Named the world's most sustainable destination for three years in a row and with so many things to do in Gothenburg, it's easy to see why this Swedish city is thriving. Nature is very accessible in Gothenburg with 274 square meters of green space per citizen. 92% of hotel rooms in Gotheburg are environmentally certified and public transport is increasingly electric with a great, accessible infrastructure for everyone. To top it all up, some festivals stop serving animal products and some offer a healthy discount on food to people who bring their own lunch boxes.
But it's not just about Gothenburg being a green city, but an incredible hub for indie art scene, vibrant restaurants, music, dance and of course epic coffee shops. Here's your comprehensive guide on things to do in Gothenburg.
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Things to do in Gothenburg
To take advantage of all the cool things to do in Gothenburg, we recommend that you get the Gothenburg Pass. It offers free entry to over 30 attractions in Gothenburg and you can decide how long you want your pass to be valid for - 24, 48, 72 or 120 hours. Included there is unlimited travel with Hop On – Hop Off buses and boats. Click to get your Gothenburg city pass.
Travelling around the city couldn't be easier. Gothenburg has a climate-certified international airport and a super well-developed tram network that does not generate any CO2 emissions. If you prefer travelling by bike, there are over 1000 practical rental bikes around the city. If you decide to travel by tram or bus, simply purchase a travel card for unlimited access to public transport. And one more thing: if you take bus route 55, you can travel on silent, zero-emission electric buses. Pretty neat, right?
Before we start, we want to thank you Gothenburg Tourism Board for kindly offering to host us for two nights in their gorgeous city. They also provided us with many tips so we can enjoy Gothenburg and be able to bring you this article.
Botanical Garden Gothenburg
Nature lover just like we are? Then head over to the Botanical gardens of Gotheburg where you will find around 16,000 species of plants. The entrance is entirely free of charge and you can visit the glasshouses at your own leisure. The greenhouses have the largest collection of tropical orchids in Sweden, carnivorous plants and the rare Easter Island tree. Don't forget to check the beautiful rock garden with its stunning waterfall and 6000 plant species. And the best thing about it? You can download its official app and let your phone guide you around the botanical garden.
Right next to the botanical garden there is the Änggårdsbergen Nature Reserve and Arboretum where you can extend your visit. In 2003 the garden was appointed "The most beautiful park in Sweden".
Gothenburg chocolate and candy factory
Do you have a sweet tooth? So do we, and that's exactly why we think visiting the chocolate and candy factory is one of the best things to do in Gothenburg.
Take a tour of the factory, where the chocolates and treats are created and sample an array of products, along with a selection from their carefully chosen local suppliers. We recommend trying the chocolate bark which is irresistible.
Once you finish eating chocolate, head to the historic area of Kronhuset and you'll see one of the oldest buildings in the city located behind the square Gustav Adolf. It was built in the mid-17th century in a typical Dutch style.
Address: Sveagatan 19, 413 14 Göteborg, Sweden
1 April - 23 December
Universum Science Centre
How do you feel about visiting an indoor rainforest? We are not going to lie, the Universum Science Centre is especially great for children, but having said that, we believe adults can have a great time here too. The tour starts with a cute cable car ride to the top floor, from which you can immerse yourself in the various zones available as part of the exhibition. You'll see stunning birds, toucans, little monkeys and even tarantulas. If you are lucky, you can even see the sloths, although chances are, they will be sleeping as these cute animals sleep over 20 hours a day.
There is a treetop house, ideal for photos and an outdoor dino exhibition which offers stunning views of Gothenburg's rooftops.
Mon-Sun: 10 - 18
High Season July 6–Aug 11
Mon-Sun: 10 - 20
The Volvo Museum
Do you like cars? Or at least want to know a few things about the history of cars? Then head to the Volvo Museum and learn about Volvo’s iconic cars, buses and commercial vehicles. We think of this museum as an elaborate and cool historical timeline for the epic Swedish car manufacturer.
Besides, we once almost bought a Volvo due to its incredible safety features and attractive design, so this museum was a must for us.
Mo -Fri:10 - 17
Sat-Sun: 11- 16
The Gothenburg Museum of Art
If you love art, then you are going to love The Gothenburg Museum of Art. The art collection in this museum is one of the finest in Northern Europe with significant Nordic and international artwork. The collection also contains older and modern Western art including works by famous international artists like Rembrandt, Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore and Louise Nevelson.
