Is Trondheim worth visiting?

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Whether you’re looking for an alternative Scandinavian city to visit or finishing St Olav’s Way, you may be wondering is Trondheim worth visiting? Find out more about this charming Norwegian city below.

  1. Is Trondheim worth visiting?
  2. How many days should you spend in Trondheim?
  3. What is Trondheim known for?
  4. Is Trondheim a walk able city?
  5. What to do in Trondheim?
    1. Visit Nidaros Cathedral
    2. Visit Archbishops Palace
    3. Head to a brewery
    4. Explore Bakklandet
    5. Take a fjord cruise
    6. Dine out in Trondheim
    7. Take a city tour of Trondheim
    8. Visit a flea market or thrift store
    9. Go for a swim
    10. Try a sauna in Trondheim
    11. Picnic on Munkholmen Island
  6. What to do in Trondheim at the end of pilgrimage?
  7. Where to stay in Trondheim?
  8. Is alcohol expensive in Trondheim?
  9. How to get to Trondheim?
  10. Is the Trondheim to Oslo train worth taking?

Is Trondheim worth visiting?

If you love small cities with loads of outdoor space and an easy going vibe then Trondheim could be well worth visiting. Whether you a pilgrim at the end of your walk from St Olav’s Way, a tourist visiting a new part of Norway or a group of friends on a stag party. Trondheim is absolutely worth visiting. A city surrounded by water, with a medieval history and a buzzing food scene. Trondheim has a lot to offer all visitors.

Trondheim is the third largest city in Norway, and although not as large as Oslo, it does provide a great alternative to visiting the capital. Of course Trondheim is still fun during the winter months but temperatures do average -4C while in summer they reach a pleasant 20C.

Read on to find out more about Trondheim.

How many days should you spend in Trondheim?

If you are coming to Trondheim as a city break, we recommend at least 48 hours and up to 72 hours (2 to 3 days) as the optimum time. If you have more time than this, you could explore more of Norway, including Dovrefjell national park.

Should you be arriving in Trondheim at the end your pilgrimage from Oslo, be sure to arrive to Trondheim with at least 24 hours to explore the city. Ideally more if you can, but we appreciate that this is not always possible if you have already been in Norway for one month.

What is Trondheim known for?

In Norway, Trondheim is known as the technology capital of the city. There’s a large science and technology university in the city and around 40,000 students buzzing around.

Trondheim is also home to entrepreneurs and has a vibrant feel about it. Recently it has become well known within the food scene in Norway and has many great bars too. There are also a number of fun trendy breweries in the city. Trondheim is also popular with those who enjoy flea markets and vintage stores.

However, it is not just a modern city. Trondheim was actually the viking capital of Norway. It has a Medieval history and you will often here Trondheim referred to as Nidaros, which is the medieval name of the city.

Is Trondheim a walk able city?

One of the things that we love about Trondheim is that it is a very walk able city. As it is quite compact, it is easy to explore the Medieval cathedral area, the marina and fjord front, and the suburb of Bakklandet within a day.

However, you can also consider cycling around Trondheim. The city is known for being super bicycle friendly. In Trondheim you can find the world’s only bicycle lift. Even if you don’t use it, it’s worth visiting it to see tourists attempt to use it!

What to do in Trondheim?

Visit Nidaros Cathedral

Nidaros Cathedral is perhaps the star of the city and makes Trondheim worth visiting. It is a gothic cathedral, with an interesting history. Built from the tomb of St Olav, the namesake of St Olav’s Way in 1070. Today, you can visit the cathedral and even climb the tower in the summer. Notice the wonderful stained glass windows inside. And look out for celebrations and events in the cathedral.

Visit Archbishops Palace

The Archbishops Palace is one of the medieval remnants in Trondheim, although a fire has damaged some of the building. Today, you can visit the building and see exhibits and relics from days gone by.

If you walk into Trondheim on St Olav’s Way, you’ll walk past The Archbishops Palace before arriving to the Cathedral.

Head to a brewery

There are a number of great breweries in Trondheim. Sure, they are a little more expensive than the traditional pub, but are a great option for beer lovers. We really liked Øx Tap Room, which is in the centre of the City. Monkey Brewery is a popular spot too.

Explore Bakklandt

Bakklandt is a charming area of Trondheim. It is the old town of the city complete with cobbled streets and buildings dating back to 1700. For me, this is the perfect area to explore and enjoy a coffee and a cinnamon bun outside as you watch the world go by.

Enjoy a beer at Kafe Skuret

Kafe Skuret is a fabulous spot on the water in Trondheim. Visit for one drink and you’re bound to stay for one more. If the sun is out, it’s hard to beat this spot for hanging out with friends. A beer is 59 NOK too, making it one of the cheapest in the city. The cafe hosts music events too, so if you’re lucky you can catch one of those on the weekend.

Dine out in Trondheim

Trondheim has many different options for dining out. For cheap eats and fast food, Super Hero Burger is an excellent choice. And for hungry pilgrims arriving in Trondheim, the all you can eat sushi deals are plentiful in the city and well worth the money!

