As I write this article about the best things to do in Trondheim, the sunshine is spilling through my light curtains, yet there is a stillness in the air. It is pleasant outside and the fresh green grass in my backyard is inviting me to lay around and finish the rest of my article in its embrace. I put a quick glance at the clock in my microwave, it is 11:48 pm. 11:48 PM!! And there is still so bright!
I have been in Trondheim for the last 4.5 years and I am still not used to this much light so late in the evening. But that’s life in Nordics for you.
Life in Trondheim might feel a bit extreme at first glance. There is midnight sun in summer and then there is winter when we get minutes (yes, minutes) of sunshine in a whole month. I wasn’t sure I would like it here, so initially, we moved here for a year. The year after my Ph.D., I needed a break, from academia, from Germany (and Switzerland). I wanted to do something different, something extreme. Trust me, everyone finishing a Ph.D. has this phase. So when my husband was offered a postdoctoral position at NTNU, in Trondheim, it was an immediate yes. I had never been to North Europe at that point but have seen Finland, Denmark, and Norway on the happiest countries list too often. Plus Northern lights were a big motivation.
One year turned into three and here we are, 4.5 years down the line, have a permanent job, had a baby, bought a house, signed a loan for a car, and the hardest of all, got a driver’s license. Some might say we are pretty ‘settled down’ in Trondheim.
Coming back to Trondheim. How do you describe a city that is old and traditional in its roots but young and energetic in its spirit? Trondheim is that city. It is colorful, lively, and still traditional.
Once the Viking capital of Norway, Trondheim holds a special place in Norwegian history and culture. It was the first capital of Norway and is still the city where new kings receive their ceremonial blessing. Even before the Pilgrims and the Viking Age, people were drawn to the region for its seafood-rich fjords and vast mountain ranges.
In the late Middle Ages, its name changed to Trondheim. ‘Heim’ means home and ‘Trond’ means a good place, so Trondheim translates to a good place to live or a good home.
I have seen all seasons here. I have seen snow-laden streets, I have seen fresh spring leaves arriving from one day to another, I have seen the warmth of its summer and I have seen the beautiful hues of its autumn. Today I am sharing the 50 fantastic things to do or see in Trondheim.
Things to do/see in Trondheim
Oh boy, where do I start?
More than 40,000 students call Trondheim home. That is a significant number in a city of 180,000 residents. Being a student city, Trondheim is young and lively. There are lots of events happening all the time. Some of my favorite things to do in Trondheim are:
Marvel at the artistic genius at Nidarosdomen
You know an attraction is the highlight of a city when it spans all the postcards and magnets of the city. Nidaosdomen is that highlight for Trondheim. It is the world’s northernmost medieval cathedral. It is considered the most important religious building in Norway and is also the largest medieval building in the whole of Scandinavia. The Nidaros Cathedral as we know it today began as a wooden chapel erected over the tomb of St. Olav, the Viking King who became the patron saint of Norway. Pilgrims from all over the world still come to visit the cathedral, just as thousands have done before them during the Middle Ages.
Nidarosdomen is not subtle. The detailed statues on the exterior are unparalleled. But the best part is definitely the tainted windows inside. There is something about such painted windows in the dark gothic environment that add to the grandeur of such gothic marvels. This masterpiece deserves a place on your Trondheim to-do list. Words do not do justice to the magnificence of this cathedral.
Fun fact: The cathedral boasts of one of Europe’s largest organs with 9600 beeps. In such a high-ceiling building, the acoustics are phenomenal. I had the pleasure of attending a live concert here. Hearing Harry Potter music on such an organ is an experience I will not forget anytime soon. I had goosebumps! It reminded me of the live music premiere of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone we saw in Lausanne.
The entrance costs 120 NOK for adults and 60 for students/children. The opening times of the cathedral keep changing throughout the year. Please have a look at their calendar before planning your visit. There are some guided tours available from June-August.
Walk around Ila pier (Skansen)
When you have a beautiful fjord coastline, how do you use it without commercializing the shit out of it? Just create a platform for people to run, stroll, and bike along the fjord.
