Updated: Oct 18, 2022
Students are the luckiest people in Trondheim. NTNU's sheer size and importance in the city mean there are tons of activities and cool things for students to check out. However, it can be a bit tricky to find what the city has to offer when you first arrive — so we’ve put together this student guide to make it a little simpler.
Of course, we could never encompass all the amazing things out there, but we’ll cover the major areas — student clubs, general services, and where to go out — to help you get started. You should keep tabs on our Instagram stories as we post every week about all the things happening each weekend. But let’s first get into the right mindset before diving into what Trondheim has to offer.
Tips for integration
First up, entering university is a transformative time in one’s life and moving to a new city or country is even more so. Things might be different from what you’re used to back home, but that’s only a good thing. And to get the most out of the experience, it’s important to get out of your comfort zone. Now’s the time to challenge yourself to participate in new things or revisit things you might not have thought you liked — so make the most of it!
The second thing you should keep in mind is not to be afraid to make the first move. Whether it’s in class or at an event, always be open to opening yourself up to other people. This could be as simple as initiating small talk with your deskmates in class (“what program are you in?” or “hi, my name is…” can go a long way) or putting together study groups to create opportunities for spending time with fellow classmates.
So with these two things in mind, let’s take a look at The List’s student guide.
1. Student clubs
As we said, trying new things is essential when you’re a student in a new city, and the incredibly diverse social clubs are the perfect place to start. Joining clubs is the best way to find like-minded and open people in your community. Remember, everyone that’s there has explicitly joined a club to meet new people and have fun, so be confident and make new friends while exploring new interests!
But what kind of clubs are there? Well, you can find a full list of student organisations and clubs here, but here’s a selection of the ones we thought are cool.
Vortex NTNU – A student organisation that builds autonomous underwater drones for observation and manipulation. The group participates in competitions against other marine robotics organisations, both nationally and internationally.
Fuel Fighter – This technical student organisation at NTNU is working on making the world’s most energy-efficient electric car. The group takes part in numerous international competitions and is open to students at all levels of study, from 1st to 5th year.
ARK – The Academic Radio Club (a.k.a. “Akademisk Radioklubb”) is a student-run radio focusing on experimenting with radio technology and other similar technologies.
Art and culture clubs
SK Camera Club – Studentenes Kameraklubb is an amateur photography club for all levels and welcoming to anyone. The organisation’s main goal is to promote creativity and improve photography skills, but they also have social activities like board game nights. Most of the info is in Norwegian but don’t let that stop you, everyone is happy to help you out in English.
ISFiT – This group is responsible for hosting and organising the world’s largest international student festival which has taken place in Trondheim since 1990. The festivals feature workshops, debates, cultural practices, and more. ISFiT is always on the lookout for passionate students to join in various roles so make sure to check it out.
Samfundet music groups – If you play an instrument then you should definitely consider joining one of the bands at Samfundet, the centre of student social life in Trondheim. Most of the info is in Norwegian but should be easily translatable with Google. They’ve got all sorts of bands that are open to enthusiastic players, like the disco-funk group Leisure Suit Lovers and the big band S. Møller Storband.
There’s an incredible selection of sports activities available to NTNU students. At NTNUI you can find announcements for open activities as well as a full list of all the available sports. There’s a big selection of individual sports — like aikido, badminton, cross-country skiing, tennis, etc. — as well as team sports such as American football, basketball, handball, lacrosse, and many more.
However, we at The List like unconventional stuff, so here are a few suggestions for you to check out:
Trondheim BaseballKlubb – The competitive adult baseball league isn’t student specific and welcomes players of all ages, genders, and skill levels to the adult baseball and softball teams. The teams meet twice per week and are a fun way to improve your baseball skills, make friends, and get outside.
NTNUi Quidditch – This is the oldest quidditch club in Norway and offers three practices a week, in addition to several social events. It’s the real-life version of the famous sport from the Harry Potter books (and it’s known in Norwegian as ‘rumpeldunk’, lol).
Trondheim Frisbeeklubb – This is Trondheim’s Ultimate Frisbee club, a fast-paced, non-contact team sport that’s kind of like American football with a frisbee, just safer and more fun. Great place to go if you want to expand your social circle beyond the university as it’s open to all.
2. General services
This section might not sound as fun as the other two (because it isn’t) but trust us, you’re going to want to know about it as it’ll make your day-to-day much easier. So let’s start with where to buy food.
Rema 1000, Kiwi, and Bunnpris are the biggest chains of grocery stores in Trondheim that are on the cheaper side and can be found all over the city. They sometimes have great offers, like Bunnpris’ pop-up boxes called ‘Kronemarked’ where items are listed at around 10 NOK each. So make sure to be on the lookout for those and snag groceries at a discounted price!
