Gothenburg Visitor Guide 2023: Everything you need to know
Unlike many European cities, Gothenburg doesn't have ancient origins. Instead, it was deliberately built as a trading post back in the seventeenth century during the Swedish Empire's heyday. As the country's largest port, it became an important center for shipping and a driver of the Swedish economy.
The town remains an important port to this day. But after 300 years, the once practical 17th-century streets have acquired a patina of historic charm. There's lots to do in this lively Swedish town, and it offers a way to experience a more down-to-earth, working side of the country away from the more touristy center of Stockholm. Visit Gothenburg, and you'll be immersing yourself in an authentic Swedish city. Drop off your bags at a Gothenburg luggage storage service, and you be able to explore it in comfort.
A weekend in Gothenburg
A weekend in Gothenburg is a good amount of time to see much of what the city has to offer. You'll be able to check off the major sights and get a sense of the city's atmosphere. Leave your heavy bags behind at a Gothenburg bag storage to make your weekend more enjoyable.
- Gothenburg's botanical garden is one of the city's main attractions. Located in the center of the city, the garden features a nature reserve and several greenhouses to ensure something's always in bloom. See some exotic plants and breathe in the tranquil atmosphere of this charming location.
- Liseberg amusement park has been attracting visitors and locals alike since 1923. The old-fashioned charm of the park contrasts with some state-of-the-art roller coasters, and the park also occasionally features shows and festivals.
- See one of the city's hippest neighborhoods at Haga. Once a slum, Haga is now a charming neighborhood of cobbled streets and 19th-century buildings that are home to trendy cafés, bars, restaurants, and boutique stores.
Gothenburg is a great place to explore on foot. As with many cities, wandering at your own pace allows you to really take in the atmosphere of the town and see things you otherwise wouldn't. Drop off your bags at a Gothenburg luggage storage locker so that you're not carrying more than you need to. The lighter you travel, the more you'll be able to focus on enjoying yourself, knowing your belongings will be safely looked after until you return.
Off the beaten path in Gothenburg
Although Gothenburg gets its share of tourists, it doesn't get anything like the numbers Stockholm does. That's part of the appeal of the city. And if you're looking to escape the crowds even more, Gothenburg has plenty of lesser-known attractions that are well worth seeing.
- Explore the islands of the Gothenburg Archipelago. A ferry lets you travel from one small island to the next, visiting quaint fishing villages and hiking in the nature reserves. The southern islands are car-free, making them a great place to explore and get away from the noise of the city.
- Universeum is a must-see if you're visiting Gothenburg with kids. This interactive museum explains science and nature in a fun way. Check out the ocean zone to see live sharks and stingrays, or wander through the indoor tropical rainforest. It's the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.
- Explore Sweden's Cold War secrets at the Aeroseum. This subterranean hanger at the airport was a secret until the 1990s and the fall of the Soviet Union. Now, it's an aviation museum that shows off warplanes from the era. You can climb into the cockpit of the planes and even take control in the realistic flight simulator.
What to do alone in Gothenburg
Being alone in Gothenburg doesn't mean you'll lack things to do. This safe city is ideal for solo exploration, and whether you're here on business or for pleasure, you'll find plenty to keep you occupied. Drop off your bags at a Gothenburg suitcase storage to make things easier as you enjoy the city solo.
- Gothenburg's Fish Market looks almost like a church, and in fact its name in Swedish means 'fish church'. Open since 1874, this is the place to buy fresh seafood. If you're not cooking for yourself, there are also two great restaurants at the market that make it well worth visiting.
- See Gothenburg's shipping heritage in a unique way at Maritima. The 15 ships that make up this attraction function as a floating museum of the city's naval heritage. You'll even find a destroyer and a submarine to explore.
- Explore the city from a unique angle with a Paddan tour. These flat-hulled boats are perfect for exploring the waterways of the city, and a knowledgeable guide will explain the historic buildings you're seeing. The sea has defined Gothenburg since it was founded, so this is the perfect way to explore the city.
The best souvenirs in Gothenburg
The Dala wooden horse is an ancient symbol of Sweden, and these colorfully decorated items make great souvenirs. You can find a good selection at Haga of Sweden. Of course, jewelry is also a great gift, and at Efva Attling, you can browse a selection of pieces from this Gothenburg designer. If you're after something more quintessentially Swedish, Sandqvist sells bags inspired by the country's nature and city lifestyles.