This colorful city, situated on the Nidelva River (or the Nid, for short), is Norway’s third largest — and one of its most historic. Viking King Olav Tryggvason established Trondheim in 997 and was later canonized as Norway's patron saint. The Nidaros Cathedral built atop his gravesite is a must-see attraction, while the city itself is easily walkable and less than 15 minutes by foot from the cruise terminal.
What We Love
Bakklandet: Picturesque Bakklandet is Trondheim’s historic district and is packed with shops, restaurants, and colorful houses. Take time just to wander around, snapping photos and browsing.
Cycling: The city is very bicycle-friendly, with miles of paths that are perfect for touring. Rent a city bike from the tourist center and try out the Trampe, a unique bicycle lift that takes you up a steep hill near the Kristiansten Fortress for great views.
Best Known For
Nidaros Cathedral: Every tourist rightly heads to this historic Gothic cathedral, built over the burial site of Saint Olav, but not all of them make it up to the top to enjoy the view. In summer, you can climb the 172-step spiral staircase in the main spire — a feat definitely not for the faint of heart.
Festivals: Trondheim takes its festivals seriously, and there’s at least one major event every month. The St. Olav Festival in July is the largest church and cultural festival in Norway.
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Who It's Best For
Photographers: Professionals and amateurs alike will find it hard to stop snapping Trondheim's colorful houses and warehouses, waterfront setting and, in season, the Northern Lights.
Shoppers: Historic Bakklandet is filled with small shops selling everything from handmade crafts to clothing you won’t find anywhere else. There's also a regular farmer’s market in the city square, and specialty markets in summer and in December.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
There's No Need to Book Excursions Through Your Ship: If you’re happy to explore on your own, you can easily get to all of the major sights by your own steam and save that money for something else (troll dolls, maybe?).
Kim Foley MacKinnon is a Boston-based writer for ShermansCruise whose work has also appeared in The Boston Globe.