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City Guide: Gothenburg
The ocean with splendid westerly breezes and a unique archipelago. Idyllic lakes, forests and wilderness.
Göteborg is Sweden's second biggest city. Many think it's just the right size. Home to its own culture, its own language and its own special character.In Göteborg, entertainment, nature and places of interest are never far away. Despite its cosmopolitan stamp though, it still has a typical small-town charm. 60 000 students at the two Universities adds a younger feeling to the city.
The city is often likened to San Francisco because, like the American city, this west-coast location has plenty of bridges, hills, water, trams and seafood restaurants.
Göteborg has a proud maritime history as well as a long and successful tradition of trade and industry, and some of Scandinavia's best known corporations such as Volvo, SKF and ESAB - have their origins and head offices here. A significant proportion of Sweden's exports and imports pass through Göteborg's port, the largest in the Nordic region. Göteborg is the administrative capital of Västra Götaland county.
Tourist AttractionsOver the past 20 years, Göteborg has made its name as the city where major sporting, entertainment and cultural events take place. Göteborg’s large arenas, loyal audiences and carefully planned strategy have made the city a leading events venue. When there is something big on, the whole city joins in the party.
The events district, not far from the main boulevard Avenyn, is home to Liseberg amusement park, the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre (Svenska Mässan), Scandinavium arena, Ullevi stadium, Universeum Science Discovery Centre and the Museum of World Culture (Världskulturmuseet), which between them attract over 6.5 million visitors annually. Museums, theatres, shops, restaurants and hotels are all within walking distance.
Liseberg Amusement Park is the most popular tourist attraction in Sweden, attracting three million visitors annually including the popular Christmas Market from mid-November.
Paddan boats offer a different way of seeing the sights, from the old moat, the canals and the harbour. The tour takes about 50 minutes and the boats departure from Kungsportsplatsen, from May to October.
The old town of Haga. Culturally listed 19th-century district, with cobbled streets and a special type of three storey house construction, featuring one storey in stone and two in wood. An abundance of cafés, second hand and craft shops.
Göteborg has many parks well worth a visit. The most famous is Trädgårdsföreningen Garden Society of Göteborg. An 19th century park laid out along the old moat. Göteborg Botanical Garden (Botaniska Trädgården) is one of the largest botanical gardens in northern Europe and is considered to be one of the most beautiful.
The Göteborg Pass is the most favorable way to experience the city. It entitles you to free admission to most tourist attractions, museums, sightseeing, as well as free parking and public transport on trams, buses and ferries. Purchase the Göteborg Pass online at www.goteborg.com, or pick it up at the Göteborg Tourist Offices.
Culture & EntertainmentSweden’s national symphony orchestra, one of the finest collections of Nordic art, a designmuseum with new focus at fashion, exciting culture festivals and a vibrant music scene. There is much to experience in Göteborg.
Götaplatsen on top of the main boulevard Avenyn is the culture centre: The Göteborg Museum of Art (Götebogrs konstmuseum) houses works by nearly all the old masters, but mainly shows Nordic art by artists such as Ernst Josephson, P S Krøyer, Anders Zorn, Carl Larsson, Edvard Munch and Lena Cronqvist. There are also photo exhibitions at the Hasselblad Center for Photographic Art, same entrance. Göteborg Concert Hall (Konserthuset) is one of the largest monuments to Nordic functionalism, famous for its brilliant acoustics. Sweden’s national symphony orchestra, the Göteborg Symphony Orchestra lead by Gustavo Dudamel, is based here. Here is also the City Theatre and the City Library.
Only a five minute walk from Götaplatsen to Korsvägen, is Universeum Science Discovery Centre, with everything from sharks and rain forests to exciting experiments. The Museum of World Culture (Världskulturmuseet) hosts varied, thematic exhibitions reflecting the concept of world culture in its five different galleries.
The Röhsska Museum, on Vasagatan corner of Avenyn, is the national museum of fashion, design and decorative arts. There are many contemporary exhibitions and the permanent collections include the history of design, Göteborg City Museum (Göteborgs stadsmuseum) is one of the country’s great cultural-history museums. See the Viking ship or the history of industry and theatre. Göteborg Opera House (Göteborgsoperan) is one of the world’s most modern opera houses. Top-quality opera, dance, musicals and operettas.
On and around Avenyn is where Göteborg’s largest and most high-spirited entertainment areas are to be found, with nightclubs, bars and pubs. There is a bit more of an informal mixture in Haga old town and the Linné district, with slightly more miscellaneous, relaxed styles. No nightclubs, but many congenial watering holes, especially along Linnégatan. Vasastan has become an alternative entertainment area to Avenyn. Here is where you find trendy bars, pubs and small restaurants by Vasaplatsen and around the Vasa/Viktoriagatan hub. Magasinsgatan also has a popular nightlife.
