Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden. It is located on the banks of the Gothe-Elv River, facing the North Sea and overlooking the northern tip of Denmark. The city was planned by Dutch engineers in the 17th century. At that time, Gothenburg was a major trading port, where the Swedish branch of the West India Company was based. Heavy industry developed in the late XIX – early XX centuries, although due to economic and social problems, it gradually fell into decline. Now Gothenburg is a city of cutting-edge technology and tourism, which is what makes it prosper.
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Nowadays, little remains of the original settlement built of wood. The only two fortresses that remain are Skansen kronan in the center, which today houses a military museum, and Elfsborg Fort on an island near the shore. Tourists always flock there. In the city you can see the magnificent merchant houses of the XVIII century, lined with canals, including the building of the West India Company (now the Museum of Gothenburg). In the nineteenth century, construction began on Landshof Dingehusen, unique to Gothenburg. These are three-storey houses, the first floor of which is brick, and the other two are wooden (the first of these buildings was destroyed in 1975). Construction of such houses continued, reflecting the growing prosperity of the townspeople.
At the same time Gothenburg, like many cities in Scandinavia, in the twentieth century was filled with the creations of modern architecture, often by remodeling old buildings. It is this combination of architectural styles that gives Gothenburg its unique look.
At first the direction of the city’s central streets – as in many Dutch cities – was determined by a system of canals. Today almost all the canals have been filled in, and new streets such as Ostra Hamngatan and Vastra Hamngatan have been laid in their place. Only the Stora Hamnkanal canal and the moat in front of the rampart – the southern boundary of the old city – remain.
Gustav Adolf Square
On the northern bank of the Stora Hamnkanal the large quadrangular Gustav Adolfs Torg square forms the very impressive core of the old city. To the north the square is bounded by the majestic building of the Stock Exchange. On the west is the town hall, built in 1672 by Nicodemus Tessin the Elder with a charming courtyard.
On Norra Hamngatan 12 the magnificent palace-like building of the former Swedish East India Company (1750) still stands. Today, the sumptuous halls are home to the Gothenburg City Museum, where you can learn about the history (including archaeology) and culture of Gothenburg. In one of the halls you can see the wreck of a Viking drakkar, the only one found in Sweden. (Opening time: May-Aug. daily 10.00-17.00, closed on Fridays; Wednesdays until 20.00).
North of the city museum – on Kronhusgatan is the oldest preserved building of the city of Kronhus (Kronhus, 1643-1653). In the remarkable Reichhaus the five-year-old Charles XI was proclaimed king in 1660. The Kronhus is surrounded by low houses, now shops, where handicrafts are sold.
If you walk from the Krunkhus to the Göta River, you can already see the Maritime Center from afar, where the submarine Nordkaparen, a gunboat and several other vessels are on display. There is also a ship moored here, in which there is a youth hostel (Opening hours: May-Aug. every day, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. March. 10.00-18.00, March, April, September, October till 16.00, November Friday-Aprs. 10.00-16.00).
Continuing along the coast to the north and soon the Opera House (1994) is in front of us. The architect Jan Itskovic was inspired by the proximity of the sea and he has managed to combine the building with the surrounding landscape. In the evening the building with its shimmering lights is reflected in the water. Opening hours: Mon-Sat. Noon to 6 p.m. (or until performances).
The Utkiken Skyscraper
The promenade by the Opera House offers a beautiful view of the red and white Utkiken Skyscraper. At 86 meters high, it has an observation deck that puts the entire city in the palm of your hand. In front of the skyscraper, the four-masted barque Viking is anchored on the water.
Along the Kungsportsvenue
Kungsportsplats with its equestrian statue of Charles IX is a busy hub for bus and boat tours, and Kungsportsvenue is Göteborgs’ favourite promenade mile – a beautiful promenade of beautiful houses and many cafés, restaurants and bars, open until late at night.
The Tradgardsforeningens Park was laid out in 1842 as a green oasis in the center of Gothenburg. Be sure to visit the palm orangery, butterfly house and rose garden (opening hours: May-Aug. 7.00-21.00, March, April, September, October until 19.30, other times until 18.00).
