38 Best Sights in Trondheim to the Lofoten Islands, Norway

Galleri Lofoten

Fodor's choice

One of the best-known museums in the Lofoten Islands, the family-run Galleri Lofoten is home to the largest collection of northern Norwegian artwork from the last century, including renowned painters like Otto Sinding, Gunnar Berg, Even Ulving, Adelsteen Normann, Einar Berger, Ole Juul, and Thorolf Holmboe. Take a load off at the on-site café.


Fodor's choice

Kjerringøy, located 40 km (25 miles) north of Bodø, is well worth visiting. This gem on the Nordland coast is famous for its pristine fjord landscape used as the location for several feature films. Check out the Knut Hamsun Gallery, dedicated to the Nobel Prize–winning author. Kjerringøy is great for hiking, cycling, boating, fishing, and much more. To get here, take the 10-minute ferry across a fjord at Festvåg.

Kjerringøy Handelssted

Fodor's choice

Amid narrow fjords edging the peninsula, the Old Kjerringøy Trading Post has 15 well-preserved 19th-century buildings where Erasmus Zahl once made handsome profits buying and selling fish. Take a guided tour of the manor—many of its original furnishings are intact. There is an on-site café where you can enjoy fresh coffee and baked goods.

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Kvalvika Beach

Fodor's choice

Hidden on the northern side of Moskenesøy, the only way to reach this beautiful beach is by walking. Wedged between the mountains, this golden-sand beach is a gem. Once you are parked, the hike here takes around 45 minutes. Amenities: parking. Best for: walking.


Fodor's choice

A labor of love, this brewery has been supplying the Lofoten Islands with refreshing craft beer since 2014. You can take a tour of the brewery and learn about the fermentation and brewing process.

Lofotr Viking Museum

Fodor's choice

One of the top historical sites in Europe, this museum 13 km (8 miles) north of Leknes portrays the lifestyle and culture of the Vikings through magical reconstructions of typical buildings and ships. The re-created Viking chieftain's longhouse, on the foundations of a real chieftain's home, has been built according to authentic methods, including grass-turf walls, load-bearing poles, and fireplaces. Inside, it's divided, just like the original, into a lobby, living quarters, great hall, and byre (barn). Nearby, several other reconstructed buildings include a smithy and boathouse, and three ships that can be boarded in summer. The exhibition halls display more Viking artifacts and show a 12-minute film about the history and people of the region. Artisans are at work on-site, and there's a chance to taste Viking food. There's even an activity area for kids, which makes the museum a popular choice for families.


Fodor's choice

Trondheim's cathedral was built on the grave of King Olav, who formulated a Christian religious code for Norway in 1024. The town quickly became a pilgrimage site for Christians from all over northern Europe, and Olav was canonized in 1164. Construction of Nidarosdomen began in 1070, but the oldest existing parts of the cathedral date from around 1150. It has been ravaged on several occasions by fire and rebuilt each time, generally in a Gothic style. Since the Middle Ages, Norway's kings have been crowned and blessed in the cathedral, and the crown jewels are on display here. Guided tours lasting 45 minutes are offered in English from mid-June to mid-August, and the guides are enthusiastic about the relics and its visiting artworks---they may even show you the crypt complete with a saintly skeleton.

Norsk Luftfartsmuseum

Fodor's choice

About 15 minutes from the town's center, the massive Norwegian Aviation Museum is housed in a building shaped like a propeller. The high-ceilinged rotunda illustrates "Man's Primeval Dream of Flight." On either side are smaller exhibition halls, one for civilian aviation and the other for military aviation. Here you'll find a Spitfire, a CF-104 Starfighter, a Junkers Ju 88, a U-2 spy plane, and much more. Take a turn on the flight simulators for a glimpse of the controls of an F-16. Climb the control tower for an unforgettable view of the wild landscape.

Norwegian Coastal Express Museum

Fodor's choice
At this museum of the region's maritime history, you can go aboard the MS Finnmarken, a ship dating from 1956 that used to make the journey along the country's rugged coast. It was among the many ships that sailed the Hurtigruten, or "Express Route." It takes you through the history of long-distance ferries and details how shipping routes came into existence. It doesn't overlook the human element; including the lives lost opening up the region to travel and commerce.


