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15 Best Things to See and Do in Gothenburg

Gothenburg is the second most important city to visit in Sweden, behind its capital, Stockholm. It is a city with great historical and cultural importance, as well as being very modern. Despite being a city with many places to visit, I recommend that you dedicate 1 night/2 days to it. With this time you have enough time to know the most essential places.

In this post I talk about the 15 things to see and do in Gothenburg and if you still do not have accommodation you can read the post, where to stay in Gothenburg; best areas and hotels.


1. Visit Gothenburg City Hall

The City Hall is one of the most impressive buildings to see in Gothenburg. It is located in the pretty Gustav Adolfs Torg. The city hall has always been in the same place, since the city was founded in 1621. The construction of the town hall was completed in 1672, but over the years the building became too small for a city which was growing very rapidly. For this reason, in 1912, the architect Gunnar Aspjund won a competition and enlarged and reformed it using a functionalist style. It combined the old and the new part, obtaining great international recognition.

2. Do not miss taking an excursion to the Archipelago in the south of Gothenburg

One of the most recommended activities to do in Gothenburg is to visit its Archipelago. It is an activity that will take you half a day.

From the Saltholmen tram stop, on the outskirts of the city, you will have to board a boat that will take you to the islands of the Southern Archipelago. Cars are prohibited from driving on these islands, so it is a perfect destination to relax. The landscapes are beautiful and you can walk among charming little houses and enjoy the peace that reigns in the area.

Getting to the islands is very easy. You must arrive at Saltholmen (accessible by tram 11) and there take the boat that touches depending on the island you go to. The two most visited are Donsö and Vrångö and can be done on the same day. Regarding the price, you don't have to worry. These ferries are part of public transport, so they are very cheap.

3. Find the oldest building in the city

The Kronhuset is the oldest building that we can find in Gothenburg. It was built in 1654 as a warehouse for military uniforms and is currently used as a concert hall. It is at the back of the Town Hall and its red bricks make it unmistakable. The Kronhuset was built in a beautiful Dutch style, and apart from the brick walls and ceiling, it is made entirely of wood.

4. Visit the Cathedral, an essential building to see in Gothenburg

It is the second largest cathedral in Sweden after Uppsala. On the same site as the current one, there was a temporary church known as the Gothenburg Stave Church. It remained there for 12 years, until, in 1633, construction began on the first version of the Gothenburg Cathedral. The one we know today dates from the year 1827 and is the third, the previous two were destroyed by fire.

5. Cross the Fountain Bridge

Gothenburg has beautiful canals through which you can walk along the banks, cross bridges enjoying the views or navigate through them. I advise you to do all three. If you want to take one of the best panoramic views of the city you will have to go to the Fountain Bridge. The first bridge built in the same place was made of wood and four lions appeared on it. However, the next bridge no longer had the sculptures and in 1991 it was decided to create them again, the work of Camilla Bergman.

6. Take a walk through the canals of Gothenburg

One of the most recommended activities to do in Gothenburg is to take a walk sailing through its canals. There are several options. You have the tourist boats, the motorboats… but all the options follow the same route. It is a great way to enjoy the canals and have another perspective of the city.

7. Stroll through the historic center of Gothenburg

The historic center of Gothenburg has a very special charm. In addition to finding emblematic historical buildings, they have a lot of small alleys, full of flowers in summer, small shops selling artisan and local products, cafes... Personally, the best of Gothenburg lies hidden in these streets.

8. Götaplatsen square and its Neptune

Götaplatsen Square is the cultural center of Gothenburg. It is surrounded by the concert hall, the theater and the Art Museum. In the square you will find a fountain that attracts a lot of attention. Built by Carl Milles in 1921, the fountain has become a symbol and a tribute to Gothenburg's marine tradition. The city has grown thanks to its port, which is the only one that has thawed water all year round, being the most important in the Nordic countries.

9. Climb the Skansen Kronan and enjoy the best views of the city

The Skansen Kronan fortress was built to defend Gothenburg from Danish threats in 1697. Fortunately for the Swedes, the attacks did not come and its cannons were unused for many years.

The building has had different uses; it was used as a prison, it was a private residence during the 19th century and later in the 20th century it became a military museum. It currently houses a restaurant. Come closer to enjoy the views that you have of Gothenburg.

10. Visit the Gothenburg Botanical Garden

Gothenburg's botanical garden is one of the largest in Europe. In its 175 hectares it has tree species and flowers from almost all over the world. The ideal dates to visit it due to the weather are the months of May to September. For me, a fan of plants and I don't miss any botanical garden in the cities I visit, the Gothernburg Botanical Garden is one of the best I've seen in the whole world.

11. Stroll through Lilla Bommen

A different plan to do in Gothenburg is to walk along this promenade. It is located in one of the most beautiful areas of the city. From there you can have privileged views of the Opera and enjoy a maritime atmosphere. There are several restaurants and it is a good area to go for a drink.

12. Try local specialties at Stora Saluhallen

This historic building is a food market that was founded in 1887 and is a delight for food lovers. There are plenty of little stalls where you can find all kinds of typical products: chocolates, varieties of soups and stews, even reindeer... It's a good option to eat cheap, trying a little from each stop.

13. Stroll through Haga Nygata, the most beautiful street in Gothenburg

Haga is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and it is home to the most beautiful street in Gothenburg, the Haga Nygata. The street is full of wooden houses that house shops, cafes...

14. Have fun at the Liseberg amusement park

If you have time, you can add an extra day to your Gothenburg itinerary to enjoy its amusement park. It is the largest amusement park in the country and where you will find attractions for all ages.

15. Visit the Universeum Museum, a unique experience to have in Gothenburg

Near the Liseberg amusement park is this museum that will allow you to experience the sensation of being in the middle of the jungle, among many other experiences. It is a didactic museum with activities.



I hope you enjoy your trip to Sweden a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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