Gothenburg is a modern port metropolis with countless leisure opportunities, a wide range of cultural activities and first-class gastronomy. The many park areas, gardens and nearby forests are as much a part of the cityscape as the harbor, canals and nearby archipelago islands. The mix of lively city flair and plenty of nature makes Gothenburg an attractive travel destination. For gourmets, Scandinavia’s largest port city scores with maritime delicacies from the nearby sea.
With 550,000 inhabitants, Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden (after Stockholm). The city was founded in 1619 by King Gustav II Adolf. At that time, many Protestant immigrants from Germany, England and the Netherlands also settled in the city. In the centuries following its foundation, Gothenburg developed into an important port, industrial and trading city.
Economically, Gothenburg is today associated with the names Volvo, SKF and Hasselblad. However, the former seafaring city has also made a name for itself as an event and cultural metropolis, with a lively music and artist scene. Young designers and fashion designers have their home in Gothenburg and provide a trendy atmosphere. The highly acclaimed gastronomic scene attracts top restaurants and in-locations.
The proximity to water and nature, the maritime atmosphere and the wide range of leisure activities make Gothenburg a great destination for a city break all year round.
Tip 1: Fish Church
The Feskekörka is a fish market located on the moat with maritime delicacies and freshly caught goods from the region. Fish was also traded in the famous fish hall in earlier times. Feskekörkan is Gothenburg dialect for “Fiskkyrkan” (fish church). The former fish auction hall owes its name to its sacred appearance. You can also take small meals from the fish and shellfish stands and, like the people of Gothenburg, spend your lunch break on the banks of the moat or in the nearby city park.
Those who want a little more service and comfort can also enjoy the fish specialties on the upper floor of the Feskekörka or on the outdoor terrace. Note: The Fish Church is only open during the day and is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Tip 2: Liseberg
Liseberg is Scandinavia’s largest amusement park and, with more than 3 million visitors annually, also the front-runner among Gothenburg’s attractions. The amusement park, rich in tradition, is located in the middle of the city and is an experience for young and old with its rides and entertainment facilities.
The roller coaster “Balder” has been awarded several times as the best wooden roller coaster in the world. Adrenaline junkies will get their money’s worth at “AtmosFear”, Europe’s highest free fall tower at 146 meters. The “Liseberghjulet” is much more leisurely. But in the gondolas of the Ferris wheel you can enjoy the great view of the park and the city longer. In the evening, musicals, shows and theater performances take place on various stages.
Tip 3: Lilla Bommen
The red-and-white striped office building is popularly known as Läppstiftet (the lipstick) and is one of Gothenburg’s landmarks. The official name of the structure is Lilla Bommen, named after the harbor area of the same name around the neighboring guest harbor. From the viewing platform “Utkiken” on the 23rd floor of the 86-high building, you have a great view of the city and the harbor.
Below the skyscraper, the four-masted barque Viking is anchored. The restored ship now serves as a hotel and restaurant. On the west side of the small harbor basin, lies the Gothenburg Opera, another landmark of the city. The extravagant opera house is illuminated in bright colors in the evening. The best way to explore the harbor area is to take a walk along the waterfront.
Tip 4: Haga
As Gothenburg’s first suburb, the Haga district was built in the 17th century at the request of Queen Christina. Originally, Haga was a bustling working-class neighborhood where the well-heeled did not venture, as it had a very bad reputation. Today, however, Haga is a popular destination for Gothenburg tourists due to its unique, picturesque 19th century style wooden buildings.
Haga measures a population of about 4000 people and is considered its own church parish. Thus, Haga is the smallest parish in the whole of Sweden. Haga is considered a cozy and quiet district, which invites you to stroll through its small cafes and historic shops. The oldest shopping street in Gothenburg is easy to walk and definitely worth a visit. Especially for those who want to escape the commercial city center for a moment to be enchanted by the cozy atmosphere of Haga.
Tip 5: Slottskogen
Slottskogen is the largest and certainly the most beautiful park in Gothenburg. It is located right in the center of the city. In 1880, the merchant and businessman, August Kopp, developed the idea of building a park in the ever-growing city of Gothenburg, which should be based on the English gardens of the time. Kopp was ultimately inspired by Hyde Park in London and Skansen Park in Stockholm. The park is a mixture of parkland, recreational fields and natural woodland. The tree population consists mainly of the natural Swedish woodland of fir, lime and various types of oak. But also the rare primeval sequoia is at home here.
Today Slottskogen is one of Gothenburg’s main parks. Covering 137 hectares, it offers visitors a wide range of leisure activities and recreational opportunities. Thus, many Gothenburgers find themselves cycling, jogging, skating or walking. There are soccer fields, golf courses, softball courts, a Frisbee field and outdoor exercise equipment. Of course, children also get their money’s worth at children’s playgrounds. Also, on weekends and in good weather, the park is one of the main destinations for families and a family picnic. In addition, it offers a free zoo. In this zoo can be observed mainly animals typical of the country. Sheep, goats, moose, Gotland ponies and other animals live here. As a special feature, it offers a tank with sea lions and even penguins. In the north of the park, on a hill, there is a particularly popular observatory, Slottsskogsobservatoriet.