Gothenburg. City in Sweden, Europe


City in Sweden, Europe

Goteburg Photo © Kim Benson

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Skanskaskrapan, Gothenburg - Gothenburg
Skanskaskrapan, Gothenburg - Gothenburg. Photo by Hendrik Terbeck
Gothenburg is Sweden’s second largest city. The city is located on the west coast of southern Sweden, and experiences four distinctive seasons, with extremely cold winters and hot summers. Like the rest of Sweden, the days are short in the winter, with sometimes as little as 5 hours of daylight. In the summer, however, the days are extended, and at times the sun sets for only an hour or two! The city has a population of 540,132 people, living in an area of just over 447 kilometers squared. A large proportion of the city’s residents are students, with Gothenburg home to two major universities, Gothenburg University and Chalmers University.


Gothenburg’s position on the coast means that it has always been an important city for Sweden. In the 17th century, Gothenburg was one of the only cities in the region that was given the right to trade with other countries, resulting in the city growing into an important trading port. As fishing became the prominent industry, the harbor continued to grow, and as Swedes emigrated to the United States and the rest of the Western world, Gothenburg flourished. Gothenburg’s growth continued into the 19th and 20th centuries, as it became an industrialized city. Many successful companies have grown out of Gothenburg including Volvo, a car manufacturer, and SKF, a large ball-bearing factory.


What you are able to do in Gothenburg really depends on the season, and while both winter and summer are the best times to visit, your experience of the city will vary, as almost all activities are weather-dependent.

Liseberg Amusement

Liseberg is located in central downtown Gothenburg, and is one of the most popular theme parks in Scandinavia. Opening in 1923, it still retains many of the original elements of when it opened, creating a uniquely themed park, and in 2005 was voted as one of the best theme parks in the world by Forbes magazine. Originally, the park was intended to be a temporary installment for an exhibition, but was so popular that a decision was made to develop it further and open it as a permanent theme park.

The park is open from April to September, and again from November to December, when it opens for the Christmas season and operates a Christmas market. It is worth visiting the park just for the Christmas market when they serve mulled wine, reindeer meat, and traditional Swedish dishes, as well as selling handicrafts made in traditional styles. With over 40 rides in the summer, and 20 rides in the winter, there is something for everyone to enjoy, from young children to adventurous teenagers.

The park is surrounded by a forest and features expansive gardens with waterfalls and artwork interspersed between flourishing flowers. Admission to the park is 90 SEK ( $ 12 USD ), and you then pay for each ride. If you plan on staying in Gothenburg for a while it may be worth it to purchase an annual pass which includes admission and access to all rides. Children under 110 cm go free. From the center of Gothenburg take tram number 2, 4, or 13 to Liseberg stop.

The archipelago of Gothenburg

The archipelago of Gothenburg is not to be missed. Just outside of the city, the archipelago offers beautiful landscapes and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. The southern archipelago is completely free from cars and motor vehicles, making it the perfect place to go hiking or biking. In the summer you are also able to swim, and there are endless opportunities for barbequing on the beach. By law, in Sweden all land is public land, which means especially on the archipelago there is enough space for you to simply sit down, relax and take in the view, go exploring over the rocks, or snorkeling from one of the beaches. Take tram number 11 from the center of Gothenburg to Saltholmen, and from here you can take one of the ferries to one of the different islands. You can also simply do a tour of the islands and stay on the boat for the whole journey, a great option in if you want to see the archipelago in the winter. The journey from Gothenburg to Saltholmen takes about 40 minutes.

Gothenburg’s Botanical Garden

Gothenburg Botanical
Gothenburg Botanical Garden
Gothenburg Botanical Garden is one of the largest in Europe and features over 16,000 different species of plants. Opened in 1923, the garden covers an area of 175 hectares, most of which is protected as a nature reserve. The garden is open year-round, from 9.00 a.m. until sunset. Admission is ‘voluntary’, though it is largely expected you pay the 20 SEK that is asked. From Gothenburg central station, take tram number 1, 2 or 7 to Slottskogen. The Botanical Garden is located opposite.


