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- 01 Nov 2020, 3 nights
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As the country's former capital, Trondheim is the best place to experience medieval Norway. But it's a modern city too, brimming with street art, new music venues and converted warehouses. The city's gastronomic scene is renowned for using local ingredients from the western fjords, and every July it bursts into life with Trøndersk Food Festival. Plus there's skiing and hiking minutes from the city centre and world-class salmon fishing on the Stjørdalselva river.
Hostels in Trondheim have both dorms and private rooms, or you can book a room with a private kitchen and bathroom if you're travelling as a group. There's free Wi-Fi and social areas, so you can catch up on Netflix and video call someone back home or share a few local beers and a games night with your dorm friends. Look for a Trondheim hostel with a communal kitchen and make your own meals to save some krone.
The Nidelva river loops around Trondheim's centre, almost creating an island. Here you'll find Nidaros Cathedral, the main shopping streets and museums. Over the river, the cobbled streets of Bakklandet are lined with a rainbow of old wooden homes, green spaces and open-air cafés. If you continue further east, you'll arrive in the alternative Svartlamoen neighbourhood. Svartlamoen is an experiment in communal living surviving from the 1970s and it's now regarded as the city's hippie corner.
Explore historic Trondheim at Nidaros Cathedral, with medieval designs reflecting Norway's varied influences. Haltdalen Stave Church is a unique wooden building from the 12th century, and is the only surviving example of its kind in Scandinavia. The Rockheim museum sits in complete contrast, dedicated to Norwegian music from the 1950s to the present day. Browse traditional and contemporary Scandinavian crafts in the boutiques along Olav Tryggvasons Gate or head west of the city to the woods of Bymarka for hiking and cross-country skiing. In summer you can even swim in Lianvatnet lake, a 20-minute train ride into the hills to the south.
You can fly to Trondheim's international airport at Værnes and catch the Flybussen (35 minutes) or train (40 minutes) to Trondheim Sentralstasjon (railway station). A train from Oslo takes 6.5 hours, and there are several every day. The Hurtigruten ferry is a popular way to arrive from Kristiansund or to travel further north. Gråkallbanen (the tram service) runs west from the centre to the hiking trails of Bymarka, and most other parts of the city are accessible on foot or by bike.