Planning a Trip
By Plane -- Flights to Trondheim land at Vaernes Airport (tel. 74-84-30-00), lying 32km (20 miles) east of the city center. Most visitors fly here from either Bergen or Oslo. There are also daily connections to and from Copenhagen. Service is provided by SAS (tel. 74-80-41-00; www.sas.no).
After you arrive at the airport, you can take an airport bus, Flybussen (tel. 73-82-25-00), costing NOK90 ($18/£9) for a one-way trip into the center. The trip takes 40 minutes, ending at the rail depot. From the center of Trondheim, buses leave from Erling Skakkes gate daily from 5am to 9pm. Departures Monday to Friday are every 15 minutes, with curtailed departures on Saturday and Sunday. You can also take a taxi from the airport to the center, costing around NOK480 ($96/£48) for up to three people.
By Train -- Two trains a day arrive from Stockholm (trip time: 12 hr.) and three trains per day arrive from Oslo (trip time: 7 hr.) into Trondheim Sentralstasjon. A typical fare -- say, from Oslo to Trondheim -- costs NOK813 ($163/£81) one-way. Trondheim also has links to Bodø if you're heading for the Arctic Circle. This latter trip takes 10 hours, costing around NOK938 ($188/£94) one-way. For rail information, call tel. 81-50-08-88 or visit www.nsb.no.
By Bus -- Buses from various parts of Norway arrive at the Rutebilstasjon, or city bus terminal, adjoining Trondheim Sentralstasjon, where the trains pull in. Trondheim lies at the crossroads of bus travel in Norway, as it is a transportation hub between southern Norway, including Oslo and Bergen, and northern Norway, including the city of Bodø. The most frequented bus route is from Oslo, taking 9 1/2 hours and costing NOK495 ($99/£50) one-way. The more difficult route from Bergen takes more than 10 hours, costing NOK751 ($150/£75) one-way. For information about long-distance buses, contact Norway Buss Ekspress (tel. 81-54-44-44; www.nor-way.no).
By Boat -- The Hurtigruten coastal steamer (tel. 77-64-82-00) stops in Trondheim. In addition, Fosen Teraffikklag Kystekspressen boats (tel. 73-89-07-00) travel between Kristiansund N and Trondheim, taking 3 1/2 hours and costing NOK560 ($112/£56). Departures are at Pirterminalen Quay in Trondheim.
By Car -- From Oslo, motorists can take the express highway E6 north, going via Lillehammer all the way into Trondheim.
Contact the Trondheim Tourist Office, Munkegate 19 (tel. 73-80-76-60; www.trondheim.no), near the marketplace. In peak season -- from June 23 to August 10 -- it is open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm; from June 2 to 22, it's open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm. During other months, hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm, Saturday 10am to 2pm.
You can travel all over Trondheim and to outlying areas on city buses operated by Trondheim Trafikkselskap (it's also referred to as Team Traffikk, or TT), Dronningens Gate (tel. 81-53-52-30). Tickets for single rides are sold on buses for NOK30 ($6/£3) for adults, NOK15 ($3/£1.50) for children 4 to 16; children 3 and under travel free. If you don't have exact change and offer a bank note that's worth more than the bus fare, you'll receive a credit slip from the driver, which can be redeemed at the TT office or on a later trip. A day card for 24 hours of unlimited rides costs NOK70 ($14/£7) per person.
For a local taxi, TrønderTaxi maintains a special five-digit telephone number (tel. 07373) that's in service 24 hours a day. The biggest taxi ranks are found at Torvet, the market square, and also at the central rail station. For local bus information serving the Greater Trondheim area, call tel. 81-53-52-30.
Trondheim is a city that's known for its allegiance to all things "green" (ecologically speaking). As such, it maintains a fleet of some 150 red-painted bicycles at bike racks scattered around the city. To secure one, head for the tourist office and pay a fee of NOK70 ($14/£7), plus a cash or credit card deposit of NOK500 ($100/£50), in exchange for which someone will give you a sort of credit card. After you insert it into a slot on the bike rack, it releases the bike, which you're then free to use for up to 5 days without additional charge. When you're through with the bike, bring it back undamaged and your deposit will be returned. The whole system will make you want to write an ode to the joys of a temporary visit to a civilized country.
From the Trondheim train station, simply walk south across the bridge to the triangular-shaped island forming the city's central core. The center is called Midtbyen. In Norse sagas, it was referred to as Nidarneset or the Nidar headland. The best way to explore this area is on foot, and you can easily walk to all the major attractions, including Nidaros Cathedral and the Archbishop's Palace.
The very center of Trondheim is the Torvet, or market square. A major street, Kongens Gate, splits the island into two parts. The Fish Market (Fisketorvet), reached from Torvet by walking north along Munkegate, lies to the north.
At Nidareid, by the narrow isthmus between the river and the fjord, lies ancient Skansen. The remnants of the old city fortifications toward the west can still be seen here. Today this area is a green park with a panoramic view of the fjord.
The Bakklandet district is the most easily accessible from the rest of Trondheim via the "Old Town Bridge," an early-20th-century iron structure that is the most-often-photographed bridge in Trondheim. Noted for its slightly out-of-kilter antique wooden houses built for low-income canning-factory workers and fishermen, the area used to stink of rotting fish, and in the 1910s and 1920s it came very close to being demolished. But after the demise of the town's fishing industry and the end of the town's canning factories, a greater emphasis was placed on preserving the site as a historical record of days gone by. Today its most famous and most celebrated restaurant is Bryggen, and its most famous pub is Den Gode Nabo ("The Good Neighbor"). The neighborhood also holds a number of students' pubs, one of which is the Kaktus. The neighborhood is quite small -- 40 buildings or so -- and easily toured on foot.