One of The List’s favourite spots in Trondheim is definitely Olavshallen — and it isn’t just because of all the great concerts we’ve enjoyed there. Instead of the traditional stuffy concert hall that only comes alive during the occasional events, Olavshallen is buzzing with non-stop activity every day of the year.
In addition to hosting the NTNU Institute of Music, a big hotel, and Trondheim kulturskole — a massive music program for children — the whole ground floor of Olavshallen is a public space sporting all sorts of goodies (it’s also the perfect indoor shortcut to protect you from the cold Trondheim winters).
So let’s take a look at what you can discover at Olavshallen.
1. Impressive auditoriums
Okay fine, this first one isn’t necessarily surprising or ‘hidden’ but we simply can’t talk about Olavshallen without mentioning its auditoriums. The smaller one seats 354 people and is great for more intimate concerts and events, while the larger one can fit over 1200 music fans.
The acoustics are bonkers and big international artists have performed there, like Roger Waters, John Cleese, and Anne-Sophie Mutter. So it’s no wonder Olavshallen is home to the Trondheim symphony (which you should definitely see live if you get the chance).
2. Delicious street food
In the centre of Olavshallen, you can find Olavstorget — a big open space with nice seating and a range of street food vendors. Matologi sports artisanal sandwiches, Verde offers a range of delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes, Frida Taqueria delights with Mexican street food, Four takes you on a trip around Eastern Asia with its four different noodle soups, and then finally there's Pasta Lab — you can guess what they serve.
This is definitely the perfect place to go and eat if you and your friends can’t agree on what to get.
3. A wonderful arthouse cinema
One of the absolute best spots for cinephiles and film buffs in Trondheim is without a doubt Cinemateket. Located on the ground floor of Olavshallen, the cosy cinema is a great place to enjoy the art and history of film.
Instead of just showing the latest Hollywood blockbusters, Cinemateket screens a wide variety of films from all over the world and various time periods. We particularly enjoy Cinemateket at The List as it both lets you enjoy classics on the big screen, as well as discover new niche films you would have never have seen otherwise. They also got cool events, like earlier this year they showed the original Nosferatu film, a silent film recognised by many as the first horror film, accompanied by a live pianist!
4. Cosy restaurants and cafés
Now if you’re still hungry after your trip to the Olavstorget street food hall, there are still plenty of culinary experiences to be had at Olavshallen. By the entrance on Olav Tryggvasons gate, you can find two cafés, Ciabatta and Café Baroque. They’re a perfect place to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and flip through The List magazine.
Then facing Kjøpmannsgata you have Bodega 44, a luxurious tapas restaurant. While it’s accessible from inside Olavshallen it’s actually in a building that was built in 1710, that's over 300 years ago!
5. Old-school violin maker
A real gem of Trondheim can be found in the basement of the same historic building and is also accessible from Olavshallen: Fiolinmaker Christer Skog.
A traditional violin workshop, Fiolinmaker Christer Skog opened back in 1986 and is one of the few violin workshops in Norway. The workshop is run by three master craftsmen and they offer everything you might need when it comes to violin repairs, or you can just buy a new one in their string instrument shop.
6. Feminist art
When you’re cutting through Olavshallen to take a break from the not-so-gentle winter snows, you can also take the time to enjoy a meaningful piece of art.
The Wall of Feminism is close to Cinemateket and consists of 40 colourful portraits of historically important women with ties to Trondheim. The wall was set up to shine a light on women's contributions to society, art, and culture during times of conflict as well as peace. You can also find out more about these important women on the Feministhuset website (it’s in Norwegian, but a quick Google translate should work fine!).
7. Cool record shop
Finally, if you want to pick up beautiful vinyls by fresh new artists or golden oldies, then Crispin Glover Records at Olavshallen is the place for you. However, Crispin Glover Records is actually way more than just a vinyl shop. It’s a meeting place for music lovers and the store often throws release parties and record signings.
Crispin Glover Records also has an in-house record label, featuring both famous and lesser-known Norwegian artists. The label also entered the world championships for album art! Or that’s at least what the owner told us the last time we visited.
So when you visit Crispin Glover Records, make sure to pitch them your new band — and check out their full-sized R2-D2!
Olavshallen is also one of the hundreds of places in the city where you can find the latest issue of The List magazine