This is one of my favorite things to do in Trondheim. I spend most of the weekends here, having a stroll. You will find a bridge from ancient times for boats to pass through the narrow channel to the fjord. Along the coast, there is ample space for a picnic, grilling, swimming, or just laying around in the sun. There is a nice cafe (Lille Skansen) right before the bridge. You have to try waffles there!
The best way to end this short walk is by treating yourself to the favorite local ice cream from the Siemens Ice cream stall close to the ferry terminal. My personal favorite is the Brunost flavor, which is made of the famous Norwegian brown cheese. It is incredibly creamy with a hint of caramel. Yummy!
See the Hogwarts (-like) building at the NTNU campus
Trondheim is considered the technology capital of Norway. It is home to Norway’s largest science and technology university NTNU and the research institute SINTEF. As a result, many start-ups are spun off into companies here.
I like the campus where my favorite Hogwarts building lies, overlooking the fjords and the city. Yes, you read it right! Hogwarts building! Well, it is not the same Hogwarts building technically, but it has the same architectural vibe and it hosts the main library of the university. Students fondly call it the Hogwarts building. And you cannot miss the old-time engine on the back of the building, which certainly fulfills the Hogwarts express vibes.
This is as close it gets to the Harry Potter world, here in Trondheim. For the real deal, you might need to go to London.
Take in the majestic views at Utsikten
Being on the fjord comes with its benefits, apart from the coastline, you get incredible views all over the city. And Utsikten has outdone all of them. From Utsikten, you have a view of the Trondheim Fjord and large parts of the Trondheim center, both south, east, and north.
While it is in the residential area of Sverresborg, you can’t walk past it without waiting and taking the views in.
Take the tram to Lian
Trondheim has an old-style tram that goes all the way to Lian where there is a nice lake and lots of hiking paths. And of course a restaurant. It is a pretty relaxing and chilled-out activity to do. The highlight is actually the tram itself. The old-style tram goes through the cute residential areas in Trondheim. It is a bit offbeat but still one of the most authentic things to do in Trondheim. It is quite nice and gives you impressions of typical Norwegian households. And Trampolines, so many trampolines.
See Trondheim from a Boat tour
Trondheim by Boat takes you on a journey along the river Nidelva flowing through the heart of the city eventually venturing into the adjoining Trondheim fjord.
Captain Amanda is an expert at introducing you to the nature, history, and culture of Trondheim.
You can customize the trip and plan the route with Amanda. That’s what we did the second time. Yes, we have done this boat tour twice and the routes were different both times! The sea was different both times, once we were all wet in the cold water and the ride in the fjord was shaky and adventurous to say the least (but still pretty safe). The second time, it was sunny and relaxing. The river and the fjord both were pretty harmonious and it was one of the most beautiful activities in Trondheim. We even got some hot coffee/chocolate in the middle of the journey, which was nice and cozy.
Britannia Hotel is Trondheim’s darling, its first luxury hotel. It is the only five-star hotel in Norway. Its restaurants have collected accolades in a short time after reopening. The spa is the highlight. Well, it is difficult to point out a highlight when everything is so grand.
They organize different events every month and check the latest ones on their Facebook page.
If you’re into a more luxurious experience, book a few nights’ stays at the newly renovated Five Star Britannia Hotel. Surrounded by elegance and plush design, you can enjoy a relaxing spa day and dine at one of several restaurants on the premises. With Britannia Hotel located right in the center of town, you are within walking distance of many wonderful sites and attractions.
Enjoy the Hammam
In a city obsessed with physical activity, Trondheim Hamam is one of the most relaxing experiences in the city. It is in fact, a bit outside the city but worth a trip.
They offer different massage and Hamam packages that include a bath, spa, steam, massage, snacks, and tea. We booked their ‘sultan’ package for ourselves on our anniversary in dark December and it was nice and relaxing. It felt refreshing to walk back to the snow after about an hour or two in the steam and the warmth.
