A First Weekend In Trondheim

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My first of what would turn out to be many weekend trips to Trondheim. If you're planning a visit, here's an idea of what to do on your first visit.

The more eagle-eyed of my readers will have noticed I spent last weekend in Trondheim. The many colours of Trondheim post was a bit of a giveaway!

A weekend in Trondheim

Despite Trondheim being Norway's former capital and third-largest city by population, it's remarkably different from Oslo.

An introduction to Trondheim

For starters, it's small. The population is just 155,000 and the city centre is very compact, separated from the more residential parts of the city by a beautiful river.

It's much further north, delivering a different climate although I was lucky to experience some sun during my visit!

Academia dominates Trondheim giving it a laid-back feel, but the focus on science & technology ensures an element of vibrancy. You can read more fun facts about Trondheim here.

The river through the centre of Trondheim

Getting to Trondheim was incredibly easy. The lengthy alternatives of the train (7hr) and coach (10hr+) means most people fly. A choice of 26 daily flights from SAS and Norwegian, a 40-minute flight time and a reasonable cost if you book at least a few weeks in advance makes flying a no-brainer.

My weekend kicked off on Friday with a memorable trip on the Flybussen along the fjord in the late afternoon sun.

A tour of the city

On Saturday my gracious host Gerry gave me a whistle-stop tour, starting off with this spectacular view from his 11th floor office at NTNU (Norwegian University for Science & Technology):

View of Trondheim from NTNU

A highlight for me was the stunning Nidaros Domkirke, a beautiful gothic cathedral that I hope to see more of next time I visit.

The remarkable front is covered with sculptures and I could have spent ages just standing there taking it all in. But there was so much more to see, so we moved on.

Nidaros Domkirke, Trondheim
Nidaros Cathedral.

We also enjoyed a picnic atop Kristiansten fortress with more great views across the city that just don't come across on the photos.

We spent the rest of the day wandering past the coloured houses and warehouses dotted around the city and the cobbled streets, boutique shops and cafes that reminded me so much of an English market town.

A street in Trondheim

Sunday was a little more relaxed and despite Norway's policy of shutting down on Sundays, we managed to find a nice cafe near the waterfront to indulge in the Norwegian tradition of “kaffe og kake” (coffee and cake).

With the fjord and the river encasing the city, you are never far from water. This means birds and lots of them. Sadly, this also means bird poo. I'll gloss over that point, but I'm sure you can guess what happened.

Beautiful Trondheim waterfront

I flew back to Oslo early on Monday morning and took the airport bus straight to my office.

From a 6.40am flight I was at my desk in Oslo before 9am. From the bustling airport it's obvious many people live in other parts of Norway and commute into Oslo on a Monday to work, returning home on a Friday.

A view across Trondheim from the fortress

On the basis of my weekend away, I can understand why.

More things to do in Trondheim

I will be returning to the city frequently and I already have a wish-list of things to do in Trondheim on my future visits. These include:

  • Take a tour inside the Nidaros Cathedral
  • Visit Oppdal, the winter sports resort
  • Take a train journey to Hell. I will feel like the ultimate idiot tourist, but I can't resist it
  • Visit the Lerkendal Stadium for a football match, although I'm unlikely to be supporting Rosenborg
  • Take a boat out to Munkholmen, a former execution site, monestary and prison. Despite it's chequered history, the island is supposedly a delightful summer retreat!
  • Ride the Kystekspressen ferry from Trondheim to Kristiansund

Have you spent a weekend in Trondheim? What were your favourite things to see and do? Let me know in the comments below.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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2 thoughts on “A First Weekend In Trondheim”

  1. I would seriously reccomend the train trip. There are 2 ‘different’ routes, and really worth doing in daylight.
    Certain time of the year you can go UP Nidaros… Dave took my Dad up. I stayed at the bottom keeping Mum company 🙂
    And we’ve been to Lerkedal… Once was very memorable – we won 4-1 😀

  2. I was always tempted to take a road trip across the mountains to Hell – it’s pretty much due west of where I used to visit in Sweden.


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