Trondheim was the first location I lived in Norway, therefore it seems to reason that it is the city in Norway that people most frequently ask me about.
At least once a week, someone approaches me for advice on the finest things to do in Trondheim, when to visit, what to see, where to eat, and where to stay.
For example, questions that everyone who has lived in Trondheim should be able to answer.
And I’m always like, “Have you thought about going to Lesund?” Or is it Bod? Allow me to tell you about them!
I’m the worst, I’m the worst. And it’s absurd, because Trondheim is one of the top Norwegian cities I suggest people visit.
Trondheim hotel options include the Britannia Hotel for traditional luxury, the Scandic Bakklandet for modern luxury, and the Best Western Chesterfield Hotel for mid-range Trondheim lodging.
Packing for Trondheim: My summer packing guide for Norway can be found here, and my winter packing advice for Norway can be found here.
In general, I would describe Trondheim as a casual city; even when dressed up for a night out, most ladies wear shoes or boots with their gowns, so leave the high heels at home.
Travel Insurance: Getting travel insurance is usually a good idea, especially these days. I usually use World Nomads Travel Insurance since I’ve had positive experiences with them in the past.
The downtown is small enough to see in a single day, but it has so many magnificent vistas and photo possibilities, plus it’s on the rail line, so you can easily go to both southern and northern Norway.
So, following my most recent vacation to Trondheim, I decided to gather my courage and finally write that guide to things to do in Trondheim that I’d been intending to write for, what, a year and a half? Because, as far as Norwegian cities go, Trondheim has it all when it comes to exciting things to do.
So, here are my top recommendations for things to do in Trondheim. 37, to be precise! Edit: After my most recent trip to Trondheim, I had to add two more, bringing the total to 39!
I’ve compiled all of my best 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 a sample itinerary that covers my personal favourite route through the south in a 93-page ebook.
Bakklandet is my favourite region in Trondheim and the major reason I believe travellers should consider including Trondheim on their Norway itinerary.
In fact, a family friend from Oslo came to visit Trondheim while I was living there, and I showed him around Bakklandet, and he remarked he had no idea Trondheim was that wonderful.
At the beginning of the day, he commented on how strange it was that I had decided to relocate to Trondheim of all places, but by the conclusion of the day, he was talking about how he may want to live here as well!
Bakklandet is well-known for its historic wooden houses, café culture, and bikers. The streets are cobblestone, but there are specific paved areas for bikes, and there is even a bicycle lift to aid bikers up the highest incline. It also has some of the most beautiful views in Trondheim.
But what I appreciate best about Bakklandet is that, unlike other ancient wooden districts in Norwegian towns, it isn’t overly touristic. It’s largely populated by young people and has a really wonderful, laid-back feel.
If you’re looking for a tour, Bakklandet is included in this alternative tour, and if you want to stay in the area, consider the Scandic Bakklandet.
It’s weird, because Nidaros Cathedral is typically one of my top recommendations for things to do in Trondheim, yet I’ve never gone inside!
I’m not sure how much the admission charge is (it’s 90 NOK – thanks, Google), but I’ve been to enough cathedrals to know it’s not really worth it. BUT, when in Trondheim, you must see the exterior of Nidaros. It’s also smack in the heart of the city, so you won’t be able to miss it.
Trondheim is a strange city with a different atmosphere than Oslo and Bergen (read: a lot of people from Southern Norway make fun of Trondheim), thus I’ve discovered that the best way to fall in love with Trondheim is to view it through the eyes of a native.
Locals in Trondheim are extremely proud of their city and can show you the best spots and tell you many interesting stories (I assume some of them are true?).
So, for a few hours, try arranging a customised private tour — they’re surprisingly reasonable and will provide you with a unique viewpoint on the city. Prices and availability may be found by clicking here.
Did I mention that these Trondheim activities are listed in descending order of importance? They’re (at least, so far they are).
Taking the tram up to Lian is one of my favourite things to do in Trondheim at any time of year. It may be caught at St. Olav’s Gate in the city centre.
There will be snow up there before we get it down here in the winter, and you may swim in the lake in the summer! It seems like a small nature getaway from the city, and from up there you can get some wonderful views of the city as well.
I used to live right next to Kristiansten Fortress, which is one of my favourite spots in Trondheim. During the summer, this park is packed with people sitting on the grass with picnics or barbecues.
Just don’t place a one-time grill on a wooden chair if you bring one.
Yes, even in August it will be bitterly cold, but if you want Norwegians to take you seriously, you must do it. That’s what my Norwegian pals told me…
Okay, most likely not. However, if you’re really lucky, you might be able to view the Northern Lights in Trondheim! At least, I did it once (but yeah, only once).
If you wish to view the northern lights, you should go north of the Arctic Circle (Bod or farther north).
I’ve written an in-depth ebook covering all aspects of planning your northern lights trip, including the best places to see the northern lights in Norway (and the Nordics), the best time to see the northern lights, my top northern lights accommodation choices, tour options, how to chase the northern lights (including which apps I use), how to photograph and film the northern lights, what to pack for your trip, and other exciting Arctic activities to try on your trip up N.
You may get the ebook here if you want to make sure you have the finest northern lights experience possible.
This bar is situated on the sea and is especially lovely on a sunny day (though the inside is also nice on a not sunny day).
Something about sitting on the beach usually makes me want to eat seafood, but evidently some folks can get by with just a drink. You make the call!
To be honest, there are so many fashionable cafés in Trondheim, and it seems like a new one opens up every week, that I don’t even know which one to suggest. Maybe you should simply go to all of them.
