If you thought Sweden was almost too cool for its own good, just wait until you see the artsy Scandinavian hipsters filling the streets, boutiques and cafes of once-industrial Gothenburg. Originally a hub for ship building and exploring the northern oceans, the city has since de-industrialised and embraced its reputation as Sweden’s events capital. Luckily for you, it’s got an equally strong rep for being friendly.
You may wonder how Gothenburg’s residents manage to stay so positive in winter when the sun goes down at 3pm, but Gothenburg is a vibrant hub. Visit Feskekorka (Fish Church) for seafood so fresh it’s worth the smell, or get a heavy dose of history at Skansen Kronan. Architecture buffs will be mesmerised by the city’s largest church, the Oscar Fredrik– a building almost as beautiful and well-dressed as the cool guys and gals filling the streets surrounding it.
Gothenburg's Top 10
10. Gothenburg Cathedral What to do when the city’s cathedral has burned down twice? Build it up again, of course. This is the impressive result…
5. Liseberg Amusement Park Rides range from Ferris wheels to roller coasters at this all-ages-welcome amusement park.
9. Goteborgs Stadsmuseum The city museum traces the history of Gothenburg from Viking village to modern metropolis.
4. Southern Gothenburg Archipelago These picturesque islands are home to some of Gothenburg’s grandest houses, and are only reachable by boat.
8. Volvo Museum A museum celebrating a car known for its excitement factor delivers more of the same.
3. Avenyn The best restaurants and shops are found along this kilometre-long stretch of prime tourism real estate.
7. Goteborgs Konstmuseum One of the finest collections of modern and classical art in Scandinavia.
2. Botanska Tradgarden The largest botanical garden in Sweden is home to all manner of flora and fauna.
6. Haga After massive gentrification, this once-industrial centre is now lined with the trendiest boutiques and tastiest cafés.
1. Slottskogen Previously the site of a castle, Slottskogen now houses an observatory, natural history museum, zoo and auditorium.
- Skansen Kronan – This hilltop fortification was built in the 1600s, served as a prison in the 1800s and today is home to a military museum.
- Haga – A picturesque city in the Gothenburg area with wooden houses from the 1800s.
- Crown House – Built in the 1600s, it served as home to the Swedish Parliament.
- Oscar Fredrik Church – Built in the late 1800s, this is the biggest and most well-decorated church around.
- Swedish Ship Götheborg – A reconstruction of the east Indiaman Götheborg from the mid 1700s.
Gothenburg Art & Culture
- Gothenburg Art Museum – Housed in an incredible building and home to a collection of Nordic art.
- Maritiman – The largest floating museum worldwide is made up of 19 ships of all sizes.
- Gothenburg City Museum – Recounts the history of Gothenburg from the very beginning until today.
- Universeum – This new museum focuses on the environment and includes an indoor rainforest and experiment workshop, among other exhibits.
- Museum of World Culture – A museum of anthropology and ethnography with regular events such as films, concerts and lectures.
- Nodstan – One of Gothenburg’s malls offers wonderful shopping opportunities.
- Liseberg Park – This popular outdoor area includes a local street market.
- Antik Hallarna – This building started as a bank and today is home to antique dealers.
- Bohusslöjd – The place to find some of the best Swedish handicrafts.
- Hennes & Mauritz – Fashionable clothing store chain with trendy styles.
Gay & Lesbian Gothenburg
- Bee Bar – A friendly place to enjoy an evening with friends in Gothenburg.
- SLM Göteborg – An exclusive place for those with a passion for garments made out of leather.
- Greta – Named in honour of Greta Garbo, this is one of the main bars and restaurants in the city.
- Lollypop – A well-known place to go on Saturday nights.
- GaysStraight2Hell – A huge party event that meets on the first Saturday of each month.
- Slottsskogen – A well-known place for picnics and relaxing. The park includes a museum, observatory, mini golf course and a children’s zoo.
- Botaniska Trädgården – These botanical gardens were built in 1923 and were selected as the most beautiful garden in the country.
- Fish Market – The Feskekôrka, or Fish Church, is found by the canal close to the harbour.
- Trädgårdsföreningen – This picturesque garden is located in the centre of the city and features a wonderful collection of roses.
- Paddan – These boats run through the canals of Gothenburg in the harbour.
- The IFK Göteborg football team plays in the Gamla Ullevi Stadium.
- With more than 20,000 sailboats and yachts in the city, sailing is a popular activity in Gothenburg.
- For great floorball games, check out the Pixbo Wallenstam Innebandyklubb.
- The Lake Delsjön offers wonderful canoeing during the summer months.
- The Scandinavium is the place to go for exciting ice hockey games.
Gothenburg Horse Show in February highlights the best in Scandinavian horse husbandry and training in an oh-so-exclusive environment.
If you’re looking for a weird and unusual book, head to the back catalogue Bokrean book fair in March. You won’t find Harry or Twilight here.
Hammarkullkarnevalen brings a little heat to the icy city with salsa dancers, fire breathers and Caribbean vibes filling the streets in May.
One of the largest performance art exhibitions in the world, Live Action Gothenburg sees the best and the weirdest modern artists perform for eager crowds each September.
Christmas Eve feasts and celebrations take place for Julafton. You won’t believe the lengths some people go to to decorate their homes!
When To Go
July is the warmest month, averaging about 18ºC (64ºF), and is the best time for hiking and mountain climbing.
November to March is winter and perfect for skiing, though you’ll probably want to get off the mountain before mid-afternoon when it gets dark.
Spring is a magical time to visit Gothenburg, with gardens shaking off their snowy shackles and flowers blooming.
Gothenburg boasts the largest light rail network in Scandinavia. It’s both fast and a good way to catch the scenery.
Cycling is a national pastime in Sweden, meaning bike paths are well-maintained.
Most of the major attractions of Gothenburg are very centralised, so you can reach them by foot.
The second city of Sweden may not compare in size to Stockholm and like Malmo, may not sit across the Oresund strait from Copenhagen. Nonetheless, Gothenburg has a lot to offer intrepid visitors in search of a break from the norm. With a metro population that hovers above 900,000 people, the city is no small fry and hosts a superb array of important historic landmarks and monuments. As a major university city in Nordic Europe, Gothenburg has a cosmopolitan, intellectual vibe that permeates local way of life. With some of the best restaurants and nightlife in Sweden, the city provides a fun escape beyond the usual museums and cultural institutions.
With that being said, Gothenburg does boast a supreme assortment of attractions. The old city was built alongside a network of canals and offers some brilliant photo ops for tourists. Worthwhile points of interest include the Röhsska Museum, Museum of World Culture and Old Älvsborg Fortress.
Restaurant & Nightlife
Gothenburg has a typical oceanic climate, with mild temperatures throughout the year.
- Winter (December to February) -1-3°C
- Spring (March to May) -1-16°C
- Summer (June to September) 10-22°C
- Fall (October to November) 3-12°C
Gothenburg On Wikipedia
Gothenburg official guide
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