5 Free things to do at Olavsfest 2019

Sunday 28th sees the beginning of Olavsfest in Trondheim. The festival commemorates St. Olaf, King of Norway in the 11th Century and the patron saint of Norway. Nidaros Cathedral was build upon his burial site after his death in 1030, and now hosts a festival in the Saint's honour each year.

Nidaros, Trondheim
Olavsfest takes place in the grounds of Nidaros Cathedral

As part of the festival there are many amazing concerts, including Swedish pop icons The Cardigans, Norway's own Highasakite as well as public discussion, historic city tours and much much. You can see the full schedule on the Olavsfest website.

While there are many exciting concerts to look forward to over Olavfest in Trondheim next week, there are also a lot of free activities to enjoy. We thought we would take a look at the top 5 free things to do at Olavsfest!

1. Free Pilgrim's Breakfast

Start of with free pilgrim breakfast at Lian and walk the pilgrim trail to Nidaros Cathedral. Take in a morning breakfast in the beautiful surroundings of Lian followed by walking the last part of the pilgrims trail to the city in time for the opening of Olavsfest at 13:00. Breakfast is between 08:30 and 10:00 and there will be a free tram that will run from the St Olavsgate to Lian at 8:00 and 8:30am.

Pilgrim's trail from Lian to Nidaros
Walk the pilgrim's trail from Lian to Nidaros Cathedral – photo: Runa Eggen / trondelag.com

2. Free art exhibitions

Explore the art exhibitions of local artist Håkon Gullvåg. To celebrate Olavsfest and the artists 60th birthday 12 exhibitions of his work will open open for viewing across the city —9 of which are free to see. An interesting tidbit, if you look at the 12 locations of the exhibitions on a map with the city centre, they form an outline of the wing of a butterfly. This symbolises metamorphosis the theme of this year’s Olavsfest!

Metamorfose by Håkon Gullvåg
"Metamorfose" by Håkon Gullvåg. 12 exhibitions of the artists work are part of Olavsfest – photo: haakon-gullvaag.no

3. Midnight yoga in Nidaros Cathedral

Join free midnight vigil and yoga in Nidaros Cathedral. Yoga in a church, at midnight? The night is a time for reflection and dreams, and everyone is invited to take part in this reflective time in the surroundings of the magnificent Nidaros Cathedral Sunday at midnight. Legend has it that St. Olav had a vision of a ladder to heaven the night before he died, and this midnight vigil remembers the saint who is buried underneath the Cathedral. The vigil will last until 6am and includes music, prayer, silence and yoga. Remember to bring your own yoga mat, and some warm clothes!

Reflect in Nidaros Cathedral with midnight yoga, photo: CH - Visitnorway.com

4. Take in a free concert

While there are many concerts to cater for everyone through the festival, there are also a number of free concerts performed, including from jazz group the Cecilie Grundt Quintet, everyday at 16:00 between the Kunstmuseum and Waisenhuset. There is also a free children’s concert by the group Mandarinsaft who mix music, humor and fantasy. They will perform in the west front of Nidaros grounds on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd August at 15:00.

5. Market walk and relax in Nidaros gardens

Look through the market and gardens of Nidaros Cathedral. Included in the market will be many stalls, including pop-up bookstore put on by Litteraturhuset, which will be open 11:00-18:00 each day of the festival. After looking through the stall you can relax in the outdoor cafe located in the Nidaros gardens.

There are lots of market stalls to walk through and enjoy photo: Jens Petter Sørra/trd.by

However you choose to spend the festivities, there is a lot on offer for everyone. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the summer weather and celebrate this history of this wonderful city!

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