Trondheim city reflected in the Nidelva

Things to do in Trondheim

From historical attractions and charming neighbourhoods to fun activities and tasty local food: Trøndelag’s capital has something for everyone!

Norway’s third-largest city, Norway’s food mecca and Trøndelag’s capital, the beloved city has many names. And there are even more reasons to visit Trondheim!

The city centre, which is divided by the Nidelva and with the Trondheimsfjord as its nearest neighbour, is perfect for exploring on foot. Check out historical highlights such as Nidaros Cathedral and Kristiansten Fortress, take a stroll in the charming Bakklandet district or get fresh air in Bymarka. And with a bustling food scene, including three of Norway’s eleven Michelin restaurants (2021), and a strong focus on local ingredients from mountains, land and sea, it is no wonder that Trondheim and Trøndelag have been nicknamed "Norway’s food tray". So you should come here hungry!

Thon Hotels has three hotels in Trondheim. Thon Hotel Trondheim is located right by Torvet in the heart of the city centre, Thon Hotel Nidaros is located next to Trondheim Central Station and Thon Hotel Prinsen is located by Trondheim Torg shopping centre.

Here are some things to do when you take the trip to Trondheim:

  • Activities

Activities

Glide along Nidelva

Want to explore Trondheim in a spectacular way? Take to the water! Trondheim Kajakk arranges several different tours and courses for both beginners and more experienced paddlers. Choose between a "glowing kayak tour" where you paddle through the city at night with LED lights on the kayak, or a classic day tour where you paddle along the Nidelva, around the city and end up at Skansen. The tour takes about two hours and you don't need any previous paddling experience. They also rent equipment to those who want to explore the city’s waterways on their own.

Trondheim on two wheels

The Trønder capital is perfect for exploring by bike! In fact, Trondheim has been voted the country’s leading cycling city with the highest proportion of cyclists, and the municipality aims to be Norway’s best bicycle city with a cohesive cycle path network totalling 180 kilometres by 2025. A nice round trip of about six kilometres is called the Hjerterunden and takes you past Bakklandet, Nidelva and Trondheimsfjord. Check out Trondheim Bysykkel or rent a bike from Trondheim Bike Adventures, which is located at Brattørkaia about ten minutes’ walk from Thon Hotel Nidaros. The latter also arranges guided tours in the city and countryside.

Tips! Try your hand at the Trampe bike lift, which annually takes around 30,000 cyclists up Brubakken in Bakklandet. The unique lift, which is today one of the city’s popular tourist attractions, opened in 1993 and was the first and only bike lift in the world.

Trondheim Camping

Even if you are in Trondheim on a hotel holiday, you can get the taste of the happy camping life. At Trondheim Camping you can play the camping classic mini golf! There is a 13-hole indoor course, as well as a bar that serves drinks, snacks and popcorn. The mini golf is open to everyone during the day, but after 7 pm there is a 20-year age limit. The "camping" is located in Folkets Hus, only a three-minute walk from Thon Hotel Nidaros, and ten minutes from the other two hotels.

Tips! If you prefer to play "real" golf, you can go to Trondheim Par3Golf in Byåsen.

Beer tasting

If you are looking to expand your taste buds, the Ølakademiet has several courses in beer tasting. What about beer + chocolate? It might not be the first thing you think about when you want to have something to bite into with your beer, but according to Ølakademiet, you might be surprised by what chocolate can add to the beer. Other courses offered by the academy include beer brewing courses, the combination of cheese and beer and beer tastings with themes such as Belgium and Christmas beer. If you are still thirsty for beer, the bar and the ØX Taproom microbrewery also organise various courses, as well as serving a variety of beers – some of them from their own brewery.

Trondheim by Boat

Whether you want to see the city from a new perspective, learn more about its history or go on a sunset tour, river sightseeing or fishing trip on the Trondheimsfjord, Trondheim by Boat has a tour that suits you. You can also combine the boat trip with dinner at Lille Skansen Restaurant or Troll Restaurant in Fosenkaia, or make a cultural stop at Rockheim – the national museum for pop music. There are both group tours and the option to charter the whole boat, where the trip is tailored to your wishes.

Tips! If you’re looking for more speed and excitement at sea, you can join Fjordrafting on a RIB tour.

