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Basic information

  • Area: 450 km² (173.7 sq mi)
  • Calling Code: +46
  • Currency: Swedish krona (SEK)
  • Population (EST): 507,330
  • Official language: Swedish
  • Time Zone: CET (UTC+1)

Gothenburg – Overview

Sweden’s second city Gothenburg, or Göteborg in Swedish, is located on the south west coast of the country at the mouth of the Göta älv (Göta River). Over half a million people reside in the city which has a long maritime history and was once at the heart of the Swedish ship building industry. Modern day Gothenburg is a lively and friendly place to visit and cheaper than Sweden’s capital city Stockholm it offers something for everyone.

Gothenburg is a great place to be for cultural entertainment, with a wealth of live shows, museums and galleries there is much to choose from. Most of the city’s attractions are within walking distance of each other and a great place to start is the Gothenburg Opera House; famous for its unusual architecture (it is built in the shape of a boat!) you can enjoy the many and varied productions it offers, from opera and ballet to musicals and plays. If the weather is good a trip to Sweden’s largest botanical gardens is a must. With over 20,000 species, some of them extremely rare it is one of the leading botanical gardens in Europe.

For those seeking a more active break, the coastal location of Gothenburg makes it an ideal city from which to explore the great outdoors. Hiking is a popular pastime and there are lots of trails running through the stunning scenery in and around the city. A trip to one of the islands in the Southern Archipelago makes for a good day excursion. Easily accessible by ferry from Gothenburg, the islands are great for families with beautiful beaches for swimming, and picturesque walks through the countryside.

Gothenburg is fast becoming one of Sweden’s best shopping cities; the main areas to head for are Nordstan, Innerstaden and Avenyn. Nordstan is the largest shopping centre in the country and is home to over 150 shops from well known international brands to smaller Swedish labels. For high fashion, interior design and the perfect place to pick up a gift or souvenir Innerstaden is the place to go. A network of small shopping streets it has a cosier feel than the big malls. Avenyn is Gothenburg’s main boulevard, as well as finding an array of shopping opportunities here there are many café’s and restaurants, popular with locals it is a great place to sit and watch the world go by.

Typical of a maritime town, Gothenburg’s restaurants are famed for their fresh, locally caught seafood and there are a large variety catering for all budgets. Gothenburg and its residents are extremely proud of the Michelin Stars awarded to five of its top restaurants, but if it’s something cheap and cheerful you’re after head to Linnégatan where there is a concentration of good modestly priced eateries. The main boulevard Avenyn has the highest concentration of pubs and clubs in the city but there are a few other districts that also boast excellent nightlife; the place to be seen is in one of the trendy bars in the Vasastan district.