The magical Norwegian city of Trondheim is a traveler’s paradise with amazing natural spaces to explore and fascinating museums and cultural spaces to discover. From an 11th century Gothic cathedral, to some of the country’s top science and tech institutes, to breathtaking lakes and forests, there’s no shortage of incredible places to see in Trondheim!
If you’re wondering what to do in Trondheim, look no further! Our list of the top 10 things to do in Trondheim will keep you busy during your trip to this beautiful city. Ready to discover the best things to see around Trondheim? Let’s go!
All About Trondheim
Located in central Norway, the beautiful city of Trondheim is Norway’s third largest city with a population of more than 200,000. Sitting along the Trondheim Fjord, this important harbor city was founded in 997 by the Viking Olaf Tyggvason.
Home to universities, scientific research centers and the Geological Survey of Norway, Trondheim is a Norwegian science and technology hub. The Nordic Skiing World Championship was also held in Trondheim at Granasen Ski Centre in 1997.
Named European Region of Gastronomy in 2022, foodies will love exploring the tastes of Trondheim. Here, you can enjoy the city’s many top-rated restaurants, then take a stroll around the gorgeous cobbled streets admiring the coloured houses – the perfect mixture of city and small-town vibes!
Despite its northerly latitude, you might be surprised to learn that Trondheim actually experiences relatively mild winters with temperatures remaining above freezing at coastal locations. However, if you venture into the mountains, you’re sure to find snow.
If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Norway, Trondheim is definitely at the top of that list!
10 Top Things to Do in Trondheim
Wondering what to do in Trondheim? Here’s our carefully curated list of top Trondheim attractions. Whether you prefer to visit museums or spend time in the great outdoors, you’re sure to find something perfect for you on this list of the best things to do in Trondheim. Enjoy!
Visit Nidaros Cathedral
No trip to Trondheim is complete without a visit to the famous 11th century Nidaros Cathedral. This Gothic masterpiece is Norway’s largest church and an important pilgrimage destination, seeing over 1,000 pilgrims every year.
The cathedral lays atop the tomb of St. Olav: the patron saint of Norway and Viking King who brought Christianity to the country. As the world’s northernmost Gothic cathedral and Norway’s national shrine, many important events take place at Nidaros Cathedral throughout the year, including coronations.
When visiting Nidaros Cathedral during summer, make sure to climb the 170+ steps to the top of the tower for an unbeatable view over the city. If you fancy learning more about the cathedral’s 850-year history, we recommend taking a guided tour. In peak tourist season from June to August, you’ll be able to enjoy a tour in English.
Make sure to schedule enough time to admire the more than 5,000 statues and sculptures that adorn the cathedral!
Explore Kristiansten Fortress
Another one of the main Trondheim attractions, Kristiansten Fortress is a National Fortifications Heritage site. The two most popular places to see inside the fortress are the dungeon and museum.
Built after the great city fire in 1681, Kristiansten Fortress has been an important building throughout history, once saving the city from conquest by Sweden in the 16th century. The fortress was then used by Nazi forces during the Second World War.
Nowadays, the spectacular building of Kristiansten Fortress hosts various cultural events and festivals, with the entire surrounding area being used for recreational purposes. Visiting this historic hilltop fortress will grant you incredible views over the city of Trondheim, the glistening fjord that winds through it and the beautiful greenery all around.
Walk Over the Old Town Bridge
This Trondheim point of interest is top of many travelers' Trondheim bucket lists, and for good reason! Also built in 1681 at the same time as Kristiansten Fortress as part of the efforts to rebuild the city after the devastating fire, the Old Town Bridge crosses the Nidelva River.
Originally constructed of wood supported by three stone piers, the Old Town Bridge had a guarded city gate at its center until 1816. The bridge served as an important city defense, blocking access into Trondheim via the iron gates.
In 1861, the engineer Carl Adolf Dahl reconstructed the Old Town Bridge, which is the version of the bridge you can see today. Did you know that Gamle Bybro means Old Town Bridge in Norwegian?
Wander Around the Beautiful Bakklandet Area
One of the main unmissable things to do in Trondheim is to take a trip to the beautiful Bakklandet neighborhood. The charming, colorful houses and cobblestone streets of the Bakklandet area make this perfect place for an afternoon stroll.
Located on the east side of the Nidelva River, Bakklandet is full of small, wooden houses, cozy restaurants and beautiful boutiques. This historic neighborhood is now one of the most sought-after areas to live in Trondheim, but was once a working-class area with poor living conditions.
Facing fires and the threat of demolition to build a new highway, Bakklandet has survived despite the odds due to the local people’s determination to preserve this unique piece of Norway’s history.
Admire the View at Tyholttarnet
Fancy eating a meal with an amazing view over Trondheim? You can do just that at the 124-meter tall radio tower of Tyholttarnet. Complete with an observation deck and rotating restaurant, you can enjoy both incredible views and tasty dishes at Tryholttarnet.
