Gothenburg is creating quite a buzz right now. Sweden’s most important port has for too long been a low priority for travellers, but it’s decided that while it might be Sweden’s second city, it’s not going to play second fiddle any more.
Gothenburg might not have the good looks and swagger of its big brother Stockholm, but it has just as big a heart – and just as much to commend it.
If people would only look, Gothenburg is a stunningly beautiful city in its own right with its waterside location, green open spaces and fine architecture, and boasts a wide selection of cultural establishments with no shortage of theatres and museums.
When you get there, you’re in for a treat. Home to many Michelin star restaurants, Gothenburg now has an international reputation for producing innovative cuisine, using local produce, mainly north Atlantic fish and shellfish.
Gothenburg is also a shopper’s paradise with most of its department stores within walking distance of each other.
The old district of Haga is like a little oasis in the heart of the city, with its cobblestone cafés in the summer and markets in the autumn. The main street, Kungsportavenyn, known simply as Avenyn, is a hive of restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels and shops and is at the heart of all that goes on in Gothenburg.
Gothenburg is much more compact than the country’s capital Stockholm, and it is possible to see many of its attractions in only a couple of days. Must-see places include museums like the Gothenburg City Museum, Museum of World Culture, Maritime Museum, Natural History Museum, and Kviberg Military Museum. There is even a museum to the Volvo car – the firm was founded here.
The city has many historical buildings, including several forts and cathedrals, and the Crown House, former home of the Swedish Parliament. There is even a life-sized reconstruction of the Swedish Ship Götheborg open for visits in the harbour.
One of the most popular attractions in Gothenburg is Liseberg, Northern Europe’s largest amusement park. It is home to over 35 rides and throughout summer it also stages many shows and concerts.
The Botanical Garden in Gothenburg is one of the largest in Europe and the most beautiful in Sweden boasting about 13,000 different species of plant. The area covers 175 hectares (432 acres), most of which is a nature reserve including an arboretum. Pride of the garden is the Rock Garden, but other worthwhile areas to visit include the Japanese Glade, the Rhododendron Valley and the greenhouses.