Gothenburg is relaxed, friendly and just a little eccentric. With its charming historical center, great design showrooms, engaging museums and easy-going attitude, it's a city that puts a smile on every visitor's face.
Gothenburg is a proud maritime center and the waterfront is the city's hub. See the Maritime Museum, the historic ships in the Maritiman or board a ferry to the stunning Southern Archipelago.
Gothenburg's Baroque core is stunning, with highlights including the Christinae Church and Kronhuset, but endless delights await those who wander around the center of town.
Families will adore Gothenburg, with attractions like the huge Liseberg amusement park and the Universmuseum, which has a fantastic rainforest zone.
The city is a hub of the Nordic design scene, with wonderful exhibits at the Röhsska Museum and tens of showrooms in areas like Nordstan.
Gothenburg loves to party, and guests are always welcome at events like August's Kulturkalaset and May's Hammarkullekarnevalen (Sweden's biggest carnival).
Gothenburg's major market is all about showing off the gastronomic delights unloaded by the city's fishing fleet, and Feskekôrka is heaven for any seafood fans. The word "Feskekôrka" means "fish church", which gives you an idea of how seriously the people of Gothenburg take the fruits of the sea. Home to tons of fresh shellfish and fish sellers, and other food stalls, Feskekôrka has been the city's foodie hub since 1874. Resembling a church from the outside, inside the vaulting space is a hive of activity - from happily munching tourists to discerning local buyers.
For centuries, Skansen Kronan was Gothenburg's main land-based defense against invaders. These days, tourists are welcome to invade the fortress, which soars proudly above the harbor. Built in 1697, it wasn't actually ever called into action. However, the fortress's defenders must have enjoyed the wait for this peaceful time, as the views from the fortress are sublime. Take the stairs or an elevator to the viewing level and take snapshots of Gothenburg from its most appealing angle.
The city's Art Museum is located on elegant Götaplatsen, Gothenburg's cultural quarter. Inside, you'll discover a fabulously eclectic collection. Along with a peerless array of Nordic painters from the 19th and 20th centuries, the Konstmuseum houses Dutch and Flemish masters, Impressionists, American, and Romantic paintings. But it's the story of Gothenburg's own vibrant art scene that really enchants, with its quirky Colorists and unique take on Modernism. You're sure to discover new favorites and obscure works by artists you know.
Gothenburg is always thought of as one of Scandinavia's most laid-back cities, and this attitude is captured wonderfully by Liseberg - a superb family amusement park. Located near the Universeum Science Museum (so you can mix education and pleasure), Liseberg is full of rides, from vertiginous descents of 42 meters or more, through to more leisurely roller coasters and Balder - a beautiful (and exhilarating) wooden coaster. There are plenty of attractions for younger children, while the Lustgård is a tranquil garden space for those who lack the stomach for an adrenaline rush.
If Skansen Kronan was the place locals fled to in times of trouble, Nya Älvsborg was the city's first line of defense. Situated on an island in the Gota River, this fortress was also vital for the whole of Sweden, protecting shipping as it made its way into the North Sea. Nowadays, you can take cruises across to the island to see the star-shaped bastion and watch costumed guides explain what life was like back in the 17th and 18th centuries. There's even a bakery and cafe on the island, and it's hard to find a more idyllic spot for a picnic.
July and August bring the best weather conditions as well as city-wide music and food events during Kulturkalaset, although spring is a lovely time to visit as well.
Plenty of airlines fly into Landvetter Airport. From there, take the Flygbussarna bus into town (it will cost around SEK95).
Centralstationen has connections to Copenhagen and Stockholm. Both journeys cost around SEK300-500.
If you are driving from Stockholm, take the E4 to Jonkoping, then the A40 to Gothenburg. The E6 runs from Malmo and Copenhagen.
Eurolines, Säfflebussen, Bus4You and Swebus run services into Gothenburg, with connections to all major domestic cities.
If you want to stay in luxurious surroundings, good options include the gourmet-food-oriented Dorsia Hotel & Restaurant and the Elite Plaza Hotel Göteborg.
Linne - Southwest of the city center, Linne hosts the Skansen Kronan fortress and the excellent Natural History Museum - it's a pleasant, cosmopolitan area.
Haga - Just north of Linne, Haga is a trendy area with great restaurants like Sjobaren and Solrosen, cobbled streets and plenty of independent stores.
Liseberg - Located in the southeast of the city, Liseberg has a famous amusement park and also hosts the Scandinavium, the city's main concert venue.
Västtrafik runs a network of buses, trams and ferries. You'll need to buy a prepaid card, which comes in 1, 3 or 30 day periods and start at SEK80 for a single day's travel.
Typical taxi rates are SEK47 for the meter drop, followed by SEK20 per mile.
Car rental options in Gothenburg include Sunfleet, Avis and Europcar, and rates can be as low as SEK140 per day.
If you want to shop for big brands or designer furniture, check out Nordstan, a massive city center shopping mall. However, it's more fun to shop at the boutiques, toy stores and craft shops in areas like Haga.
Supermarkets in town include ICA Supermarket and Lidl. Expect 12 eggs to cost around SEK27.
Seafood tends to be dominant in Gothenburg and there are some exceptional restaurants to try. The shellfish at riverside eatery Sjömagasinet is superb, as are the shrimp sandwiches at Cuckoo's Nest, while Fiskekrogen serves up a huge range of fish dishes. Expect meals to come to around SEK100-150.