If you have never had a Hamam experience before, beware that the ‘bath’ might feel a bit intense and intimate as it involves rubbing off the dead skin from your body.
You should book it in advance as it is popular as a group activity, especially on weekends.
Gorge on the waffles and brown cheese
What I restrict myself in the modern culinary scenes, I compensate in the traditional Norwegian delight: waffles and brown cheese.
Norwegian waffles are different from Belgian waffles, they are thinner and made up of heart-shaped pieces. Traditionally, people relish them with another Norwegian delicacy, brown cheese.
Well, brown cheese can be a hit and miss for tourists, because it is not what to expect from cheese. It is a brown, caramelized, and sweet version of cheese. And to add to the multitude of differences, it is not even cheese.
But I love it. It takes a while to get used to it but I don’t know many expats and locals who don’t love it. A must-to-do in Trondheim.
And do you know what is the best way to eat brown cheese? As an ice cream! Yes, and it is heavenly. You can find it at the Simens ice cream shop at Brattora.
Walk in the historic old Town, Bakklandet
The old town is one of the most charming and oldest parts of Trondheim. You must have seen the photos of the colorful wharves from this part of the city. If you google Trondheim, those are images you will find. Once these old timber buildings were home to the working class of Trondheim and now these streets are dominated by cafes, restaurants and antique shops. It certainly is the most photogenic area in Trondheim.
My favorite walking route (okay, maybe second favorite, the first one is Skansen) in Trondheim is to walk down the bridge, along the river, and then end up in old town, grabbing a hot chocolate or icecream, depending on the season. It might feel like a touristy thing, but trust me the old town, Bakklandet is loved equally by locals and tourists alike.
Rent a bike or an e-scooter
What is a fun bike ride without riding up and down some hills?
I never got a hang of the electric scooters, but my husband loves them. There are at least three different companies now. You can install the app and find the nearest e-scooter, and restricted areas, and follow the rules. Teenagers’ favorite.
Take a dip in Pirbadet
Pirbadet is a swimming pool. I won’t generally include a swimming pool in my ‘things to do’ list but this one deserves this spot. This bathing facility offers you a smooth transition between the sea and the pool. You can even relax in an outdoor heated pool while overlooking the cold fjord.
They even have slides, a wave pool, a high dive platform, a sauna, and a climbing wall.
Walk along Lade
The Lade Trail (Ladestien) is a green path along the fjord and locals’ favorite for a walk or run. You can already see the pattern here. Most of the green and beautiful paths in the city, along the fjord, or in the forest are running/strolling paths.
This curvy path offers you the best views of the fjord, and trains your calf muscles at the same time, as it is not a flat path. While on this path, feel free to check out the Ladekaia cafe. Coffee, gorgeous fjord views, and a walking path, are three things that characterize Trondheim.
Take a ferry to Munkholmen or neighbor towns/villages
From the coastline of Trondheim, you cannot miss the small island, Munkholmen. It is a historical site that is open to visitors now. This small island and the fortress have played the role of a prison in the past. You can even book a guided tour that takes you inside the premise of the fortress, booked generally with the ticket. Otherwise, you can just have a stroll yourself. There is a cafe that is open during the visits.
You can buy the return ticket for the ferry from the ticket booth at Ravnkloa. It runs hourly in summer.
Apart from the boat tour to Munkholmen, you can take a ferry or the coastal express to neighbor towns and villages on the fjords. You can even go all the way to the small island of Hitra (which I recommend) and even Kristiansund (do not recommend it) for a refreshing day trip.
Visit the cute little fortress, Kristiansten Festning
What is a medieval city without its fort/fortress?
Kristiansten Fortress was built after the great city fire in 1681 and now stands guard over the city. It offers a spectacular view of Trondheim and its surroundings, the fjord, and the mountains.
The fortress was used by the Nazi forces during World War II. The site where 23 Norwegian patriots were executed by the Nazi forces is inside the fortress.
Okay, let’s be real. The Kristiansten festning is a bit underwhelming for my taste. It is neither grand nor magnificent. The only plus point is the view, but again, there are so many better spots for that in Trondheim. So, feel free to skip it.