For something more exclusive, there are Michelin restaurants in Trondheim. Credo offers a tasting menu inspired by the sea and with a focus on sustainable food. Fagn takes influence from the farm house culture in rural Norway, something you will recognize if you’ve walked St Olav’s Way.

If you’re looking for Norweigan cuisine, but not quite a Michelin star restaurant, try Troll, which occupies a delightful spot on the water. For Mexican food lovers, Frida is a popular choice.

Take a city tour of Trondheim

A walking or cycling tour of Trondheim is perhaps the best way to see the sites of the city, particularly if you’re short on time.

For couples, you can join an interactive fun couples walking tour, which includes games. Find out more here.

Visit a flea market or thrift store

Bryggerekka Bruktmarked is a flea market that takes place near to the water every Sunday in Trondheim. There are others that pop up regularly too.

Vintage and thrift stores are also popular in Trondheim. Fretex is a Salvation Army store stocking a range of second hand goods. You can find it here.

Go for a swim

If the weather is warm enough, you can take a refreshing dip in a number of swimming spots around Trondheim. In the city, by the fjord promenade, you can find “Fjordpromenaden” where locals take a swim in the summer. Monks Island (see below) is another popular spot. If you are looking for an alternative to the fjord, Lian Lake is a 22 minute tram ride out of the city and very popular with families in the summer.

Try a sauna in Trondheim

Sauna is a Norwegian institution, in Trondheim you have the option to enjoy a sauna at the Havet area of the city. Havet is a large meeting area, with bars and places to hang out. The sauna can be booked privately or you can join others. You can even enjoy a DJ evening at the sauna too. Find out more here.

Picnic on Munkholmen Island

Munkholmen Island, or Monks Island, has a complicated past. It was once a burial ground, and then as the name would suggest, home to a monastery. A prison has also been housed on the island. Today, it is a popular tourist destination and enjoyed by locals too as a picnic spot during the summer.

You’ll need to take a boat to get there. Find out more here.

What to do in Trondheim at the end of pilgrimage?

After a long entrance into Trondheim, you will find the “0km” marker just outside of Nidaros Cathedral.

When you arrive to Trondheim, and you have taken a moment to enjoy your arrival and photographed it, we highly recommend going straight to the pilgrim centre in Trondheim. The building occupies a wonderful spot by the river, plus you get an extremely warm welcome and coffee when you arrive and the cakes in the cafe are divine.

The pilgrim centre in Trondheim is where you can collect your certificate and you will be given a “golden stamp”, which gives you access to Nidaros Cathedral. It actually entitles you to visit Nidaros Cathedral for the remainder of the year, so if you want to visit a few times before you return home, you can do. Before you go into the Cathedral remember to walk around the building three times, as is the tradition of all pilgrims arriving to Trondheim.

Where to stay in Trondheim?

Trondheim is quite compact, so regardless of where you stay, you will have no issue in accessing the rest of the city. However, for ease, we recommend staying in the centre. Britannia Hotel is probably the grandest and most famous in the city. Scandi Bakklandet is a popular choice in the old part of the city.

For pilgrims, there is accommodation at the pilgrim centre in Trondheim (Nidaros Pilgrimsgård) that can be booked in advance.

Is alcohol expensive in Trondheim?

Yes alcohol is expensive in Norway, when compared to countries like Spain and Portugal. However there are ways of alcohol when visiting Trondheim. Consider going to happy hours of which there are numerous. Also try to hit up the supermarkets and head to one of the parks. Large cans of beer are usually around $3/4. Some of the highest mark ups on alcohol comes in restaurants. A beer in a restaurant in Trondheim can cost around $12-$15. But, there are some cafes and restaurants in Trondheim where it is not so expensive. Try Super Burger for inexpensive fast food and probably one of the cheapest beers we found in the city!

How to get to Trondheim?

The easiest way to get to Trondheim is by plane. At the time of writing 2023, there were few direct flights from major cities in Europe to Trondheim. Your best best is to fly to Oslo and change there. The airline for both flights will often be the same. Flight time from Oslo to Trondheim is around 1 hour. It’s also worth mentioning how cheap flights to Norway can be compared to other European destinations, sometimes only $10. For latest flights check Skyscanner.

Is the Trondheim to Oslo train worth taking?

One option to consider if you are traveling on wards from Trondheim to Oslo, is to take the train. After we had finished walking from Oslo to Trondheim, we chose to take the overnight train back to Oslo for our return flight.

This was a really special experience, not least because we retraced our steps from walking on the train. Watching the scenery out the window was like watching the previous three weeks in reverse.

The train from Trondheim to Oslo is an especially scenic route, as it passes through Dovrefjell nature reserve. But, it also passes through a number of small towns too. It is an overnight journey, taking around eight hours, 23:00 to 07:00. And a very comfortable journey too.

You can book the train from Oslo to Trondheim here.


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