Fodor's choice

Truly magnificent, this 3-km-long (2-mile-long) and 500-foot-wide strait joins the inner fjord basin with the sea. During high tide, the volume of water rushing through the narrow sound is so great that powerful whirlpools form. This is one of Norway's legendary maelstroms, and here you can see the strongest one in the world. The rush of water brings an abundance of fish, including cod, saithe, wolffish, and halibut, making this a popular fishing spot.


Fodor's choice

Built in the 1770s, Stiftsgården is now the official royal residence in Trondheim. The architecture and interior are late Baroque and highly representative of 18th-century high society's taste. Guided tours---the only way to see the interior---offer insight into the festivities marking the coronations and blessings of the kings in the cathedral.

Sverresborg Trøndelag Folkemuseum

Fodor's choice

Near the ruins of King Sverre's medieval castle is this open-air historical museum that depicts everyday life in Trøndelag during the 18th and 19th centuries. The stave church here, built in the 1170s, is the northernmost preserved church of its type in Norway. In the Old Town, you can visit a 1900s dentist's office and an old-fashioned grocery store that sells sweets. In the summer there are farm animals on-site, and a range of activities for children. There's a copy of the main house at Walt Disney World's Epcot in the Norway pavilion.


Fodor's choice

This imposing granite mountain rising up from the Torget Island is pierced with an enormous hole dead center. A famous landmark in Norway, the mountain's soaring interior—which measures nearly 250 feet high, 525 feet long, and 90 feet across—is reached via a 20-minute walk on a well-marked path and can be easily explored on foot. Torget Island is about 9 miles from Brønnøysund center and is connected to the mainland via the Torghatten bridge. The mountain can also be seen from the southbound Hurtigruten coastal ferry.

Trondenes Historical Center

Fodor's choice
This museum covers the history of the region from the early Viking rulers to the German occupation during World War II. Although the museum's collection spans more than 2,000 years, its main focus is on the earliest eras of Scandinavian history. Using interactive displays and immersive multimedia presentations, the center really brings history to life. The grounds include many historical buildings and remnants of a long-ago way of life.


Part of Nazi Germany's coastal defense system, this massive naval gun was originally built to be used on a ship during World War II. The "Adolph Cannon" is now part of an interactive museum where you can explore its inner workings and see examples of the different types of missiles it could have fired. The gun is the last of its type left in the world, and is a reminder of the country's tragic history.

Brønnøy Church

Brønnøysund's oldest surviving landmark, the handsome neo-Gothic stone church at the center of town, was originally built around 1200. It's been rebuilt several times, most recently in 1870 after a devastating lightning strike and subsequent fire in 1866. Besides a section of the medieval choir and nave, the oldest relic in the church, a carved wooden crucifix, dates back to pre-Reformation times. A 10-year restoration project was finished in 2008, and the church looks almost new.


The oldest secular building in Scandinavia, Erkebispegården dates from around 1160. It was the residence of the archbishop until the Reformation in 1537. The Archbishop's Palace Museum has original sculptures from Nidaros Cathedral and archaeological pieces from throughout its history. Within Erkebispegården's inner palace is the Rustkammeret/Resistance Museum, which traces military development from Viking times to the present through displays of uniforms, swords, and daggers. The dramatic events of World War II get a special emphasis.

Opening times for the various museums and wings in the Erkebispegården and for the cathedral vary greatly by season.

Kongsgårdsgt. 1, Trondheim, Trøndelag, 7013, Norway
sights Details
Rate Includes: NKr 200, includes entry to Nidaros Cathedral, Closed Mon. Sept.–Apr.


Henningsvær is quite possibly the most famous fishing village in the Lofoten Islands, and there's no better place to get a feel for its history than the harbor of Heimgårdsbrygga. It's also one of the most photogenic backdrops in the region, with many of its historical structures still intact.