Experience history at the Sverresborg Trøndelag Folkemuseum
The museum is placed around the ruins of King Sverre’s castle, which date as far back as 1183. Take a walk through history and landscapes, and explore buildings from town and country, from mountain to coast, and from Sami huts to city mansions.
The museum’s old town comprises buildings that were originally located in downtown Trondheim and offer a charming representation of the wooden houses that have dominated the cityscape from the 18th century up until today. Here you can see the vintage dentist’s exhibition, the shoemaker’s workshop, the post office, and the museum’s old grocery store, where you can buy sweets and a cup of coffee.
The open-air museum hosts a series of exciting events throughout the year, including the annual Christmas event on the first weekend of Advent and the museum’s large Mid-Summer event. I like going there for the Christmas event, riding the horse cart, and eating waffles by the fire.
If your name is Sverre, you can enter the museum free of charge!
Get amazed at the Art museums, Kunstmuseum
Trondheim is home to many good art museums. There are two locations got Trondheim Kunstmuseum (TMK), one near the Nidarosdomen called TMK Bispegata, and another one near Solsiden, TMK Gramolna. They have very cool temporary exhibitions. Another museum, that is my personal favorite is the Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustri museum. The exhibitions range from classic art to modern to even 3-D exhibits or various relevant topics.
Rock on at the Rockheim
Not into art, what about rock music? Rockheim Museum preserves Norwegian popular rock culture from the late 50s until now. They have dedicated exhibitions (both permanent and temporary) for each decade.
You can read about different artists, listen to their songs, and see their equipment in a well-designed storyline throughout the museum. in one of the exhibits, you can also play with some of the equipment. Some of the exhibits are designed to make you feel like a part of the crew and you can sit on a bus and travel with the bands and the songs. In another exhibit, you can listen to the old popular songs in a bar-like setting and many more.
And of course, there is a hall of fame, you can see Norwegian contributions to popular music over the past seven decades, including the famous a-ha band from 1985 and their most famous song take on me. In the same hall of fame, you will find more international bands that were famous in Norway at different times listening to their hit numbers.
Chase the waterfalls at Illabekken
The best thing about Trondheim is that within minutes, you are in nature, far away from the hustle-bustle of a busy city. Ilabekken is a small river that meets the ocean at Ilsvikøra. There is a trail following the river, popular among local people as well as tourists. The part where the wooden stairs are built along and over a small waterfall is especially idyllic. Again, you will find the athlete locals running here, regardless of the season.
I used to live five minutes from this beautiful walk. The waterfall is the first spot we take our guests to! There are benches along the path if you just want to relax and have a nice break on the path. It is wonderful that within five minutes of the city you can feel like you are in the woods.
you can venture just beyond the city’s edges in Bymarka. This scenic area is ideal for hiking, mountain biking, or cross-country skiing in the winter months, with an array of marked trails crisscrossing the reserve, leading to spectacular viewpoints, charming rest areas, and cozy cabins offering food and refreshments.
Walk along the river
The Nidelva river frames the city center of Trondheim. You can walk along the river, from close to Skansen, and walk all the way to the Old town, Bakklandet.
It also offers good fishing opportunities (salmon and trout). The record for salmon ‘so far’ is 31.8 kg (70 lb). Most fishing locations are open to the public, so come and try your luck, but first remember to buy a fishing permit (Axel Bruun sports shop, Prinsens gate 30).
Witness a cool performance at the Trondheim Spektrum
If you are walking along the river on the path I mentioned above, you will see the recent addition to the cultural scene of Trondheim, Trondheim Spektrum. It is famous for its indoor sports stadium, concerts, festivals, workshops, musicals, and various other indoor events. Check out their calendar to find something you might be interested in. Yes, they are premiering cats musical this year.
See something majestic at the Olavshallen
Another more traditional indoor event space is Olavshallen which hosts comedy shows, musicals, talks, and orchestra. We attended the talk from Prof. Brian Cox about Adventures in space and time. The hall was pretty cool and the talk was fantastic!