Röhssk Design Museum, named after the founders, the Röhss brothers, is located in the central part of Kungsportsaveneu. It is Sweden’s most comprehensive permanent exhibition of Swedish design and applied art from the 17th century to the present day. The museum often hosts no less interesting temporary exhibitions (opening times: Wednesdays 12-17 p.m., Tuesdays until 9 p.m.).
Kungsportsavenu overlooks Gotaplats Square, the center of which is Carl Milles’ enormous Poseidon Fountain (1931), another symbol of modern Gothenburg. The square is adorned by the Concert House, art museum and state theater.
The famous art museum (Konstmuseet) has an impressive collection of paintings. It includes works by Scandinavian artists (Edvard Munch, Lidere Zorn, Carl Larsson) from the 15th century to the present. There are also paintings by great artists – Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso, Chagall and many others. The museum also has the world-famous Hasselblad Center, which has numerous exhibitions of photography and temporary exhibitions of art (opening hours: Tue, Thu 11 am – 6 pm, Wed until 9 pm, Fri – Sat until 5 pm).
Park Liseberg is the largest amusement park in Scandinavia, a kind of mix of fair and cultural center. On a huge area – a lot of attractions, theaters, open-air stages, cafes and restaurants. The Liseberg Tower, 146 meters high, towers over the park, offering a breathtaking view of the city (Opening hours: May-Aug. daily).
At the Universeum you can watch exotic animals such as stingrays and sharks, explore galaxies (and even discover a new star), sit in a “working” moonwalker or just experiment (Sodra Vagen 50) (Opening hours: late June-Aug. 10.00-19.00; May, June, November Mon-Fri. Mon-Fri 10.00-18.00, Wed to 8.00 pm, Sat from 11.00 am, Tues-Sun Tues. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Wed. till 8 p.m.).
Museum of World Culture
The Varldskulturmuseet (2004) offers a varied cultural program from all over the world and its splendid building was designed by Cecil Brizack & Edgar Gonzalez of London (opening hours: Tue, Sat, Wed 12.00 to 20.00, Wed to 9.00 p.m.).
Linnegatan is Gothenburg’s second street (west of the old town) where there are just as many restaurants, cafes and small stores. Follow the Linnegatan from Jarntorg south to Linneplats and you’re in Slottskog, the largest park in Gothenburg and a favorite hangout for locals.
A sort of continuation of Slottskog is the largest botanical garden in Sweden, Botaniska Tradgard, which has 16 thousand species of plants: it was founded in 1923, and in 2003 it was declared the most beautiful park in the country. – (Opening hours: every day from 9 a.m. to sundown).
West of Jarntorg you’ll find the Sjofartsmuseet and the Akvariet (Seamen’s Museum) on the banks of the Gota. The first is dedicated to the history of Swedish seafaring from the 16th century to the present. The Aquarium shows all the sea inhabitants of Scandinavian coastal waters. 10.00-17.00, Wednesdays Tue, Thu. 9.00-16.00, Wed. to 20.00).
Next to the Maritime Museum is a fish market with such a strange name – its premises look like a church (1874). At 7:00 a.m. the famous fish auctions start here. And in local restaurants you can always enjoy perfectly cooked fish (opening times: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, also on Mondays in summer).
Surroundings of Gothenburg
Gothenburg has about a hundred islands, some of them large, like Ockero, and countless smaller ones. It is a paradise for lovers of boat trips. In summer, excursions to the islands start from the piers Lilla Bommen, Stenpiren and Packhuskajen. Navigation does not stop throughout the year. Schedule – in each travel agency.
Near Kungsbacka (Kungsbacka, E 6, exit to Fjaras) you can visit Tjoloholm Castle. The massive red granite building (1898-1904) was built in the English Tudor style. At the base of the castle hill is the steward’s house, carriage museum and cafeteria (Opening times: mid-June to late August, daily. 11.00-16.00, other times Sat, Sat. 11.00-16.00).
The center of textile and clothing industry in Buros (Boris) is located 65 km east of Gothenburg on both sides of Viskan. After the railroad and the delivery of looms, the city became a major trading center. The Parkstaden district to the west is Ramnapark with an open-air ethnographic museum of Buros: The historic wooden houses and the Ramna Church (1690) with paintings of the 18th century on the ceiling (Opening hours: May-September, Fri. 10-16.00, Sat. and Sun. 12.00).
