We often scour the Internet searching for the perfect vacation spot that has everything. But let me tell you, perfect doesn’t exist. But best does, and Gothenburg on the western coast of Sweden is that place! To explore the best of the city and its culture, we have the best of things to do in Gothenburg.
Unscratched mountainous beauty, mouth-watering food, rich history, pristine beaches, serene waters- these are just some of the adjectives that can describe the grandeur of Gothenburg. Also called Goteborg in Swedish, the city has a grandiloquent history paving the way for the present neoclassic acculturation existing in the city.
Best Time to Visit Gothenburg
Gothenburg is a precious gem of Scandinavia and the ideal time to explore it would be during the summer months since summers in Sweden are known to be pleasant with moderate temperatures. Visit Goteborg between June-October, and you get to enjoy the summer activities in the city or have a short brief with fall in Haga.
Top Activities to enjoy at Gothenburg
Built on the mouth of the Gota River, Gothenburg is like a baby of the river that it has nurtured over the years, which had also made it catch the eyes of Dutch and British invaders who had tried, unsuccessfully, to capture the city and make it their own. Its strategic location flourished the place from a trading town to the second-largest city in Sweden, making it the favourite Nordic city of tourists.
Fun Fact: The Gothia Cup, which is the largest football tournament in the world, is held every year in Gothenburg, which sees the top Scandinavian teams, along with other international teams competing against each other.
Football fanatics, ready to add it to your bucket list?
Track Gothenburg from the oldest fortification of the city
Address: Skansberget, Gothenburg 402 33, Sweden
Built-in the late 17th Century, Skansken Kronan was initially intended to be used as a fortress for potential wars. Still, it’s 23 cannons seemed to have given away any possibility of enemies eyeing the fort, for it was never attacked. Located in the centre of Gothenburg, Skansken Kronan was then used as an emergency residence and served as a military museum till the early 2000s.
Although entry to the interior of the fort is restricted and reserved only for private ceremonies and concerts, you need not miss out on the good stuff. Upon a short climb to the top of the fort lies the best panoramic view of the city of Gothenburg to greet you, so a bottle of water should be in your carry bag.
Take a 5-minute cab ride costing between 700-850 INR to reach Skansken Kronan from the city. If you’re searching for a cheaper alternative, a Line 6 tram costing 200-350 INR takes to the fort within 13 minutes.
Tue-Fri: 10 am- 3 pm
Sunday: 1 pm- 5 pm
No entrance fee
Shop and taste some lip-smacking seafood at Feskekorka
Taking inspiration from the churches of the 19th Century Norway, Feskekorka is an extravagant Gothic structure which seems to have come out straight out of a Children’s picture book. The local Swedish loosely translate it to the ‘Fish Church’, by which name tourists commonly refer to this place. Set up beside the Roselund Canal, the fish church is a feast to the eyes as well as your tongue, and the go-to place for foodies to taste exotic seafood of Gothenburg.
Apart from being the biggest fish market in the city, Feskekorka also has some of the best seafood restaurants in Gothenburg. Restaurant Gabriel is a favourite amongst most visitors who vouch for the shrimp salad and smoked shellfish of the place to be the best in town.
It takes less than 30 mins to reach Feskekorka from Gothenburg. Suitable modes of transport are Light Rail 1, 11 and 6 or Bus 52.
Quick Tip: To get the most out of your trip to the Fish Church, avoid visiting it if a downpour is expected.
Timings: Tue-Fri: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
Feel the thrill at Liseberg
Address: Liseberg Orgrytevagen 5, Gothenburg 402 22, Sweden
Scandinavia has always been known to be a heaven for adventure junkies, and Liseberg in Gothenburg is a paradise for those seeking out for an extreme adrenaline rush. Characterized by some of the best rides in the world, Liseberg makes sure that no one gets bored while at the most popular amusement park in Scandinavia. Filled with over 40 rides, Liseberg is a well-deserving candidate to find a place in Forbes’ list of the Top 10 Amusement Parks in the world.
The best time to visit Liseberg would be during Halloween in October when many Halloween- themed rides and activities are opened in addition to the existing rides. Most of the rides at Liseberg offer a unique experience, but make sure you don’t miss these rides while at Liseberg:
1. Balder, known to be the best wooden tracked roller coaster in the world.
2. Helix, the longest and fastest roller coaster in Europe.
Hotel Liseberg Heden and Lisbergbyn offer accommodation near the park. Liseberg is easily accessible from the central city through buses and trains.
Timings: The park remains closed from January till mid-April. During other months, the opening hours are usually between 12.00 pm-10 pm, although checking the timings before visiting the park on its official website would help as timing tend to fluctuate and change as per holidays, events and tourist traffic.
Entrance fee is 415 SEK including fee for all the rides.
