Oslo versus Trondheim: Six big differences between the two cities

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Oslo versus Trondheim: Six big differences between the two cities
There are a number of key differences between Oslo and Trondheim. Photo by The Local, Photo by AQEEL AFZALI on Unsplash and Photo by Marleen Mulder-Wieske on Unsplash

Oslo and Trondheim are two very different cities, but both are excellent in their own right. We've gone over the key differences.


If Bergen is the second city of Norway and Oslo is the capital, then Trondheim is probably the country's third city.

Both are quintessentially Norwegian cities in their own right, but there are several big differences between the two that have given them their own unique character and vibe.


Most regions in Norway have their own regional dialects. Due to Oslo and its surrounding areas being the most populated parts of the country, the Norwegian dialect most people are accustomed to is the Oslo dialect.

Meanwhile, in Trondheim, even those quite comfortable with the Norwegian language can be caught out hearing Trøndersk for the first time.
The dialect distinguishes itself from other dialects due to its vowels, tonality, and palatalisation.


Oslo has a lot more of an international vibe

Oslo is the part of the country with the second highest proportion of foreign residents in Norway. Over a third of its residents were either born abroad or to two foreign parents in Norway.

In Trondheim, the proportion of foreigners is below the national average. The national average in Norway is 18 percent, while the proportion in Trondheim is closer to 16 percent.

However, that doesn't mean that there isn't a strong international community in Trondheim. On the contrary, a bustling local tech industry attracts plenty of foreign talent to the local job market, and there is even an international school in the city.

Still, you can expect Oslo to feel like more of an international city than Trondheim, as the proportion of those from another country or born to foreigners is twice as high in the capital.

Cost of living

A number of factors make Trondheim a cheaper city to call home. For starters, the average rental price in Oslo is 14,857 kroner per month compared to 11,789 kroner per month in Trondheim.

Housing isn't the only thing that is cheaper too. As a result, you can expect cheaper bills. For example, over the past year, energy prices in central and northern Norway have been significantly lower than in the capital.

This is because parts of central and northern Norway have an energy surplus. This means they produce more energy than they need, which helps to keep energy prices low.


Oslo is significantly bigger than Trondheim. At the beginning of 2023, 709,000 people were living in the Norwegian capital. Comparatively, 212,000 people were living in Trondheim Municipality.


Oslo's much larger size and population, and the fact that it has been the fastest-growing capital in Europe over the past two decades, make it feel much more fast-paced.


While Oslo feels much more fast-paced than anywhere else in Norway, Trondheim feels much more relaxed, friendlier and local than the capital.

The abundance of sights packed into a small area, the historical importance of the city dating back to the Vikings, and the colourful wooden houses all combine to make Trondheim feel much more quaint, cosy and unique.

It is also incredibly walkable if you live reasonably central, which for many is a huge positive.

Furthermore, there are typically around 35,00 students in Trondheim at any given time, giving the city a young and vibrant feel.

On the other hand, while Oslo has its unique vibe and feeling, its first impressions can give off a city that may be lacking in character.

Weather and climate

The winters in Trondheim are characterised by their extended periods of darkness and low temperatures that can often fall below the freezing point, which may be challenging for some people.

Being located further south means that the weather in Oslo is slightly milder but will regularly be below freezing. Winters in Oslo are lighter than in Trondheim.

Furthermore, the summers in Oslo are a lot warmer, although it stays lighter for longer in central Norway.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also