Let’s just get down to it straightaway: Trondheim is a proper old city, with strong Viking roots and Medieval heritage galore. Dating back to 997AD (you see- PROPER OLD), the City Formerly Known As Nidaros is Norway’s ex-capital and where the country’s kings have been crowned for centuries now. The fact that the majority of the city was once made of wood meant that unfortunately the whole place has burned to the ground many many times (awkward to say the least), but nowadays although there are many beaut wooden warehouses lining the river, the streets have been redesigned with wide open boulevards to prevent those fires spreading so darn tooting quickly. A wise move, I’d say. My time in Trondheim spanned several months in Summer, although in all honesty the weather was most similar to a rainy day in March on most of the days that I visited the city. Maybe this is a silly thing to note- it is in Norway, after all- but so many people have been taken aback by this information that I feel it’s worthy of a mention. Check out these bad boy warehouses
Trondheim sits at the mouth of the river Nidelva, so it goes without saying that the river plays a big part in the general vibe of the city. One of the prettiest places to take a little walk is over the Old Town Bridge and alongside the multicoloured wooden warehouses lining both sides of the water; like the rest of the city the wharves have been ravaged by raging great fires several times, resulting in a big old refurbishment jobs, although aesthetically they’re not too dissimilar to when they were first built.
Pilgrim Central Station, please mind the gap
The Nidaros Cathedral was a major draw for pilgrims throughout the Middle Ages in particular; built in 1070 it’s the Northenmost medieval cathedral in the world, and this piece of gothic architecture is pretty full on spectacular if you ask me. It started off it’s life as a Catholic, then changed to Lutheran; what a fickle building. We went to take a look around mainly as we were struggling to find out anything about Norwegian culture, and for the price of around €10 we at least found out a bit about Norwegian Christian culture and history, so I’m glad we did it. In all honesty Norway is a country which in general I found it very hard to get a true sense of- so visiting places like this helped a bit.
The Archbishop’s Palace is adjacent to the Cathedral, and houses all manner of religious artefacts and paraphernalia of Tromdheim’s history; its possible to buy a combined ticket so you can go in and have a nose around all that as well. If you’re up for it.
It costs an arm and a leg, but there are coffee shops galore
Norway is a highly expensive country to be in, there’s no denying it. But if you do find yourself feeling as if you’re about to pass out or even die from starvation, I highly recommend biting the bullet and just simply purchasing some food or a beverage. It will be worth it in the long run, even if you are using the last of your coins to pay for that €7 coffee. One of my favourite places to go was Fairytale, a very pretty restaurant selling extortionately priced macarons, smoothies, and some really tasty but tiny salads and smørrebrød (traditionally an open sandwich featuring all manner of toppings, however at Fairytale the non-traditional but bang-on-trend avocado features heavily).
The least royal of all the royal residencies I’ve seen
Stiftsgården is the official royal residence in Trondheim, and is unlike any other royal residence I’ve ever visited (not that I’ve visited that many), mainly because it’s situated smack bang in the middle of the high street. It’s also pretty simple, with an exterior that more resembles a glorified and spectacularly yellow log cabin than a home of kings and queens. I appreciate the simplicity of the place, though if I was a royal I’d want a tad more privacy. Entry is only with a guided tour, for around €10.
- The city is the third largest city in Norway (although it might not feel like that to walk around it; it’s a real quiet one)
- Trondheim has its own international airport, and regular train connections to the rest of the country, including a line to Oslo in the South.
- One fifth of the city’s population is made up entirely of students; so although at face value the atmosphere is rather on the quiet side, it’s also heavily influenced by the students living within those hypothetical walls, with a rather strong music scene.
- During wintertime the surrounding areas are pretty good for skiing, as well as for potentially spotting some Aurora Borealis action, or so I’m told. It’s worth heading out of the city to avoid the light pollution and get a better chance of spotting the natural lights instead.
- During Summer, the sun sets for only four and a half hours a day, and in Wintertime, it only rises for four and a half. How weird is that, you guys!? The world is a crazy old place I tell you.