In our guide to the best bars in Trondheim, we aim to provide you with an overview of the locals’ favorite places for a drink or an informal dinner with friends, a chat, or a night out. Whether you are a traveler staying in the city for a few days, a student who has just arrived here, or an expat who has recently landed in this corner of the world, you might be in the mood for a nice drink the local way.
Of course, Norway is not exactly the place where you would spend an evening with rivers of beer since alcohol here is very expensive. But if you want to spend a quiet evening and explore the city’s lively nightlife, we have some addresses for you, which we believe are among the best bars in Trondheim.
As the days grow shorter and the snow blankets the picturesque city of Trondheim, there’s an irresistible charm in seeking refuge in the cozy pubs and bars scattered around this Norwegian gem. Surprisingly, the city has a vibrant nightlife fueled by a large student and youth community, one of the largest in the country. Trondheim, with its rich history and vibrant culture, offers a unique blend of traditional and modern watering holes for both locals and visitors. There are indeed dozens of worthy bars, but if you’re staying for a few days, you might want to visit just a few places that are well-tried by the locals. So, in this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the best bars and microbreweries in Trondheim.
Exploring Trondheim’s Bar Scene: A Guide to the Best Pubs and Microbreweries
Den Gode Nabo: An Atmospheric Riverside Retreat
For a truly unique and atmospheric experience, head to Den Gode Nabo, or “The Good Neighbour”. Nestled within the old warehouse buildings of Bakklandet, this pub offers an ambiance that’s unlike any other in Trondheim. The low ceiling, tilted corridors, and views across the water create an atmosphere that feels both intimate and historic.
Den Gode Nabo sits right on the old bridge, which happens to be one of the most photographed spots in town. Inside, you’ll find large communal tables that encourage groups to gather, making it a fantastic place to socialize. However, this popularity can make it a bit challenging to secure a table on weekends, so be prepared for some competition.
The pub boasts a commendable selection of beer, featuring Trondheim’s local lager, Dahl’s, along with international favorites like Nøgne Ø, Samuel Adams, and Old Speckled Hen. During the warmer months, the floating patio becomes the best spot in town to savor a cold beer while enjoying the picturesque views.
Kieglekroa: Trondheim’s Oldest and Coziest Pub
If you’re in search of history and a cozy atmosphere, look no further than Kieglekroa, Trondheim’s oldest pub, nestled in the heart of the city. Located right next to the lobby of the Quality Hotel Prinsen, this pub offers a unique journey back in time. As you pass through the arched brick entrance, you’re transported to a world of rustic elegance with wooden furnishings, stone accents, and the warm glow of candlelight. It’s the kind of place where conversations with friends and colleagues can stretch into the late hours.
It’s a popular spot known for its cheerful atmosphere, making it perfect for a leisurely chat over a beer. But it’s not just about the drinks, Kieglekroa also offers a diverse menu, ranging from various sandwich options to delectable dishes and juicy burgers from their bar menu. Additionally, the pub boasts an extensive selection of beers and whiskies, ensuring that even the most discerning palates will find a favorite.
Since its opening in 1962, Kieglekroa has been a beloved meeting place in Trondheim. The pub’s history is intertwined with that of former Prime Minister Per Borten, who inaugurated the venue by throwing the first ball down the bowling lane located in the basement. Over the years, the bowling alley has given way to the traditional Norwegian game of sjoelbak, known for its competitive edge. Even today, the locals continue to love coming here to enjoy board games, pub quizzes, and the various events that occasionally take place in this cherished Trondheim pub.
Antikvariatet: A Haven for Book Lovers
A stone’s throw away from Den Gode Nabo, you’ll discover Antikvariatet, which translates to “The Old Bookshop”. While it may have a different vibe compared to its neighbor, it’s equally special in its own right. The small front bar at Antikvariatet hosts a variety of events, from concerts to comedy shows, ensuring there’s always something exciting happening.
One of the highlights of this establishment is the large book bar tucked away at the back of the pub. It’s a bibliophile’s dream, with shelves stacked high with books, games and a window offering enchanting views across the water. It’s a perfect spot to unwind, read a book, or engage in some people-watching while sipping on your favorite drink. The juxtaposition of the lively front bar and the quiet, contemplative book bar at Antikvariatet creates a unique dynamic that adds to the charm of this establishment.
Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri: Crafting Excellence in Beer and Burgers
It seems that a real passion for craft beers has flourished in Norway, which are often quite pleasant, fresh, and never too strong. The heart of Trondheim’s microbrewery scene has long been the Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri, and if you’re a fan of craft beer, this place should be at the top of your list. Well-frequented by locals, it is the ideal place for an evening with friends, enjoying a few pints of their meticulously crafted beer along with some burgers or snacks. Prices are in line with Norwegian standards, but the value for money is favorable.
Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri boasts an impressive range of house-brewed ales, including India Pale Ale (IPA), amber ale, stout, and more. If you’re a fan of lagers, they also serve the popular Trondhjemspils. What sets this place apart is the option to order a sampler that allows you to savor all their unique brews. It’s the perfect way to explore their offerings, especially if you have no pressing commitments for the day.
However, there’s one minor inconvenience: they are closed on Sundays. So, if you’re planning a weekend visit, be sure to plan accordingly. Nevertheless, the delightful combination of excellent beer and delicious burgers makes Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri a must-visit in Trondheim.
Three Lions: Where Sports and Cuisine Converge
If you’re a sports enthusiast and a lover of hearty food, Three Lions should be on your radar. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular bars in Trondheim and serves as the primary gathering spot for football fans due to its massive screen downstairs, which broadcasts football matches throughout the week. What sets Three Lions apart is its ability to show up to nine different games at once, thanks to separate rooms equipped with their own screens.
While the sports theme dominates, the culinary offerings at Three Lions are equally impressive. Their menu includes a range of mouthwatering burgers, some named after regulars or famous footballers, and creative combinations of flavors make dining here a delightful experience. In addition to its sports-centric atmosphere and culinary delights, Three Lions embraces its English pub roots with live music and quiz nights. It’s a versatile spot that caters to both sports fans and those seeking a fun night out.
Spontan: Where Local Produce Meets Unconventional Dining
For those with a taste for the extraordinary, Spontan is a wine bar that defies convention and champions local Trøndelag produce. This venue offers an unconventional dining experience, proposing tasting menus and small as well as large portions to accompany a respectable selection of wines. It’s not a cheap place, but the quality is generally high. After all, this place has managed to impress even some serious critics and receive a positive review from none other than the Michelin Guide. For a gastronomic experience, you can opt for a 4 or 6-course menu to savor the full Spontan experience.
One of Spontan‘s standout features is its dynamic wine list, which strikes a balance between classic and natural wines. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just looking to explore new flavors, you’re sure to find something to delight your palate. Spontan offers both table reservations and the option to drop in spontaneously. The atmosphere is inviting, the people are friendly, and it’s a wonderful place to spend an evening. Whether you’re a lover of fine wines or simply looking for a unique dining experience, Spontan has something special to offer. So, step into this wine bar without rules and let your taste buds guide you through an unforgettable journey of flavors.
Beyond the Highlights: More Great Bars in Trondheim
Trondheim’s bar scene is rich and diverse, offering a plethora of options beyond the ones mentioned above. Here are a few more places worth exploring:
Samfundet (Student Union)
It’s a place that you wouldn’t know about unless you’re a local or friends with someone local, because it’s actually an organization for students in Trondheim that is owned and run by its members. It’s a popular meeting place for students and young people in Trondheim, famous for its musical evenings, cultural events, and various types of political debates, as well as functioning as a bar. It’s well-known for offering some of the cheapest beer in town, making it a favorite among students and locals alike. It’s a lively spot where you can immerse yourself in the energetic student culture.
You probably know that Norway is also one of the birthplaces of rock and metal, and that they rock pretty hard around here. Well, this place embodies the local rock tradition quite well, hosting respectable live music evenings with a focus on rock music. For over 20 years, it has hosted around 500 concerts by local and international artists, both known and unknown.
It still bears the name of its old owner, Mrs. Lundgreen, who, along with her husband, set up their business in an old eighteenth-century warehouse. The warehouse was once used for slaughtering animals, storing potatoes, housing live animals, and storing alcohol. It’s a strange place, but it could be a treat for fans of the genre.
Our Thoughts on the Best Bars in Trondheim
Trondheim offers a diverse and vibrant bar scene that caters to a wide range of tastes and preferences. Whether you’re a craft beer connoisseur, a book lover seeking a unique atmosphere, a sports fanatic looking for a place to catch the game, or simply someone who enjoys good food and drinks in a cozy setting, Trondheim’s bars and pubs are waiting to welcome you with open arms and a drink in hand. Cheers to your Trondheim adventure!
☞ Check out our guide to the best THINGS TO DO IN TRONDHEIM