Enjoy Cinnamon bun at Cafe Husaren, Haga
Address: Haga Nygata 28, Gothenburg 411 22, Sweden
All that thrill and hopping around is bound to leave you tired, and what’s better than taking a break in the classic Swedish way!
Haga district in Gothenburg is said to be one the most beautiful traditional towns of Sweden. Enjoy a classic Swedish coffee (fika) along with the largest cinnamon bun one could ever find, locally called the Hagabullen at Cafe Husaren in Haga Nygata. Top that with picturesque views of the oldest district of Gothenburg lined with traditional Gothenburg houses and rows of colourful markets, shops and quaint cafes.
Haga is well-connected to Gothenburg and takes approx. 30 min to reach Cafe Husaren by bus and 38 min by train.
The coffee and Hagabullen costs 75 SEK (25 SEK and 50 SEK respectively), making it a very affordable snack.
Mon-Thurs: 8.00 am – 8.00 pm
Fri-Sun: 8.00 am-7.00 pm
Indulge with the artwork at the Gothenburg Museum of Art
Address: Götaplatsen/Avenyn, 412 56 Göteborg, Sweden
The Gothenburg Kontmuseum comes as a surprise amid the modernized suburb of Gothenburg.
Housed within a massive 20th Century building are stunning pieces of neo-gothic paintings and sculptures, with some dating as far back as the 15th Century. Voted as the ‘Museum of the Year 2018’, the Gothenburg Art Museum is home to the works of renowned artists, the likes of which include Monet and Picasso.
A major highlight of the museum is The Furstenburg Gallery which houses some of the most beautiful Nordic paintings of the 19th and 20th Century, as well as contemporary Western artwork and covers a vast area of the Museum.
The Museum is within the city boundary, and Bus or tram services to Gotaplatsen are readily available at all hours.
Tue-Thurs: 11.00 am – 6.00 pm
Fri–Sun and public holidays: 11.00 am – 5.00 am
Entrance fee: 40 SEK. Admission is free for people under 25 years of age.
Ride a Paddan boat and tour the city
If you want to make the most out of your trip to Gothenburg and wish to visit every quintessential location in the town, the best way to do so is by taking a Paddan Boat tour at Gothenburg. Hop on a boat at the Avenyn and sail through various canals, bridges and harbours of the city along with a local guide narrating the history and emergence of the city and each strategic structure. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the city, laid out along the backdrop of blue water of the Gota Alv, unfold in front of you.
The boat sails through a low-lying bridge at the edge of the Gota River, requiring the riders to lie down on the boat floor to avoid getting hit by it. Now, that’s some weird stuff!
Take a bus to reach the Avenyn at the fastest (15-20 mins).
Timing: The boat takes off every 2 hours and takes 50-55 min approx.
Price: All Paddan boat tour starts from 150 SEK. Ticket counters can have quite a rush during peak hours so make sure you get there early!
Quick Tip: Since the boats are mostly roof-less, carrying appropriate clothing according to the weather condition could come in handy in case there is any unforeseen situation.
Witness Mother Nature at her best from the Gothenburg archipelagos
A trip to Gothenburg is incomplete without the mention of the famous archipelago of the region. The Northern and Southern archipelago is the most sought after tourist destinations, and it is not hard to understand why. Picturesque views and unparalleled sights of the Nordic coasts are what greets the eyes.
The Southern archipelago is said to have the amazing granite mountains and cliffs, and being ancient fishing and trading port, offers the best seafood one could taste in Gothenburg. What’s amusing about the area is that it has only about 5,000 inhabitants with absolutely no cars (people travel using cycles, electric cars or golf carts here), making it a perfect location to breathe in the freshest air Nature could provide us!
Important fishing communities of Gothenburg inhabit the Styrso and Donso islands, and you could witness some of the oldest and rarest fishing methods still being used here. Vrångö island is another essential island which sees a lot of tourists flocking to witness the best flora and fauna of the region. Rest assured, you will spot at least one unique bird species even if you don’t go all out searching for them because there are many here!
While in Gothenburg city, take a tram to the Salthomen port from where you could take a ferry or boat to the archipelago. Since ferries and boats are part of the same public transport system as trams and buses, the tram tickets can also be used to get on ferries, which run all year round, which in turn can be used to explore all of the Northern as well as Southern archipelago.
Grab your ferry/boat at Saltholmen, 426 76 Västra Frölunda, Sweden.
Where To Go When Food Is Mood
1. Upper House Dining
Address: Massans Gata 24, 25th floor Tower 2, Gothia Towers, Gothenburg 402 26
Perched on the 25th Floor of the magnificent Gothia Towers, the Upper House Dining’s wide range of cuisines and dishes is sure to allure your taste-buds. Experience exquisite fine-dining with a lavish atmosphere, while also being rewarded with a splendid view of the city sprawled out in front of you.