Pirbadet

Every swimmer will love Pirbadet at Brattøra – this is Norway’s largest indoor swimming facility. Both young and old can have fun in everything from wavy pools, diving tower and water slides to a stream channel, outdoor swimming pool and climbing wall. From the pool, you also have views of the sea and Munkholmen, and the water naturally maintains summer temperatures all year round.

Taste your way through the city

Trøndelag is often referred to as Norway’s food bowl, so a gastronomic tour of the city is in order. You can of course plan a route between the city’s many restaurants and cafes on your own, but if you join a guided tour, you will also get stories and the opportunity to discover hidden gems along the way. By-k organises historical food walks, where you will walk through charming streets and the old working-class district of Bakklandet, learn about Trondheim’s history filled with drama and Viking chieftains, and of course taste local delicacies along the way. Trondheim Guiding also arranges gastronomic walks, including lunch at Sellanraa Bok & Bar or To Rom & Kjøkken.

  • Food and drinks

Food and drinks

Credo

If you want to eat sustainably and enjoy a rare culinary experience, the restaurant Credo is probably the city’s best choice. Credo is adorned with a star in the prestigious Michelin Guide and is particularly known for promoting local ingredients and producers. It is a set menu and is a kind of exciting journey through original flavours, textures and dishes that pay tribute to ingredients from the farms, the land and the sea in the local area. The tasting menu consists of 20 to 25 servings that change daily. The restaurant is run by head chef Heidi Bjerkan, who also runs Jossa food and drinks and Finnes Kafé in Lilleby, including those in Trondheim.

Fagn

At Fagn, it is said that you will have a food and taste experience that you will remember for a long time. Both flavours from nature and flavours you’ve never had before. Fagn is one of Trondheim’s three Michelin restaurants, with one star in the prestigious guide, so you are guaranteed a real gourmet experience here. The ground floor serves an inspirational menu of 10 or 20 creative dishes, while the second floor features a bistro with simpler dishes and a cocktail bar.

Bula Neobistro

At Bula Neobistro, run by Chef Reneé Fagerhøi, you get what the chef himself calls limitless food, with one foot in what is trashy and the other firmly planted on the silver platter. Here you can be served sausages in flatbread quickly, but inspired by Morcilla with homemade flatbread made from almond potatoes, or ice cream from salt sticks and ceviche with popcorn. Choose between five- and ten-course menus, with the corresponding wine package for those who want it. The bar also serves snacks and appetisers.

Frati

At the family restaurant Frati, which has been in the city for over 40 years, you can get a taste of Italy. The menu includes Italian classics such as spaghetti bolognese, lasagne and quattro formaggi pizza, but also dishes such as bruschetta with shrimp, coffee panta cotta and pizza with vendace roe and cheese from Orkladal Ysteri. The restaurant also has a wide selection of good wines. Frati is located on Kongens gate, just opposite Thon Hotel Prinsen.

Gubalari

Although they don't "cheat a little" at Gubalari, the restaurant is a kind of tribute to all of Norway’s mother of food, Ingrid Espelid Hovig. The dishes are inspired by over 300 episodes of the well-known Fjernsynskjøkkenet cooking show. Both lunch and dinner are served, and on the menu you will find sandwiches with smoked wild halibut, egg salad and dill, and marinated pork loin as Espelid Hovig and Danish chef Hans Jebsen prepared it in the TV show in 1972. The restaurant is a five-minute walk from Thon Hotel Nidaros.

Emilies Eld Restaurant & Bar

At the super-cosy Emilies Eld Restaurant & Bar, you can watch the chefs conjure up the most delicious dishes over the flame grill, using this season’s best ingredients. Here the food is made from scratch and you can choose between a simple bar menu, 3, 4 or 5 course meal or a regular à la carte menu. The menu includes a beef cheek confit, wild halibut and passion fruit mousse. The restaurant also has a cosy cocktail lounge, specially selected wine packages and a good selection of non-alcoholic drinks.

Bror Burger & Taco

If it’s a burger or tacos you fancy, check out Bror Burger & Taco. Many think this is the best burger in town, and with charcoal grilled meat, chicken or falafel as a base, and side dishes such as blue cheese, pear chutney and bacon jam, there are many varieties to choose from. The menu also includes a lot of other "comfort food", including nachos, mac'n cheese and chilli fries. Bror is five minutes' walk from both Thon Hotel Prinsen and Hotel Trondheim, and only two minutes from Thon Hotel Nidaros.