Another great way to get cheap groceries is by signing up for Too Good To Go. The app fights food waste by helping stores connect with people and sell them items that are about to expire at a severely reduced price. A win-win situation!
However, if you’re looking for more specific and/or fancier products, then Meny is a good place to check out. There are three Meny stores in Trondheim and they often have a bit broader selection and aren’t necessarily that much more expensive than the cheaper grocery store chains when it comes to certain product categories.
But Meny might not carry the more ‘exotic’ food products, so here’s an overview of some of the international stores in Trondheim you could check out if you’re craving something that’s considered less traditional in Norway:
One thing to remember about Norway is that alcohol laws are very strict here and there are high taxes on all alcoholic beverages. Vinmonopolet is the state-run liquor shop and the place to go for wine and spirits, but everything under 4.75% can be sold in normal stores.
So you can still buy beer and other low-alcohol drinks in the grocery store chains we mentioned above, but keep in mind that they often don’t sell them after 8 pm on weekdays and 6 pm on Saturdays even though the store might be open longer.
Trondheim is truly a student city, so anywhere you go, always ask if they offer a student discount.
Midtbyen has a great list of various stores in the city centre that offer student discounts, but there are many more, so always keep an eye out for good deals. Student Torget also has a collection of student discounts and Adressa, Trondheim’s local newspaper, also made a list of student discounts in 2021, but be aware some might no longer be available.
Then there are various services you might need during your stay in Trondheim. This is far from being an exhaustive list but might prove helpful.
Moving and housing – Sit, The Student Welfare organisation, is your best friend here. Sit transport is one of the cheapest moving services for students and Sit Housing is a great help when it comes to finding apartments.
Clothing repair – The best way to repair your clothes on a budget in Trondheim is to follow YHASYME on Instagram. It's a sustainable fashion initiative run by Ane and Mali and they frequently throw clothing repair events and sewing workshops around the city, for example at the main library. They also host clothing swaps so they're good to follow to secure cool new threads in a sustainable way.
Transportation – Busses are essential to get around the city so you’ll want to download the official app from AtB. Then it’s also handy to have apps for the various electric scooters you’ll see around the city, we recommend Voi and Tier but there are more out there. Then you should also check out Trondheim City Bike which is a handy and easy bicycle rental system.
Car rental – If you’re looking to do a little trip out of the city or maybe move on your own, then it’s good to be able to rent a car. Rent A Wreck is a nice cheap option and AllWays Car Rental offers a 10% student discount.
Healthcare – NTNU has a good overview of the healthcare services available to students, but dental is usually outside the general healthcare system, so it’s good to know Oris Dental offers a check-up for just 450 NOK and a 10% student discount on other treatments.
3. Going out
Now comes the really fun part! Trondheim is filled with great spots to hang out and here’s a small collection of them that we recommend you try out.
Just to hang out
As a student, you might not have the biggest room or apartment, so it’s important to have places around the city where we can feel at home. Sometimes a change of scenery is also very needed to keep your mind fresh and inspired.
Next time you feel the need to chill somewhere outside of your apartment, check out some of these spots:
Samfundet Student Centre – Samfundet is the student society building and home to a café, restaurant, bar, and lounge. Here you can hang out or attend events to get to know fellow students in a casual setting.
Loftet – This space is run by Sit and is basically an on-campus ‘living room’ for students.
ISAK centre – This is a cultural centre for young people who are interested in creating and experiencing culture. There are a ton of diverse events happening at ISAK centre and it also has a café, Coffee Annan, which is a great place to relax as well as meet new people.
Drivhuset – A student-run lunch and study spot in the city centre. They offer various free events in addition to a space where you can simply chill out and enjoy yourself.
Studentsenteret – The Sit lounge at the NTNU Gløshaugen campus is open every weekday and students can gather there to play games or study.
Work-Work – Besides housing startups on its upper floors, Work-Work has a big spacious bar on its ground floor and basement. They offer a variety of games like shuffleboard, pinball machines, and old-school video games. You can also grab a board game from their small library or bring your own and play.
Often, there’s nothing you want more than to just snuggle up with your laptop and watch Netflix. But deep down we all know there’s nothing that beats the incredible feeling of going out and sharing an experience with people, whether it’s watching a great movie in the cinema or getting a hole-in-one in minigolf!
Mainstream cinema – Nova and Prinsen are the two biggest cinemas in Trondheim and your best bet when it comes to catching the latest blockbusters. You can book tickets through the same site, just be careful to double-check your movie ticket to see if it’s being shown at Nova or Prinsen.
Arthouse cinema – Inside Olavshallen, you’ll find Trondheim’s arthouse cinema. Cinemateket shows everything from classic films to new international releases that are a bit outside the mainstream. They also often offer English subtitles so broaden your horizons and try and go see films in new languages.
