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Goteborg, Sweden

Gothenburg (Swedish: Göteborg, pronounced "Yeutebory") is the second largest city in Sweden with approximately over 500,000 inhabitants in the municipality. It is situated on Sweden's west coast at the outlet of the Göta river. Much like its surrounding region, Västergötland, Gothenburg is known for its industrial backbone, notably hosting the Volvo Group and Volvo Cars headquarters.
Far from the grim industrial city one might imagine, Gothenburg is green and making the most of its riverine and maritime location, featuring many parks and canals. There are also many historic monuments from its relatively short but glorious past, and evidence of the Dutch-sourced city planning which makes Gothenburg share traits with Amsterdam and Jakarta. It also has a youthful side to it, with over 60,000 students (Gothenburg University is the largest in Scandinavia). Gothenburg has a reputation... Read more

Goteborg, Sweden


Gothenburg (Swedish: Göteborg, pronounced "Yeutebory") is the second largest city in Sweden with approximately over 500,000 inhabitants in the municipality. It is situated on Sweden's west coast at the outlet of the Göta river. Much like its surrounding region, Västergötland, Gothenburg is known for its industrial backbone, notably hosting the Volvo Group and Volvo Cars headquarters.
Far from the grim industrial city one might imagine, Gothenburg is green and making the most of its riverine and maritime location, featuring many parks and canals. There are also many historic monuments from its relatively short but glorious past, and evidence of the Dutch-sourced city planning which makes Gothenburg share traits with Amsterdam and Jakarta. It also has a youthful side to it, with over 60,000 students (Gothenburg University is the largest in Scandinavia). Gothenburg has a reputation of being a friendly place, even more welcoming than Stockholm, the Swedish capital.

Gothenburg is a city founded at the beginning of the 17th century by the Swedish King, Gustav II Adolf (see also Nordic history). It was once the center of the Swedish shipbuilding industry but with rising competition from foreign ship yards, many of the dry docks had to close down. Much of the inner harbor area has changed from industrial ship building to high technology and education, representative of the general change in the city. Today Gothenburg has both international sporting events, concerts, and conventions as well as a small town feel.
Politically it is dominated by the left-wing Social Democrats and has been for many years, though Swedish politics is moving slightly to the right.


The working-class history is easily visible, for example in the harbor area. Traditionally there has been few fashion houses or posh cafeterias, but that has changed in recent years with the reconstruction of the indoor malls in the city center and with the opening of quite a number of American-styled coffee shops. In the city centre—where the University of Gothenburg is located—there are many students.
The intonation (which is however neither a dialect nor an accent) of the Gothenburgers is, for other Swedes, associated with cheerfulness and witty humor.

Tourist information

There are two tourist information offices in central Gothenburg - one in the Nordstan shopping center (next to the central train station) and one on Kungsportsplatsen about ten minutes walk from Nordstan. Gothenburg's official tourist website is another source of information.
Gothenburg offers the Gothenburg City Card, which allows entry into many tourist attractions, grand houses, museums as well as offering free travel on trams and buses and free parking. Among attractions covered are Ringlinien vintage train, admission to




, free travel with Paddan boat, boat trip to New Älvsborg Fortress, guided tour by bus, Museum of World Culture, Gothenburg Natural History Museum, Gothenburg City Museum, Gothenburg Art Museum, Röhsska Museum, Maritime Museum Aquarium, Medical History Museum, The Sports Museum,


, Casino Cosmopol, Gothenburgs utkiken, Guided tour of Gunnebo House, The Garden Society of Gothenburg, Greenhouses in the Botanical Garden, Röda Sten, Stinsen Sightseeing, Aeroseum, Volvo Museum, Mölndals Museum Recently, this card was made available to people's mobile phones, making it not only the most cost-effective means of sightseeing but also the most convenient.
In case official tourist information is unavailable, Gothenburgers are usually more than willing to help.


Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Goteborg, Sweden: Port Information

​​​There are 2 cruise terminals and 2 quays.
  • Arendal Cruise Terminal is located in about a 20-minute ride from the city center
  • American Cruise Terminal is within walking distance of the center
Both terminals offer great facilities.
The largest vessels dock at Skandiahamnen – just in 15-20 minutes by bus from the city center.

Get around Goteborg, Sweden

Public transportation within Gothenburg (and the west of Sweden) is operated by Västtrafik 1 and consists of trams, buses, and ferries.
Public transport in Gothenburg can be very slow. For example, to cross one side of the city to the other can take up to an hour (to cross 10 km). However, inside the central area, transport is fairly rapid.
The local transport company (Västtrafik) has removed maps from just about all the tram stops; be prepared and have a map ready before you get there.