Run by the husband-and-wife team of Venke and Rolf Hoff, the KaviarFactory is located inside an old caviar factory. This contemporary art museum holds works from notable Norwegian artists as well as some top international talent.

Kjeøya Kystbatteri

History enthusiasts love this World War II bunker. Although it has been swallowed up by nature and is pretty rusty, it still tells a powerful story.


This little beach is the perfect place to take in the views of the fjord after conquering one of the many hiking trails in the area. Swimming is possible during the summer months, although the water is still pretty cold. The beach is a popular place among locals, especially around sunset.
Ladestien, Trondheim, Trøndelag, 7040, Norway

Kristiansten Festning

Built by J. C. Cicignon after the great fire of 1681, the Kristiansten Fort saved the city from conquest by Sweden in 1718. During World War II, the German occupying forces executed members of the Norwegian Resistance here; there's a plaque in their honor. The fort has spectacular views of the city, the fjord, and the mountains. Some walls are unsecured, so take care when walking, and mind your children.

Lofoten Krigsminnemuseum

The Lofoten War Memorial Museum commemorates the struggles of World War II with displays of uniforms, weaponry, and other objects.

Mjelle Beach

About 30 minutes north of the city, this beautiful beach is reached via a short hike once you reach the parking lot. It's popular during the summer months with nature enthusiasts. Mjelle Beach can be found on the way north to Festvåg. Amenities: parking; toilet. Best for: solitude; sunset; walking

Nasjonal turistveg Lofoten

One of the most scenic road trips in the world, this route stretches 230 km (142 miles) between Raftsundet in the north and the village of Å in the south. Whether heading north or south from Leknes, the craggy rock peaks, white sand beaches, and emerald green seas make it difficult to keep your attention on the road, especially when seen as a backdrop to seaside fishing villages. At regular intervals and particularly scenic spots, rest areas, viewing platforms, observation towers, and restaurants encourage further exploration.

Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum

The Tiffany windows are magnificent at this museum of decorative arts, which houses an impressive collection of furniture, silver, and textiles. The permanent collection includes exhibitions on the history of crafts and industrial design, Henry van de Velde interiors, contemporary Norwegian fashion, Japanese miniatures and samurai armor, and works by textile artist Hannah Ryggen.

Don't miss the magical on-site café-restaurant. Known for its own baked goods and farm-to-table produce of wild salmon, chanterelles, goat cheese and root vegetables in the right season. Also, try their famous local teas and seabuckthorn lemonade. 

Munkegt. 5, Trondheim, Trøndelag, 7013, Norway
sights Details
Rate Includes: NKr 110, Closed Mon. and various summer dates


Housed in one of the city's oldest buildings, the Nordland Museum includes a fascinating exhibit on Sámi culture that features a 350-year-old wooden box inscribed with mysterious runes. There's also silver that dates back 1,000 years to the Rønvik era: these English and Arabic coins and jewelry were discovered in 1919. The "Byen vårres" ("Our City") exhibition reveals the history of Bodø. An open-air section has 14 historic buildings and a collection of boats, including the Anna Karoline af Hopen, the sole surviving Nordland cargo vessel, or jekt.

Norsk Fiskeværsmuseum

This museum is dedicated to the industry that fortified this village for decades. It takes you back to a simpler time when the whole population's livelihood depended solely on what the seas brought in. It reenacts (in a realistic manner) the old life in the Lofoten Islands, showing how people baked, worked, and did the hard labor that built the islands to what they are today. There is a café on the premises.

Norsk havbrukssenter

Learn all about fish farming, an important Norwegian industry, from all angles at one of the country's largest salmon farms. Control an underwater camera and feed the fish yourself (under the guidance of a professional). You can also catch and prepare your own salmon on the spot. There are several programs that can be tailored to your specific interests.

NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet

This highly regarded university museum covers flora and fauna, minerals and rocks, archaeological and cultural discoveries---even church history. The eclectic exhibits include relics from the Stone Age as well as Viking artifacts and ecclesiastical articles from the 13th to 18th century. There's also a permanent exhibit showing daily life in medieval Trondheim.