Whether you are interested in discovering the historical sites of Norway or you dream about adventuring to the Arctic north to chase the spectacular Aurora Borealis, Trondheim is a fantastic destination.
Yes, Oslo is a great choice for culture aficionados, but Trondheim, the third-largest city in the country and Norway’s historic Viking capital, is also waiting for travelers with a great number of memorable surprises.
If you want to explore an explosive nightlife scene, see the largest medieval building in Scandinavia, get in touch with fascinating history, and admire the northern natural beauty, start planning your trip to Trondheim.
To get close to this spectacular city you need at least a week of wandering around.
However, if you don’t have so much time, three days would be enough to give you a healthy taste of the city and make you want to come back for more. Here is how you can spend your three days in Trondheim, Norway.
Don’t forget to pack: Lonely Planet Norway (Travel Guide)
13 Best Things to Do in Trondheim, Norway
1. Explore the Urban Beauty by Foot
As mentioned, Trondheim has a rich history and visiting its museum will get you closer to the city’s soul.
Yet, since the city is quite small, the best way to begin your journey is with a walk to remember. So, put on your comfortable shoes and start exploring it.
One of its most beautiful areas is the old city, known as Bakklandet. Make sure you don’t miss strolling its delightful streets and admiring the colorful wooden buildings, which used to be the homes of the working class.
Now, they are hosting interesting shops, inviting cafes, and restaurants.
The city itself is easy to navigate around. Think of it as a shape of a U with the open part pointing to the sea or the cruise port.
2. Check Out Scandinavia’s Largest Wooden Palace: Stiftsgården
With 140 rooms, Stiftsgården is late-baroque jewelry that should be on every traveler’s must-see list.
This imposing palace is now a royal office residence, but it was built with the purpose of being a private house. If you want to catch a glimpse of this fascinating landmark, you must join one of the tours available.
They begin every hour and they offer interesting and useful info every history aficionado must know.
3. Visit the Most Important Gothic Monument in Norway: The Nidaros Cathedral
Visiting Trondheim without seeing the impressive Nidaros Cathedral is out of the question.
Known for being Scandinavia’s second-largest medieval cathedral and Norway’s most important Gothic monument, Nidaros protects Trondheim, standing in the middle of its city center.
Wander around freely inside its magnificent walls but, if you travel during the summer months, join a detailed tour and learn more about this interesting landmark.
End the day with a beer and a delicious dish in one of the many local pubs and restaurants. As mentioned, those in Bakklandet are a great option.
4. See the Hanseatic Houses
Not to miss in Trondheim is the historical Hanseatic district. The area features a canal that showcases a long row of brightly colored houses, some in disrepair but offering an amazing glimpse into the history of the city.
Photographers and tourists alike flock to the area for its picturesque qualities. You can also enjoy some great shopping and dining along the canal, so be sure to give yourself some time to really enjoy the area and views.
5. Have a Wonderful Journey into the Past: The Museum of Natural History and Archaeology
Whether you are a history enthusiast or less into studying the past, the Museum of Natural History and Archaeology is definitely a must-see.
Gain an understanding of the natural, as well as the human history of this area while exploring the compelling exhibits in this fascinating museum.
6. Visit an Iconic Landmark: The Kristiansten Fortress
Built after the great fire, in 1681, The Kristiansten Fortress is an emblematic landmark that must be on your list. The fortress saved Trondheim from the Swedes at the beginning of the 18th century.
Then, the Nazis used it as an execution place. In addition to having great historical importance, the Kristiansten Fortress is the perfect place to admire the breathtaking view of the city and its superb surroundings.
7. Relax on a Charmin Island: Munkholmen
Located close to the city center, the delightful Munkholmen used to be the place where the Vikings held their executions.
At present, the island is a fantastic relaxing area for both locals and travelers.
You can easily get to the lovely island by boat and, if the weather permits, you can enjoy a cup of coffee on the small beach or at the cozy cafe that is open during the summer months.
Don’t forget to pack your Lonely Planet Norway (Travel Guide)
8. See the City Differently: Rent a Bike
There are more bike lanes in Trondheim than in any other Norwegian city, so you better take advantage of this aspect and explore the beautifully arranged streets riding a bike.
And if you want to have a unique experience, check out the bike lift located in the old city center.
There aren’t too many people who end up using it successfully, but some have fun trying, while others enjoy watching the more courageous ones fail.
9. Learn About the Norwegian Music at the Rockheim Museum
If you want to have some fun while getting closer to the history of Norwegian music, visit the national museum of pop and rock music.
At the Rockheim, you can learn all about the history of music in Norway from the 1950s to the present days. Check out the main exhibition, called the ‘Time Tunnel’, and catch a glimpse of the most important artists.
If you are a music history aficionado, make sure you visit the changing exhibitions, as well.
10. Have a Memorable Outdoor Adventure: Walk or Bike the Trails Around the City
Trondheim is an absorbing city and strolling its captivating streets warms even the coldest hearts.
But if you love outdoor activities and you want to admire the natural beauty surrounding the city, walking the trails around it will definitely enhance your city break.
Ladestien and Nidelv Tien are two of the many trails that can easily make an adventurer fall in love.
Another place that you shouldn’t miss if you are looking for outdoor adventure in Trondheim is the closely located Bymarka Nature Preserve.
Just outside of the city limits, this nature preserve is huge and plays host to miles of hiking trails, fishing lakes, camping spots, and bike trails. It is the go-to place for locals looking to escape the city.
11. Sverresborg Folk Museum
The Sverresborg Folk Museum is placed around the ruins of King Sverre’s castle, which dates back to 1183.
The open-air cultural museum is among the largest in all of Norway and features a live depiction of an 18th-century city center and farm village.