Even if you are not into any event they are organizing, I would recommend checking out their food court, Olavstorget. On the ground floor of the Olavshallen, you will find Olavstorget with six different cuisines and a lovely bar. My favorite is the chicken sandwich (with mango and avocado) and the pink pisco sour. One of the best cocktails, sour and refreshing, not too sweet.
Be entertained at the Bike lift
While at Gamle Bybro, try your hand (or foot) on the bike lift. Yes, the bike lift. Trondheim is hilly and some parts are more than others. One of such sloped streets, immediately after the old bridge, has a bike lift. You can always find people struggling to make it work. It works only in summer though.
Watch a Soccer match
Norwegians love soccer, especially league games. Lerkendal stadium is the second biggest in Norway. The tickets are usually available and are not as expensive as in countries like Germany, Spain or Italy.
Shop at the Fishmarket
When you have a vast fjord next to you, you know the seafood will be fresh and delightful. To buy fresh seafood, visit the fish market at Ravnkloa which doubles as a cafe with quayside tables out the front. There you can find anything from fish cakes, shrimp, mussels, fish soup, and all other seafood delicacies. In addition to seafood, it sells an impressive range of cheeses and other gourmet goods.
Note: The Ranvkloa market is now permanently closed. So, you might have to buy the seafood in supermarkets.
Promote the local Saturday market
If you are in the city center on a Saturday, don’t miss the regional food market in the central square. On some pre-decided Saturdays, you can buy regional produce from the farmers in this market. From fresh vegetables, fish, pickles, meat, jam, cheese, and other local products. My favorite is the clover and honey cheese from the Dutch cheesemaker and the potato and cinnamon lefse, a Norwegian sweet flatbread.
Explore the Trondelag mat and beer festival
Every year in summer, Trondheim celebrates a Trondelag mat and beer festival (food and drinks from the state of Trondelag). This is one of the biggest food events in the city and you can find different kinds of food items, starting from the bear burger, reindeer, local daily products, ice creams, sweets, Norwegian pizza, local produce, and craft beers, and a lot more. And fish, lots of fish.
Be cozy at the Christmas markets
The Christmas Market in Trondheim takes place in the city center in December every year. You will find an exciting market with quality crafts, handmade products, Christmas food, and trees. You can even witness some cool concerts, theatre, storytelling, and horse and sleigh rides. There is a lavvo in the center where you can enjoy local food and beverages by the fire. Very cozy, I must admit.
While this Christmas market is nothing compared to the ones in Germany or Austria, I love it. It is a cozy lighted scene in the middle of dark winter days and I cannot get enough of it.
Exploit the Sale day
This might be the biggest event in Trondheim. Yes, Sale day is a once-in-a-year event in Trondheim when there are big sales in almost all the stores. The market opens early in the morning and people go crazy! It is intense enough that I included it in the list here. Google when the next sale day is, maybe you are in luck!
Trondheim is blessed with numerous lakes around it. All these lakes are beautiful but my favorite is Kyvanet. It is perfect for a quick swim and then a nice picnic around it. It is a family-friendly area but equally popular with youngsters as well. On a sunny day, sunbathers just lie down and enjoy the few weeks of sunshine in Trondheim.
Try your hands at the Shuffleboard
Shuffleboard is a much-loved game here. It involves players pushing the metal weighted pucks down a smooth wooden table into a scoring area. You have to slide the pucks hard, but not too hard. I enjoy this game. That doesn’t mean I am good at it. I enjoy it anyway.
It is quite popular in Norway. We usually try our hand at it at Work Work.
Pilgrim along the Pilgrims’ route
In ancient times, pilgrims used to follow the Pilgrim’s Route, (Pilegrimsleden) to the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, which is the site of the medieval tomb of St. Olav. The main route is approximately 640 kilometers (400 mi) long. It starts in the ancient part of Oslo.
I find it fascinating that this route passed in front of our old rented house. For ages, so many pilgrims have walked on those streets.