Food & Drink
The finest ingredients, good working relationships, and inventive, open-minded chefs with a good handle on current Swedish tastes. These are some of the reasons why Göteborg is one of Europe’s top culinary destinations.
Göteborgs coastal location ensures a plentiful supply of fresh fish; seafood grows slower in the cold waters of the North Sea, a key component of quality. Raw ingredients of the highest quality, local produced and sourced, such as organic vegetables; contribute to the complete dining experience. Local award winning head chefs all emphasise the quality of local ingredients as an important contribution to the excellence of their menus. Typical Swedish cuisine for the 21st century is a fusion of traditional Nordic cooking combined with new flavours and ideas from throughout the world. Fine wine packages are common with tasting menus, where a carefully selected glass of wine matches each course.
Göteborg currently boasts five restaurants with a Michelin star: Sjömagasinet, 28+, Fond, Basement and Kock & Vin, but the quality of food served in restaurants across the city, not just at these celebrated eateries, is very high. Thanks to Göteborg's coastal location, fresh fish and seafood often feature on the menus.
Göteborg is a lively shopping city with five hundred shops within a five-minute walk. Here, you have an entertaining mixture of modern warehouses and specialist shops, pedestrian areas, galleries and arcades.
Sweden’s leading shopping centre, Nordstan, has 150 specialist shops and warehouses under one roof. This is where you also often find arts and crafts exhibitions, fashion shows and other activities.
Immediately outside Nordstan is the start of a three kilometre-long shopping area with the pedestrian precincts of Fredsgatan, Kungsgatan and Korsgatan, several shopping galleries and arcades. Here, inside Vallgraven (the old moat), is the greatest concentration of shops in Göteborg. Along Vallgatan and Magasinsgatan are several design, furniture and arts and crafts shops as well as restaurants and cafés. Kungstorget has a lively market square where you find Saluhallen. It was opened in 1889 and, with its architecture and variety of shellfish, fruit, vegetables, cheese and cooked meats, is a real experience. Slightly further to the west along the canal lies Feskekörkan, with its ecclesiastical architecture and with top quality fresh fish and shellfish.
The main boulevard the Avenue (Kungsportsavenyen) and the surrounding area play host to exclusive fashion shops and art galleries..
In Skylife Gothenburg
I first went to Gothenburg in July. Since it was the season for the white nights, the city’s streets were abuzz with activity into the wee hours. The sun had set up its headquarters in the sky over Gothenburg and shone night and day, resting for just a few hours only to come out again shortly. I had expected Gothenburg to be an industrial city with a big harbor and lots of factories. I was therefore surprised to find a city adorned with canals and bridges where historic buildings stand harmoniously side by side with modern structures, a city covered in greenery where broad avenues open onto narrow streets lined with tiny shops, a city with a cultural life to vie with that of the capital Stockholm.
CITY OF PARKS
Gothenburg is Sweden’s second largest city, noteworthy for its parks, museums, theaters and wide boulevards. Perhaps because it is overshadowed by Stockholm, it hosts only around three million tourists a year. The Vikings are known to have once lived in this region, but the development of Gothenburg occurred after King Gustav Adolf II founded a city here in 1621. The Dutch who were invited to the city also made a contribution by fitting it out attractively with canals like Amsterdam. Known as ‘Little London’, Gothenburg hosts a jazz festival in August. Don’t miss it if you happen to be there.
Known for the manufacture of cars, cameras and ball bearings, Gothenburg is at the same time the telecommunications capital of Sweden. The city’s harbor is Scandinavia’s largest, and the area where ships dock is close to 20 kilometers long. Built primarily for commercial purposes, the harbor has a passenger terminal as well.
Gothenburg straddles the Göta River, which is also spanned by Sweden’s longest suspension bridge, the Alvsborgsbron. There are two main squares in Gothenburg, which you can easily discover on foot: the Götaplatsen, the city’s cultural center, and Gustav Adolfs Torg, which is surrounded by commercial and government buildings. The avenue that unites them is the Kungsportsavenyn, known for short as the Avenyn, or ‘the Avenue’. The heartbeat of the city, the Avenyn is a fashionable, tree-lined thoroughfare with numerous cafes, restaurants, galleries and boutiques.
ART AT EVERY STEP
A creation of the famous sculptor Carl Milles, Poseidon Fountain graces the Götaplatsen, greeting visitors in all its splendor. Also on this square are the Concert Hall, home of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and the Art Museum. Besides famous Swedish artists, this museum with its eye-dazzling sculptures also houses paintings by such great masters as Rembrandt, Renoir, Monet, Matisse, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Picasso.
