The third-largest city in Norway, Trondheim is also one of the oldest cities in the country. Founded in AD 997 by the Vikings as a trading post, it was the capital of Norway until 1217. New kings are still crowned in this city. Trondheim is the main town in Sør-Trøndelag County, which is built on a peninsula and is connected to the mainland on its west side in central Norway.
Even though Trondheim is a bite-sized town according to European standards, it is still the third-largest city in Norway. It is located in the county of Trøndelag, where the Nidelva River meets the Trondheimsfjord. After a tragic fire incident in the 17th century, the city was rebuilt in Baroque style and is facing Northern Europe’s second-largest cathedral.
The kings were crowned here from 1164 to 1906, and the Archbishop’s Palace holds the crown jewels of the country, aka Regalia of Norway. The city of Trondheim is infused with nightlife and style, and it has over 30000 students. The elegant Bakklandet quarter is one of the best places for Trondheim sightseeing. It is well known for old-world wooden warehouses.
You can also navigate through authentic museums for antique musical instruments and decorative arts, which are some of the top things to do in Trondheim. Therefore, without further wait, here are some of the best things to see in Trondheim.
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Best Things to do in Trondheim
Built over the tomb of the patron saint of Norway, St. Olav, by King Olav Kyrre (1066-93), Nidaros Cathedral is well regarded as the most beautiful church located in Scandinavia. It is the northernmost medieval cathedral in the world and one of the best tourist attractions in the city. It has been the place where kings have been buried and christened.
It has been the need of the Norwegian constitution since 1814 that the king must be crowned in Trondheim Cathedral. In the late Romanesque style, the chapterhouse and transept were influenced by England’s Norman architecture.
The long choir was added with its south doorway in the 13th century, with a huge tower and nave. The existing church was completely restored by the early 1900s, followed by massive fire damages that happened several times.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Trondheim, Norway
Standing towards the east of the city on a hill, the Kristiansten Fortress was built from 1681 to 1691 to prevent attacks against the city. You may need to climb, but entry to the small MuseumMuseum, the tower is free, and it rewards you with the pristine views of the city below.
The cells where Nazis kept Norwegian Resistance members during their occupation in World War II, as well as the memorial to the prisoners who were executed here, are the gloomy reminders of the 20th-century history of the fortress.
If you’re interested to know more about Norway, here’s our post about all the interesting facts about this beautiful country!
Gamle Bybro (Old Town Bridge) and Bakklandet
When you cross the red arches of Old Town Bridge (Gamle Bybro) over the Nidelva River, you can reach the tranquil lanes and vivid old houses of the neighborhood of Bakklandet. It seems to be a small village as a tourist attraction in Trondheim, it has been known for old-world wooden buildings facing the river.
They have now become galleries, small shops, restaurants, and coffee houses. Stroll along the river to capture the stunning views of buildings along the opposite bank. It is the most vivid and historic neighborhood of Trondheim.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Trondheim, Norway
If you love rock and pop music, this MuseumMuseum will take you down memory lane, and you can even hear some of the legends from Norway. It is one of the best Trondheim landmarks. It shows some beautiful collections in innovative exhibits, recordings, and videos.
The Time The tunnel is a permanent exhibit here, which brings the modern cultural and musical history of Norway from the 1950s to the present day with performance videos and sounds. Temporary exhibits showcase the specific aspects of culture and music.
In this MuseumMuseum, you can get involved actively, with well-known tracks, dancing, making your remixes, and nurturing a graffiti artist within you. You can enjoy amazing views from the restaurant across the city.
Archbishop’s Palace and Museum
Archbishop’s Palace is the medieval and one of the oldest buildings in Scandinavia. It is also one of the well-preserved palaces of its kind in Europe. The west wing of the Palace has been dated back to the late 12th century.
It houses a lot of amazing displays, including a vast collection of dazzling crown jewels in Norway, the Norwegian Crown Regalia, along with the Army and Resistance Museums, with a focus on the military history of Trondheim from the Vikings’ era to WWII. The Archbishop’s Palace Museum on the south wing consists of archaeological findings and original sculptures from Nidaros Cathedral nearby.
For a bigger and longer picture of European and Norwegian music, do not miss visiting the Ringve Museum, the National Museum of musical instruments, and music in Norway. It houses the Museum in the Barn with displays of lighting technology and modern sound, and the Museum in the Manor House, which exhibits the instruments from the tradition of European music.
Built by the rich Christine Scholler as a private home in the year 1778, Stiftsgarden is used by the royal family in Norway as their residence while visiting Trondheim. It is one of the largest European wooden structures, with 140 rooms. This yellow mansion has had royals as well as their guards since the 1800s. Its opulent rooms are open for the public on a guided tour.
Sverresborg Trondelag Folk Museum
Some parts of the ruins of King Sverre’s Castle are dated back to the 12th century. This open-air museum displays the Norwegian culture and history includes around 80 buildings, which represent city and village life, along with the culture of Sami residents.
In the Museum, the town center is made of wooden houses, which were once in Trondheim downtown, and it consists of the post office, grocery store, and workshops. A group shares the story of the maritime history of Trondheim, with boat sheds, storehouses, and fishing gear. You can explore the rural life in a farming village, and it also includes Sami exhibits and medieval stave church.
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