In the cotton spinning mill (1900) there is now a textile museum with spinning and weaving looms. The store of the museum sells products made on the museum’s own looms (Druveforsvagen (Opening hours: Tue, Thu. 10.00-20.00, Wed, Fri until 16.00, Sat 12.00-16.00).
Special offers on hotels
Goteborg Pass holders receive free or heavily discounted admission to public transport, sightseeing tours and boat trips in and around Goteborg. Goteborg Pass is sold at travel agencies, information centers, hotels and newsstands.
Tickets for 24 hours: SEK 225 for adults, SEK 160 for children; ticket for 48 hours: SEK 10 and SEK 225, respectively.
Sightseeing tour of the city by bus. Start at the Stora Teatern. Duration: 1 hour. May-September every day at 10.30, 12.00, 13.45, 15.15, 16.45. You can buy tickets on the bus.
Trips to the port
Guided tours of the port and canals (50 min.) on pleasure boats. Start at Kungsportsplats (May-Sept. 10.00-21.00; Goteborg Pass holders from 15.00 are free).
Sweden’s largest shopping center Nordstan; 150 stores; close to Central Station.
Kungsportsaveny and the small side streets adjacent to it have an unimaginable number of stores and art galleries.
Kungsgatan, or Korsgatan, is 3 kilometres of retail space. Another address for those who want to prolong the pleasure of shopping is Linnegatan and the nearby lanes.
“Antikhallarna on Vastra Hamngatan: Art and antiques on three floors.
Haga Nygata is a pedestrian zone. Old, beautifully restored houses with numerous cafes and antique stores.
When to visit
The city has a mild maritime climate, but it is not advisable to go there in winter.
Dutch drawings for the construction of city canals in Gothenburg in the 17th century were later used for a similar project in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Gothenburg / Sweden
At one time, the Swedish Empire was considered one of the most powerful and strongest kingdoms. It was during this period, in the 17th century to be exact, that the Swedish city of Gothenburg was formed. The city was originally planned to be used as a trading post. Therefore it cannot be said that Gothenburg spontaneously appeared and developed like other historic cities. Gothenburg was built for a purpose and in a short time. But this did not prevent the construction of architectural monuments and beautiful buildings, which over time have turned into urban landmarks with original design. Today there are museums, opera houses, botanical gardens, science and entertainment centers.
The founder of the Haga Historic District is Queen Christina. Haga, located outside the fortress walls of Gothenburg, was founded in the 17th century. The neighborhood, which occupies the southwestern territory, looked like a slum in the past, and the area did not have a good reputation. But over the years Haga has developed into the most beautiful and popular neighborhood in Gothenburg with a developed infrastructure. In Haga you can see the cobblestone streets with old houses. Along the streets there are nineteenth century houses with wooden facades. In 1970, these mansions decided to demolish, but the local people did not allow it. There are upscale restaurants, eateries, cafes and shopping centers in the District.
Liseberg Amusement Park.
The entertainment complex has been around since 1923. It was opened for the 300th anniversary of the city. The park still does not lose its reputation, thanks to the presence of high-tech and modern attractions, the base of which is replenished regularly. For example, in 2014, a roller coaster was installed here. The steel construction belongs to the Helix brand. There are also wooden roller coasters of the Balder type. And the more modern ride Valkyria was brought in 2018. The scenic corner of the park is home to bunnies.
The botanical garden of Gothenburg was opened in 1923. The project was financed by the city authorities and the local population. The opening of this facility was dedicated to the 300th anniversary of Gothenburg. The garden covers an area of no less than 175 hectares, approximately 40 hectares of which are cultivated. An area of 135 hectares is a nature reserve and arboretum. There are about 4000 plants in the greenhouse and 6000 varieties in the Alpinarium. There are more than 1.5 thousand orchids and very rare species of trees. In the summertime you can see a waterfall.
The founder of the park complex King Carl XIV Johan. The term Tradgardsforeningen in Russian translates to “Park belonging to a society of gardeners. The park has been open since 1842. Over the centuries, the original appearance of the complex is well preserved. The palm greenhouse was created in 1878, there is also a rose garden with 2 thousand varieties of roses. In the spring and summer you can admire the blooming plants and feel their pleasant aroma. There is a coffee house in the park from 1874.