A tour of the museum is interactive and you will be guided through stories of the people that once occupied the buildings that stand today.
Viator offers many great tours in Trondheim Norway. Below are the top 2 tours you can not miss when visiting Trondheim, Norway.
Day Trips from Trondheim, Norway
Travelers who plan to spend more than a couple of days in this Norwegian piece of heaven should consider enjoying a day trip to visit the beauty around Trondheim.
12. If Given the Occasion, Why Not Visit Hell?
Located very close to the Trondheim Airport Vaernes, Hell is a village all travelers who visit this area want to go to.
There might not be much to do around here, but most people just want to step inside its borders for a moment and take a photo of their “unique experience in Hell”.
You will see visitors getting off the train just to take a picture by the station sign. However, if you choose to visit Hell, you should also check out the rock carvings at Helleristninger. They say they date back to the Stone Age. Interesting, right?
13. Visit the “Norwegian Wild West”, Roros
Considered by many as one of the most beautiful villages in Norway and described by some as the “Wild West of Norway”, Roros is a Unesco World Heritage-listed site that will instantly amaze your eyes and conquer your soul.
Surrounded by hills and forests, the former mining community is now focusing on local food and sustainable tourism. Stroll the dreamy alleys of this fairy-tale village and indulge in the contagiously laid-back atmosphere it has.
Trondheim, Norway Planning Tips
Where to Stay – Trondheim Hotels
Whether you want to stay in a hotel, hostel, apartment or you feel adventurous enough to choose a campsite, Trondheim is welcoming you with a great number of options.
Located in the heart of the city, Scandic Bakklandet is a fantastic choice for people who are interested in an elegant and warm hotel.
In addition to comfortable rooms, the hotel offers its guests the chance to indulge in the tasty food served at the restaurant, join the gym, and relax in the inviting bar while enjoying a tasty drink.
Book your stay today at the Scandic Bakkladet
History aficionados are invited to stay at the Nidaros Pilgrimsgard hotel. Little but delightful, this hotel is located in the old city center, right next to the enchanting Nidaros Cathedral.
It is definitely a great option for people who want to be in the middle of everything while visiting Trondheim.
Book your stay today at the Nidaros Pilgrimsgard
And if you find the hotels in Trondheim too expensive for your budget, check out the accommodations available on the world-famous Airbnb.
In addition to finding a great apartment or a private room, you might also meet a friendly host who can enhance your trip with useful local tips.
Read reviews and check prices with our Hotel Search Engine, that gives you the best hotel deals found on the web. Our search engine pulls results from all of the major booking places, including Expedia, Hotels, Booking and more. All the options, all the deals, all in one place and just for you.
Where to Eat – Trondheim Restaurants
While sleeping in a comfortable bed and visiting the most important landmarks are important aspects of your trip, what you eat is crucial to an enjoyable vacation. You can’t do too much on an empty stomach, can you?
If you want to have a memorable lunch, go to Baklandet Skydsstation and let your taste buds go wild!
Many locals go to this restaurant to indulge in the herring buffet they often have for lunch. However, if this is not your cup of tea, don’t worry, because there are other amazing dishes on the menu.
On a sunny day, Kafé Skuret is the best place for a tasty seafood dish. Located on the seafront, the pub has a great atmosphere, serves mouth-watering food, and offers a flawless service.
In case you’re not hungry, just sit and enjoy one of the tempting local beers.
And if you want to enjoy some of the best traditional Norwegian dishes, eat at The Tavern.
There is no better place to intensify your encounter with the Norwegian culture than at this local restaurant, indulging in the mouth-watering traditional food.
How to Get To Trondheim, Norway
Trondheim is the third-largest city in Norway and a place that is slowly gaining popularity with visitors to Norway.
Officially a University city, the city is lively with a lot to offer. It is accessible in many ways including planes from the major cities of Oslo or Bergen, by car, by train, by ferry, and by cruise ship.
HOW WE DID IT
We explored Norway’s coastline on an expedition cruise, this allowed us to explore sleepy fishing villages that still had fish drying on the racks next to the seaside, small off the beaten path islands that don’t see other cruise ships and many more of Norway’s natural wonders.
This kind of itinerary was made possible by choosing to cruise on a small ship versus a mega-ship. We were able to get into places where few other travelers visit, let alone other cruise ships. Many of the places we visited are not possible to visit unless you are on a small ship.
Our cruise started above the Arctic Circle in Tromsø, sailed up to Nordkapp and then headed all the way down the coast to end in Bergen.
Trondheim was the only city to stop our cruise made, outside of our start and endpoints.
Ready to plan your own adventure in Norway? Have a look at the exact itinerary we did on our 11 days Cruising the Norwegian Fjords in Depth tour with G Adventures. Note, we spent several extra days in Bergen after the cruise and also planned our hike to Trolltunga separate from the cruise.
|Cruise the Norwegian Fjords in Depth|
Tromsø to Bergen
Small Expedition Ship
|Norwegian Fjords & Arctic Discovery|
Bergen to Longyearbyen
Small Expedition Ship
|Scottish Islands & Norwegian Fjords|
Edinburgh to Tromsø
Small Expedition Ship
|Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Other Great Adventures in Norway
- Northern lights & arctic circle by rail – Oslo to Tromso 9 days
- Norway fjord trekking – Round trip from Bergen 7 days ** This includes Trolltunga (the “Troll’s Tongue”) a world’s top 100 travel adventure! **
More on Norway:
- Visiting Nordkapp Norway – Everything You Need to Know
- Epic Guide of Things to Do in Tromsø, Norway
- Choosing A Norway Cruise: Essential Tips & Advice
- Hiking in Norway – A Introduction Guide
- 10 Reasons to Take a Norway Fjords Cruise with G Adventures
- 35 Epic Norway Photos to Inspire Your Next Trip