Trondheim: experience history, nature and Norwegian cuisine

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The Norwegian city of Trondheim not only has a beautiful geographical location between a fjord and a river, but also looks back on a long history. Nevertheless, the former capital of the country exudes a modern and youthful flair. If you are looking for a mix of culture and history, nature and a diverse gastronomic scene on your holiday in Norway, Trondheim is the place for you.

Municipality in Norway

Trondheim is located in the Norwegian province of Trøndelag at the mouth of the river Nidelva. In terms of population, it is the third largest city in Norway after Oslo and Bergen. Trondheim was founded in 997 and was then called Nidaros. Nowadays it is considered a university town, among other things.

Area321 km²
Part of the countryTrøndelag
Foundation997 AD.

What does Trondheim have to offer?

Culture and history

The picturesque Nordic city on the Trondheimfjord is best known for the colourful facades of the warehouses on the River Nidelva. But there is much more to see in Trondheim, which is why it is well worth a visit – especially as a stopover on a cruise or a road trip through Norway.

The city’s history began very early on: it was founded in 997 under the name Nidaros, which means “mouth of the Nið”, by the Viking king Olav I Tryggvason. He made it the seat of the king and thus the capital and religious centre of Norway for a long time. During the 19th century, Trondheim developed into an industrial harbour city.

Trondheim View
View over Trondheim

Technology, football and culinary delights

Today, the city is known for its University of Science and Technology and its football club. With around 42,000 students, the university is the largest university in Norway and makes Trondheim a centre of technology. The student scene keeps the city lively in the evening and at night. The football club Rosenborg Trondheim, founded in 1917, has been Norwegian champion numerous times and has also played in the UEFA Champions League.

Trondheim is considered Norway’s most progressive cycling city. It even has the world’s first bicycle lift, which takes you up a steep hill. Holidaymakers can hire one of the many city bikes. It should be emphasised that Trondheim has nothing of the hectic big city feeling. Instead, things are very relaxed here.

Incidentally, Trondheim holds the record as the Norwegian city with the most restaurants and cafés per inhabitant. And many of these are run by up-and-coming gourmet chefs, so much so that Trondheim has even made it into the Michelin Guide. You should definitely try a classic Norwegian dish made from regional food and ingredients (especially fish and seafood).

Places of interest in Trondheim

Trondheim Cathedral

Nidaros Cathedral
The Nidaros Cathedral from the air

Trondheim’s landmark is probably its most historic building: Nidaros Cathedral. In the Middle Ages, Norwegian kings were crowned here. The cathedral originated from the grave of King Olav Haraldsson, later known as “Olaf the Saint”, which became a popular pilgrimage site. Initially, a wooden chapel was built here, which later became a stone church.

The current form as a Gothic-style cathedral was built from 1152 onwards. It is considered a national shrine, a place of pilgrimage and is still the episcopal church of the diocese of Nidaros.

Bakklandet Old Town and Gamle Bybroen: cosiness and trends

Trondheim Old Town
The wooden houses of the Old Town

We continue with the history of Trondheim in Bakklandet, the old town centre, which is the cultural and hip centre of the city. The cobbled streets and alleyways are lined with small wooden houses, former workers’ houses. Today, they are home to many charming restaurants, cafés, boutiques and galleries. You will also find trendy bars, pubs and even microbreweries there.

Trondheim City Bridge
The old city bridge in winter

The “old city bridge” (Gamle bybroen) connects the old town with the peninsula in the city centre. The bridge with its red wooden decorations dates back to 1862 and crosses the River Nidelva. It can be crossed by foot or by bike. From here you will have the best view of the colourful warehouses.

Kristiansten Fortress

Kristiansten Fortress offers the best view of Trondheim, the fjord and the surrounding mountains. It was built in 1681 on a hill outside the city as a defence against attacks from Sweden. The white tower with its embrasures is particularly well known.

Munkholmen Island

Island of Munkholmen Trondheimfjord
The island of Munkholmen on the Trondheimfjord

The small island of Munkholmen on the fjord off Trondheim offers relaxation outside the city and can be seen from the shore of the city. After being used by the Vikings as a place of execution, it has been home to a monastery since the 11th century, probably one of the earliest in Scandinavia. In 1658 it was converted into a prison.

With a beach and a restaurant, the island is now a popular excursion destination during the summer months with a ferry running regularly from Trondheim to the island.

Travelling and accommodation

Flights to Trondheim

Trondheim has its own small airport, with direct flights from London once a day, or flights with a stopover from Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast or Edinburgh. You can also fly to Oslo first, as there are flights to Trondheim from there and maybe combine it with a city trip to Norway’s capital. It takes around 6 hours by car from Oslo to Trondheim.

Cruises via Trondheim

Due to its location on the fjord, Trondheim is also a popular destination for cruises. The ships often stop in the city’s harbour for a day trip.

Accommodation in Trondheim

There are various options for accommodation in Trondheim, depending on how you prefer to travel. In addition to classic hotels right in the city, there are various holiday homes in the South Trøndelag region around Trondheim. If you are travelling with a tent, camper or motorhome, you will also find a campsite in Trondheim that is located right by the water.

Weather and best time to visit

Th approximate weather situation in Trondheim, depending on the season, can provide the basis on which you can decide when its best for you to travel there. Trondheim has an ocean climate, so you can expect temperatures of 10 to 20 degrees between May and September. In winter, temperatures are slightly below zero.

Our tip: Trondheim has various highlights to offer in summer and winter. While summer is perfect for strolling through the city or exploring the nature around the city, you can see the Northern Lights in winter with a bit of luck. It also is particularly cosy when the city is covered in snow.

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