Trondheim is Norway’s third-largest city and lies in the Trøndelag county where the Nidelva River empties into the Trondheimsfjord. This city is a pleasure to walk around, as forest-clad hills and glistening waterways surround its colorful buildings and sweet, old harbor. Here are some of the interesting things to do in Trondheim for tourists to experience.
Interesting Things to Do in Trondheim
1. Tour secret rooms at Nidaros Cathedral
Trondheim’s most popular attraction, Nidaros Cathedral is built on the site of St Olaf’s grave and is the world’s northernmost medieval cathedral. A grand tribute to Norway’s treasured patron saint, the cathedral was built from 1070 onwards but fell into disrepair during the Middle Ages. Since 1869, it has been painstakingly restored, although craftsmen can still be seen working in the cathedral today.
Now visitors can marvel at its stained-glass windows and stone sculptures or join a guided tour to the cathedral’s secret rooms. During the summer don’t miss climbing the 172 narrow steps up the tower for the best view of Trondheim’s pretty city center.
2. Go to Ringve Museum
Posted on high ground, the Ringve Museum is in an 18th-century manor with views of both Trondheim and its fjord.
It was the childhood home of the 18th-century nobleman Peter Tordenskjold and was acquired by the Bachke family following an auction in 1878. One son, Christian Anker Bachke moved in with his wife, the Russian Victoria Rostin Bachke.
The couple never had children but invested their fortune in musical instruments, building a collection that now numbers 1,500 pieces.
Informative guided tours are offered in summer, when, against gracefully furnished rooms named after composers, you can see an Amati violin from 1612, a spinet and clavichord from the 18th century, Hardanger fiddles, and an extremely rare cecilium from the 19th century.
Make sure to take a turn in the 13-hectare botanical gardens around the museum.
3. Explore Bakklandet and Gamle Bybro (Old Town Bridge)
Cross the river Nidelva through the red arches of the Gamle Bybro (Old Town Bridge) to reach the picturesque lanes and colorful old houses of the Bakklandet neighborhood. It feels like a small village, and the historic wooden riverside buildings have become small shops, galleries, coffee houses, and restaurants.
Shopping in the boutiques is one of the favorite things to do here, or stroll along the river for views of the buildings lining the opposite bank. This is Trondheim’s most historic and atmospheric neighborhood.
4. Visit Kristiansten Fortress
One of the interesting things to do in Trondheim is to visit Kristiansten Fortress. Standing on a hill to the city’s east, Kristiansten Fortress (Kristiansten Festning) was built between 1681 and 1695 to protect the city against attack. It is a bit of a climb, but admission to the tower and its small museum is free, and the views across the city are lovely.
Grim reminders of the fortress’s 20th-century history are the cells in which the Nazis held members of the Norwegian Resistance during the World War II occupation, and the memorial to those who were executed here.
5. Discover Norway’s musical history at Rockheim
6. Visit Trøndelag Folk Museum
Eighty historic buildings from across Trøndelag have been moved to this outdoor museum.
The Trøndelag Folk Museum is one of the biggest attractions of its kind in Norway and is all the more atmospheric for the ruins of Sverresborg castle dominating the site.
Dating to Norway’s 12th-century Civil War era, the castle was the stronghold for Sverre of Norway who fought against Magnus V of Norway for the right to the throne.
Dating from around the same time as the ruins is the majestic Haltdalen stave church, going back to 1170. The ruins, historic town buildings (shops and local amenities), and rural monuments (mills and farmhouses) have a small cast of characters in traditional dress.
There’s also an indoor museum about folk culture in Trøndelag where you can peruse old crafts, furniture, costumes, home interiors, modes of transport, and children’s toys.