Lovers of crime novels will immediately recognize Gothenburg from the books of Åke Edwardson and Helene Tursten. But there’s a whole lot more to this charming Swedish city than just the pretty backdrop to grisly murder cases. We have collected a few tips from myAustrian Fans Olaf and Clara just for you – and here they are!
Sightseeing in a nutshell
To start out with, how about a charming boat tour to give you that all-important first impression of this enticing city? Just make yourselves comfortable in one of the Paddan boats, and you can check out the harbour, moats, and endless canals in just under an hour.
To do this, you’ve got to visit the small islands, or ‘Schären’, lying just off the coast. These are a huge attraction for both visitors and locals alike, and it’s not hard to see why. They are truly stunning and a definite must-see. Just jump on tram no. 11 from Central Gothenburg out to Saltholmen, the quay all the ferries set off from, and before long you’ll be sitting on an island!
Once you’re out there, things get really great – you can jump from the rocks into the sea, find yourselves your very own beach, go for a long walk, or admire the unique flora and fauna. Or maybe do all these things at once. One insider tip: the tiny island (or rather a large rock) of Köpstadsö, better known to the locals as ‘Kössö’. Something like 100 people live here on about a square kilometre of land, transporting their shopping back home from the ferries on wheelbarrows because no motorised traffic is allowed here.
Palm house, penguins and sauna
At nearly 140 hectares in size, Slottsskogen Park is the huge green lungs of the city, and a great place to go for a stroll, jogging, to play football or mini-golf – or just for a picnic. You can also visit the penguins, elks, seals and other animals at the zoo, or observe the fun-loving Swedes playing drinking games. There are also concerts and dance events in the pavilion here every summer.
Just like in Vienna … Err… in Trädgardsföreningen Park. This is also well worth a visit, especially the Palm House, an incredibly charismatic space. Built back in the 19th century, it has a highly romantic, almost playful radiance about it – as so often the case in Sweden. There are also concerts held here during the summer months. No matter what time of year you’re in these parts, though – spring, summer, autumn or winter – Trädgardsföreningen Park Palm House will always be worth dropping in on. It’s enchanting.
The city’s Jubileumsparken 0.5 project is creating a huge revival in the swimming culture at the moment – in the industrial port! This is because huge sections of the city’s free port (‘frihamnen’) are being converted into a residential area, with all those homes and parks and recreational spaces ready just in time to celebrate the city’s 400th jubilee in 2021. There’s already a roller skating rink here, guerrilla gardening – and a pool which is free to anyone who wants to use it! There’s also a sauna that’s accessible all year-round and can be booked (again – free of charge!) by anyone.
Kanelbulle and coffee
The best place to really get to know Gothenburg’s persuasive coffee house culture is the area of Haga. This is the oldest part of the city, and life here is more comfortable and quieter than in the busier city centre, between the districts of Nordstan and Kungsportsplatsen. You’ll find great antiques, second-hand fashion, books, gifts and jewellery in Haga’s countless fascinating small shops and boutiques. Its tempting cafés are a great place to spend time just hanging out and people-watching – and trying the much-loved ‘kanelbulle’, of course. This is a kind of cinnamon bun, and very much a speciality pastry in these parts. You’ll even find the world’s largest kanelbullar at Café Husaren. It looks like this:
Bars, bars and more bars. If you’re on a budget, follow the students to Andra långgatan. This ‘second long road’ is known and loved for its record shops, galleries and restaurants – and you can hardly move without bumping, or stumbling, into a bar. If quality’s your thing rather than quantity, meanwhile, you might think about moving a street further on to Tredje långgatan. Celeb-spotting is the thing to do at the super-cool Magasinsgatan, and there are amazing cocktails at Steampunk Bar on Kungsgatan. Sweden’s best bartenders mix a vast range of exotic drinks here, which are then served in equally weird and wonderful glasses. Things tend to get more traditional at the charismatic Clarion Hotel Post, where you may even get your drink mixed by a winner of the 2015 World Cocktail Championships if you’re lucky. There are breathtaking views to enjoy your drink by at the skybars on top of the Gothia Towers and Hotel Riverton buildings.
After that full-on programme, you’ll probably be wanting to cool off a little – literally speaking! So ladies and gentlemen, just to round off your thrilling visit, please accompany us to the Art Garden Spa, and treat yourselves to some royal relaxation. Have fun in Gothenburg!