Baklandet Skydsstation

In a super charming wooden building close to Gamle Bybro, is the idyllic Baklandet Skydsstation. Here you will be served homemade food in charming, old-fashioned premises – everything from rakfisk, reindeer stew and "klappkak" to fish soup, Danish herring plate and their well-known cakes. The building is supposed to have previously housed a transport station, milliner, a carpentry workshop and dairy, so there’s a long history in the walls. And the cafe isn't just popular with local and Norwegian tourists, it’s been mentioned in the Lonely Planet and has previously been named Cafe of the Year by travel magazine National Geographic Traveller.

Dromedar Kaffebar

If you like good coffee, or fancy a tasty bite, Dromedar Kaffebar is the place for you. Dromedar opened its first coffee shop in Trondheim over 25 years ago, and today has four cafes and its own bakery in the city centre. The bakery makes cakes to order – everything from marzipan cakes to modern mousse cakes adorned with macaroons. Dromedar also serves sandwiches, brownies, macaroons, scones and pastries. Don't forget to taste their speciality "chilli latte".

Lager11

Can't decide if you want Greek souvlaki, Chilean empanadas, Vietnamese bánh mì or Indian curry for dinner? Then Lager11 has the solution! This is a food hall filled with eight different stalls that serve exciting food from all over the world. The food hall is located on Sluppen, around ten minutes’ drive from Trondheim Torg, and also offers a concert stage and various events.

Raus Bar

The cocktail bar Raus is the perfect spot for a pre-dinner drink, a pleasant end to the evening or a fun night out. The bar specialises in classic and modern cocktails, and the bartenders who work here have actually won several awards for their cocktail art. Raus is located on Nordre gate, only 100 metres from Thon Hotel Nidaros.

Ila Brainnstasjon

Right next to Ilaparken you will find the popular cultural cafe Ila Brainnstasjon, which, with its charming backyard and cosy atmosphere, offers both free intimate concerts, stand-up and poetry evenings. If you get hungry, the dish of the day and a varied menu based on local seasonal produce, such as meat from Meråker, fish from Frøya and vegetables from Frosta, are served. Love jazz? Then head out on a Sunday, when Sunday jazz is held live every week!

Kieglekroa

In the mood for beer and games? Then head to Trondheim’s oldest pub, Kieglekroa. Among other things, you’ll find a wide selection of whisky and beer, and you can enjoy quality time with family and friends among sturdy benches and wooden tables, warmth from the fireplace and candle light. Or how about challenging each other to a round of darts, board games or the fun game "sjoelbak"? The pub also organises its own pub quiz and serves steak, burgers, pizzas and various appetisers.

Antikvariatet

Antikvariatet, located on Bakklandet, is a music cafe and book bar with lots of soul. As well as enjoying something good in the glass, either on the outdoor terrace, in the cafe or in the bar, you can often enjoy concerts and cultural events here. Don't forget to make your way all the way to the book bar, which has walls covered with books. A good selection of beers and views of the river, the city bridge and the cathedral await here.

  • Natural gems

Natural gems

Munkholmen

When the sun is out, Munkholmen, a small protected island in the Trondheimsfjord, is a popular destination for visitors and local swimmers. Munkholmen has an exciting history, and has been used as a monastery, fortress, prison and defence facility. Today, people come here to soak up the sun and enjoy lazy summer days, and in addition to great swimming options, there are two places to eat on the island: a cafe and a restaurant with outdoor dining. Munkholmen is located around two kilometres outside the city, and you can easily get here by boat from Ravnkloa, Trondheim’s best known common, located at the end of Munkegata.

Solsiden

The vibrant district of Nedre Elvehavn, perhaps better known as Solsiden or Trondheim’s answer to Aker Brygge, is well worth a visit if the sun is shining. This is where the outdoor dining places are lined up, with views of the water and a great atmosphere. In other words, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a good meal or drink in the afternoon sun. You’ll also find the "Dokkhuset" concert stage here, where chamber music and jazz, new music, world music and other musical events take place.

Ringve Botanical Garden

Interested in plants? Then head to Ringve Botanical Garden (NTNU), located on the Lade peninsula. Here you can see a great variety of plants from all over the world, in what was created as a university garden for the NTNU in 1973 and is still used for research, teaching and conservation of endangered plant species. For example, check out the Renaissance Garden, a kind of herb garden with a local historical twist, the Old Garden filled with traditional garden plants from central Norway or the ornamental beds surrounding the old pleasure garden Ringve. You can visit the garden and the area every day of the year – for free.