Be trendy at Brattora
Brattøra is the newest part of Trondheim. This artificial island is located at the mouth of the river Nidelva just north of the city center and south of Trondheimsfjord. There is a canal that divides the mainland from the island of Brattøra.
The buildings here are modern and different from the traditional Norwegian buildings. A walk along this area, by the fjord, will show you a different side of Trondheim, chic and modern.
And of course, you can do that while gorging on ice cream from my fav stall.
Chill out at the Korsvika
Korsvika is a popular beach on the Lade peninsula. It has several small inlets with a sandy beach and some coastal rocks. This family-friendly area is perfect for sunbathing and having a nice picnic by the sea.
Understand the world at the Science museum
The science museum in Trondheim promotes learning through interactive exhibitions. It offers a hands-on experience where children and adults together can play, learn, and explore.
The museum targets kids and youth and aims to inspire them to learn more about the natural sciences and technology. I liked this museum. While the focus is primarily on kids, it was fun for us adults as well. I recommend going to the museum when you visit Trondheim.
The highlight of the museum is the Planetarium, which opened back in 2017. Norway’s first 3D planetarium is in this science museum and will take you on an unforgettable journey to the universe with spectacular full-dome shows.
Sometimes music concerts are also held at the planetarium, given the fantastic echoes in the dome.
Swim in the fjords
Trondheim is not popular for its fjords. While it has a really wide and pretty fjord, it is not as dramatic as in Western Norway. So these fjords are often neglected.
You can swim in the fjords all year along. Yes, all year long even in the middle of winter. What can I say? Norwegians love their cold dips and you can join them in this madness.
Me? No Thanks! I will be back home by my fireplace, sipping hot cocoa.
Go for the Northern lights hunting
Trondheim is north enough for dark and icy winters but not north enough for bright Northern light shows. But I have been lucky enough to witness them at least a few times every year. If you are lucky enough, you might see them as well.
If you are here in winter, do not forget to download the My aurora forecast app to give you alerts when there are high chances of spotting the lights.
Enjoy the concerts from July-august
Every summer Trondheim is a haven for music lovers. Be it trash metal, Grieg, folk music, or electronic music, you will find a concert for the same. The music scene in Norway is full of madness, finesse, feeling, and rhythm.
I have witnessed people queueing for hours for the bus to take them to the Metallica concert in the summer of 2019. Everyone was wearing their merch since early morning and enjoying a nice sunny afternoon in the city center before lining up for the bus. It was insane!
Buy Norwegian wool
I often have trouble deciding what souvenirs to get from a place. I am getting a bit bored with the whole postcard and magnet brigade. So I actively look out for souvenirs that are unique and meaningful.
If you want to buy a good and meaningful souvenir, get Norwegian wool. Norwegian wool is washed and prepared without chemicals and is known for its strength and luster. It cannot get more local than this.
Yearly around 4.000 tonnes of wool is processed in Norway and wool is deeply loved. People buy and knit their sweaters themselves. There are knitting meetups in cafes, bars, and restaurants. I have never seen a place so in love with knitting.
It makes sense. It is cold for about 8 months of the year. This year I am wearing woolens in July, which is technically summer. Let’s not talk about it.
Kayak through Trondheim
Trondheim is blessed with the beautiful river Nidelva that winds its way through this historic city before joining the fjord. To explore the city from the river, you can kayak your way through it.
You can kayak in the river and/or the fjord. It is a fantastic way to see the historical old town bridge and the wharves, Nidaros Cathedral, Kristiansten fortress, and old boats along the channel.
Geek out at Outland
This is my favorite store in Trondheim. You can geek your heart out at Outland. This three-storied store sells English books, comics, figurines, pop culture memorabilia, popular merch, board games, and a lot more.
Most of the board games are sold in their English version, which is nice. I like to visit it once every few months to satisfy my nerdiness. I bought my copy of the Pandemic game here and loved it, till it became real. I don’t like the game anymore.
