highlights of the norwegian coastal town trondheim

Welcome to explore Norway with me. My mid-April journey to central Norwegian town Trondheim was a lovely trip overall, but there were some disappointments too. My quick lessons learned about this country were that Norway really is a summer destination, much like the other Northern European countries: many sights are only open from late May to August, perhaps September, so we got to admire some place only from the outside (so check the opening times prior to your travel – a little local birds also told me that often during other holidays sights are also open).

The other key lesson learned is that there isn’t much on offer in the countryside when it comes to food, and that’s it’s seriously overpriced and in general rather tasteless. So pack some snacks and have your meals in the bigger towns, check in advance where you’d like to eat and maybe make your reservation beforehand also!

The third key lesson learned is to dress well and expect changing weather conditions – especially in the spring time. Whereas coastal Trondheim was relatively warm (+9c) and sunny, we faced a horrendous snow storm while driving to the Unesco World Heritage site, old mining town Røros higher up in the mountains. The other thing to note about driving is that it’s very expensive with road tolls collecting a few quid sometimes every few kilometres. However, if you decide to take a train instead read the weekend schedules carefully as trains might run to your destination just once every couple of hours!

This beautiful old wooden bridge leads to the colourful old town Bakklanded

In my own opinion Norway is worth travellling when you want o admire the clean nature, hike the pretty fjords (and engage it other sporty activities) and check out some idyllic wooden houses in little villages, impressive wooden churches and few other sights. The distances between different places aren’t short and because of the fjords and mountains the driving is really slow, so flying is probably much faster (and cheaper option) if you want to explore multiple places around the country.

Sunset by the river, reflections of the old fishermen houses – beautiful moment!

What I’d recommend seeing in Trondheim is what probably most people would recommend: the old town Bakklanded with narrow, often cobble-stoned streets and colourful little wooden houses. This area is quite trendy and you can find little boutiques, cafes and restaurants scattered around. Use the pretty old wooden bridge to access Bakklanded and walk by the river when the sun is setting, and you get to admire lovely reflections of these idyllic houses on the water.

Trondheim 1
Kristiansted fortress stands majestically over the town of Trondheim

The old fortress of Kristiansted rises behind Bakklanded and can be seen pretty much from anywhere in town. You get lovely views over the town and stretching across the fjord to the snow-capped mountains on the other side. The sunset is also very impressive from here!

Bicycles are a great way to get around. #visittrondheim rents out bicycle cards.

There are lots of trails and streets to walk in Trondheim and another great way to get around is with the hire bicycles. There are 20 stations around the town centre and it’s rather cheap fun. This system operates with cards which you can get from the Trondheim tourist office.

The magnificent Palace of the Archbishop that houses crown jewels and the impressive Nidaros cathedral of Trondheim

These two buildings dominate the town centre and are some of the oldest in town: the Palace of the Archbishop which houses also two museums displaying viking and other treasures and the crown jewels of Norway. The fairy-tale like giant cathedral Nidaros is one of the largest in Scandinavia and from the bell tower you get magnificent views also. Sadly during our visit it was under repairs so I only got to admire the exterior and images from the inside and the tower.

Falstad manor house is a reminder of WWII as it was used as a concentration camp

We did a couple of trips outside Trondheim, but sadly almost all the fortresses and ruins were still closed, as was this manor house. Falstad is known for being a concentration camp during the WWII and is one of the few reminders of Norway’s role in the war.

Traditional hay-covered roofs in Unesco mining town Røros

The old mining town of Røros is set on the mountains close to the Swedish border and has been dedicated as an Unesco World heritage site. It’s really idyllic with the cute, little houses with grass roofs surrounding the mine and the church in the centre of the town. There is lots of traditional Norwegian goods and cute, rustic Scandinavian decorations for sale and a few restaurants to choose from. We had lunch in the very busy Skanckebua, which is a mix of Norwegian and texmex food. The decor and atmosphere is nice and prices are moderate for the country, so definitely worth the money.

If you are after local food, then the hotel and restaurant Vertshuset Røros is the place to go to, but be warned that the prices there are also pretty steep…

On a rainy day the in spring everything looks very arctic and bare. This old fortress is actually in a fjord, but the grey clouds are covering the magnificent views…

All-in-all I liked our trip to Trondheim, but next time I’d definitely travel during the summer season and research all the restaurants in advance to ensure that we’d find decent places that are open in the countryside (note also that the Internet on the phone is often not accessible in the more remote areas…). I think this is one of those destinations where the weather plays a huge role in your experience: with rain and fog everything looks pretty grey and the cold gets into your bones, but when the sun comes out the whole scenery is transformed and you enjoy little warming rays of the sun and the fresh air.

What’s an adventure without some off-roading (although Google Maps considered this as a major road…)

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