Tuesday, Thursday 11–18
Friday–Sunday and public holidays 11–17
The museum is closed on Good Friday, Easter Saturday, 1 May, 6 June, Midsummer Eve, Midsummer Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Take the classic city tour on the Paddan boats which shows you the beauty of Gothenburg from the waterside. The tour comes with a guide and will take you under 20 bridges and out to the harbour.
A paddan boat is a sightseeing boat which will pass by famous sights – the opera house, the famous fish market “Feskekörka”, green parks, the old shipyard areas in Gothenburg. The tour itself will last for about 2 hours, during which, the guide will tell you about some of the coolest sights in Gothenburg.
The Röhsska Museum
If you love design, fashion and craft, then this is the right museum for you. We love some of its contemporary exhibition, where Nordic artists try to tackle the huge issue of climate catastrophe and integrate sustainability within their craft.
For those interested in Asian arts, you'll find several thousand years old Chinese ceramics within the museum walls. We very much enjoyed our time here and we strongly recommend a visit. We think design is all around us and it really influences the way we live and even our purchasing decisions. Definitely one of the best things to do in Gothenburg.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays 11–18
Saturdays and Sundays 11–17
The museum is closed on Mondays, Good Friday, 1 May, 6 June, Midsummer’s Eve, Midsummer Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day.
If you are after one of the most authentic things to do in Gothenburg, then taking a 2h30min archipelago tour is the way to go. Onboard, your English speaking guide will tell you about the beautiful places you pass and you will see the Älvsborg Fortress en route.
You can prebook the tour with lunch included as you can have snacks and drinks on board.
If you prefer, you can take a ferry on your own. This archipelago is also a beautiful place for photography. You can reach the southern archipelago by taking the ferry from boat terminal Saltholmen or from Stenpiren Travel Centre. To get to the northern islands you take the ferry from Lilla Varholmen on Hisingen. Both the northern and the southern archipelago are beautiful. The southern archipelago is car-free.
Indulge in a Michelin Star experience at Bhoga
For those interested in a culinary Nordic experience, Bhoga is an excellent choice. Bhoga is a Michelin Star restaurant located in the heart of Gothenburg which will enable you to enjoy an array of specially prepared dishes with fine, fresh ingredients.
The chef's aim is to celebrate Swedish ingredients and showcase them to everyone who wants to learn through food. We recommend booking a table in advance and going for the 9 courses. We also recommend that you ask for the wine menu in advance and you do your research.
We wish we would have checked the wines in advance as we didn't particularly love the recommendations offered by the sommelier on the day. Having said that, the food was excellent, thus, we really recommend this restaurant.
Address: Norra Hamngatan 10, 411 14 Göteborg, Sweden
Located just 20 minutes by car away, you'll find the Bohus Fortress. This former prison managed to survive 14 different sieges. It's a great place to learn about its historical significance and to admire the natural landscape around it.
This magnificent fortress is over 700 years old. Every day, there are several tours and activities for all visitors included in the admission ticket.
Get fresh seafood at Feskarbröderna
Foodie just like us? Head to Feskarbröderna for a fresh lunch in Gothenburg. You can book a table at one of the restaurants on-site, or simply get some smoked salmon with fish cakes and enjoy lunch outdoors. If you stay in an apartment, this is the place to visit for fresh seafood you can cook at home.
Address: Fiskhamnen 9, 414 58 Göteborg, Sweden
Museum of Gothenburg
What better way to learn about the city, than by visiting its museum.
Included in the museum collection, you will find photographs, letters, furniture, diaries, archaeological finds, cars and clothes. Expect to see nearly 1 million objects and span nearly 12,000 years of history.
Tuesday to Sunday 10 - 17
Wednesdays 10 - 18
Mondays are closed.
Closed: Good Friday, 1 May, 6 June, Midsummer’s Eve, Midsummer Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s day.
Have fika in Johan & Nyström - Avenyn
Fika is incredibly important in Sweden. It translated to "a coffee and cake break". But in reality, this is so much more than that. Fika is a state of mind really. Locals find it essential to make time for fika every single day. You can enjoy fika on your own or share it with friends and family.
Do you know what's really cool about fika? That it can't be experienced in front of your computer, at your desk. The idea is that you enjoy this ritual in order to relax. You go out, you sit down, you take your time. So when in Sweden, do as the locals do: slow down, take a deep breath, sip that coffee and enjoy something small to eat. It's your time to just be.
Eat fresh oysters at Fiskekrogen
When we learned that Gothenburg has a great oyster scene, we booked the Fiskekrogen restaurant right away. Fiskekrogen is a seafood restaurant located in the heart of the city, which offers a superb ambience for those looking for a romantic evening out. If you love seafood, then we recommend getting the seafood platter. There are daily specialities as well, so make sure to enquire about them.
