What used to be passed over as a nondescript port city is now one of Europe’s most sought-after weekend destinations: last year, Gothenburg’s visitor numbers topped four million for the first time. As a result, Sweden’s second-largest city is enjoying a much-needed revival: industrial buildings are being turned into cool hangouts, rundown areas are starting to thrive and the city has made it to number 12 on Forbes’ list of innovative world cities (although still behind Stockholm and Malmö). Think “Berlin cool” but with the friendliness of a small town with pretty cobbled streets. Jump on a bike or tram to explore boroughs, including hip Linnéstaden, bohemian Majorna and former red-light district Rosenlund (it’s Gothenburg’s take on New York’s Meatpacking District – only here it is known as the fish-packing district, thanks to its fish market). And, given the city’s coastal position and beautiful archipelago, spring and early summer are perfect times to visit.
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10 Reasons to visit Gothenburg
1. Visit the splendid Gothenburg Museum of Art
The museum has three stars in Michelin’s Green Guide and houses impressive Nordic collections dating from the 15th century.
2. Go on a day tour of the Gothenburg archipelago
You can get out to craggy coast and picturesque fishing villages in less than an hour.
3. Take a waterside city tour
This classic tour with a Paddan canal boat winds around the moat and canals of the city.
4. Buy shrimps at Feskekôrka
The "Fish Church" is a fish market hall completed in 1874 to a design by the city architect, Viktor von Gegerfeldt. And yes, it does actually look like a church.
5. Coffee in Haga
This charming quarter has a wonderful selection of cafés and small shops. You might like to try a giant cinnamon bun on Haga Nygata.
6. Go on safari through the rainforest at Universeum
At Universeum you can find a rainforest, a huge aquarium and a variety of exotic animals and plants – all under one roof.
7. Shop for Gothenburg designs
Local clothing brands, second-hand items, and interior furnishing are just some of the many treasures you can find while exploring the city.
8. Sample the local cuisine
Visit one of Gothenburg’s restaurants. Seafood is a real specialty here.
9. Delve into a green oasis
Just a stone’s throw from the city centre is the Garden Society of Gothenburg (Trädgårdsföreningen) – one of the best preserved nineteenth-century parks in Europe.
10. Have fun at Liseberg
Head-spinning rides, carousels and concerts are an essential part of summer. In November the park opens its big Christmas market.
GETTING TO GOTHENBURG
The international airport Landvetter (GOT) is located 20 kilometres south-east of the city centre and you can travel from various destinations in Europa and the world. Please note that the smaller Göteborg City Airport (GSE) is no longer in use for commercial flights and will be phased out as from the winter 2015.
It’s easy to get to and from the airport with the shuttle bus service Flygbussarna and the journey time is between 25 and 30 minutes. Buses leave from right outside the terminal building and the final stop is the main bus station Nils Ericssonterminalen in central Gothenburg. Taxi or rental cars are also available at the airport.
Flygbussarna - time table and tickets to the airport shuttle.
Swedavia - Taxi from the airport
Swedavia - Airlines flying to Landvetter
SJ, Västtrafik, Öresundståget, Tågab, NSB and Blå tåget are running frequent services to and from the central station in Gothenburg, connecting the city with the Scandinavian capitals Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen. The journey times are just under 4 hours from Oslo, around 3 hours from Stockholm and 3,5 hours from Copenhagen. The trains from Denmark stop at Copenhagen international airport, making it a convenient option to fly there and catch the train to Gothenburg.
The bus terminal Nils Ericssonterminalen is serviced by long distance and express bus companies like Swebus, Nettbus and Bus4you. You can easily get travel to Gothenburg from major cities in Sweden and Scandinavia. The journey time is around 3,5 hours from Oslo, 6,5 hours from Stockholm, 3,5 hours from Malmö and 5 hours from Copenhagen. Travel by bus in West Sweden with public transport company Västtrafik.
Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Gothenburg has a much milder climate than most other regions in the north.
Being in Sweden, and thus nearer to the Arctic Circle than most places, Gothenburg experiences long, cold winters and short, but warm summers. The city's latitude also insures that during the summer it receives several hours of sunlight per day, up to 20 hours in June, with the opposite taking place in the winter. Days during the month of December in Gothenburg may see as little as 3-4 hours of sunlight. The average temperature during the summer months in Gothenburg is in the mid 70's to low 80's, while the winter months average in the 20's. July through September also sees an increased amount of rainfall over the rest of the year.