Go Gothenburg – WAVEJourney Explores Sweden’s Second Largest City

Go Gothenburg – WAVEJourney Explores Sweden’s Second Largest City

WAVEJourney Explores Gothenburg in West Sweden

WAVEJourney Explores Gothenburg in West Sweden

Gothenburg (known as Göteborg in Swedish) is the gateway to West Sweden, and arriving in the city by train from Oslo, Norway, gave us an ideal opportunity to view the green and lush area of the surrounding westcoast countryside.

With only a short window of time to spend exploring Sweden’s second largest city, we set out on a warm and sunny late-June morning to discover what makes this bustling port city so popular.

Go Gothenburg – WAVEJourney Explores Sweden's Second Largest City

Go Gothenburg – WAVEJourney Explores Sweden’s Second Largest City

This is our top 10 list for things to do, see, and explore in Gothenburg – ideal if you only have a day (or less) to spend exploring the city center:

1. Go: Göteborg City Card

go: Goteborg City Card

go: Goteborg City Card

First thing to do is buy one of these city cards. They are available for 24, 48 or 72-hour periods of time and will definitely save you a bunch of money. This card gives free admission to most museums, art galleries and sites around the city; discounts at various shopping venues; free public transport; free entrance to the Casino Cosmopol; free guided bus tour; and much more! You can buy a physical card at Tourist Information offices, or a mobile version online that works on your smartphone. Cost: 285 SEK/24 HR (approx. US$43).

2. Ride a Tram– This is a fun way to get around the city, and will save you lots of time. If you purchased the Göteborg City Card this will be a free ride, and so will any other modes of public transportation. Otherwise the cost is 20 SEK (US$3.01) for a single ticket that is valid for 90 minutes. If you intend to use public transport for more than two trips during a day, purchase the 24 hour ticket for 50 SEK (US$7.55).

3. Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour

Gothenburg Hop On Hop Off Tour

Gothenburg Hop On Hop Off Tour

We like to do these rides when we first arrive in a city that we haven’t visited before. It is a quick and easy way to let somebody else do the driving, get acquainted with the sites, all the while listening to a guided commentary (in your preferred language) detailing facts about the city and points of interest along the route. The bus in Gothenburg is a bright green double-decker, and the ticket that is good for 24 hours costs 150 SEK (US$22.65), or free with the Göteborg City Card. We find it useful to ride one complete route first (takes approximately 60 minutes), and then decide where to spend more time.

4. Food Markets

Flickorna Kanold in Saluhallen Market

Flickorna Kanold in Saluhallen Market

There are two in Gothenburg, but wanting to stay close to the city center we paid a visit to Saluhallen near Kungstorget. The market has been in operation since 1889, and sells produce, fish, meats, cheeses, baked goods (try the amazing kanelbulle – cinnamon buns), chocolates, flowers, plus a variety of other popular products. If, like us, you love chocolate, be sure to stop by Flickorna Kanold and treat yourself to some of their chocolatey creations. You might even be there at a time when it is possible to watch them through the glass windows as they create delicate chocolate pieces in their workshop.

Kanelbulle – Cinnamon Buns

Kanelbulle – Cinnamon Buns

5. Da Matteo Panetteria

Da Matteo Panetteria

Da Matteo Panetteria

For coffee, breads and fika. Great coffee and fika all under one roof! If you’re not familiar with fika, it is a huge part of everyday life in Sweden. It always includes a drink (usually tea or coffee) with something sweet to eat. There are three locations of Da Matteo in Gothenburg, but the location we visited was on Vallgatan (not far from Saluhallen), where they roast their own coffee.

6. Ferris Wheel at Liseberg Amusement Park

Ferris Wheel at Liseberg Amusement Park

Ferris Wheel at Liseberg Amusement Park

Liseberg is Scandinavia’s largest amusement park and offers activities galore for all ages. Even if you don’t have time for anything else, pop in for a ride on the Ferris wheel. You will be rewarded with terrific city views, and if there is a concert or performance happening when you visit, admission is included. If you have the Göteborg City Card this is another free activity. Otherwise a visit to Liseberg will cost you the price of admission (90 SEK/US$13.60), plus an extra fee for rides.

7. Canal Sightseeing Tour

Explore Gothenburg on a Canal Boat Tour

Explore Gothenburg on a Canal Boat Tour

We get on the water in one form or another as often as possible. So when we realized there was a canal in the city center of Gothenburg, of course we wanted to take a boat ride on it. You can get on and off all day long and use the boat ride as another fun way to see the city. The rides are included in the City Card, but without it costs 150 SEK/US$23.

8. Shopping

Shop Until You Drop on Magasinsgatan

Shop Until You Drop on Magasinsgatan

Wander the city center and find interesting boutique shops, cafes and restaurants – We especially enjoyed exploring the independently-owned boutiques around Magasinsgatan.

9. Emigranternas Hus

Emigranternas Hus

Emigranternas Hus

Located in the Customs House down by the harbor, the Emigration House Museum (located above Casino Cosmopol) tells the fascinating story of the many Swedes that left the country in the great emigration from 1850 to 1930. At one time 25% of the population had left in search of a better life. Entrance fee: 30 SEK/US$4.50. No discounts available.

10. Casino Cosmopol

Casino Cosmopol

Casino Cosmopol

Jill loves casinos. So wherever we go, if there’s a casino within walking distance, Jill will pay a visit and see if lady luck is on her side. The casino in Gothenburg has plenty of slot machines, a number of table games and 17 poker tables. If, like Jill, you’re a poker player, you may want to plan a visit around one of the large poker tournaments that the Casino Cosmopol hosts throughout the year. Again, there is free admission with the Göteborg City Card, or without it you will pay 30 SEK/US$4.50. So shuffle up and deal!

Our time in Gothenburg was definitely too short, but there is an up-side to that. We will just need to return again soon, and plan on staying longer.

If You Go:

Getting There:

  • By train: easy, quick and comfortable trains travel to Gothenburg from Norway and other parts of Sweden. For details view:  NSBSJ.
  • By air: there are two airports – Landvetter International Airport and Goteborg City Airport – that are both within a 20-minute journey to the city center.
  • By ferry with Stena Line.

    Stena Line Ferry in Gothenburg

    Stena Line Ferry in Gothenburg

Where To Stay:

Clarion Hotel Post.

Clarion Hotel Post in Gothenburg, Sweden

Clarion Hotel Post in Gothenburg, Sweden

Read More of WAVEJourney’s June 2012 Visit to West Sweden:

Gothenburg to Marstrand |

Discover Styrso in West Sweden’s Archipelago |

Discover Helsingborg |

Discover Skane |

WAVEJourney Travel Tips: Discover West Sweden and Skane |

 

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