Welcome to Trondheim, Norway!
A history stretching back over 1,000 years to the Viking Age, Norway’s first capital city, is steeped in the myths and legends of this amazing and mysterious country. As the gateway to Medieval Norway, as well as the last major city before the deep, dark forests of Northern Norway and Tromso in the Arctic, Trondheim simmers with adventure, history, and astonishing natural beauty. It might lack some of the “scandi-cool” of Copenhagen or Stockholm, but it’s got an attraction all of its own.
Norway’s third city might not be on traditional travel itineraries, but with the convenient Oslo to Trondheim train, there’s no excuse not to visit. A worldwide local knows how to find the best experiences in this off-the-beaten-path destination. This is an insider’s guide of some of Trondheim’s finest spots.
Start at the Bakklandet District
After you get settled into one of the Trondheim hotels, you’ll surely be wondering where to visit first. Famous for its wooden houses, cafe culture and cyclists, the Bakklandet district is one of the most charming, picturesque areas of Trondheim and the best place to start your journey. Wander along its cobbled streets and soak up the laid back, chilled out vibe...and don’t forget the camera! The colorful wooden houses are picture-perfect, and the top of its steepest hill (with convenient bicycle lift, if you are on two wheels) has some of the prettiest views of the city.
Worldwide Local Tip: The coffee scene is big in Trondheim, and Bakklandet has some of its best cafes. Any self-respecting caffeine lover should head to Dromedar Kaffebar for amazing coffee and some top notch pastries to boot.
Visit the Beautiful Trondheim Cathedral
No trip to Trondheim would be complete without visiting Nidaros Cathedral, the northernmost medieval Gothic cathedral in the world, and Norway’s most significant church. It’s a pretty extraordinary sight from the outside, and for lovers of medieval art, the interiors are just as impressive. It’s amazing to think that it started life as a simple wooden chapel, over the grave of St Olav. Nidaros Cathedral is also just a short walk to the, unbelievably, photogenic Gamle Bybro, the Old Town Bridge, which offers amazing views of the colorful warehouses, on the banks of the river Nidelva.
Worldwide Local Tip: Many visitors only get to see the main interior, but it’s still an impressive sight and worth the visit. Visit during the summer months, when the Trondheim weather is at its warmest, and you can climb 172 dark, narrow steps to the top of the tower, for some breathtaking views. There are also rumors that tours take place through hidden rooms and tunnels, beneath the cathedral.
Arts in Trondheim
Trondheim has a strong and long standing artistic community and has developed a bit of a reputation as a paradise for contemporary art lovers. It is full of fascinating, eccentric galleries like the Kunstmuseum and the Modern Art Gallery, which often host remarkable exhibitions from Norwegian and international artists. Particularly worth checking out is the Trondelag Senter for Samtidskunst, which specializes in innovative and experimental art expressions.
Worldwide Local Tip: To really get a feel for Trondheim’s creative, alternative community, swing by the hippie paradise of Svartlamoen, the city’s answer to Copenhagen’s Freetown Christiania. Browse anarchist bookshops, and appreciate Norway’s living laboratory for experimental, sustainable architecture.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Trondheim has history around every corner, natural beauty on its doorstep, and is an artistic, alternative, and vibrant city. Worldwide locals know that the best experiences can be found away from the better known hotspots, and this picture-perfect area of Norway is no exception.