By tram

Gothenburg has a famous network of trams, covering most of the city. With over 150 km the Gothenburg tram is the largest light rail network in Scandinavia. The network consists of 12 tram lines, 1 to 11 and 13, and every line except no 8 passes through the main tram stop Brunnsparken ('Well Park'). It is located one tram stop or a 2 minute walk from the train station, Centralstationen. The trams run approximately every 8–10 minutes during daylight and twice every hour at night, at weekends the trams run every 15–30 minutes. This and the boats Paddan (operating from Kungsportsplatsen) is the best way to see the city as they run above ground at a comfortable yet quick pace.

By bus

Trams are the most efficient way to travel within the city center, but if you're planning to go further you might need to go by bus. Bus lines heading in the same direction often departs from the same part of the city. There is no real equivalent to the large central tram and bus stop Brunnsparken—most others are divided into several "smaller" hubs, which you often reach by tram.

By ferry

Two ferry services run across the river; Älvsnabben is the regular ferry service with traffic every thirty minutes and Älvsnabbare that only run between Rosenlund and Lindholmspiren (free of charge) during work hours. Besides transport, this can be a good way to see the city from the river.
Ferries to the southern archipelago run from Saltholmen, with three different lines: Vrångö line, Brännö Rödsten line and the less trafficated Förö line. The service runs once an hour or less.
Styrsöbolaget 4 run the ferry services under license of Västtrafik - you can still use the city public transport ticket. On their homepage can you find time tables and more information about the islands.

By taxi

There are several taxi companies, for example, Taxi Göteborg (031-650000), Taxi Kurir (031-272727) and Minitaxi (031-140140). Every taxi must have comparing prices well visible according to law, and it's often placed in the side window. No 1 is daytime, no 2 is rush hour and no 3 is for night time service, and then you see the initial fare, price per hour, price per kilometer and comparing prices for a typical journey.
Note that prices between companies vary.
Illegal taxis, called "svarttaxi", are operating, particularly during Friday and Saturday nights. They are generally cheaper, but using them is not advised, particularly for women or drunk passengers, since muggings and rapes have occurred involving illegal taxis.

By bicycle

Gothenburg has a nice network of bicycle paths, reaching all parts of the city. You can buy network maps at the tourist information centers.
You can bring your bike on the ferries, on some trains but not on trams or buses. The service is free on Älvsnabben.
You can rent a bike from Cykelkungen.
In the most central parts, there is an automated loan bike system Styr & Ställ.

By foot

With a compact city center, most sights are easily reached by foot, and it's a nice way to get around.
Popular walks around the city include the nature reserve around the lake Delsjön, the park Slottskogen, the botanical garden, on any of the islands in the southern archipelago, or in the neighborhood Haga.


What to see in Goteborg, Sweden

Notable buildings

  • Gothenburg Cathedral, Västra Hamngatan. Built in 1815.
  • Christinae Church (German Church), Norra Hamngatan. Built in 1748.
  • Crown House (Kronhuset), Postgatan. Built in 1643-1655, and briefly a home of the Swedish Parliament. It currently houses Göteborgs Musik, and the surrounding buildings are now cafes and crafts workshops.
  • Oscar Fredrik Church, Värmlandsgatan. The largest and most well-decorated church. Built in 1893.
  • Skansen Kronan (Crown Keep). A hilltop fortification, southwest of the city center, built in the 17th century. In the 19th century, it served as a prison and now houses a military museum. Its twin Skansen Lejonet (Lion Keep) unfortunately finds itself in the middle of a railroad and industrial area but guided tours are held the first and third Sunday of every month.
  • Close to Skansen Kronan is Haga, a city district with picturesque wooden houses from the 19th century. Don't forget to explore the more bohemian Långgatan streets (Första, Andra, Tredje and Fjärde Långgatan) nearby.
  • Feskekörka, Rosenlundsgatan. Tue-Fri 10-6pm, Sat 10-3pm. The indoor Fish Market, called "Feskekörka" (Fish Church) because of the shape of the building, is located by the canal near the harbor.
  • Skanskaskrapan (Läppstiftet), Lilla Bommen, ☎ +46 31156147. Jul-Aug, daily, 11:00-16:00 (lift goes several times per hour); rest of the year: Mon-Fri, 11:00-15:00 (lift goes every hour). Informally called "the lipstick" by the local, it features a viewing platform at 86 meters, which offers great views over the city. 
  • Guldhedstornet, Dr. Sven Johanssons backe 1, ☎ +46 31 - 82 00 09. May till October. At 130 meters above sea level, this is the highest point and the highest café in Gothenburg. Sitting inside with a panorama view, or outside on the balcony, you get a view of the downtown, the old and new harbors, the Göta Älv River, the sea (Kattegat), the archipelago, the suburbs and the hilly, forested areas surrounding the city.


