Short Guide: Trondheim

Brace yourselves for touch down on the city’s main airport Værnes, when you’ll be so close to the fjord’s cold waters you’ll wish you were on a seaplane, says Sarah Leo

For centuries, we have been fooled. Tricked into believing that Santa and his lovely wife resided somewhere in the arctic realms of the North Pole. But strolling down the cobbled, snowed-in streets of Trondheim, past the most enchanting wooden houses, you’ll soon realise you’ve been mistaken. There’s no doubt: this must be the Claus’ true hometown.

Tucked right in the heart of the Trondheimsfjord, the former capital of Norway outshines the flair of European cities easily. With a population of just under 180,000 beautiful Viking descendants (who all speak impeccable English), Trondheim’s cosy charm is sure to warm your very core – even at -10 degrees.

Nidaros Cathedral
Nidaros Cathedral

Its jaw-dropping Nidaros cathedral shames the beauties that are Notre Dame and – dare I say it? – Westminster Abbey. A stroll over the Gamle bybro (Old city bridge) spoils you with a breath-taking view on a rainbow row of old storehouses. Prepare for some serious gasping.

If you’re a high-speed stroller and have a day to spare, renting a car for a little outing further afield is an absolute must. With Norway’s sluggish 50mp/h maximum speed limit, even inexperienced right-hand drivers will be more than all right. And trust me, it will be worth it. Having spent the majority of my life in the midst of the Austrian Alps, I’m borderline immune to glorious sceneries. But driving further north – along the spectacular fjord, of course – was still astonishing. I was welcomed by a serene nothingness – and unbelievable sunsets.

Sunset at Trondheimsfjord
Sunset at Trondheimsfjord

In early spring astronomy aficionados might even get a glimpse of the Northern lights in Trondheim’s latitudes. Which probably makes for a stand-alone reason to hop on the next plane. Speaking of planes: But don’t worry, the tarmac will appear. At some point.

Trondheim’s only downfall? Santa was nowhere to be spotted. But since it’s off-season he’s excused for taking a well-deserved break in Thailand. Or maybe feeding his face at Chicken Shop.

Dining Like Norse Gods

Trondheimsfjord by day
Trondheimsfjord by day
Credo Restaurant & Bar: Innovative European cuisine made from locally sourced products. Plus: a mind-blowing wine selection. Voted best restaurant of 2012.
Ørjaveita 4, 7010 Trondheim

Glassgården Brasseri: Fancy local cuisine for those who’d like to splurge on an extravagant Scandinavian dining experience. Nedre Bakklandet 60, 7014 Trondheim

Sushi Bar: Best sushi in town – and only footsteps away from a plethora of bars and pubs. Innherredsveien 14, 7014 Trondheim

Persilleriet: Vegetarian, inexpensive (for Norway) and very hip, just around the corner 
of the university. Erling Skakkes Gate 39, 7012 Trondheim

To Rom Og Kjøkken: Truly Norwegian restaurant with locally sourced products – renowned for their excellent seafood dishes. Carl Johans Gate 5, 7010 Trondheim

Getting There & Accommodation

Flights with KLM, Norwegian or SAS to Trondheim Værnes are available from about £100 from Gatwick. Once at Værnes, a local train takes you to Trondheim’s central station within 40 minutes. Trains run every hour and are £8 for a one-way ticket.

Accommodation prices vary alot but these are worth trying: Rica Nidelven ***** Havnegata 1, 7400 Trondheim (+47 73 568 000), Britannia Hotel ***** Dronningens Gate 5, 7401 Trondheim (+47 73 800 800), Clarion Hotel & Congress Trondheim **** Brattørkaia 1, 7010 Trondheim (+47 73 925 500) City Living Schøller Hotel *** Dronningens Gate 26, 7011 Trondheim (+47 73 870 800)

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