City Guide Trondheim. The Travel Guide for your trip to Norway.
Trondheim is the technology and historical capital of Norway! Trondheim! Rich with history, the town has a lot to offer to entertain its tourists. The city was Norway’s former Viking capital, which provides incredible opportunities to enthusiastic travelers.
Believed to be the oldest city of Norway, the city has a vibrant nightlife and atmosphere, mainly because of the large population. Trondheim has some intriguing historic sites and dynamic cultural scenes, making it one of the exciting places to visit. Unlike Bergen and Oslo, the town is remote and isolated but full of life and vibrancy with different cultures. Trondheim offers a combination of student life, nightlife, alternative politics, culture, arts, and music.
From its history, culture to vibrant nightlife, the city has something for everyone. There won’t be a single day where you the city will not make you feel bored. Even if you fall short of places in Trondheim, there is so much to do around the area.
Create your itinerary with this travel guide and make your visit to Trondheim a memorable one. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to book your tickets, pack the bags and get on the flight. Your adventures are waiting for you!
Table of contents
Location: In the country Trøndelag, in the central part of Norway
Established: In 997, until 1217 Trondheim was the capital of Norway
Population: 205,332 (2020)
Time zone: UTC+01:00 (CET), in the summer UTC+02:00 (CEST)
The name Trondheim suggests a home of a fertile and strong population. The name came from the old Norse Prondheimer. In AD 997, Viking King Olav Tryggvason founded the city. Since then, the city has a special place in the history and culture of Norway. It was the first capital of Norway, and it remains to be the coronation city of the kings of Norway, including King Harald V and Harald Harfagre were blessed, crowned, and hailed.
In 1681, the catastrophic fire destroyed the city and its houses. Then, Major Jean Casper de Cicignon came from Luxembourg to create the town’s Baroque style design. To prevent the spread of fire, he redeveloped most of the streets. However, some narrow streets still exist in the city.
The city center still has wooden buildings built around the 1700s, and that’s why Trondheim is referred to as Europe’s typical wooden cities.
From the previous times and till now, Trondheim is a popular pilgrimage destination. Moreover, it is also a regional capital, a crucial education & research center, an industry & commerce center, and an ecclesiastical center.
Some historically essential sites at Trondheim include Stiftsgarden, Erkebispegarden (residence of the archbishop), Church of our Lady, Kristiansten Fortress, and Munkholmen monastery. The University of Trondheim, established in 1968 and seat of Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences, set up in 1760, is found here in this historical city.
Trondheim has a very well-developed and functional transport system, making it easy for tourists to reach different tourist attractions.
Bike or Foot
The tourist attractions are mostly located within walking distance. You can easily stroll through the downtown due to its compact size. If you love biking or cycling, you can take your means of transport and climb up to the Fortress.
The bus network of Trondheim reaches almost all the parts of the city. During the day, there are frequent departures, which become less frequent as the day went down. You can buy your ticket from the bus driver directly.
You can also buy prepaid tickets at some parking meters and convenience stores such as Deli de Luca, 7-Eleven, and Narvesen). They are generally cheaper.
To reach Munkholmen Island, the quickest way is via boat. You can find the high boat frequency from May to September. Take a boat from Ravnkloa and reach the beautiful destination in no time.
Trondheim generally provides a tram line covering different parts of the city. Running from St Olavs gate, Grakallbanen goes straight into the Bymarka forests. The ride through the woods offers picturesque views of the city. Also, it is one of the world’s northernmost tram services.
You can also travel via local train, Tronderbanane, within the boundaries of the city. To travel on regional trains, you have to buy the tickets from the conductor or station clerks.
A tour to Trondheim allows you to see unique and impressive tourist attractions, which include the Archbishop Palace and the museum of instruments & music, Ringve Museum.
If you are into adventure, you may wish to visit Munkholmen to catch the city’s beautiful view. Also, the place is ideal for swimmers, and it has dedicated lanes for cyclists. In short, the city is no short of activities.
Let’s take a detailed look at the famous places you can visit in Trondheim and what is unique in those places.
Constructed over St Olav’s grave, the patron saint of Norway, Olav Kyrre built Nidaros Cathedral in the 11th century. Since then, it is one of Scandinavia’s most magnificent Churches. Besides being the most popular tourist attraction, it is also the northernmost medieval cathedral in the world.
Many Kings were buried and christened here. After 1814, as part of Norway’s constitution, the monarchs are crowned at the Trondheim Cathedral.
Apart from knowing the rich history of the place, you can enjoy the building’s stunning architecture. Moreover, you can climb the cathedral tower to experience a panoramic view of the city.
Constructed in 1681-1695, Kristiansten Fortress is situated on the east of the city hills. The Fortress protected the city from possible attacks in the past. During the 20th century, Nazis kept Norwegian Resistance members inside the tomb. That’s why the Fortress is also a memorial for those people who were beheaded inside the tower.
To enjoy your way to Kristiansten Fortress, walk through the areas and take pleasure in the beautiful views. It would be best to climb to the tower; however, admission to a small museum and tower requires no fees. It’s all worth the climb as the view from the hill will make you spellbound.
Trondheim houses the beautiful Bakklandet neighborhood full of colorful houses and picturesque lanes. Once you cross through the Old Town Bridge and Nidelva river, you will reach this beautiful village.
Though it is a small village, the historical wooden buildings along the riverside have now turned into restaurants, coffee houses, galleries, and small shops. You can go shopping or stroll around the river and enjoy stunning views of the city.
No wonder, Bakklandet is known as the most atmospheric and historic neighborhood of Trondheim.