Kalas & Canasta is a fantastic Bakklandet hidden gem that only locals appear to be aware of. From the outside, it appears to be a modern café, but if you go further inside, you’ll find a cosy dining room in the ancient Bakklandet style.
I ordered the three-course set menu with wine pairings, and it was hands down one of the nicest meals I’ve eaten in Trondheim. They also feature a daily lunch special for 149, which is a steal in the region.
So Troll was the finest supper I’ve ever eaten in Trondheim. My friend Danielle was visiting, and she’s a major gourmet (and works in a restaurant), so she tried a bunch of places before settling on Troll. And it’s like, whoa, it’s so nice.
We shared a 3-course set menu and a fish dish (we didn’t have time for the 5-course meal), and it was a lot of food for the two of us. Go here if you want a fantastic lunch in Trondheim.
Trondheim is quite a distance north of Oslo, so if you’ve just spent time in Southern Norway, you’ll be astonished at how much longer the days are in Trondheim in the summer! However, if you visit during the winter, be prepared for extremely little sunlight.
Antikvariatet is my favourite since it looks like a library on the inside. On a beautiful day, there will be a lot of people sitting outdoors, and on cold/rainy/snowy (aka most) days, you can stay inside and enjoy the wonderfully comfortable environment, even with some live music if you’re lucky!
I’m not a huge sports fan, but watching Arsenal games at the Three Lions (and treating yourself to a burger!) is a lot of fun because this is where all Trondheim’s Arsenal fans congregate – and there are a lot of them.
But don’t worry if you’re not a fan of Arsenal or football in general. The Three Lions features a plethora of various rooms, each broadcasting a different sport (and during Arsenal games, they’ll show the same match in two distinct rooms – one for Arsenal supporters and one for whatever they’re playing).
Okay, so I’m not sure whether I want to disclose this secret because Bobby’s Bar is so unique. It’s a tiny little tavern in the heart of the city that’s frequented by the same bunch of old men every night.
When I’ve gone, everyone has interacted with each other and the proprietor is the sweetest person.
It’s unique, in part because it seems so close to home. So I don’t want to ruin it by turning it into a tourist trap! For example, when I initially went in, everyone glanced up to see who the weird new girl was.
They don’t seem to get a lot of non-regulars here, but they’re extremely kind (they wouldn’t even let me pay for my drinks the first time I went).
So, basically, just come here if you’re looking to meet locals. And no photographs are permitted inside!
Because Norway, rain or shine. Also, Norwegian soft serve is incredible. During the summer, it is available in the majority of Trondheim’s convenience stores.
Trondheim is a terrific city for riding, with all of its bike lanes (someone once told me Trondheim had 12 percent more bike lanes than any other city in Norway, but I can’t guarantee that’s accurate), and it’s worth renting a bike here to join in on the fun.
If you’re feeling very daring, you could even try out Bakklandet’s bike lift! (However, you must be bold for this — I’ve seen many a biker make a mess of themselves attempting to negotiate up this lift.)
In fact, instead of cycling, go to Bakklandet’s bike lift and watch people try to use it — it’ll be far more amusing. The nicest part is when a tour group comes through and tries it out — there are so many laughs.
This is my former neighbourhood, and it’s full of lovely wooden houses with river views. I believe it’s one of the most beautiful districts in Trondheim, but strangely, it’s also where a lot of students reside – how do they afford it?
Because they’re Norwegian, of course.
While you’re being all hipster at thrift stores, why not also check out some good old-fashioned record stores?
Trondheim has a plethora of record stores, but All Good Clean Records on Nonnegata 25 is perhaps my favourite — if only because it also has a coffee shop within. Haavard Holm Aftermath Music is also excellent.
It’s directly across the street from the tram station at St. Olav’s Gate. It’s one of those run-down establishments with a slew of weird and unusual recordings.
Also known as Trondheim’s cutest eatery (and the world). They frequently provide a herring buffet for lunch, but they also serve a variety of other delicious dishes if herring isn’t your thing. So tasty, and so adorable. No, seriously, it’s adorable.
One of my favourite things to do in Trondheim is to follow the path of the river through town. I prefer to start in Bakklandet and then make my way towards the city away from the fjord.
Rockheim Museum (number 23)
I’m not a big fan of museums, but people say Trondheim’s pop and rock music museum is a lot of fun. I’m just not sure I believe them — could you go investigate and report back to me?
Munkholmen – The Monk’s Island – was used as an execution site by the Vikings, then as a monastery, then as a jail in the 17th century, and now it’s a favourite trip for both Trondheim inhabitants and visitors.
You may take either a direct ferry or a lengthier boat excursion that will take you around town through Nidelva first. Both boats depart just in front of the Ravnkloa fish market, and tickets may be purchased on board.
Lol jk, you’re unlikely to catch many rays in Trondheim (though you never know!). The stroll from the city centre to Korsvika Beach, on the other hand, is incredibly pleasant — simply type “Korsvika” into Google maps and follow their itinerary.
I mean, I don’t know much about beer, but I know Trondheim has several local beers that people enjoy. The local lager is Dahl’s, and the Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri is, well, a microbrewery. During the summer, Den Gode Nabo is a tavern with a floating terrace on the river!
That’s it for your professional guide to Trondheim’s beer scene.
Just kidding, don’t do that — I’ve yet to see a foreigner attempt and appreciate aquavit.
If you’re feeling brave, Trondheim is the birthplace of Linie Aquavit, Norway’s oldest aquavit maker, thus this coun