  • Gothenburg Art Museum (Göteborgs Konstmuseum), Götaplatsen, ☎ +46 31 368 35 00. Housed in a magnificent edifice flanked by the theater and concert hall, it features a world-class collection of Nordic art. The adjacent Hasselblad Center periodically holds public exhibitions. The Art Hall (free entrance) features contemporary art.
  • Gothenburg City Museum (Göteborgs Stadsmuseum), Norra Hamngatan 12, ☎ +46 31-368 36 00. Covers the history of the city and region from prehistoric times to the present, with emphasis on the 19th-century Swedish East India Company, which was once housed in the building.
  • Universeum, Södra Vägen 50 (Liseberg), ☎ +46 31-335 64 50. A new museum focusing on the environment with an indoor rainforest, experiment workshop etc.
  • Museum of World Culture (Världskulturmuseet), Södra Vägen 54 (Liseberg). Tue, Thu, Fri 12-5 pm, Wed 12-8 pm, Sat-Sun 11-5 pm, Mon closed. A cultural counterpart to the science-oriented Universeum, it's a museum of ethnography and anthropology, with a thoroughly contemporary approach. There are regular special events such as concerts, films, and lectures. Free entrance to some of the museum's exhibits.
  • Maritiman (Between GöteborgsOperan and Kajskjul 8). Packhuskajen 8½. "The world's biggest floating museum of ships" consists of 19 boats of all sizes. The biggest attraction is the former military destroyer Småland
  • Maritime Museum, Stigbergstorget, Majorna, explains the maritime history of Gothenburg, West Sweden and of the fishing industry; has models of sailing ships. There is a lookout, in a pillar of the "Seamans wife," just by the museum where you can view the harbor.
  • Gothenburg Natural History Museum (Göteborgs Naturhistoriska Museum), Slottsskogen (Linnéplatsen), ☎ +46 10441 44 00. Tue-Sun: 11:00-17:00, closed on Mondays. The oldest museum in Gothenburg includes a stuffed blue whale and is situated in Slottsskogen.
  • Swedish Ship Götheborg. A reconstruction of the mid-18th century East Indiaman Götheborg. During summer 2015 the ship is open for visits at Stenpiren close to the city center.
  • Volvo Museum, Arendal Skans (Hisingen), ☎ +46 31 664814. Tue-Fri: 10:00 - 17:00, Sat-Sun: 11:00 – 16:00, public holidays: closed. Yes of course, in the hometown of Volvo you can view the past and present models of the Swedish car.
  • The Röhsska Museum. The national museum of Swedish design and applied art.
  • Gothenburg Radio Museum. Anders Carlssons gata 2 (Götaverkens industriområde).
  • KA 4 Museum and the Fort of Oskar II. A museum at the former Coast Artillery Regiment at Käringberget. Irregular opening hours.
  • Aeroseum. At Säve Depå, is an aircraft museum in a former military under ground Air Force base. It's located on the Hisingen bypass (Hisingeleden), at the opposite side of the airstrip to Gothenburg City Airport. Also home of the annual Göteborg Aero Show and other events.
  • Röda Sten (Tram 3 or 9 to Vagnhallen Majorna, then walk). Tuesday-Sunday 12-17, Wednesday 12-19. Edgy art hall in an old industrial furnace station covered in graffiti.

Parks and Gardens

  • Slottsskogen, tram stop Linnéplatsen, a big English garden close to the Botanical Garden and a popular spot for relaxing and picnics. Within the park, you'll find the Museum of natural history, an observatory, a mini golf course, and a child zoo. In the zoo, you can also pay a visit to the quintessential Swedish animal: the älg, also known as moose. Slottskogen is famed for its valley with over 60 different kinds of Azalea that blooms during early summer. The museum and the zoo don`t have an entry fee. Slottskogen can be very crowded with people going for a barbecue in Summer. On the night before the 1st of May, there is usually a big bonfire in the park, which is worth watching.
  • Botaniska Trädgården (Botanical Gardens), Carl Skottbergs gata 22, ☎ +46 31 741 11 00. 9AM-sundown. Built in 1923, the botanical gardens has an area of 175 hectares and was selected as the most beautiful garden in Sweden in 2003. It contains a rock garden, arboretum, and greenhouses, along with a restaurant and café. Don't miss the rare Easter Island tree. Free entrance, except for the greenhouse.
  • Trädgårdsföreningen. A picturesque garden in the city center with a very nice collection of roses awarded with three stars in the Guide Michelin.

