THE LOCALS’ GUIDE TO TRONDHEIM
Top insider tips
Norway’s third-largest city Trondheim has a thriving cultural scene. Think cool neighbourhoods with lots of art, charming cafés, and locally produced food, but also plenty of outdoors activities like hiking and skiing. Plus the world’s northernmost Gothic cathedral!
“Trondheim probably has the fastest growing cultural scene in Norway right now”, says Carl Martin Faurby.
Faurby moved to Trondheim from Copenhagen in 2016. He works as a program curator at Kunsthall Trondheim and is a regular visitor at the city’s many cultural events.
Carl Martin Faurby
Faurby’s tips for cultural experiences in Trondheim
Gothic moment: You have to see the Nidaros Cathedral, the world’s northernmost Gothic cathedral. It’s a good idea to combine your visit here with a walk along the marina.
Free art: At Trondheim Kunstmuseum, one of Norway’s leading art institutions, you can revel in regional, national, and international modern art. For contemporary art with free admission, look up Trøndelag Centre for Contemporary Art and Kunsthall Trondheim.
Urban art: Trondheim showcases heaps of fine outdoor art – for example in Ilsvika, only a ten-minute walk from the city centre. Here you’ll also find the inspiring artists’ studio Atelier Ilsvika, housed in an old factory.
Performing arts: Experience fantastic dance and theatre performances at Trondheim’s newest stage Rosendal Teater. This is also a great place to hang out over a bite to eat or a coffee at reasonable prices. Another cultural arena in the city is Trykkeriet at Folkets hus. Many events here are in Norwegian, but they also offer a range of live music, from flamenco to jazz.
Kulturkvartalet: The art gallery Kunsthall Trondheim, the book café and bar Sellanraa and the bakery and bar Isak Sellanraa belong to the cultural network Kulturkvartalet. After checking out some cool art, you can chill out with what may be the best coffee in town and locally produced dishes, or a freshly made pastry served with good vibes.
Saturday with the locals
”Trondheim oozes charm and personality. The weekends are buzzing and there are lots of exciting neighbourhoods to explore”, says Ida Vie.
She is the general manager at Tyven nightclub and knows the city like the back of her hand.
Vie’s tips for a Saturday with the locals in Trondheim
Svartlamon: One of Trondheim’s most interesting neighbourhoods is Svartlamon. Pop into Gratisbutikken, a shop that can offer clothes for free thanks to volunteers and donations. Check out the buildings in the Experimental Housing project, which aims to make ecologically sustainable houses. End your visit with a satisfying meal at Ramp Pub & Spiseri, or continue to Bakklandet.
Bakklandet: This area is the very heart of Trondheim. My top tip for delicious food and drinks is Baklandet Skydsstasjon, a peaceful little place in a building that is estimated to have been built in 1791.
Kulturkvartalet: Gamle Bybro connects Bakklandet with Kulturkvartalet, which consists of a cluster of cultural institutions. Take a break at Sellanraa Bok & Bar, which among other things serves various bread baked with “urkorn” (literally “ancient grain”, in other words, grains that have been processed as little as possible). They also have an impressive tea selection and the best homemade soft drinks in the city.
Central Trondheim: Music lovers should definitely pay a visit to the Crispin Glover Record Store. Two vintage shops are also worth a special mention: The slow-fashion recycling concept Prisløs and LIVID Jeans, which sells denim of the highest quality. Recharge at Hevd Håndverksbakeri, a craft bakery where you can tuck into a hearty, homemade sandwich with generous toppings.
Ila: From the city centre, head towards the industrial area Ila. In the alley between Spikerfabrikken (the old nail factory that now houses Atelier Ilsvika) and the steel manufacturer Smith Stål, you’ll find the result of Trondheim’s street art festival. Admire colourful murals by a mix of local and international artists.
Local breweries: Trondheim is known for its many microbreweries, including Monkey Brew, ØX, and Austmann. At ØX and Austmann, you can watch the brewing as it happens and say hello to the friendly staff.
Dig into a meal: Trondheim has a strong food culture, and the city is choc-a-bloc with restaurants that focus on traditional dishes with a modern twist based on locally produced ingredients. If you’re after a meal out of the ordinary, a few options are Spontan, Bula Neobistro, and of course the Michelin restaurant Fagn.
Out and about: Thanks to the student population, Trondheim has a great selection of bars and nightclubs. Antikvariatet hosts a mix of concerts and other cultural events. Spontan Vinbar has the city’s most refined wine list, while Tyven takes its music selection, organic wines, and cocktails based on local ingredients seriously. The cocktail bar, music venue, and nightclub Lokal is also a hot tip. Beer connoisseurs will love Habitat, which is like a jungle of plants and exciting brews.
Sunday city walks
“In Trondheim, you can follow up a quiz in Bakklandet with a long walk in serene nature. There are many hiking opportunities, and it’s easy to get there”, says Solveig Davies Vittersø.
In addition to studying Industrial Design at NTNU, Vittersø is an active member of the hiking group KonTur. She is a self-proclaimed Norwegian champion in having fun on hiking trips. Her speciality is to combine long or short excursions with local food experiences.
Solveig Davies Vittersø
Vittersø’s tips for urban Sunday walks
Along the Nidelva river: If you’re visiting for the first time, this is a great walk to start knowing your way around. Follow the river via Bakklandet, Øya, and Skansen to Kalvskinnet where you’ll find a special garden tucked away at the end of Elvegata. This garden is full of wooden sculptures, including peacocks and chickens. On Sundays, they sell coffee and baked goods here. Along Nidelva, you can rest your legs and enjoy the view on one of the many benches.
Ladestien: This is one of Trondheim’s most popular hiking trails, with plenty of lovely rest areas on route. Bring a packed lunch or stop at Ladekaia and Sponhuset when you’ve built up your appetite. Remember to take a picture in Talerøret, a wonderful art installation and Instagram-friendly tunnel shaped like a megaphone. When you arrive at Rotvollfjæra, you can either keep going in the direction of the Botanical Garden at Ringve, or return to Lade and the city centre.
Kuhaugen: An easy walk with a marvellous view of the city. Only 20 minutes on foot from the city centre, you’ll suddenly find yourself in a beautiful postcard. Pick up a takeaway coffee from the nearest café. The view from Kuhaugen is always a great conversation starter.
Baklidammen and Geitfjellet: The trip to Theisendammen and further up to Baklidammen is a fab Sunday trip of medium length. Great for a picnic, mushroom picking, or just for soaking up the peace and quiet. The farm restaurant Lavollen is open at the weekends. From Lavollen you can follow the path up to Geitfjellet, where you’re rewarded with a mighty 360-degree view of Fosen, Frosta, Stjørdal, and Selbufjellene.
In winter: Trondheim is a cross-country skiing paradise. Hop on the tram in the centre and get off at Lian. From here you have a wealth of possibilities. A safe bet is the easy trip to Grønlia with its charming restaurant and café where you can treat yourself to freshly baked delicacies. An option is to walk to Elgsethytta, which also serves food.
While you’re here: Trondheim has several lovely bathing spots. At Sjøbadet, which happens to be the most central option, you can dive straight into the Trondheimsfjord. From there you can go for a pleasant stroll along the pier. You can also start at Brattørkaia and go up to the local pub and café Ila Brainnstasjon for some Sunday jazz.