Theatre and performance – Rosendal Teater is Trondheim’s international house of performance, theatre, dance, music, and debate. The theatre hosts performances, parties, concerts, installations, film screenings, festivals, residencies, discursive events, as well as other kinds of social events. In addition to that, it also has a cool bar that’s nice to hang out at.
Minigolf – Weirdly enough, Trondheim Camping isn’t a camping site but instead a super fun minigolf bar that’s all about enjoyment over skills.
Sauna and a dip in the ocean – Havet is a cool new spot where you can enjoy a hot sauna on a floating peer for a fair price and jump into the freezing sea once things start heating up. Havet also has a bar, a cool event space, and hosts DJ sets and parties during the weekends.
These aren’t the main party places, those are coming up next, but rather some of our favourite spots for having chats over drinks.
Mormors stue – ‘Grandma’s living room’ is an absolute classic and one of Trondheim’s gems. Located in an old wooden building in the city centre, it’s the perfect spot for students no matter the time of day. It’s got cheap food and coffee and cosy seating during the day, and cheap drinks in the evening and late opening hours. Definitely worth your while.
Habitat – This is a beautiful craft beer bar that’s got an amazing selection from local Trondheim breweries as well as international ones. They also make delicious pizzas, which doesn’t hurt.
Late-night student spots
If you want to do more than just sit around and talk, these are the places where you’ll find fellow students who are ready to party!
Lokal Bar-Scene – This is one of our party places in Trondheim. It’s the perfect late-night spot because it has three different sections, all with their own vibe and level of ‘party’, so you’ll always have a good time. They also often have concerts and DJ sets in the basement.
Tyven – The atmosphere is electric at Tyven on Friday and Saturday nights. They also have great events so make sure you stay up to date with their event calendar.
Heidi’s Bier Bar – What's the worst thing about Oktoberfest? It's that it's only once a year! Lucky for you, you can enjoy Oktoberfest vibes every day at Heidi's. For some reason, they also rent out skates in the winter season!
Bar Circus – This rock bar has the cheapest pints in town, what more do you need? Every student that passes through Trondheim will have a story about a wild night at Bar Circus.
Samfundet Student Centre – Again? Yup, Samfundet really is the beating heart of student life in Trondheim. You’re going to enjoy a lot of late nights there!
We all know how hard being a student can be, especially when it comes to staying on budget and making meals… but it’s good to treat yourself every now and again. That’s why we tried to collect a few deals and places on the cheaper side so you could do it a bit more often. ;)
All-you-can-eat buffets – Egon, which has several locations in Trondheim, offers a pizza lunch buffet where you can have as much pizza and salads as you want. It is available until 6 pm but all day on both Sundays and Mondays. Then there’s Sabrura, sticks and sushi chain with loads of restaurants in the city. They have an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet every day, 199 NOK during lunch hours and 239 NOK after 1 pm and on the weekends.
Delicious Monday deals – Every Monday between 4 pm and 6:15 pm (Norwegian dinner time), loads of restaurants in the city centre offer dinner for just 150 NOK. The deal is called ‘Endelig mandag’ and every week they post a new Monday menu on their Facebook group with all the latest offers.
Takeaway deals – Backstube is a really cool bakery chain focused on sustainability. To fight food waste, they sell almost all their products at a 50% discount the last 30 minutes they’re open. Then there’s Petter’s Pizza, a classic choice for hungry students because of their amazing takeaway deal, large pizza for only 139 NOK!
After a night of partying, there’s nothing better than sinking your teeth into a delicious midnight snack. So here are some of the places in the city centre that stay open long into the night.
Kebab, falafel, and other stuff – Mir Kebab is open until 3 am every day, except Sundays and Mondays when it’s open until midnight. Star Kebab & Grill, however, is open until 3 am every day and the nearby Golden Kebab is as well, except it’s open even longer on Fridays and Saturdays. Istanbul Döner Chef is also open until 3:15 am Thursdays to Saturdays. Then there’s Barbequez, which is tough to pin down in terms of culinary direction, but they have pizzas, burgers, and salads and are open until 3:30 am Thursdays to Saturdays.
Burgers and such – Superhero burger is a local burger joint with tons of great student deals. Their restaurant on Olav Tryggvasons gate is open until 3:30 am Thursdays to Saturdays. The Burger King on the same street is open until 3 am every day and the one by the main square is open until 3 am on Fridays and 4 am on Saturdays. The McDonald’s nearby in Trondheim Torg is also open until 4 am Fridays and Saturdays. Sesam burger, in the same building as Samfundet, is open late as well, to 3 am Fridays and Saturdays.
There’s so much more to discover!
As we said at the beginning, there’s no way we could fit everything this city has to offer to students in one guide — but hopefully, this was a helpful starting point.
There’s always something going on in Trondheim, whether it’s quiz nights, concerts, or weird art performances. So make sure to follow our Instagram stories and come back to this site to discover new things about the region!