Do you enjoy rock and pop music? If yes, you have a chance to reminiscence and enjoy the greatest rock and pop music collection in Norway. The museum displays a collection of music with recordings, videos, and interactive exhibits.
With performance and sounds, the museum brings back the lively history of the 1950s at the Time Tunnel. Also, you won’t stop yourself from taking part in various activities like dancing, jamming to popular tracks, creating your original remixes, and bringing out the hidden graffiti artist.
Lastly, the museum has a restaurant which offers stunning views of the city.
Archbishop Palace and Museum
Visiting Trondheim, you cannot miss Archbishop Palace and the museum. The place is one of its kind in the whole of Europe. The palace exhibits several historical collections, such as Norwegian Crown Regalia, displaying Norway’s enthralling crown jewels.
At the Army and Resistance Museums, you will glimpse the military history dating back to World War II and the Vikings.
Sverresborg Trondelag Folk Museum
Dating back to the 12th century, the open-air historical museum displays the culture and history of Norway by representing the wrecks of King Sverre’s Castle. The museum represents the city and village life of native Sami people.
The museum center is made of wooden houses. They were once located in Trondheim downtown and comprised of tradesmen’s workshop, post office, and grocery store. It tells the tale of the maritime past of Trondheim with fishing gear, storehouses, and boat sheds. Besides, the farming village is representative of the rural life, which has Sami displays and a historic stave church.
Do you enjoy walking and hiking? Then, Trondheim is the best place which is close to nature. This defines the Norwegian love for nature and the outdoors. Trondheim offers several walks on the Bymarka hiking trails. However, the national hiking association has created a network of ten hiking trails in Trondheim.
Each trail is about 3.3km-7km long, which means you can easily start the train from anywhere as it is designed in circles. The network of ten trails goes by the name naertur project, aiming to motivate people to come out of their homes and walk along the trails.
Here, we will present you with some of the best trails that you should try while visiting Trondheim.
City Center Circuit: Midtbyrunden
Start your trail from the central Trondheim. You can find three starting points with detailed information on the boards at Skansen, Marinen, and Solsiden. It’s up to you from where you want to start your trial.
The best part of this route is that you will be walking along the water as this walking tour will take you adjacent to the canal, river, and the fjord. The attractions you will find on the way include Bakklandet, Nidaros Cathedral, some footbridges while passing the Nidelave River, and bathing spot Sjobadet.
Defense Circuit: Forsvarsrunden
If you are interested in taking historical walking tours, Forsvarsunden’s 5.4 km long trail can be your ideal option. It is near to Trondheim’s downtown, which takes you through the historical setting of the town.
Why is this tour called Defense circuit? It is because you will find Kristiansten fortress on your way. Constructed in a defense setting with a rich protective history, the place offers picturesque views of the city. You will witness more historical monuments on the way with their information displayed on the boards to read as you walk.
Tillerrunden and Leirfossrunden
Newly added circuits allow you to explore more of the Trondheim while walking. As you walk through Leirfossrunden, two hydropower stations at waterfalls and a long river stretch are the highlights of the trail. The river is an important location for biological diversity and houses diverse animal and plant life.
While walking through the 5.2 km trail, you will also find the link to residential locations, including Kroppanmarka, Okstad, and Sjetnemarka.
The Tillerrunder is situated close to the City Syd. shopping mall, generally known as a housing estate in Trondheim’s south. On the route, you gain much knowledge about the former airport, 1816 Tiller landslide, and Sjetnmyra drainage. The 6.8km long walking trail of Tillerrunden lets you visit the shopping mall, grab your favorite pastry as a treat of ending the walk.
Trondheim hosts several shopping centers. No matter your requirement, you will find everything in the shopping malls or small independent shops.
Located in the middle of the city, Trondheim Torg makes the most visited shopping center. With four entrances, it allows you to enter from any side of the road.
On the inside, the mall offers a vast collection of stores in different varieties. The top floor has an Ark bookshop with an immense books collection in the English Language. If you are looking for home products, you can find them at Clas Ohlson on the top floor.
Between Kongens gate and Nordre gate, you can find a small shop with twenty stores. The shopping center houses less common stores, including Outland, which is the only geek-culture branch in Trondheim. Also, there is a Candy Cloud store for the sweet tooth.
Just outside Olav Tryggvason’s gate, Thomas Angells gate, and Norde gate, you reach the central shopping streets of Trondheim. It would help if you looked out for the famous names like Chocolate shop (Sjokoladebutikken, Norrona concept store, Bogart. Cosmo department store and Livid Jeans.
For an enthusiastic and adventurous person, Trondheim has a lot to offer. From Swimming, winter sports to various events, not a single day of your trip will be without any fun.
- Pirabadet: Dive into the magnificent water palace’s swimming pool, Prabadet situated close to the sea. To get there, you can take a bus 52 to Pirteminalen, end station or bus 46.
- Sjobadet: A tiny but cozy beach that lets you enjoy a more relaxed swim in the cleanest water. It is situated behind the central train station.
- St Olav Festival: If you plan a July-August trip, don’t forget to miss the magnificent St Olav Festival. The festival comprises various religious programs and cultural festivities.
- Minimalen Short Film Festival: During March, you may get a chance to see the best international film scenes and Nordic and Norwegian short films.
- Vassfjellet: Enjoy an exciting experience at skiing at Vassfjellet. You can reach the place by taking a bus from Munkegata.
- Cross Country Skiing: In Trondheim, cross-country skiing is quite popular from November till April. They have dedicated skiing tracks in Estenstadmarka and Bymarka.