Karyn Wofford is a freelance writer in the fields of travel, eco-tourism, and wellness. She’s an avid traveler and Georgia native. She grew up with a passion for travel, exploring everything from the mountains to the ocean, and continues to find new and unique things to do in the places she travels.
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A top travel destination in Scandinavia, Gothenburg is also one of the most sustainable cities in the world. Built on swampy seaside land centuries ago, both old charm and urban appeal exist in harmony between Oslo and Copenhagen. Sweden’s second-largest city delivers in all categories—food, nature, history, transportation and lodging. Come walk the age-old streets where the fragrant aroma of pastries waft through the air, gaze over the ship lined harbor, discover modern art and learn a thing or two about preserving the environment. Gothenburg is an enriching city, and these are just a handful of reasons you should visit.
Choosing where to lodge in Gothenburg can be downright overwhelming. Will it be a boutique establishment, or perhaps a reliable chain? Being significantly advanced in green technology, finding an environmentally mindful hotel is more than possible. One of the most striking, futuristic accommodations in the city, Gothia Towers runs off wind power alone and continues to forge forward to better the earth. Glass elevators offer incredible city views, a swimming pool extends off the side of the building, and overall the aesthetics are dripping with class and swank. Ready to plan your trip? Check out some of Gothenburg’s other top hotels.
Liseberg is a city center amusement park with coasters and a focal point Ferris wheel. Despite all the metal and infrastructure, the tourist fave thrill site blends quite well into the historic architecture and foliage of Gothenburg. Following in sustainable footsteps, renewable wind energy runs the place.
From what might be the best botanical garden in Europe, to the welcoming recreational area of Slottsskogen, parks are an interweaved outdoor escape in an area that’s a whole lotta city. In one moment, you could be walking through a vast market while trams putter by, then in the next, lush greenery, flowers and open strolling space are at your fingertips. Some of the parks are accented with intricate architecture and even a stunning playground designed to be best enjoyed when it’s raining!
Bikes are literally everywhere in Gothenburg—locals use this as a primary source of getting around, and there are places for visitors to rent one. We all know the benefits of biking—it’s a great way to burn off all those giant Swedish cinnamon rolls, and it’s a slower paced way to ensure you don’t miss any of the artistic and historic features of the area.
Being close to the ocean and also on one of the largest rivers in Sweden, naturally an awesome method of sightseeing is by water. Canals trail through the city interior, and passengers can jump on and off to explore different stops. Just sitting back and relaxing during a float trip is a nice wind down after more busy days.
The coffee game in this city is fierce, as it is in all of Sweden with “fika”, also known as a coffee and cake break, is a central part of the day. Neighborhoods through the area have concentrations of fabulous little cafes with signature Finnish coffees and iconic sweets. Brunnsparken and Haga are both two great, adorable places to traverse when wanting to try a variety of cafes.
Seafood is a major vein of the culinary scene in Gothenburg—crayfish, juicy lobster and oysters are just a few perks of being proximal to the ocean. While an array of restaurants serve up simplistic classics, and the locally loved mile-high shrimp sandwich, the church style Feskekorka market is where you can buy multitudes of different sea delicacies.
Public transportation is one of the best ways to get from neighborhood to neighborhood, then, once there, it’s easy to walk or bike around. Along with bus routes, Gothenburg features a fairly extensive tram system, with both charming old style and more modern carts bustling around. You’ll notice tracks everywhere, so keep in mind a tram could come whizzing by at anytime. So save the texting for later and keep your head up.
Barken Viking is permanently nestled in the harbor, and now serves as an actual hotel with cozy wood-paneled rooms—the maritime theme is elegantly carried out through the entire vessel. It’s an unmistakable fixture of Gothenburg that even those who aren’t guests still come to see. Breakfast is included in the stay, but if you so choose to lodge elsewhere, come to the restaurant and bar for the experience.
Cinnamon rolls are iconic to Sweden, and you’ll find the world’s biggest at cafe Husaren. Literally, it’s as large as a human head and delicately layered with both cinnamon and cardamom, which is pleasantly subtle. Pearl sugar is sprinkled across the top of the massive dessert. Enjoy with a classic latte, and be sure to arrive early, because these babies sell out fast. We can’t think of a better reason to visit, than mammoth cinnamon rolls!