Staycation summer continues. Having fun locally is not difficult at all. After Dalarna the summer continued further south in Sweden. The whole trip had a lot of stops at places like Jönköping, Borås, Halmstad, Båstad, Helsingborg, Malmö, Älmhult etc, etc. But I want to dig a bit deeper into the trip to Göteborg. Here are three days of fun in Göteborg, Sweden’s second largest city and the list of Time Magazine’s list for most intersting places in the world.
Travelling in Sweden. Here outside Helsingborg
Göteborg. 400 years old. It is a big city in the sense that it is spread out. Kind of like Berlin. Also very industrial like Berlin. But where Berlin has a lot of cultural spots, Göteborg has a relaxed family oriented atmosphere. As a Stockholmer I pass this city a few times per year. Not necessarily staying overnight. And when I do, I tend to see the same things I have always done. This time I took the opportunity to do something completely different. And it paid off. Thus – no Avenyn. Well, of course you need to pass it… but more trying to avoid tourist spots like Liseberg, Feskekyrka and Nordstan. Avenyn is the main boulevard in Göteborg and has similar charm like Oxford Street, meaning fast fashion stores and kebabs. Nothing to see here…
Instead I built my three days around this tour.
Starting at Rådhuset or City Hall (looking at the archiecture by renowned Gunnar Asplund), walk to Kronhuset (Göteborg’s second oldest building and from here Swedes were shipped to America), Packhuskajen (a piece of land given to the French to be part of colonisation), Torstenssonska palatsen, the cathedral, window shopping at Victoriapassagen and eating at Magasinsgatan.
The second tour started at Gathenhielmska huset at Pölgatan, Masthugget, Slottsskogen and Botaniska, a bit of Haga and then house spotting at Lorensberg. From here you can to the museums like Konstmuseet and Röhsska (Sweden’s official design museum) and Trädgårdsföreningen.
How do you get around in a large city like this? Of course you use the contemporary vehicle of 2021. Using scooter is very easy, especially now when you can buy daypass. Super efficient. Get a day pass so you dont have to worry about minutes.
Göteborg is a nica walkable town. It has canals and nice houses. Just try to avoid Avenyn… But other than that is is full of fun details and people.
Shopping is not a big thing for Göteborg. You would find the same chains as in Stockholm. Göteborg and this part of Sweden has seen some amazing designers and brands. For instance Anna Elzer Oscarsson, Staffan Holm, Sami Kallio and brands like Dixie, Sloydlab, Korbo etc, etc. But they are not really present in any shops. Not even at the museum shop of Röhsska (again, the official design museum of Sweden).
And before anyone gets upset. I am fully aware that the store Artilleriet is located in Göteborg but it rarely holds any local design and mainly international design. So therefore it’s not really on my list of local things to experience.
Touring Götebord is really about stopping and looking at amazing buildings. Some with great stories, and some just really pretty. Top two images from Kronhuset (second oldest building in Göteborg), old cinema at Masthugget/Majorna and the hot greenhouse at Trädgårn.
One of the places I really wanted to se was “Franska Tomten” or French Quarters. In 18th century the European countries colonised the world. Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain etc.The Swedish king felt left out. Everything was taken… So he made a deal with the French and traded a piece of Göteborg for St Bartholemy in the West Indies. Read more in Swedish here. So this block had French rules, French customs, etc just so the Swedish king could feel he was part of the “international race for colonisation”.
Sweden as a slave nation… We don’t talk a lot about this. And here are traces if this in Göteborg.
Speaking of history… Museums in Göteborg. I really like the large art museum Konstmuseum. A really nice collection and this time an amazing exhibition about art between the world wars. So worth a stop. The same building holds the camera museum of Hasselblad. A luke warm space… Go if you have time. Also in Göteborg is the official museum for design in Sweden. It is called Röhsska. I have omitted Röhsska in this story and that’s because it is really a long story. Difficult to talk about. But I honestly feel they are not doing a proper job. So, don’t go. But Konstmuseum is a nice stop.
More walking below. A super nice neighbourhood to walk in is Lorensberg but here are some mixed pictures.
Göteborg is all about walking around and looking at architecture. Or take your scooter, pause, reflect and continue.
Göteborg holds a few nice parks. Slottsskogen is nice but one of my absolute top experiences is Botaniska. Absolutely one of the most interesting parks in Sweden. A total must see.
You can even buy unique plants from the park to bring home.
Nowadays when you ask your friends and peers for suggestions on what to do when visiting a city – the majority of suggestions are of restaurants.
Göteborg is known for the shrimp sandwich. Lots of mayonaise, egg and shrimps. Nice. But perhaps not super contemporary.
Göteborg has grown into a food destination. It’s not really worth listing places here since everything changes so quickly but you can get great food. We had a five course tasting menue at a Guide Michelin place, Basque tapas, great tacos, amazing Italian food. Overall a super impressive selection.
Nowadays in Sweden you need to make a reservation. If you haven’t got a reservation for the same day at 19.00-20.00 local time. It’s not worth being spontaneous. Try to get there before 19.00 or after 20.30.
The street Magasinsgatan is a good street adress for plenty of restaurants.
And there are plenty of great wine bars in Göteborg too. Apparently a trend for organic wines (“naturvin” in Swedish)
To summarize. Göteborg in three days. Absolutely worth a stay. Avoid the previous tourist destinations you might have read about and do something different. Look at houses and absolutely go to the parks. And the actually have a really nice food scene.
I would like more galleries and and art scene, but as a destination Göteborg is absolutely a 9 out of 10.