The park, located in the central area of the city, was created at the end of the 19th century. In past times, this area was a dense forest. There are paths for walking in the complex. There is a pond in the park and a playground for sports games. There is also an outdoor swimming pool, where penguins live in the winter season. The complex includes a zoo. It is home to both wild and domestic animals. Each year the park hosts the Way Out West festival show.
Universum Science Center and Museum
A science and entertainment facility for children and adults, it occupies a 7-story building. When visiting the center you can see the jungle area, which is home to monkeys, birds with feathers and tropical butterflies. The oceanarium is home to stingrays, fish and sharks. The “Explora” hall conducts experiments to explore modern technology. There is also an exhibition hall “Kalejdo”. Here visitors can take a lie detector or participate in the game, where you have to deftly bypass laser beams installed for security purposes.
The Volvo Group is considered to be the main vehicle manufacturer in Sweden. Therefore, in 1927, a museum dedicated to the history of the company was opened in the city of Gothenburg. The collection includes many models of cars, produced by the company “Volvo”. The exhibition consists of vintage brands of trucks, sports cars and passenger cars. There is also a collection of new models and cars of the future.
Maritiman Maritime Museum
In the “floating” museum as exhibits are seagoing vessels produced in different centuries. The mini-armada, consisting of 19 vessels, is moored on the coast of Geta Elw. The exhibit is the military and civilian maritime heritage of the country. Guests are allowed to climb aboard the destroyer HSwMS Smaland (1952) from the Halland category or the submarine HMS Nordkaparen (1962). The oldest ship in the museum dates back to 1875. In the museum, guests are allowed to walk up trails, walk through narrow passageways, visit the ship’s cabin, torpedo port and descend into the engine room.
The museum complex opened in 1999 on the basis of the same name in Sweden. The exposition is located near the city airport. There are 2 bunkers in the area, which were built during the 1950-1955. In the past, the structures were classified. The size of the bunkers is 8,000 square meters and 22,000 square meters, and they are up to 30 meters deep. During a visit to the museum you can learn about the history of aviation and innovations in the field. If necessary, translation services are available.
Museum of Art (Gteborgs konstmuseum)
A prestigious cultural institution operates since 1923. The opening period of the museum is associated with the activities of Goteborg International Exhibition. Here are the works of artists from all over Europe. The museum exhibits mostly belong to the XIV-XIX centuries, but there are also works of art of the XXI century. The French collection consists of works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet and Chagall. Connoisseurs of Renaissance and Baroque art can visit the room with paintings by Rembrandt, J. Jordaens, Van Dyck and Rubens.
Statue-Fountain of Poseidon
The statue of Poseidon, at least 7 meters high, is considered to be one of the symbols of the city. It is depicted in many postcards with a view of Swedish Gothenburg. The authorship of the monument belongs to a talented Swedish sculptor Carl Millis. In a sculpture created in 1930, Poseidon is depicted as a young athlete with a fish and a shell in his hands. In the bowl of the fountain, in addition to the sculptural composition, there are also elements of decoration, which depict mythical creatures.
City Museum (Gteborgs stadsmuseum)
Museum, dedicated to the history of Gothenburg, open since 1861. The building where the exhibition is located, dates back to the 1700s. The complex got its present appearance in 1993 after unification of 5 different museum complexes. Exhibits about the history of the city are included in the permanent collection of the museum. Visitors are mostly attracted by a Viking-era ship. There are also other thematic collections devoted to the prehistoric period and times of industrialization. The museum often hosts seminars and lectures.
Museum of Natural History
The oldest museum in the city has been open since 1833. In 1923, the exhibition was moved to the current building, located in the park complex Slottsskugen. The main part of the exhibits consists of stuffed animals from all over the world. And the more priority ones are a moulage of an African elephant, it was shot in Angola, and a stuffed blue whale, found discarded on the southern shore of a body of water. The whale was found on the shore in 1865.
Gothenburg Opera House
Gothenburg Opera House has been in operation since 1994. The building of the theater was built in a short time, the construction lasted about 2 years. The reason for that is considered to be the successful financing of the project. The size of the theater scene is about 500 square meters. The capacity of the auditorium is 1301 people. In appearance the building is reminiscent of postmodernist architectural style. The interior is decorated in the classical style, which is characteristic of the opera house. Here you can see operetta, ballet, opera, and musicals.