Being close to the forest gives you more benefits. Bymarka is full of some of the most unique mushrooms I have ever seen. Be it orange, red, purple, name the color and I have seen a mushroom of that color. I mean, not personally. I haven’t been picking mushrooms myself but I have friends who do that.
There is a voluntary non-profit organization that promotes knowledge and use of mushrooms and wild edible plants, called The Norwegian association for mycology and foraging. It organizes several events around the year for mushroom picking, identification, cooking, education, and much more. When in Trondheim, you can contact the local branch from the same. While most of their events are in Norwegian, you can contact them and arrange some tours/events in English.
But beware, if you don’t know much about mushrooms, don’t go for this activity because you can easily pick the poisonous ones. Take note of this important information from the health department in Norway.
Spot the Graffiti
Yes, the graffiti and street art scene in Trondheim is blooming. Be it the old neighborhood of Bakklandet or the upcoming areas of Ila and Ilsvika, you can find impressive artwork on the streets.
In fact, in 2019, a gatekunstfestival (street art festival) event was organized in Ila and Ilsvika, inviting kids, youngsters and artists to show their talents on the street. You can find some pictures from the event and its artwork here. The website is in Norwegian but pictures are the global language, no?
Enjoy the sun on the sunny side (Solsiden)
Solsiden translates to the ‘sunny side’ and it is called so for a reason. It is sunny! Solsiden, with its beautiful waterfront, is one of the most popular areas to hang out in Trondheim.
You will find an array of good restaurants and bars in this area, including my favorite breakfast and pizza place!
Try your brain at the Escape Room
I never went to an Escape room event before moving to Trondheim and now I have been to different escape rooms. It is so exciting!!
Well, for those of you who are new to the concept, the Escape room is a game where you solve a mystery within a time limit to escape from the room. There are several puzzles and brain pickings to solve the case. Usually, the team size is 2-10 people. I really enjoyed the one with the Magic school theme (that was also the only one we managed to solve :D). I will recommend booking for at least 2-3 days in advance.
Stock up on licorice
I don’t like licorice. There, I said it. I don’t understand this mania for licorice. I didn’t get it for Haribo in Munich and I don’t get it now with all the crazy candy and licorice obsession in Scandinavia.
But if you are interested, there are lots of stores, convenience stores, and even cinema theaters that have a full collection of different varieties of licorice. Go crazy!
Explore the Home of Nordic flavors: Michelin star culinary scene
Trondheim is a budding culinary genius. Even the tourism website calls it Home of Nordic Flavours and rightly so. Trondheim has a lot to be proud of. For a city of this size, it has multiple Michelin-star restaurants and celebrated chefs. Learn more about it here.
Local chefs put a lot of focus on high-quality ingredients including some of the best seafood, local produce, and dairy products. It is impressive for a city with limited vegetation options to achieve this status.
Trondheim is a city of fish and meat lovers. Since I don’t eat too much meat, I haven’t been able to explore its culinary scene completely. But that’s fine for me.
While the culinary scene in Trondheim is better than ever, locals’ real love is sushi. You will find restaurants offering sushi buffets at a relatively moderate price (for Norway). Norwegian sushi is a bit different in the sense that you will have lots of modern twists with sushi. Let’s just say I don’t dislike the strawberries and green apples in my sushi. And I do pick sushi pieces with a moderately spicy mayo-based dressing. Judge me all you want, but you have to try it when in Norway. Sushi bar and Sabrura, both have many branches in Trondheim and I can personally vouch for them!
Fun fact: Norwegians claim that salmon sushi is their invention.
Eat the best breakfast in Norway
If I tell you that you can eat the best breakfast in Norway right here in Trondheim, will you believe me? You should! The breakfast buffet at Scandic Nidelven has been ranked the top for the last few years and rightly so!
The breakfast buffet is a huge spread of all the local produce starting from cheese, yogurt, milk, different varieties of smoked salmon, cut meats, fruits, juices, smoothies, muesli, and whatnot. There are several options for vegan and gluten-free restrictions as well. The spread is not only enormous but quite fresh and delicious as well.
