October 1, 2022

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Enjoy a photographic tour of Trondheim, the biggest city in central Norway and a former centre of power in the Viking Age.

Welcome to Trondheim. My home since 2013, Trondheim is a city that I’ve slowly gotten to know and love over time. While not as visually famous as Bergen or the fjords, Trondheim is nevertheless a very photogenic place.

Trondheim seen from the air

Within Norway, people know Trondheim as a centre for education and technology. Other quirky Trondheim facts include the city’s status as a home for many of Norway’s Olympic skiers.

Over the years I’ve built up quite a collection of photographs in and around the city, documenting life here in central Norway. In this article, I’ll share many of them to give you an insight into what living in Trondheim is like. Enjoy!

Nidaros cathedral

A real icon of the city and the country as a whole, Nidaros cathedral draws huge numbers of people from all over the world. It’s the end point of the St. Olav’s Ways hiking trails and home of the annual Olavsdagene festival.

West Front of Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim
The eye-catching west front of Nidaros cathedral.

The sculpture-laden west front is the most eye-catching part of the cathedral. Restored by a large team of sculptures from 1905 to 1983, the facade is truly spectacular. It was the largest art project in the history of Norway. Renovations and maintenance continue today.

Walking in the grounds of Nidaros Cathedral at night
Walking in the grounds of Nidaros Cathedral at night.

It’s well worth a visit inside the cathedral. Best value is the combination ticket that also gives you access to the neighbouring museum and royal regalia.

The impressive interior of Nidaros cathedral
The impressive interior of Nidaros cathedral.

Inside the cathedral, look out for the octagonal shrine, two altars, medieval chapter house and the collection of marble gravestones down in the crypt.

Nidelva river

While the cathedral is the city’s most famous landmark, it’s really the river that defines Trondheim. As you can see from the drone image at the top of the page, the Nidelva almost entirely cuts off the city centre.

Trading houses and the old town bridge by the Nidelva river
Trading houses and the old town bridge by the Nidelva river.

This means there are plenty of vantage points of the river throughout the city centre. By far the most famous is the delightful old town bridge. From here you get a great view of the river and the fantastic architecture of the wooden riverside buildings.

Former riverside trading houses in Trondheim.
Former riverside trading houses in Trondheim.

The river winds around the downtown area and walking paths line parts of the route. One of Trondheim’s marked urban hiking paths covers many of these central riverside paths.

View across the Nidelva river
View across the Nidelva river farther away from the city centre.

Bakklandet

Across the old town bridge, the Bakklandet neighbourhood is known for its cobbled streets and coffee shops. In the early 1980s, much of the area was saved from demolition as a planned highway was cancelled.

Cobbled streets of Bakklandet.
Houses and boutiques line the cobbled streets of Bakklandet.

On a summer’s day, Bakklandet is packed with locals and tourists enjoying a coffee, snack or meal in one of the many cafes and restaurants.

Baklandet Skydsstation is a popular cafe.
Baklandet Skydsstation is a popular cafe.

The forest of Trondheim

On some weekends, downtown Trondheim can feel surprisingly quiet. One of the reasons is that many locals head to the hiking trails of the city forest, Bymarka. In the winter, those same trails are popular with keen cross-country skiers.

Hiking trail in Bymarka.
Hiking trail in Bymarka.

Many people make their way up to the forest on the tram from St. Olav’s gate in the city centre. On weekends, buses run to a different part of the forest.

Downtown Trondheim

Time to get back to the city centre. The central square Torvet has been renovated in recent years and is now a great public space.

The public square Torvet
The public square Torvet.

At its centre where Munkegata and Kongens gate meet, the 18 metre high statue of city founder Olav Tryggvason watches out over the city.

Christmas lights in Torvet, Trondheim.
The statue of Olav Tryggvason at Christmas.

Just steps away from the shopping malls, you’ll find some charming old cobbled streets lined with wooden houses.

Fotveita alleyway in Trondheim
Fotveita alleyway in Trondheim.

At one point, this is what almost all Trondheim would have looked like. Numerous city fires eventually led to wider avenues like Munkegata being created to prevent the spread of future fires.

NTNU

If you say Trondheim to a Norwegian, chances are they will immediately think of NTNU. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology to give it its full name in English is highly regarded throughout the country.

Main building at NTNU.
Main building at NTNU.

It’s hard to explain just how dominant NTNU is in Trondheim. While the main campus is located just south of the city centre at Gløshaguen, there are NTNU-related facilities all over the city.

The leafy Gløshaugen campus of NTNU
The leafy Gløshaugen campus of NTNU.

Trondheim in the winter

Most of the photos here show Trondheim in the summer or autumn. But for a few months every year, Trondheim usually wears a white coat. Sometimes it’s a dusting, other times we get a lot more.

Trondheim city centre in the winter.
Trondheim city centre in the winter.

For more photos and information on what to expect, check out this article on Trondheim in the winter.

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to Trondheim through a camera lens!

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