What to do in Goteborg, Sweden

  • Liseberg. The biggest amusement park in all of Scandinavia, with lots of different rides for all ages. Be sure to try Balder, the new wooden roller-coaster. Liseberg is the number one attraction, by the number of visitors, in Sweden.
  • Paddan. The tourist boats run in the city canals and in the harbor.
  • In summer, you can go canoeing in or walking around the lake Delsjön. Only 6 km from the city center, it can be a good way to experience nature.
  • Lisebergslinjen. Is a vintage tram line that runs during summer from the central station to Liseberg.
  • Börjessons. Does tourist boat tours in the archipelago every day in the summer and is very popular.
  • Southern Archipelago. For a low price one can visit the islands in the southern archipelago with regular passenger boats. These islands are car free and very picturesque. The boats go from the tram stop "Saltholmen." Note that it is difficult to park there. Tram tickets are valid on the boat too.
  • Charter a Sailing Yacht
  • The square at the top of Avenyn is the location of the magnificent Gothenburg Concert Hall and the city's drama theatre.
  • Gothenburg Walkabout Tours, Gustav Adolfs Torg (Tram/bus to Brunnsparken), e-mail: Free walking tours of Gothenburg running all year round in English. Mainly catered to backpackers and budget travelers but all welcome. Tours must be pre-booked either by email or on the webpage. Free.

Concert/Entertainment Venues

  • Göteborgs konserthus (Concert Hall), Götaplatsen, ☎ +46 31-726 53 10. The concert hall is home of the Göteborgs Symfoniker (Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra) which is the National Orchestra of Sweden and offers regular concerts there.
  • Göteborg Stadsteater (City Theatre), Götaplatsen 4, ☎ +46 31-7087100.
  • GöteborgsOperan (Opera House), Christina Nilssons Gata, ☎ +46 31 - 10 80 00. By Lilla Bommen is the modern opera house of Gothenburg where great operas are performed regularly.
  • Lorensbergsteatern, Berzeliigatan 4.


  • The Cortège. Every year students from Chalmers University organize the carnival parade on Walpurgis Night (30 April). The parade starts at Gibraltargatan next to the campus, proceeds via Läraregatan, Viktor Rydbergsgatan, Kungsportsavenyn, Vasagatan, Aschebergsgatan back to the campus and takes about 2 hours. During about a week before the parade, the students construct the different vehicles on campus next to Gibraltargatan. Free.
  • Every year in February, the town is invaded by cinema buffs for the annual Gothenburg Film Festival. The festival, which is growing every year, is now one of the major Scandinavian movie festivals.
  • Julstaden the Christmas celebration takes place in December. The city center is filled with Christmas lights and various activities. The event has become a popular tourist attraction.
  • VROM (Volvo Rendezvous for Owners & Members). An annual meeting for Volvo enthusiasts.
  • Since 2007 Gothenburg has its own Pride festival called West Pride.
  • Göteborg Aero Show. Sweden's major annual air show, attracting tens of thousands of spectators every year
  • Way Out West. A yearly music festival held in Slottskogen, usually in August.

What to eat and drink in Goteborg, Sweden


The main restaurant street in Gothenburg is Linnégatan running from Järntorget to Linnéplatsen. It has a high concentration of good restaurants of all kinds in the low to moderate price range.


In the summertime, there are outdoor serving along Avenyn and Linnégatan.
You can pick up the free Nöjesguiden and Djungeltrumman magazines in various stores to read more about Gothenburg's nightlife. They are only available in Swedish though.

