From the rocky cliff-lined archipelago of Gothenburg, this port city brims with ship masts and bustles with modern intellectual life. Once the centre of the Swedish ship-building industry and still today the largest seaport in the Nordic countries, Gothenburg was founded in 1621 on the south west coast of Sweden, where the river Göta Älv flows into the North Sea. With a population of just over 500,000, it is Sweden’s second largest city and its academic centre, as it is home to Scandinavia’s largest university. Due to the influence of the Gulf Stream, the city enjoys a mild climate, making it an ideal destination throughout the year for a city-break. airBaltic brings your flight to Landvetter Airport located 25 km east of the city and servicing some 30 airlines.
Swedish is the official language of Sweden, but the Gothenburgers speak a dialect of Swedish that is full of quick wit and good natured cheer, as reported among their countrymen from other regions. English is widely spoken and understood, perhaps due to the university’s presence, but it is always possible to practice your Swedish if only to continuously chirp jag förstar inte (I don’t understand).
See and Do
From your hotel head onto the main boulevard of Kungsportsavenyn and from there, while enjoying the architecture, head to the Haga. Wth its quaint wooden houses from the 19th century, this is the oldest district of the city. Near the harbour, traveller’s generally eye the fish-shaped Fish Market, appropriately called Feskekôrka (Fish Church). Gothenburg has many museums to choose from to make a day of interesting sights. Do visit the Göteborgs Maritima Centrum, the world’s largest ship museum with 13 vessels, including a submarine to test your claustrophobia and the post WWII era destroyer Småland. Also on the water is the Stadsmuseum boasting Sweden’s only original Viking ship. At the Natural History Museum, gasp at the world’s only stuffed blue whale (once you could step inside, but now its lips are sealed), and view some 10 million specimens from around the world.
A favourite attraction in the city is the Universeum for hands on adventure and some scientific dazzling, and well as the indoor rainforest environment. Those seeking artwork from the masters should pay a visit to the Konstmuseet, which includes works by Rembrandt and Rubens among others. Music and theatre lovers may delight in the square at the top of Avenyn where the magnificent Gothenburg Concert Hall and the city's drama theatre are together. Likewise, visitors might get tickets to a performance at the Göteborg Opera House. Southwest of the city is Skansen Kronan (Crown Keep) a hilltop fortification built in the 17th century. Once a prison it is now a military museum.
And don’t forget the Liseberg Funpark, complete with a new wooden roller coaster, rides with general spinning shaking and an out of this world tower to top it all, somehow making it Sweden’s number one tourist attraction (by sheer numbers alone). For fantastic views of the city, travellers should make to the west for Masthuggskyrkan, a church with an inside like an overturned ship or to Guldhedstornet, 300 metres above the sea, with views of the harbours and the city, the rocky archipelago and the rushing river all below.