A competition was organized for the construction of the church, in which the most talented architects of the time took part. There were basically three main conditions: capacity of the building for at least 1 thousand people, a strong structure that could withstand the weather and elementary performance with reduced costs. The winner was Siegfried Ericson. His project was carried out in the early 18th century. The opening of the temple took place in 1914.
The city’s cathedral belongs to the initial cycle of the 17th century. In earlier times, there was an old wooden church on the site where the cathedral was built. The temple was seriously damaged by fires, which happened in 1721 and 1802. Then the building of the temple was destroyed completely, so it had to be rebuilt from scratch. The project of the complex was engaged by Carl Wilhelm Carlberg, but he did not manage to complete the work begun during his lifetime. The cathedral was consecrated in 1815. But some of its elements, including the towers, were built a little late.
Oskar Fredrik Church
The historic church was completed in 1893. The church building is built in the Neo-Gothic architectural style. The building can be considered a striking example of this manner. During the period of its existence the church was restored at least 3 times. But this did not lead to a change in its appearance. The eastern part of the church has a chapel, which is 75 meters high. The facade and the interior of the church are decorated with the finest decorations. Since 1967, organ concerts are held here.
Feskekorka fish market
Fish market, built in the closed type, exists since 1874. In terms of appearance the structures resemble a religious complex. Therefore, the structure got its name, which means “fish church”. In the appearance of the building can be seen features of Gothic architectural style of the Middle Ages. Also noticeable are the elements used in the construction of Norwegian churches made of wood. The markets sell a variety of seafood. There is also a restaurant where you can have a delicious meal.
Lilla Bommen is located on the harbor of the same name. The architectural ensemble was built in 1989. The complex includes space designed as an office, retail outlet and for business activities. There is also an observation deck located on the top floor of the building. The total height of the complex reaches up to 86 m. Next to it is built a hotel with a unique design. It is built in the form of a four-masted ship.
The fortress Skansen Kronan
Artillery city fortress is located on the top of the hill. The structure dates back to the XVII century. At one time, it occupied a significant position in the defense of the city, as the confrontation with the military forces of Denmark lasted for centuries. But during these times, the fortress was never attacked by the enemy. In 2004, a military museum was opened here. And now the fortress can be rented for conferences and other events.
Fortress for defense purposes was built in the XIV century. It was intended to protect the trade routes leading to the city. Elfsborg is located on a small island by the river Geta. The fortress has taken part in almost all military operations, it has been shelled and attacked several times. But after the war the structure was restored and continued to be used to protect the tracks. Nowadays only strong and reliable walls are left of the defensive complex.
A manor house was built in the suburban area of Gothenburg, and a landscaped park complex was created around it. The building was erected in the architectural style of neoclassicism. The client of the project was a merchant named John Hall. He turned the palace into his own summer residence. Today everyone can visit the park complex, and excursions are organized in the museum-estate. The complex includes a restaurant and a souvenir store.
Suspension structure is built between the banks of the river Geta Elw. The bridge was erected in the 1960s. The structure that connects the banks of the Geta Elw is built at a height of 45 m from the water level, and its length is about 933 m. The central area of the bridge has a green hue. The bridge was painted green to commemorate the athletics tournament organized at the world level. The championship was held in 1995.
Gothenburg South Archipelago
The archipelago consists of several small islands. And the most popular of them is the island of Vrango. The island has a village with well-developed infrastructure. Here you can organize a comfortable tourist vacation. The village has a cafe and a hotel complex. Through the village are organized excursions to the rocky shores of the river, you can also go to the northern beaches. Another civilized island is Stirso. You can go from island to island by ferry. There are islands in the archipelago with a nature reserve and sports fields.
Winga Island and Lighthouse
Vinga is a small but remote island of Gothenburg. The island served as a landmark for sailors, so the first lighthouse was installed here in 1890. And the third lighthouse began operating in 1974. The popular singer Evert Taube spent his childhood here, and his father served as lighthouse guard. During the summer period, the number of those wishing to vacation on Vinga increases. Travelers can go to the island on their own, or use the services of a guide. You can get to the island by pleasure boat.