They serve fantastic Fine de Claire Oysters at very good prices.
Address: Lilla torget 1, 411 18 Göteborg, Sweden
Shop Swedish designer brands
Sustainable shopping is possible all around Gothenburg. You can find all sort of independent boutiques which sell organic clothing. Besides, Gothenburg has a long tradition of the textile industry and locals no longer rely on big manufacturers but prefer to shop from small, local designers.
Of course, you will find the big street names as well, but we recommend looking out for the local talent in order to get some authentic Swedish fashion items.
Drink coffee at Da Matteo
Need a pick me up? Head to cafe Da Matteo which is known to craft incredibly strong and satisfying coffee. Just be aware that coffee in Gothenburg really is strong, so don't be surprised if you find it a little crazier at first.
Unlike Italian espresso, for example, Swedish coffee is not as aromatic, but deeper in flavour. Take a moment and enjoy the fact that you really are in Gothenburg, exploring the many cool things this city has to offer.
Enjoy street art
Unlike it's bigger city, Stockholm, Gothenburg is a lot more accepting when it comes to street art and graffiti. This means that you will be able to find all sort of cool work created by local painters.
For art lovers, we recommend checking this super cool street art map so you can find all murals.
Try a few microbreweries
In the last few years, Gothenburg has become increasingly popular with beer lovers. There are now many microbreweries which provide the city with epic ales and beers for all tastes. Some of them are even open to visitors if this is something which tickles your fancy.
Head to Vega Bryggeri, Spike or Beerbliotek if you want a tour. But don't just take our word for it. Make sure to check the official local beer guide so you can organise the best place for beers with friends.
Sample street food
Love street food? Of course, you do, who doesn't love sampling a city's food through small portions made with love by talented local chefs and foodie entrepreneurs? Gothenburg is great for street food. There are several food trucks available all around the city, ranging from Peruvian dishes to Vietnamese sandwiches. The majority of these trucks do change location almost every single day, so make sure you check this site to find out where they are during your visit.
For a permanent street food option head to Lindholmen Street Food Market which, on every Saturday, has chefs from various restaurants.
As an extra tip, you can walk in any coffee shop around Gothenburg and get a cool pastry on the go.
Participate in the LGBTQ parade
There are many festivals in Gothenburg with the famed Way Out West being top of the list. But what we truly love about Gothenburg is that it prides itself for being a gay-friendly city and this is pretty obvious during its annual LGBTQ festival West Pride.
The festival takes place in June each year and often consists of several hundred really cool individual events, all leading to the joyful and colourful Rainbow Parade.
Liseberg is one of the greatest amusement parks in Scandinavia. You will want to visit if you are interested in awesome rides, music, dance and awesome celebration during main events like Halloween or Christmas. Get your family and enjoy spinning carrousels or crazy wild rollercoasters. We recommend buying an all-in-one ticket so you can enjoy as many rides as you can during the day. Check out the video below which showcases one of the most popular rides. Would you date?
Hunt for exciting vintage shops
Gothenburg has an array of awesome vintage and second-hand bargains in the city. You can find fancy antiques or exclusive vintage. For these type of shops, head to neighbourhoods like Haga or Linné, or the inner city near the main boulevard Avenyn.
There are also many flea markets in Gothenburg all around the year. The biggest one takes place on the last weekend in May in Majorna.
Where to stay (green) in Gothenburg
We try to offset our carbon footprint as much as possible and we strive to have a sustainable approach to our lifestyle. So when the option to stay in an environmentally certified hotel room comes about, we take it! There are 11,000 hotel rooms in Gothenburg and 6000 of them are super central, allowing you to walk everywhere.
For our stay, we picked Hotel Eggers, the third-oldest hotel in Sweden still in operation. It is located just by the Central Station in Gothenburg. Some parts of the building date back to 1820 and its interior looks classy, elegant and stylish. This hotel is eco-labelled and it is powered entirely by electricity from its own wind turbine. But Hotel Eggers doesn't want to stop here. They aim to reduce the proportions of meat offered on the menu and reduce the purchase of cut flowers.
Hotel Eggers is not just beautiful, stylish and very well positioned, but it also provides the best possible breakfast buffet so you can start the day well. Indulge in a variety of cold cuts, fruits and delicious cereal options. There are vegan and vegetarian options too. If you don't see oat milk on the table, just ask a member of staff and they will bring it out for you.
Did you find enough things to do in Gothenburg? Did we miss anything? Please let us know your plans in the comments section below.