  • Ölhallen 7:an, Kungstorget 7, +46 31-136079. One of the best places for good beer, and the only traditional "Beer-hall" left in the city. It is situated next to Saluhallen.
  • The Rover, Andra långgatan 12, close to Järntorget, is a freehouse known for its knowledgeable staff. Specializes in Swedish micros on tap and US micros on bottle. Has Gothenburg's second largest selection of whisky (according to local newspaper G.P.), including the Swedish brand "Mackmyra."
  • Kellys, Andra Långgatan 28. Cheap beer. Lots of vegan food. Mixed crowd of middle-aged regulars and young people.
  • Sejdeln, Andra Långgatan 28. When Kellys is packed Sejdeln is a perfectly adequate option, it's right next to Kellys and has even cheaper beer and roughly the same clientele.
  • Kings Head, Andra Långgatan 32. On this street well known for its cheap pubs and porn stores, this pub is an alternative for those who want to spend time in a little more sophisticated environment. The clientele is more well adjusted in this place.
  • Dancin Dingo, Australian pub on a street parallel to Avenyn. "Let's put another shrimp on the barbie!"
  • Ölrepubliken. A good selection of beers on tap with a bias toward British and Belgian beers, this pub is an excellent alternative to the mid center locations. Found not far from Kronhusbodarna a couple of hundred meters from Nordstan.
  • Heaven 23 Gothia Towers at Korsvägen, one of the finest bars in town if you want cocktails and a nice view.
  • The Bishops Arms A chain of English pubs. In Gothenburg, there are three located at Kungsportsavenyn 36, Västra Hamngatan 3 and Järntorget. Good selection of beer on tap and fine single malt whiskey. A bit pricier than other pubs.
  • Rockbaren A traditional rock bar located in a parallel street to Avenyn, just across from Dancin Dingo.
  • The Rose & Crown, ☎ +46 31-10 58 27. Kungsportsavenyn 6. English pub showing live sports.
  • Jamesons Pub, ☎ +46 31-18 77 70. Kungsportsavenyn 32. Swedish pub with live music.
  • Kontiki Slottsskogen, Storängsgatan 2, ☎ +46 31-821182. 17.00 to 1.00. Restaurant, bar, club near the Gothenburg Botanical garden.
  • 3 små rum, Kristinelundsgatan 4, ☎ +46 31-181904. Mon-Sat: 16.00. The top priority is the well-selected beers both draft and bottled, in combination with carefully selected jazz that flows from the speakers

Shopping in Goteborg, Sweden

Gothenburg's focus is strongly on the industry - it is not especially known for a kind of confectionery or a novelty item like many other historic cities. So, if you are after something made in Gothenburg that the city is famous for, get yourself a Volvo. If you are on a budget, an SKF bearing will do as well.
Otherwise, Gothenburg is rich in shopping opportunities for more mundane or even special products that might not be made locally or be known for being so:
  • Nordstan, Nordstadstorget (Tram and bus stops Nordstaden, Brunnsparken or Lilla Bommen). Opens every day at 10:00, closes 20:00 during the week or 18:00 on weekends, closes only for Midsummer, parking garage open 24/7. Gothenburg's largest shopping center with 180 stores is just outside the Central station, to which it is linked by an underground tunnel. Walkways also link the center to Lilla Bommen and the Opera. Inside you will find the usual mix of convenience stores (including a Systembolaget), global retail formats, including Espirit, H&M and Yves Rocher, as well as an outlet of the Swedish department store chain Åhléns City and some popular Swedish shopfronts such as Hemtex or Nilson Shoes. The center also hosts a Tourist Information stand in its middle.
  • Arkaden (Tram/bus stop Brunnsparken). If you cannot find your favorite retail format at Nordstan, it is probably at the Arkaden
  • NK (Nordiska Kompaniet), Östra Hamngatan 42. Stockholm's famous upscale department store has branched out to Gothenburg, bringing in premium brands such as Paul Smith, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Dior, YSL and Prada, and equally well-known Swedish brands - for instance, the crystal manufacturers Orrefors and Kosta Boda. Situated just opposite Arkaden, the NK also features an upscale-ish cafe and sushi restaurant.
  • Saluhallen, Kungstorget. A charming indoor food hall.

Apart from the abovementioned, the entire island of Inom Vallgraven is one big shopping area, with shopping windows extending along entire streets, so if you want to shop 'til you drop, this is where you should go. For other shopping opportunities, see below:

  • Bengans. Stigbergstorget. A big, famous Swedish record store with lots of records, old and new, in all kinds of genres. You will find something to buy here, no matter if you're a record collector, hipster, or chart music fan. They also have a cafe.
  • There is a regular bus service to Ikea and other "big box" warehouses just outside the city.

Safety in Goteborg, Sweden

Most crimes against tourists are crimes of opportunity, such as pick-pocketing, bicycle theft, auto theft, and auto vandalism. Pickpockets converge in Gothenburg during the summer months so beware. As always, do not leave valuable items in your car, and watch your bag in crowded places. Most shops and all major taxi companies accept credit and debit cards, so there is no need to carry a lot of cash. Downtown Gothenburg is plagued by illegal taxis by night, and they are considered very unsafe, especially for women. Check the taxi rate, which should be on a yellow window sticker. Generally speaking, crime rates in Gothenburg are quite low from an international perspective.

Language spoken in Goteborg, Sweden

Swedish is the national language. English is widely spoken.


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