15 Fun Things to Do in Trondheim Norway in 2 Days

Things to do in Trondheim: Bryggene i Trondheim

Trondheim is Norway's fourth largest city and is home to nearly 200,000 people. A thriving university town, there are plenty of fun things to do in Trondheim if you visit for a few days. Whether you love colorful Norwegian architecture, craft beer, or simply want to see Trondheim's "bicycle elevator", you won't be disappointed. Read on for a list of things to do in Trondheim on a quick two day trip.

Getting to Trondheim

We visited Trondheim at the end of our West Norway road trip. We dropped off the car at Trondheim Airport and caught the convenient Værnesekspressen which runs about every 20 minutes. The bus cost 360 NOK per person round trip (about 36 EUR or $42 USD at the time of writing) and takes about 30 min. There is also a train to Trondheim City Center, but it only runs once an hour and takes a bit longer.

On the return trip to the airport, simply hop aboard Værnesekspressen at Bakkegata or one of the other Trondheim city stops to go to the airport. You'll be asked to show your ticket when you debark at airport. It's all very efficient! 

It's also possible to get to Trondheim from Oslo via a 7 hour train ride. We booked a short 1 hour flight on SAS instead to maximize our time to explore both Trondheim and Oslo.

Getting to Trondheim on the Værnesekspressen bus

Getting Around Trondheim

We mostly explored Trondheim on foot although there are buses that you can use to get around. We actually stumbled upon the bicycle elevator in Trondheim which seems like a fascinating way to get around. We stood by and watched how it works. Cyclists come up and put their foot on the block. They press a button and a little wedge comes up and assists them up the steep hill. Genius! I've never seen anything like it before in our world-wide travels!

Bicycle elevator in TrondheimBicycle elevator in Trondheim

Where to Stay in Trondheim

Since we were only in Trondheim for 2 days, we decided to stay at a hotel rather than an Airbnb. We chose the Scandic Bakklandet which was conveniently located with views across the Nidelva River to Bryggene i Trondheim (Trondheim's historic wharves). Hotels in Norway are famous for their breakfast buffets. The Scandic Bakklandet had a decent spread, but it was not quite as nice as the buffets at Thon Hotels we've been to on our Norwegian road trip. We paid approximately 200 EUR a night for a Superior Queen room with a view over the river and Bryggene i Trondheim.

 Where to stay in Trondheim: Scandic Bakklandet Breakfast buffet at the Scandic Bakklandet Hotel

Things to do in Trondheim at a Glance

What is Trondheim like? Are you wondering if Trondheim is worth visiting and about the kinds of things to do when you're there? Here are my picks of things to do in Trondheim at a glance.
  1.  Enjoy Trondheim Craft Beer
  2. Take a Trondheim Photowalk Morning Noon or Night
  3. Visit Solsiden
  4. People Watch with a Coffee
  5. Explore Kristiansten Fortress
  6. Walk the NTNU Campus
  7. Steep in the History of Bakklandet
  8. Treat Yourself to Dinner at Emilies Eld Restaurant and Bar
  9. Walk to Skansen Fyr
  10. Explore Trondheim's Vitenskapsmuseet
  11. Visit Trondheim's Medieval Museum
  12. Eat a Sweet Potato of Sorts at Rosenberg Bakery
  13. Admire Trondheim Cathedral and Archbishop's Palace
  14. Check out the Royal Residence
  15. Plan a Pizza Picnic with Grano

Things to do in Trondheim in Depth

Now that we have established an overview of what Trondheim has to offer, let's dive into all the things to do Trondheim in more detail.

Enjoy Trondheim Craft Beer

We arrived in Trondheim in the evening and made a beeline for Trondheim Mikrobryggeri. Drinking Trondheim craft beer is expensive, but definitely at the top of my list of cool things to do in Norway. Try a sampler platter of all 10 beers on tap along with a Buffalo Chicken Burger or a Bacon Mac n' Cheese burger. Roll me home! We enjoyed Endless Summer (with hard-hitting passion fruit flavor) and Pride 2021 with strawberry and lime. A few of the Trondheim Microbrewery craft beers were made with kveik, an ancient Norwegian yeast. 

Craft beer sampler at Trondheim Microbrewery

Also make time to sample house brewed craft beer and cider at Øx Pub in Trondheim. Aprikos Surøl was a top notch gose and Tokau a nice dry cider. We also enjoyed a schwarzbier laden with coffee and chocolate notes. 

Expect to pay the equivalent of 12 - 15 EUR for a beer in Trondheim. Tasters are more expensive on a per volume basis but allow you to try more beers without drinking too much or breaking the bank.

Take a Trondheim Photowalk Morning Noon or Night

A photo walk is my favorite thing to do in any new place that we visit. We finished our first day in Trondheim with a magical nighttime walk in Bakklandet. Make sure that you also experience the rich colors of Trondheim by day. Bryggene i Trondheim is the best subject to photograph at sunrise, by day, or at night.

View of Bryggene i TrondheimView of Bryggene i TrondheimView of Bryggene i Trondheim at night

Visit Solsiden

Another fun thing to do in Trondheim is visit Solsiden (Trondheim's revitalized docklands area). Make sure to walk across Verftsbrua which is also known as Blomsterbrua for the flowers lining the bridge. 