What to Eat: Taste the famous Gothenburg reindeer meat here.
Budget: 995 SEK-1400 SEK
2. SK Mat & Manniskor
Address: 24 Johannebergsgatan, Gothenburg 412 55, Sweden
Another venue for a great fine-dining experience, SK Mat and Manniskor is known for their collection of the finest wine of Scandinavia.
Their menu comprises of a multi-cuisine collection of dishes and boasts a varied range of sample menus and tasting menu, all curated by the restaurant’s Top Chef which include a mix of char, reindeer meat and lobsters, all of which are known to be specialities of Sweden.
What to Eat: Spend a romantic evening with your loved one while having the smoked mackerel along with a glass of fine wine.
Budget: Their sample menus start from 595 SEK
Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 5.00 PM onwards.
Stigbergsliden 17, 414 63 Göteborg, Sweden
If upscale is not your vibe, HOZE is the perfect place for you to find the best street food of Gothenburg.
The little restaurant has only six seats and offers a unique blend of Japanese and Nordic culture, both in its food as well as its ambience. Being one of the very few places where you can have a one-to-one chat with the Chef of the restaurant, HOZE promises to offer you the best of the best which will keep your taste buds tantalizing for more!
What to Eat: the Sushi at HOZE is made from freshly caught Scandinavian fish and is delicious.
Budget: The main course starts at SEK 1950
Opening hours: Wed-Sat: 7 PM- 9.30 PM
Address: Vasaplatsen 3, 411 26 Göteborg, Sweden
Gothenburg is often regarded as the culinary capital of Sweden. Hence it is quite obvious that if you’re craving for some traditional Swedish food, Gothenburg is the place to find them all.
Smaka is the heart of Swedish culinary art and is known to uphold the traditional Swedish heritage with it’s richly curated menu which consists of some of the best Swedish food. With fast service and impeccable food, Smaka has gained a spot in the list of favourites of foodies and is also famous for their fresh beer.
What to Eat: Swedish meatballs with some Salmon and mashed potatoes to top it with is the most desirable dish of visitors here
Budget: Main Course starts at 140 SEK
Opening hours: Mon-Wed, Sat-Sun: 5.00 pm-3.00 am
Address: Lilla torget 1, 411 18 Göteborg, Sweden
Taste the best seafood with a unique touch of Western delicacies here. Fiskekrogen is a popular restaurant in Gothenburg and is famous for providing top class service and food. The restaurant also offers events like lobster fishing, cooking classes and wine tasting.
What to Eat: Shellfish is a speciality of the restaurant and is a must-try.
Budget: Tasting menu starts from 895 SEK
Opening Hours: Mon-Thurs: 5.30pm-10.00pm
DO’S AND DON’TS
Some Tips To Follow To Have A Hassle-free Trip To Gothenburg
1. Since Gothenburg can be a bit on the expensive, try to save money by staying at hostels which cost 250 SEK per night than opting for fancy hotels which cost 800-1,000 SEK per night at the least. Save on travelling across the city by getting a bus or tram card which help reduce costs incurred on daily travel by 200 SEK.
2. Weather changes are not uncommon here and don’t be surprised if you suddenly see dark clouds hovering over your heads in the middle of a bright, sunny day. Carrying clothing and umbrellas would be advisable to avoid getting drenched.
3. During summers, take light clothing, swimwear but always remember to carry an umbrella and a light sweater with you. Winters are very cold in Sweden, so you want to stay layered. Carry thermals, coats, scarves and anything that you think might cover you against the chilly winds.
4. Fine-dining restaurants follow a specific dress code, and a dress for women and trousers and shirt for men should suffice. Avoid wearing exposed or tight clothing when visiting religious places to avoid undue attention.
5. One can also explore Gothenburg on foot, so make sure you carry a pair of good, sturdy shoes.
6. Avoid paying 20-30 SEK for bottled water. There are a lot of places to fill your water bottle all around the city, for free!
7. Even though Gothenburg is one of the safest places in Sweden and also the most traveller-friendly, these localities: Hisings Backa and Rannebergen, have been listed by the local police as vulnerable areas so avoiding them would be best for you.
8. Don’t forget to take some sunscreen and a camera to capture all the fun you have at Gothenburg. It has all the perfect elements to fill your Instagram feed!
9. Important Numbers:
Gothenburg Area Code: 31
Emergency Services: 112
Do not be surprised when I tell that this is just the tip of the iceberg! The city, sometimes dubbed as ‘Little London’, has a plethora of activities and places waiting to be explored. With such vastness and growth, there is always something in Gothenburg to appease anyone’s bucket list. Has it made it yours yet?