Slottskogen is a large park, covering 137 hectares in central Gothenburg. The park is great for sunbathing, walking, running, or playing football or Frisbee. Additionally, the park has a zoo, a pool with seals and penguins, as well as several playgrounds and a restaurant. Every year the park hosts a three-day music festival, Way Out West. Always held during August, most of the acts that perform are from the rock, hip-hop or electronic genres. From Gothenburg central station, take tram number 1, 2, or 7 to Slottskogen stop.


The Upper House Hotel, located on Massans gata, on the 24th and 25th floor is one of the most luxurious hotels in Gothenburg. Featuring an extensive spa and pool area as well as a fitness center, restaurant, and bar, the hotel offers everything you would expect from a five-star hotel, and all of this in a central location. The spa is a must-visit, with a hot tub offering incredible views over all of Gothenburg and an outdoor heated pool, with a glass bottom, located 25 floors up. Breakfast is included, and offers traditional Swedish cuisine as well as hot and cold buffet options. One night in a standard room costs from $ 315 USD .

The Backpackers Göteborg, offers single rooms, as well as dorms. Located in central Gothenburg at Vegagaten 19, the hostel offers a small fully equipped kitchen, pool, and a sauna at a small extra cost. You can also enjoy breakfast made by the hostel for a small additional fee. Note that this is served in the neighboring Youth Hostel, and this is also where you check-in. There are separate dorms for men and women, and one night in the dorm is $ 25 USD during low season, and slightly more during the summer.


Sjöbaren is a seafood restaurant specializing in Swedish cuisine. Sweden is known for its seafood, and because of Gothenburg’s position on the coast, some of the best seafood in the world can be found in this city. Sjöbaren is one of the best places, with two restaurants in the city, the best is located in the Haga, Gothenburg (Wikipedia Article), district. The food is almost exclusively fish, so don’t go with a vegetarian. In the summer you can sit outdoors on the terrace, but there is plenty of space indoors as well when it gets colder.

Le Petit Café is one of the best places to enjoy coffee and some sweet pastries, a favorite pastime of locals living in Gothenburg. They also offer lunch in the form of hot and cold sandwiches and large nutritious salads. Like most places in Gothenburg, flavored waters are free, as are refills of your tea. Find them in the Haga district, on the main pedestrian street.

Afterwork is a tradition unique to Gothenburg, but one that should surely be adopted all over the world. Every Friday at most of the bars and restaurants around the city, for the price of a beer or glass of wine, a buffet of food is included. Increasingly, restaurants are starting to charge for food at discount prices but most of them still include free food. Lounges on Kungsportsavenyn (Wikipedia Article) is the best place in the summer, offering different food every week, almost always cooked on the grill, for $ 5.00 USD with a beer. They have an open-top terrace, but no tables, so be prepared to stand.


Gothenburg is a great place to buy household items, and a dream for anyone who is looking to make their home a little more cozy. Known for impressive interior design, Sweden has an abundance of independent shops selling crafts, blankets, and clothes. Haga is one of the oldest districts in Gothenburg, and features pedestrian streets lined with cafés and boutique shops. Market 29 is one of the best interior design shops, stocking both large items of furniture and smaller objects that can be easily brought home. Find them on Haga Nygata. Gothenburg also has several large shopping malls with international chains, but most of the merchandise is more expensive than in other parts of the world, so it is not worth buying anything unless absolutely necessary.

Getting There

Gothenburg actually has two international airports. Gothenburg City Airport is extremely small, offering only a small number of flights a day, mostly with Ryanair to the United Kingdom. If you can fly into City Airport it is extremely convenient and transit time is very quick because of its small size. Situated only 15 km from the center of Gothenburg you can take the bus, or alternatively a taxi to reach the center. Gothenburg Landvetter Airport is much bigger and handles international flights from all over the world. Landvetter airport is located just 25 kilometers from the city center, along road 40, and takes twenty minutes by car to travel to the airport. You can also travel by bus from the airport to the center, and tickets can be bought at the airport or by card onboard the bus. You can also travel to Gothenburg by boat, with ferries departing from northern Denmark.

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Author: hannahbarkan. Last updated: Apr 22, 2016

Pictures of Gothenburg

Gothenburg, March 25, 2014 - Gothenburg
Gothenburg, March 25, 2014 - Photo by Ulf Bodin

Center of Gothenburg panorama - Gothenburg
Center of Gothenburg panorama - Photo by Sina Farhat


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