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. Situated by the Trondheimsfjord, the city is surrounded by lovely forested hills, with the Nidelva river winding through the town. The range of things to do in Trondheim is bigger than you would expect for a city of this size. With a population of 180,000, Trondheim is not a big city on a European scale. However, it is the third largest in Norway. The wide range of things to do may in part be attributed to the city’s students, who number more than 30,000. The students leave their mark on the city by arranging many events, as well as attending the city’s other cultural offerings.
It is Norway’s leading food region. With countless small-scale and large-scale food producers spanning many varieties of local food, Trøndelag can rightly be called Norway’s leading food region, and Trondheim the Food City. For many, a visit to Trondheim provides an opportunity to eat local and organic food.
Trondheim has a number of sights that each year are among the most visited in Trøndelag. Here is a list of the top 7 things to do:
- Nidaros Cathedral – Built by King Olav Kyrre (1066-93) over the tomb of Norway’s patron saint, St Olav, Nidaros Cathedral is widely regarded as the most magnificent church in Scandinavia. The cathedral is undoubtedly the jewel in the city’s crown and one of the top tourist attractions. Kings have been christened and buried here, and since 1814 it’s been a requirement of the Norwegian constitution that the monarch should be crowned in Trondheim Cathedral.
Archbishop’s Palace and Museum – The medieval Archbishop’s Palace (Erkebispegården) is not only the oldest building of its kind in Scandinavia, it’s also one of the best preserved such palaces in Europe. Dating back to the late 12th Century, the palace’s west wing now houses a number of historic displays, including the Norwegian Crown Regalia exhibit – a spectacular collection of Norway’s crown jewels – as well as the Army and Resistance Museumswith their focus on Trondheim’s military history from Viking times to WW2.
Market Square – The focal point of Trondheim – and pretty much the city’s center, so a good place to start your exploring – is the Market Square (Torget). One of the attractions is the tall octagonal column in the center of the square: built in 1923, it bears a statue of Olav Tryggvason, King of Norway from 995 to 1000 and widely regarded as Trondheim’s founder.
Trondheim Harbor – A must-do in Trondheim is a visit to the city’s old port area at the mouth of the River Nidelv. You can spend hours wandering around the colorful old wooden warehouses built on piles above the water, many of them converted to classy boutiques and high-end homes.
Ringve Museum – Opened in 1952, Ringve Museum is Norway’s national museum of music and musical instruments and houses two permanent exhibitions: the Museum in the Manor Housecontains instruments from the European musical tradition; and the Museum in the Barn with its displays of modern sound and lighting technology.
St. Olav Festival at Trondheim – Trondheim’s St Olav Festival – a 10-day long event celebrating Norway’s patron saint – includes a wide-variety of programming from concerts to lectures, recitals and operas.
- Rockheim – Norway’s national centre for pop and rock music is the newest attraction in Trondheim, opened in 2010. Located in a striking building in the harbour area, Rockheim (literally “the home of rock”) showcases the best of Norwegian popular music from the 1950s to the present day through exhibitions, interactive experiences, and of course concerts.