Blomsterbrua in Trondheim Norway

People Watch with a Coffee

You'll find quaint cafes on quiet side alleys in Trondheim Sentrum. We enjoyed coffee and a fresh-baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookie at Cafe le Frere in Trondheim. Sit outside and watch the people go by.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Interested in exploring other places in the Nordics? You should consider:

Explore Kristiansten Fortress

We followed the bicycle elevator up the hill and continued on to Kristiansten Fortress which dates back to the 17th century. Kristiansten Fortress features beautiful panoramic views of Trondheim. We learned that they still do cannon salutes on certain days of the year to honor the Norwegian royal family. Alas, no cannon firing was scheduled while we were there.

Places to See in Trondheim Norway: Kristiansten Fortress

Walk the NTNU Campus

Trondheim is home to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). I love visiting university campuses. It's a 15 minute walk from Kristiansten Fortress to the university through a beautiful posh neighborhood. My regular readers know that I love colorful or unusual doors and there were plenty that caught my eye on the way to the university. 

Things to do in Trondheim: visit NTNU campus

Steep in the History of Bakklandet

Gamle Bybro in Trondheim Norway

Walk down the hill from the university to atmospheric Bakklandet (Trondheim's Old Town). Gamle Bybro (the Old Town bridge) crosses the Nidelva River and is worth checking out. For great views of the Gamle Bybro, duck into the park behind Idar Sundfær Støwer and step down to the river's edge. I'm pleased to say that Trondheim's Bakklandet is full of fabulous doors. Watch out, Dublin Doors, you may have a rival for my affection.

White door in Bakklandet in Trondheim NorwayRed and blue door in Bakklandet in Trondheim NorwayGreen door in Bakklandet in Trondheim Norway

Treat Yourself to Dinner at Emilies Eld Restaurant and Bar

Eating out in Norway can be expensive, but we decided to treat ourselves to celebrate the successful conclusion to our Norwegian road trip. We enjoyed a three course meal with a glass of wine at Emilies Eld Restaurant and Bar in Trondheim. Scallops with smoky chorizo, cabbage and fermented roe, entrecote with mushrooms, and halibut with three kinds of carrots were delicious and satisfying.

Collage of Dinner at Emilies Eld Restaurant and Bar in TrondheimSkansen Lighthouse in Trondheim

We had a nice view into the bustling kitchen at Emilies Eld Restaurant and Bar. We enjoyed wine with dinner and a sort of chocolate brownie with strawberries for dessert. 

Walk to Skansen Fyr

We walked to the main train station in Trondheim and then along the Trondheim Fjord to Skansen fyr (lighthouse). The walk takes less than 20 min. We crossed the river onto Øya Island and then back again to Trondheim City Centre. This self-directed Skansen Lighthouse loop walk is fantastic on a sunny day.

Explore Trondheim's Vitenskapsmuseet

Head over to NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet (The Trondheim Museum of Natural History). We bought a combo ticket for 100 NOK per person (about 10 EUR at the time of writing) that covered the museum of natural history and the Trondheim Medieval Museum. NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet features lots of taxidermy including a proboscis monkey! There were not a lot of English translations of the exhibits but still worth a wander around.

Tiger and bear taxidermy specimens on display at Vitenskapsmuseet in Trondheim

Visit Trondheim's Medieval Museum

The Medieval Museum told a clear story of 1000 years of Trondheim history from the Vikings through the town's decline after the plague and Reformation. A pillar believed to be Norway's "birth certificate" was on display. We think it was the original and that it was over a millennium old! The exhibits in Trondheim's Medieval Museum were translated and packed with information.

Norway's Birth Certificate at the Trondheim Medieval Museum

Eat a Sweet Potato of Sorts at Rosenberg Bakery

Try a potet ("potato") at historic Rosenberg Bakery in Trondheim. The baker put it in a box for us and I had no idea what was inside. The box weighed a ton! It turns out that a potet is a ball of cream with a bit of jam covered in fondant. It was extremely sweet, dense and very, very good. We didn't have a fork, but I would advise you to use one. The Rosenberg Bakery potet was so messy, but I regret nothing!

Potet from Rosenberg Bakery in Trondheim

Admire Trondheim Cathedral and Archbishop's Palace

We ate our potet at one of the picnic benches in the courtyard of the Archbishop's Palace in Trondheim. Such a lovely spot! Make sure to walk a lap around Trondheim's Nidaros Cathedral, the northernmost Medieval cathedral in the world. The Gothic facade is impressive. Bring a camera with a zoom lens to see the expressions on the gargoyles' faces.
Trondheim CathedralGargoyle on Trondheim Cathedral

Check out the Royal Residence

We were surprised to find monkey faces on the side door of the royal residence in Trondheim. Located near Torvet, Trondheim's Town Square and one of the top attractions in this part of Norway, admire the architecture of the Royal Residence and then slip into the public park behind the building.

The Royal Residence door in Trondheim NorwayGrano pizza in Trondheim Norway

Plan a Pizza Picnic with Grano

We made one final stop in Trondheim before heading to the airport and picked up takeaway pizzas at Grano. We ordered a Delizia (salami, burrata, cherry tomatoes) and margherita pizza. We took our pizza boxes and headed toward the Nidelva River. We sat on a bench along the water just behind the Scandic Bakklandet and ate our delicious pizza while taking in one last view of Bryggene i Trondheim.

Summing up our Trip to Trondheim

I hope you've enjoyed this post highlighting things to do in Trondheim. We've explored the vibrant food and wine scene, colorful and photogenic architecture, and a bit of local history. 

Next up, we'll wrap up our trip to Norway by spending a week in Oslo.

Don't forget: sharing is caring...

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