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Relaxing City Break in Gothenburg

Angela Wood

Senior Contributor

The second-largest city in Sweden, Gothenburg, is one of the most sustainable in the world with green certified hotels, re-usable energy initiatives and a forward-thinking climate strategy programme. Its residents are friendly and open, plus it’s one of the safest cities to for solo travellers to visit. This laid back, cosmopolitan metropolis boasts museums, amusement parks and meandering waterways for you to explore. You can join locals for ‘fika’ in Haga neighbourhood, browse independent boutiques and dine on fresh seafood till your heart’s content. With all this in mind, here are a few of the many reasons why you should book your next city break to Gothenburg.

Enjoy a Private Tour at Gothenburg Museum of Art

Gothenburg’s Museum of Art houses collections from the 15th century to the present day hosting a significant percentage of Nordic artwork, including masterpieces by Edvard Munch, Anders Zorn and Bruno Liljefors. On display you’ll discover 70,000 works, comprising 4,300 paintings, sculptures and installations, 61,000 watercolours and drawings and even photographs and children’s book illustrations. Works by masters such as van Gogh, Monet and Rembrandt are also highlighted in a vast collection of Renaissance, Baroque and French artworks. If you wish to explore the gallery in peace and tranquility, minus the tourists, it’s possible to book a private themed tour with a knowledgeable guide in advance.

Enjoy Swedish ‘Fika’ in Haga

Nestled close to the waterfront, between Gothenburg’s Vasa and Linné districts, is one of the city’s oldest and trendiest neighbourhoods - Haga. A main draw for tourists thanks to specialty shops selling decorations, chocolates and spices, it’s also the perfect place for ‘fika’. This popular Swedish pastime allows a break from the old routine. It’s a time to relax with friends, sip copious amounts of coffee and eat pastries in a delightful setting. Picture-postcard Haga is set amongst cobbled streets flanked by 19th century wooden houses and home to a plethora of welcoming cafes such as Café Kringlan. Its cosy interior décor, aroma of coffee beans, melt-in-the-mouth pastries and jovial atmosphere tempt you to stay a while. Alternatively, Café Husaren further along the street showcases a rare example of a 19th century glass roof and some say, the largest cinnamon buns in the world!

Charter a Yacht to Explore Gothenburg Archipelago

With glorious nature in abundance all along the west coast of Sweden, it would be a travesty to omit Gothenburg archipelago from your city break itinerary. The area surrounding is sprinkled with islands and narrow sounds and most villages are designated as car-free so you can wander at your leisure. There are many options when it comes to cruising in Gothenburg. You can hire a private speedboat and jet to islands such as Vrångö, Fotö or Hönö or enjoy a leisurely 4-hour cruise with dinner, drinks and a nature guide on-board. If you’re short on time, head for Hönö with its welcoming harbour, restaurants and cooling baths. You can get around the island via bicycle, or hike trails above the village for incredible photo opportunities. 

Dine on Delectable Swedish Seafood

Foodies will adore Gothenburg, especially lovers of seafood. One of the city’s main dishes, healthy Gravlax (dill cured salmon with mustard dressing) served with cold new potatoes is a firm favourite with locals year-round. During summertime, you’ll discover crayfish and shellfish on city menus and omni-present, the Swedish Smörgåsbord favourite - pickled herring served with either sour cream, boiled eggs, mustard, garlic, onion or dill. If seafood is not for you, turn your attention to Swedish meatballs. Made from fine cuts of pork meat, these delicious homemade morsels are served with lingonberries, a smooth cream sauce and mashed potatoes or macaroni. If you plan to barbecue or cook your own fish whilst on a boat trip or picnic, venture to Feskekôrka or Fish Church - a huge fish market set inside an old church by the waterside. However, if you prefer to be catered to, as many of us do, some of the most popular restaurants in Gothenburg are Sjöbaren in Haga and Restaurang Familjen which each serve fresh, creative Swedish dishes with produce sourced from local fishermen, butchers and farmers.

An Evening of Music at Gothenburg Concert Hall

Designed by architect Nils Einar Eriksson, Gothenburg Concert Hall was created with a Neo-Classical façade and functional interior. Inaugurated in 1935, today, it hosts live music concerts in the splendid Stora Salen concert room adorned with works of art, textiles and artistic treasures. The building is home to Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and on any given evening you can enjoy melodic sounds of classical music performed by 109 talented musicians. Each year, a different artist in residence performs at the concert hall. Throughout 2020, Leif Ove Andsnes will be playing Mozart and Grieg’s piano concertos. The artist has been described by The New York Times as “a pianist of great elegance, strength and insight”, so if you’re planning a visit to Gothenburg this year, book your tickets in advance as this is one performance you won’t want to miss.

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