Ladeparken

If you need to recharge your batteries, Trondheim’s public outdoor recreation area Ladeparken outside out on Lade is a good choice. Here you’ll find climbing frames, play sets, gazebos, fountains, rocks to hop on in the water and beautiful green spaces. In other words, it’s perfect for both families with children and visitors who want to see a different city park. The park is also called Sirkusparken, as it is built on the same site as the visiting circuses and fairgrounds used in the city – which also inspired the design of the park.

Ladestien

Want to stretch your legs? Check out the city’s perhaps most popular hiking trail, Ladestien, which stretches approximately eight kilometres from Ladehammerkaia to Rotvollfjæra. Along the trail are several highlights and sights, including Ringve Farm, several war memories, foundations for cannon emplacements and Vertshuset Strandheim. Along the way, you’ll also find several lovely swimming spots, and there’s an opportunity for a bite to eat at Ladekaia, or the Sponhuset cafe if hunger strikes.

The sea bath in Brattøra

If the sun is shining, it may not be tempting to head to an indoor swimming pool for a cooling dip, so it’s a good thing that there are great swimming opportunities outside too! The popular Sjøbadet, located on Brattøra close to Pirbadet, is Trondheim’s most central bathing area, with both sunbathing areas and diving tower. Perfect for those who want to soak up the sun and those who want to jump into the fjord.

Bymarka

Bymarka, which is west of the city, offers varied terrain and excellent hiking opportunities, whether you want to go on foot or ski, want to go fish in summer or winter, swim or just seek the tranquillity of the forest. See the website of Trondheim Municipality or Trondheim.no for suggestions for tours.

Right photo: Søderholm – Steen/Trondelag.com

  • Museums and attractions

Museums and attractions

Nidaros Cathedral

Just like you can't travel to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower, you can't travel to Trondheim without seeing Nidaros Cathedral. Trondheim’s beating heart and the world’s northernmost Gothic cathedral were built from 1070 at the burial site of Olav the Holy and completed around 1300. Subsequently, extensive restorations have been made and today the cathedral appears in its original grandeur. Nidaros Cathedral is one of Europe’s most important historical pilgrimage destinations, but if you haven't embarked on the pilgrimage, you can also join a guided tour to learn more about the cathedral’s long history, or just enjoy the powerful sight on your own.

Bakklandet

Trondheim’s idyllic "old town" by the Nidelva is perfect for a lovely stroll. Here you’ll find small, colourful wooden houses in a row, many of them filled with cosy restaurants and cafes and small, charming shops. The area has been inhabited since the start of the 17th century and is now a lively area popular with locals, students and visitors alike. The best way to get here from the city centre is to walk over the iconic Gamle Bybro, which is another popular attraction in the city.

Kristiansten Fortress

Kristiansten Fortress is not only one of Trondheim’s most important landmarks, but also one of the city’s most popular attractions. The fortress was built after the great city fire in 1681 on the orders of King Christian V, in order to prevent enemies from attacking the city. The fortress was decommissioned as an active military facility in 1816 and is currently Norway’s best preserved tower fortress from the 17th century. Entrance is free and you can visit the area every day when the doors are open between 8 am-9 pm. There are also several museums and cafes here, and the area is often used for events, festivals and concerts.

Trondheim Food Festival

Did you know that in 2022 Trondheim and Trøndelag can pride themselves with the title "European Region of Gastronomy"? The title is given each year to a city or region in Europe by the International Institute of Gastronomy, and was awarded to Trøndelag because the economy is largely based on food production and nature-based industries. This is also expressed in the Trøndersk Food Festival and the Trondheim Brewery Festival. Hundreds of thousands of foodies gather here to learn more about – and sample – unique, Trønder cuisine and drinks.

Rockheim

In a cool industrial building on Brattørkaia, you’ll find the national museum of popular music, Rockheim. Here you can learn about the history of Norwegian popular music from the 1950s to the present day, and the museum houses a wide selection of pictures, songs and videos that allow you to reminisce about Norwegian pop and rock for hours. The museum also includes interactive experience rooms where you can do graffiti and let loose as a DJ, as well as the "Hall of Fame" which honours people who have had a great impact on Norwegian music. Maybe you’ll find your favourite?