If you stay at the hotel, it is included with the stay, otherwise, you can just call and book a table in advance.
Tips and suggestions
No cash needed: You don’t need cash in Norway. Card payments are acceptable everywhere. In the last 2.5 years, I never needed cash in Trondheim.
Walk, walk, walk: Trondheim city center and most of the attractions mentioned above can easily be reached by foot. I recommend walking around in the center, it is pretty.
Get bus tickets on mobile: In case you need to take a bus/tram (weather is unreliable), I highly recommend downloading the ATB Mobillett app and buying the tickets from the app. The difference in the ticket price if you buy tickets from the app versus from the designated shops is significant. For example, one zone ticket on the app can cost about 37 NOK but buying this ticket offline will cost you more than 50 NOK. Please note that there is a separate app (ATB Reise) for route information.
Ice walkers: If you are coming to Trondheim in winter, I recommend getting the spikes for your shoes. If you don’t manage to get them in your city, don’t worry. You can get them here at all the sports gear shops or any of the Clas Ohlson in the city.
Student discounts: Trondheim is a great place to be a student. Given the number of students in the city, most of the shops/utility services offer student prices. So, If you are a student, bring your student IDs to make the most of these discounts.
Free refill with black coffee: Norwegians love their coffee. Given the messed-up daylight schedule, I don’t blame them. Most of the cafes offer free refills when you pay for plain black coffee.
Rainproof clothing: Norwegian weather is infamous for its reliability. Don’t forget to bring your rainproof clothing. As the Norwegians say, there is no bad weather, just bad clothing.
When is the best time to visit Trondheim?
I will tell you when NOT to visit Trondheim. November! It is the darkest month with lots of rain and ice. Trondheim only gets daylight for a few hours and most of the time it is cloudy with heavy overcast. Not fun! While December is darker technically, the Christmas market and snow make it festive and cheery. Trondheim has a lot to offer and it would be a delight to visit it anytime before/after October to December.
If you like winter, Trondheim is pretty cute, overladen with snow. January and February are the best months to experience a good winter in Trondheim. Do not forget to pack layers of clothing and good shoes.
In Summer, Trondheim is a darling! The weather can be sunny and warm starting from May and all the way to August. But it is Norway. So, there will be weeks of rain and cold in between. So pack your clothing accordingly.
Where to stay in Trondheim
Britannia hotel: It is the only five-star hotel in Norway. That says a lot, doesn’t it? Britannia Hotel is famous for its luxurious interiors, remarkable restaurants, and its London taxi. I have been to one of their restaurants, and it was a delight. They also offer a great buffet breakfast and more restaurants on site.
We tried their lunch buffet, it was nice but not enough options for vegans/vegetarians. But the dessert section was amazing!
Scandic Nidelven: This hotel is closer to Solsiden, about a ten-minute walk from the city center. Solsiden has many restaurants and cafes and is famous for its vibrant vibes! The best part? The best breakfast in Norway is included with the stay. This hotel is my personal recommendation!
Clarion Hotel: This is one of the locals’ favorites as well. It is in Brattora, the new part of Trondheim. One of the famous venues to host conferences/meetings etc. The highlight is definitely the rooftop bar. Also, Pirbadet is just next door.
How to reach Trondheim
By plane: To reach Trondheim by air, you will most likely have a connection from Oslo, Copenhagen, or Amsterdam. There are a few direct charter flights from Greece, Spain, Turkey, and London as well.
After landing in Trondheim, you can take either the bus or train from the airport to the city center. The bus is more frequent (every twenty minutes or so) but the train is cheaper and goes through the coast, which is a beautiful journey.
By train: You can easily reach Trondheim from Oslo or Bodo in about 7 hours. There are some overnight trains as well.
By Cruise/boat/ferry: This is how most tourists come to Trondheim, via Hurtigruten cruise. They spend a few hours here and then head back to continue their journey along the stunning and vast Norwegian coast.
As the name Trondheim reflects, It is a good home to me and I hope you will have a fantastic time here as well.