Perfect for a fabulous day trip or night out, your visit to Tyholttarnet is sure to be one you won’t soon forget! If you have motion sickness, don’t worry – the tower only completes one turn each hour, so you won’t be spinning too quickly.
Constructed for modern TV and radio communication, Tyholttarnet is home to a restaurant called Egon, which has a special wood-themed interior and surprisingly reasonably-priced meals. For some delicious food and incredible panoramas, you can’t beat dining at Egon!
Go Back in Time at Sverresborg Trondelag Folk Museum
This open-air cultural heritage museum is one of the top Trondheim attractions, housing an impressive collection of artifacts and photos. In fact, over 80 historical buildings are part of Sverresborg Trondelag Folk Museum! The picturesque surroundings of the museum, including the ruins of King Sverre’s medieval castle, are also stunning in their own right.
As Norway’s third-largest cultural history museum, Sverresborg Trondelag Folk Museum was founded in 1909 by history-enthused citizens who wanted to preserve the city’s old buildings. Learn about how people lived and what they considered important by exploring the extensive collection of artifacts in this wonderful museum.
Here, you’ll find examples of buildings from mountain and coastal regions, Trondelag traditions, Sami huts and even city mansions. There are discounted tickets available for students, and children under 15 can get in for free when accompanied by an adult.
Hike in the Beautiful Bymarka Nature Reserve
Situated in the western area of Trondheim, the incredible park and nature reserve at Bymarka is home to some of the best hiking trails in Norway. Nature lovers will never want to leave this incredible outdoor paradise.
With spectacular lakes, snowy mountains and lush forests, Bymarka Nature Reserve is one of the most famous Trondheim attractions. Popular for hiking, skiing and golfing, this beautiful park can be reached by driving or taking the Grakallen tram line.
As well as the countless tree species you’ll find at Bymarka, you’ll also come across a variety of wildlife, including moose, deer, beavers, foxes, hares, squirrels, badgers and even wolverines! There are also many birds to spot at Bymarka, as well as plenty of fish.
Visit Pirbadet Waterpark
Did you know that Norway’s biggest waterpark is in Trondheim? While you’re in the city, we recommend taking a trip to this fantastic Trondheim attraction to experience both the fun and relaxation of a day at the indoor Pirbadet Waterpark.
With a wave pool, diving boards, a climbing wall, jacuzzis and saunas, there’s something at Pirbadet for everyone. Here, you can enjoy a wonderful waterfront view and even enjoy a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant after your time enjoying the water features.
This indoor waterpark receives around half a million visits every year and is most popular during the peak tourist season of summer. Perfect for children, teens, adults and the elderly, everyone can enjoy some of the lovely water features at Pirbadet.
Take a Boat to Munkholmen Island
Take advantage of Trondheim’s location at the mouth of the River Nidelva by enjoying a boat tour along this spectacular Norwegian fjord. Our favorite boat trip along Trondheim Fjord takes you to Munkholmen Island, a small island just off the coast of Trondheim.
This fascinating island was once an execution ground during the Viking era. Just a ten-minute boat ride from Trondheim, Munkholmen was home to a monastery in the Middle Ages, which was then turned into a prison, a fort and a custom home, which is a government office where customs duty is collected.
Visiting ‘the Monk’s Island’ is now one of the most popular things to do in Trondheim, with a beautiful beach and restaurant located on this island. Well worth a visit, make sure to bring your camera along to Munnkholmen to capture the unique sights of this tiny island.
Get Inspired at Trondheim Art Museum
Trondheim Art Museum, or Trondheim Kunstmuseum, is home to both historical and contemporary pieces of art. On the first floor of the museum, you’ll find Norwegian masterpieces from across history, while the second floor is home to both Norwegian and international modern art.
With many fascinating exhibitions and free entry for children under 18, Trondheim Art Museum is a brilliant place for a fun day out in Norway. Note that the museum has two locations; the main building, TKM Bispegata, is located close to Nidaros Cathedral, and TKM Gramolna is located at Nedre Elvehavn.
You can also enjoy workshops, guided tours and events at Trondheim Art Museum. There are exciting traveling exhibitions that you can experience here – just make sure to check the website beforehand to see which days each exhibition will be at the museum.
Plan Your Perfect Trondheim Adventure!
Inspired to explore the magical city of Trondheim for yourself and visit all the most famous Trondheim points of interest? What better way to travel around this beautiful Norwegian city, as well as the rest of the picturesque country of Norway, than by campervan?
With a campervan, motorhome or SUV, your home comes with you on the road, allowing you to travel to your heart’s content and enjoy the ultimate flexibility and freedom on your vacation. With amazing sights to see all over Trondheim and around the rest of Norway, being able to easily move around will allow you to see all of the most breathtaking landscapes that this incredible Nordic nation has to offer.
We can help you out with finding an affordable and reliable motorhome rental in Trondheim, ready to pick up as soon as you arrive. Get your Norway vacation started in the best possible way by hopping into your motorhome, hitting the open road and letting the spirit of adventure take over – sounds like bliss!