The Municipal Theater and Library add further splendor to Götaplatsen. Liseber Lunapark, meanwhile, which is reminiscent of Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens, is one of Sweden’s biggest tourist attractions. Vacationing families with children especially can enjoy many delightful hours at this funfair, the largest in Scandinavia. Offering a spectacular view from on high, the 83-meter-high tower known as the Spaceport will also please the adrenaline addicts. And not far from the Götaplatsen is a park chock full of restaurants, an ice skating rink and stylish wooden buildings.
The Palace of Justice, the Stock Market and municipal buildings are located on Gustav Adolfs Torg. Housing a total of thirteen historic vessels, the Gothenburg Maritime Museum claims to be the largest of its kind in the world. A submarine, the Nordkaparen, and a frigate make this floating museum, which is open every day of the week, even more fascinating. A counterpart to London’s Crystal Palace, the cast iron and glass Palmhuset, or Palm House, built in 1878, is among the other important sights you will see in Gothenburg.
Although it looks quite ordinary from the outside, the cathedral known as the Domkyrkan, built in 1802, impresses visitors upon entering. Used as the City Museum today, the old East India Company building has the distinction of being Sweden’s largest museum. You will learn the city’s history at this museum, where Sweden’s only Viking ship is on display. Feske Körkan meanwhile, although it means ‘Fish Church’, is actually a fish market. Resembling a church, this building is home to the fishermen who set out in the early morning hours to supply the city with fresh fish. Masthuggskyrkan, on the other hand, is a real church whose wooden ceiling resembles that of a Viking ship. If it’s shopping that interests you, Nordstan opposite the train station is a virtual city in its own right, and Scandinavia’s largest shopping center.
The 20th century buildings on the nearby Kronhusbodarna have been attractively restored and are used as boutiques and gift shops. Among the products you will find here are porcelain and glass wares as well as textiles.
SWEDEN’S MOST BEAUTIFUL GARDEN
You can also tour the art galleries and bookshops in the Haga Nygatan district, which is bursting with lovely examples of wood-frame architecture and stone masonry. And when you weary, you can spend some time at the cafes in the fashionable, restored buildings. Gothenburg in the past was one of the best preserved cities. To appreciate that, another alternative is to go up the Skansen Kronan and take in the beautiful view. This castle in the Haga district, which was built in 1697 to defend the city against the Danes in particular, also houses the military museum. A pleasant view of the city and harbor is available from its roof. Elfsborg Castle, another 17th century structure, which you can reach by tourboats leaving from the harbor in summer. The Vasa district meanwhile is brimming with cafes and small shops.
If you go to the botanical gardens, the ‘lungs’ of Gothenburg’s, you will see 16,000 plant species brought here from all over the world. Acknowledged to be the largest of their kind in Europe, these gardens are spread over a 175-hectare-area. Their greenhouses boast upwards of 1,500 species of orchids. The gardens were chosen Sweden’s most beautiful in 2003.
CANALS AND ISLANDS
Gothenburg appeals to sports enthusiasts as well. One of its major stadiums, the Ullevi, is noteworthy for its extraordinary architecture. The top of the stadium is covered with 680 square meters of solar panels for generating electricity. And the 14,000-capacity-Scandinavium, one of Europe’s largest sports arenas, was built to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the city’s founding.
One of the most enjoyable ways to discover Gothenburg in summer is to tour the city on the open-top tram, or take a boat tour on the Göta River and the canals. When you venture outside this city, whose streets are swept by ocean breezes, wild nature will embrace you with peninsulas, azure lakes and verdant forests. If the beach is your priority, visit the islands known as Gothenburgs Skargard in Kattegat Bay.
Among them, Brannö, Styrsö and Vargö are the best. Varborg meanwhile is a resort town between Gothenburg and Helsingborg known for its castle. Dubbed the Swedish Riviera, the coastal strip between Malmö and Gothenburg has the country’s best beaches. If your travels happen to take you there, Gothenburg is a city that will treat you well. So put this modest Scandinavian beauty on your list right now. You won’t be sorry.
Turkish Airlines flies round trip to Gothenberg every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Departure time from İstanbul is 10.10 am.
Ticket Sales Offices: Gothenburg
|Gothenburg Sales Office|
|Address||LANDVETTER APT,DEPARTURE HALL BOX 2023, SE-438 11 LANDVETTER/GOTEBORG|
|Phone||Sales/Office: 00 46 31 94 19 10|
|Fax||00 46 31 94 69 10|
Weekdays: Monday-Wednesday 9:00 - 18:00 - Thursday-Friday 09:00-17:00
Gothenburg: Airport Map Information
Address : Göteborg Landvetter Airport S-438 80 Landvetter Sweden Phone : +46 31 94 10 00
Gothenburg: Airport Map Information
- Tue 20°C
- Wed 20°C
- Thu 15°C
|Monetary Unit||:||Swedish Krona|
|Phone Code||:||46 31|