Early fall is a great time to visit Gothenburg, Sweden. The students are back at the local universities, which gives any city a certain energy. You’ll also find fewer crowds than other times of the year, agreeable weather, some of the best people in the world, and plenty of serious awesomeness to see and do.
Sweden’s second largest city is an important port city, quickly growing in popularity due to a variety of attractions including of course, MacSysAdmin. In addition to popular tourist destinations, there are special events held in September, charming canals that stretch through the city and beautiful neo-classical architecture everywhere you look. Great food at every corner, a vibrant shopping scene, and all the nature you can ask for right at your doorstep are just a handful of reasons that make Gothenburg so unique.
Walk and Ride Around the City
Much of Gothenburg can be explored by walking. I usually register at least 10 kilometers a day when I’m there, but longer distances can be covered via the simple public transportation provided by the city. I recommend the Gothenburg Card that allows you to use all public transportation, and gets you free admissions to museums, parks, and a number of entertainment venues. The card is 40 Euro for 24 hours, 56 Euro for 48 hours, or 72 Euro for 72 hours.
Explore Gothenburg’s Canals by Boat
Just arrived in Gothenburg? A trip through the seemingly endless canals and moats is the best way to get a good overview of the city. Ride in a Paddan boat underneath dozens of bridges, along famous sights, and through scenic waterways while learning all about the city’s exciting history. Boats depart 2-3 times per hour from Kungsportsplatsen right in the center of Gothenburg. Walking along the Canals is also a wonderful way to see the city, especially so you can catch a sunset during your travels!
Visit the Archipelago of Gothenburg
Just outside of Gothenburg lies a breathtaking chain of islands that are home to fantastic beaches, seals, and romantic villages. Several boats drive along the car-free islands, where you can hop off and go for walks. This unique little trip is definitely worth including in any Gothenburg itinerary. You can also easily get there on tram 11 from Gothenburg to the Saltholmen boat terminal.
Shop Till Ya’ Drop
Gothenburg provides a veritable cornucopia of shopping outlets. You’ll find everything from large modern shopping malls like the Nordstan to designer boutiques to vintage shops. Candy, crafts, fashion, electronics, and even toothpaste. Stroll around trendy neighborhoods like Haga and Magasinsgatan that are packed with cool cafés and bistros or, if you’re looking for a broader selection of shopping and nightlife options, walk around the Avenyn Boulevard that stretches from Kungsportsplatsen to Gotaplatsen and along several side streets.
Try the Food
With direct access to the North Sea, it’s no wonder that fresh seafood can be found at every corner – nothing beats fresh fish, oysters, lobsters, shrimp, and of course brilliant salmon. If waking up early isn’t an issue for you, head down to the fishing port where Sweden’s largest fish auction kicks off at 06:30. And while you’re out, try the Tunnsbrödsruller, the Swedish answer to hot dog – sausage, mashed potatoes and lettuce rolled in soft flat bread. If you find yourself in a café make sure to try the Swedish cinnamon rolls, but do yourself a favor and stay away from the salted licorice!
Pet Some Animals
You can pet some animals, visit with woodland creatures like deer and owls, and try and get a donkey to clear out of the road while you’re walking by at Slottsskogen. Stunning woodlands that have been protected as a park since 1874, with plenty of trails, spaces, animals, and Pokéstops, it’s a must!
Visit a Museum
Although Gothenburg offers so many things to do outdoors (and by September I want to spend most of my time outdoors – Winter Is Coming after all), the weather sometimes turns and we retreat indoors. One lovely way to spend some time in Gothenburg is in their wonderful museums. If you love you some science then Universum (https://www.universeum.se/en/) is your answer. Want to know more about the city’s history and its culture? Head off to the Gothenburg City Museum (http://goteborgsstadsmuseum.se/en) for interesting facts and insights – by the way, the museum is home to a real Viking ship, Sweden’s only surviving one. Love cars & machines? Whether you’re young or old, you will love the Volvo Museum (http://www.volvomuseum.com/) that will show you everything you ever wanted to know about Volvo and more. Want to check out some fine art? Visit the Museum of Fine art. It’s cool. But check out the others first, as they’re some of the more unique museums you’ll visit.
Catch Some Sportsball
Sports fans won’t want to miss the Gothenburg Basketball Festival, where young players from 20 different nations come together for the largest basketball tournament in the world. Every competitor is under the age of 20, and games are played at more than 30 courts throughout the city. Who knows, maybe you’ll get to see the next Jonas Jerebko before they end up at the Celtics!
Visit the Book Fair
Bibliophiles will enjoy the Goteborg Book Fair, which features many celebrated authors. Here you can attend seminars, exhibitions, and enjoy a variety of activities geared towards book lovers. The fair is held in the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre.
Check Out Other Beautiful Nordic Destinations
If you’re coming through Gothenburg, you’re in Sweden. Stockholm is the largest city in Sweden and easily accessible by trains that take you through stunning countryside while you swipe away at those elusive Charmanders. Oslo, Norway is close, as is Copenhagen. But as with many places, more important than the big cities in the region are the plethora of adorable small cities and towns that dot the landscape.
Get Your Rollercoaster On
Opened in 1923, Liseberg Amusement Park is home to roller coasters (41 rides!), a beautiful garden, and all the craptastic fair food you can stomach (and a vegetarian menu btw). There’s also The best wooden rollercoaster in the world, which is the name of the coaster, not an award it’s been given. And if you’ve got any energy left, you can catch a show at the Stora Scenen, an attached concert venue. If you get there in later October, you can also catch the Halloweeeeeeen festivities there!
Grab a Drink
Gothenburg also has a vibrant night life. If you happen to be in Gothenburg for MacSysAdmin, which is when I make my annual pilgrimage there, chances are you can easily find me at the Bishop’s Arms, the Dubliner, or the bar in whatever hotel you’re in. And there are plenty of night clubs if you want to go dancing (Glow and Parken), cafes for lounging, and of course, McDonald’s for getting a few calories back in your system after hours of cavorting with friends.
I have a lot of friends that visit Gothenburg frequently, or live there. What did I miss, what are some of your favorite spots, or stories of Gothenburg?