Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Mon May 11 2015

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    Traveling To Trondheim: Our Favorite Norwegian City

    Traveling To Trondheim: Our Favorite Norwegian City

    Top image courtesy of Thinkstock

    It is without a doubt the jarringly dramatic, natural beauty that makes traveling in Norway such an unforgettable experience. But in addition to the great outdoors, Norway also boasts numerous small towns and charming cities that are just as picture-perfect as could be — and certainly warrant a chunk of time on your travel itinerary. Cities like Bergen and Alesund are typically most popular with tourists passing through, but our favorite town is slightly farther north: Trondheim.

    Trondheim, Norway

    Trondheim was one of those special jewels that we accidentally stumbled upon. It’s not that it’s small or even off the beaten track (Trondheim is Norway’s third-largest city), but it certainly doesn’t get as much press as Norway’s other attractions. We had only planned to stay in Trondheim for one night to break up our journey between the Lofoten Islands and Bergen. But the quaint, bustling town drew us in, and without a second thought’s notice, we decided to extend our visit.

    Trondheim boasts a long and rich history. At over 1,000 years old, the city was Norway’s first capital. It served as a central trading point during the Viking Age and later as a religious hub during the Middle Ages. The remnants of this old history are present all around the city, and it only takes a short walk to begin discovering Trondheim’s fascinating attractions. Here are a few of our favorites:

    The Baaklandet

    The old streets of Trondheim

    One of the oldest parts of town, this neighborhood served as homes for the working class during the 17th century. Many of the original structures still stand, but have now been restored to homes, shops and cafes. If you’re up for a stroll or a cycle, this is one of the best areas to amble about.

    Unfortunately, our visit was accompanied by a constant rain and drizzle, so our activity of choice was hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop. As Trondheim is a University town, we found plenty of trendy cafes and lively restaurants; it was the perfect way to chat with the locals and relax under a blanket with a book. Extra tip: Most cafes include blankets in their outdoor seating areas to keep patrons warm during the freezing winter months!

    Nidaros Cathedral

    Nidaros Cathedral

    This stunning point of pilgrimage is perhaps Trondheim’s most popular tourist attraction — and for good reason. The Nidaros Cathedral is Scandinavia’s largest medieval building and a National Sanctuary of Norway. It was built over the grave of St. Olaf, the Viking King until the 11th century who became Patron Saint of Norway. Some of the oldest parts of the cathedral date back to the middle of the 12th century, yet it is said the cathedral is yet to be completed.

    A tour of Norway’s only Gothic cathedral will reveal fascinating architectural details, stunning stained glass windows, and almost certainly a feeling of reverence and awe. If you’re keen on learning more, this article displays the evolution of the cathedral over time, dating all the way back to 1661.


    Just 2km offshore, Munkholmem (also known as Monk’s Island) has a long and complicated history. Formerly an execution ground, the island has also served as a prison, fort, Benedictine monastery, and customhouse. Today it’s a popular beach and picnic spot. This is one of the best places in town to laze away a long, warm summer day or go for a refreshing dip in the water.

    Ringve Museum

    Photo by andreassolber via Flickr

    Norway’s national museum of music and musical instruments, Ringve Museum is a massive must-see. Take a guided tour to understand the history of the instruments thoroughly, enjoy the live demonstrations, and leave time for a relaxing stroll in the botanical gardens when you’re done!

    Bymarka Park

    Just because you’re in the city doesn’t mean that you can’t also explore Trondheim’s natural attractions, too! Bymarka Park might not be as dramatic as the fjords and coastline, but it is a great place to go walking or skiing through the woods and still be close to town. This is just the tip of the iceberg — plenty more discoveries await in Trondheim, so be sure to budget at least a few days to enjoy them all!

    Have you visited Trondheim before? What did you think?

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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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