Sverresborg Trøndelag Folk Museum

Curious about what Trondheim and Trøndelag were like in the old days? At Sverresborg Trøndelag Folk Museum, one of the country’s largest cultural heritage open-air museums, you can learn about just that. The museum has both its own city section called the Old Town, and a rural department with various farmsteads with buildings from the 18th-19th centuries. You can also find Norway’s oldest medieval castle here, a cafe, exhibitions and a museum shop, and you can join activities in Birkebeinerleiren, walking theatre, experience living history and say hello to the animals that live here. You’ll find the museum at Sverresborg, just a ten-minute drive from Trondheim Torg.

  • Group activities

Group activities

Glide along Nidelva

Want to explore Trondheim in a spectacular way? Take to the water! Trondheim Kajakk arranges several different tours and courses for both beginners and more experienced paddlers. Choose between a "glowing kayak tour" where you paddle through the city at night with LED lights on the kayak, or a classic day tour where you paddle along the Nidelva, around the city and end up at Skansen. The tour takes about two hours and you don't need any previous paddling experience. They also rent equipment to those who want to explore the city’s waterways on their own.

Trondheim on two wheels

The Trønder capital is perfect for exploring by bike! In fact, Trondheim has been voted the country’s leading cycling city with the highest proportion of cyclists, and the municipality aims to be Norway’s best bicycle city with a cohesive cycle path network totalling 180 kilometres by 2025. A nice round trip of about six kilometres is called the Hjerterunden and takes you past Bakklandet, Nidelva and Trondheimsfjord. Check out Trondheim Bysykkel or rent a bike from Trondheim Bike Adventures, which is located at Brattørkaia about ten minutes’ walk from Thon Hotel Nidaros. The latter also arranges guided tours in the city and countryside.

Tips! Try your hand at the Trampe bike lift, which annually takes around 30,000 cyclists up Brubakken in Bakklandet. The unique lift, which is today one of the city’s popular tourist attractions, opened in 1993 and was the first and only bike lift in the world.

Trondheim Camping

Even if you are in Trondheim on a hotel holiday, you can get the taste of the happy camping life. At Trondheim Camping you can play the camping classic mini golf! There is a 13-hole indoor course, as well as a bar that serves drinks, snacks and popcorn. The mini golf is open to everyone during the day, but after 7 pm there is a 20-year age limit. The "camping" is located in Folkets Hus, only a three-minute walk from Thon Hotel Nidaros, and ten minutes from the other two hotels.

Tips! If you prefer to play "real" golf, you can go to Trondheim Par3Golf in Byåsen.

Beer tasting

If you are looking to expand your taste buds, the Ølakademiet has several courses in beer tasting. What about beer + chocolate? It might not be the first thing you think about when you want to have something to bite into with your beer, but according to Ølakademiet, you might be surprised by what chocolate can add to the beer. Other courses offered by the academy include beer brewing courses, the combination of cheese and beer and beer tastings with themes such as Belgium and Christmas beer. If you are still thirsty for beer, the bar and the ØX Taproom microbrewery also organise various courses, as well as serving a variety of beers – some of them from their own brewery.

Trondheim by Boat

Whether you want to see the city from a new perspective, learn more about its history or go on a sunset tour, river sightseeing or fishing trip on the Trondheimsfjord, Trondheim by Boat has a tour that suits you. You can also combine the boat trip with dinner at Lille Skansen Restaurant or Troll Restaurant in Fosenkaia, or make a cultural stop at Rockheim – the national museum for pop music. There are both group tours and the option to charter the whole boat, where the trip is tailored to your wishes.

Tips! If you’re looking for more speed and excitement at sea, you can join Fjordrafting on a RIB tour.

Taste your way through the city

Trøndelag is often referred to as Norway’s food bowl, so a gastronomic tour of the city is in order. You can of course plan a route between the city’s many restaurants and cafes on your own, but if you join a guided tour, you will also get stories and the opportunity to discover hidden gems along the way. By-k organises historical food walks, where you will walk through charming streets and the old working-class district of Bakklandet, learn about Trondheim’s history filled with drama and Viking chieftains, and of course taste local delicacies along the way. Trondheim Guiding also arranges gastronomic walks, including lunch at Sellanraa Bok & Bar or To Rom & Kjøkken.

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