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 Around 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.
Things to do in Trondheim at a Glance
- Enjoy Trondheim Craft Beer
- Take a Trondheim Photowalk Morning Noon or Night
- Visit Solsiden
- People Watch with a Coffee
- Explore Kristiansten Fortress
- Walk the NTNU Campus
- Steep in the History of Bakklandet
- Treat Yourself to Dinner at Emilies Eld Restaurant and Bar
- Walk to Skansen Fyr
- Explore Trondheim's Vitenskapsmuseet
- Visit Trondheim's Medieval Museum
- Eat a Sweet Potato of Sorts at Rosenberg Bakery
- Admire Trondheim Cathedral and Archbishop's Palace
- Check out the Royal Residence
- Plan a Pizza Picnic with Grano
Things to do in Trondheim in Depth
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Steep in the History of Bakklandet
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Admire Trondheim Cathedral and Archbishop's Palace
Check out the Royal Residence
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.