Crown Regalia, including the actual crown of the King of Norway – behind glass of course!
Trains, buses and even a tram are on hand to whisk you away to the wonders of nature, in whichever direction you choose. To the west/south-west of the city, Bymarka (the City Forest) offers hundreds of miles of hiking and cycling trails, which transform into cross-country skiing trails in the winter. A tram ride up the hill and into the forest followed by a wander around the lake and some berry-picking can make a surprisingly enjoyable – and budget friendly – family activity.
Trondheim is a cultural centre, hosting a wide variety of festivals and events throughout the year.
Where to stay
Trondheim is not short of mid-to-high range hotels, but in recent years a number of budget choices have popped up in the city centre.
Trondheim’s public transport system is largely based on buses and while they are relatively easy and convenient to use, frequency can be low particularly in the evenings and at weekends. The city centre is compact and flat, thus easy to navigate on foot. Hiring a bicycle (some hotels offer this) is a sensible option too. The city has one tram line that runs from the city centre all the way into the city forest. It’s mainly used by commuters but is a great option for those looking to explore Bymarka, the city forest.
Read our full guide to public transport in Trondheim.
Where to eat
Like any Norwegian city, the best value can be found at the city’s diverse range of Chinese, Thai and indian restaurants. Many offer daily specials but they can be tough to spot! If you like to splurge, there are plenty of options for traditional Norwegian dining, or terraces with a view.
For lunch or snacks, it’s best to avoid the kiosks (Narvesen, 7Eleven, Mix, etc) that offer all things sweet and salty at inflated prices – although the coffee is often good value! Some supermarket chains offer salad bars at reasonable prices.
Shopping in Trondheim
Firstly it’s important to remember that almost all shops except small kiosks and tacky souvenir shops are closed on Sundays! The most unique shops can be found along Bakklandet, although opening hours are often limited to Fridays and Saturdays, and when large cruise ships are in dock.
High street names are also available on Nordre gate, and in the Trondheim Torg, Mercur, Byhaven and Solsiden malls. The out of town malls at Sirkus and City Syd are not worth a visit for tourists.
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