Sweden’s second-largest city, Gothenburg is a jewel on the country’s west coast. Its combination of historic architecture, winding canals, stunning natural spaces and modern flair make it unlike anywhere else in Scandinavia.


No wonder Gothenburg appeals to such a wide variety of visitors. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to explore the expansive natural areas and rugged coastline. Food lovers come to taste the flavours of a hidden culinary gem. Culture hounds explore the city’s innumerable museums, theatres and galleries. And anyone looking to let loose will find tonnes of great bars, venues and clubs.


This friendly metropolis balances refined history and quirky modern sensibilities into an utterly unique urban experience. Here are some of the best things to do in Gothenburg.


Explore Gothenburg

Founded in 1621, Gothenburg hasn’t lost its character even as the city has expanded to nearly 600,000 residents. Divided half by the wide Göta River, it’s a city full of beautiful gardens where ancient architecture and industrial-era relics coexist as public art.


With its historic canals and winding pedestrian streets, Gothenburg is extremely easy to navigate by foot, bike or public transit. You’ll quickly discover that each area has its own unique personality. One moment you’ll be strolling among the designer shops along the famous Avenyn. The next you’re standing in the arts district gazing at the iconic Poseidon fountain or wandering the pristine Gothenburg University campus.


Visitors make haste to historic Haga, whose cobblestone streets are home to iconic cafes and charming boutiques. The city centre's Magasinsgatan is a bustling pedestrian destination known for its shopping, restaurants, nightlife and more. Ultra-hip Majorna is often called the Brooklyn of Gothenburg thanks to its trendy bars, cafes, venues and shops, while a quick tram ride to Saltholmen reveals a more relaxed coastal life on the waterfront. Each neighbourhood has its own unique character, and getting to know them is a joy.


Get outside in Gothenburg

Gothenburg’s balance of urbanity and nature has earned the city its reputation among Europe’s greenest metro areas. Within the city limits, you’ll find beaches, lakes, forests and wetlands. It’s the ideal place to immerse yourself in nature while enjoying the food, culture and activities of a big city.


The crown jewel of the city’s park system is undoubtedly Slottsskogen, a 156-hectacre green space offering a vast network of trails, playgrounds, a free zoo and more right in the city centre. The park is also home to the summer’s Way Out West festival, which transforms Slottsskogen into one of Europe’s great music-festival destinations.


Also within the city are the Göteborgs Botaniska Trädgård and Trädgårdsföreningen, both offering stunning floral beauty. For those looking for some beach time, you’ll find bathing areas like Fiskebäcksbadet, Billdalsbadet and Saltholmen, a short tram ride away.


No trip to Gothenburg is complete without a visit to the archipelago. Among the 20+ islands – some only reachable by ferry – you’ll find stunning beaches, charming towns, sprawling nature preserves and more. Whether you’re visiting to boat, dive, hike, sunbathe, spot wildlife or simply enjoy the fresh air, the archipelago is a quintessential experience.


Big thrills and incredible museums

Rollercoasters and a gigantic, illuminated wheel are an important sight on Gothenburg’s skyline. They belong to Liseberg, Scandinavia’s largest amusement park and an iconic Gothenburg experience. The park is a must for families thanks to its mix of rides, concerts, games and more. Come in the summer, or see it transformed into a ghoulish fantasia during Halloween or a winter wonderland at Christmas.


Gothenburg is also one of the richest hubs of art, culture, history and science in Scandinavia. Göteborgs Konstmuseum (Gothenburg Museum of Art) is home to one of the best collections of modern and classical art in Northern Europe. Celebrate the city’s industrial history at the World of Volvo or the waterfront Maritiman maritime museum. Or go hang out with monkeys at Universeum, a family-focused science centre featuring a multi-floor indoor rainforest, aquarium and other interactive exhibits.


Eat your way through Gothenburg’s food scene

Gothenburg is one of Europe’s hidden culinary gems. The city is full of cosy cafes, fine-dining experiences, international flavours, incredible street food and fresh seafood. Neighbourhoods like Linné, Eriksberg, Masthugget and Majorna offer a wealth of food experiences for all tastes. And food halls like the historic Stora Saluhallen and the hip Lindholmen Street Food Market offer chances to sample the diversity of the food scene under one roof.


When in Gothenburg, make time for fika: a traditional coffee and baked-goods break that can be had at cafes throughout the city (the town of Alingsås, a short train ride away, claims to have invented the tradition). And of course, since you’re so near the ocean, take a moment to sample some traditional Scandinavian seafood at restaurants like Sjöbaren or Fiskekrogen.


A gateway to Scandinavia

Gothenburg isn’t just a great place for a long or short city break. It’s the gateway to a larger Scandinavian adventure. Bring your car on board and you’re free to explore Sweden and beyond at your own pace. Cruise up and down the coast to experience welcoming towns and gorgeous beaches. Head inland to witness the wonders of dense forests and 100,000 lakes. Or head north: Norway’s a short 3-hour drive away, should you wish to explore further.


Just be sure to plan a little extra time in Gothenburg before you leave Sweden – it’s a city that’s easy to love, and one you’ll want to return to again and again.

Sweden’s second-largest city, Gothenburg is a jewel on the country’s west coast. Its combination of historic architecture, winding canals, stunning natural spaces and modern flair make it unlike anywhere else in Scandinavia.


No wonder Gothenburg appeals to such...

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