Gothenburg Travel Guide
Gothenburg, which sits on the west coast of Sweden, is this country’s second city. Boasting 500,000 residents, it is Stockholm’s more laid-back cousin. While it has an industrial past (Volvo started here), it has cultural and natural attractions.
Experience its museum and art galleries. Linger in Haga, its oldest neighbourhood. Visit its outlying islands. While everyone spends too much time in Stockholm, you’ll be busy discovering the real Sweden! Our travel guide highlights some of the top attractions and things to do in
Begin your time in Gothenburg by paying a visit to the Volvo Museum. As the name suggests, its constructors dedicated this institution to Volvo, Sweden’s famous automaker. Gearheads will be in heaven here, as the displays track this company’s creations from the very beginning.
From the OV4 to its most current line of vehicles, it’s all here. You’ll even get a peek of the future, as the company’s latest concept cars are also on display. However, that’s only half the experience – you’ll also have the opportunity to take a factory tour.
On this adventure, you’ll see how workers assemble Volvo vehicles, from start to finish. Do note that this portion of the tour can be a bit noisy. Hang close to your tour guide – if you can’t hear what they say, ask them to repeat themselves.
Back at the museum, take a second to check out the yacht racing exhibit. In addition to making cars, Volvo actively sponsors yacht races. As such, you’ll get a chance to climb aboard a racing yacht! On your way out, feel free to grab a drink at the on-site cafe.
Cultural attractions may be in short supply in Gothenburg, but their Museum of Fine Art is an exception. Here, visitors will find what many experts consider the best collection of 19th-century Nordic art in the world.
Highlights of the gallery include pieces by Edvard Munch, Anders Zorn, and Carl Larsson. The focus here is on contemporary art from Scandinavia. However, older pieces and those from abroad are also present.
To make the most of your time, start on the top floor. It is there where you’ll find the oldest and most treasured pieces. At the bottom, you’ll encounter more modern pieces. As such, those who venture from top to bottom will experience an orderly progression of artistic styles.
In all, take a couple of hours to appreciate this museum properly. Because of the time required, this attraction is an excellent option for days when the weather is inclement.
Travel back in time to the days of the Cold War by visiting the Aeroseum. You’ll find it 15 kilometres outside Gothenburg, inside bunkers hardened against nuclear attack. Today, though, it plays host to planes that were state-of-the-art during the mid-20th century.
Fighter jets, planes, and helicopters will keep avid war buffs busy all morning/afternoon. Some even have flight simulators adapted to their interiors, allowing occupants to “fly” them. After this, you’ll enjoy other attractions that hold true to the Cold War period. In one room, there are six spy cameras – try to find them all!
Have time to kill on a rainy day? Make room for the Universeum in your travel itinerary. This comprehensive science museum has six different sections, with topics ranging from CSI to venomous reptiles.
Highlights include the Akvariehallen, an aquarium that boasts a 1.4 million litre tank. Within, you’ll get to check out sharks and countless tropical fish. There is also a touch tank featuring stingrays, making this place great for families.
Travelling as a family? Want to embrace your inner child? Make sure to include Liseberg Amusement Park in your Gothenburg schedule. Ever since its opening in 1923, it has consistently ranked among the top amusement parks in the world.
That distinction continues in more recent times. In 2003 and 2005, Balder, a wooden-track roller-coaster, ranked as the best of its kind. In the latter year, Forbes magazine named it to its top ten amusement parks list.
Its attractions range from rides intended for small children to gut-busting coasters that will test your limits. In addition to roller coasters, its flume rides, Ferris wheels, and gyro swings will keep you entertained all day.
Green thumbs will want to spend time at the Gothenburg Botanical Garden. It is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, as the park spans over 175 hectares of land. The main garden area, which is home to 16,000 different species of flowers, trees, and other plants.
The remaining area of the park is given over to woodlands. Hike its trails and experience the sublime beauty of forest bathing.
If the weather cooperates, go on an island-hopping tour of the Southern Goteborg Archipelago. These gorgeous isles are home to 5,000 permanent residents and are a world away from the city of Gothenburg. Linger in a cafe, walk their trails, talk to a local – you’ll treasure the time you spend here!
Back in the city, make time to check out the Gothenburg neighbourhood of Haga. One of the oldest parts of the city, it has a charm that many other areas lack. As you walk along its cobblestone streets, check out the restored homes and its cafes. When you tire of exploring, seek out a cinnamon bun and a coffee, and watch the world go by!