One of the best ways to get to know Gothenburg is to cruise the canal on a Paddan boat. Guides will fill you in on Swedish history as you revel in the city’s splendid landscape. As you get a feel for the city, you can make a list of the places you want to visit later.
Liseberg Amusement Park
There’s fun for everyone at Liseberg, Scandinavia’s largest amusement park. Ride the Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds, or take in a standup show. Liseberg, whose garden boasts hundreds of species of trees and flowers, plays host to concerts as well. If you’re an adventure addict, you’re going to love this park, which also boasts Europe’s tallest free fall.
Gothenburg Botanical Garden
Opened in 1923 in honor of the city’s 300th anniversary, Gothenburg Botanical Garden is Sweden’s largest at 175 hectares. After touring the gardens with their upwards of 12,000 species including everything from tropical orchids to carnivorous plants, you can relax on the benches or stretch out on the grass. Gothenburg Botanical Garden offers a glorious atmosphere in which to unwind.
Gothenburg Opera House
Opened in 1994, Gothenburg Opera House stands on the shore, next to a post-modern skyscraper called Lilla Bomen. Impressed by the Gothenburg landscape, renowned architect Jan Izikowitz designed this striking opera house to reflect the city’s skyline. A venue for music and ballet as well as opera, Gothenburg Opera House is one of the city’s must-see sights.
Feskekôrka is an indoor fish market where all the seafood is absolutely fresh. Built in 1874, it is named for the architectural style of the building, which resembles a church (kôrka). The architect of the market, Victor von Gegerfelt, was both a military man. Even if you aren’t planning to shop, go there anyway because this market is worth seeing just for its architecture.
Gothenburg Art Museum
Gothenburg Art Museum is one of Europe’s most comprehensive with extensive collections spanning the period from the 15th century to the present. You can see the works of famous painters like Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet, Picasso and Chagall at this museum, which also offers the finest examples of Scandinavian art. And when you need a break after touring the museum, you can relax at the chic cafe on the entrance level or take a peek at the bookshop next door.
If you’re a science buff, don’t miss the Universeum, a science center open to the public. Opened in 2001, the Universeum affords some fascinating experiences in its six different sections. You can see Europe’s largest aquarium as well as rain forests created in an indoor environment and get a closeup view of free-ranging tropical animals at this science center in the heart of Gothenburg!
Founded in the 17th century by Queen Kristina, Haga was Gothenburg’s first suburb. Today it is a touristic quarter where old meets new in cafes, gourmet restaurants and art galleries, all cheek by jowl with old wooden houses. From antiques and designer goods to books and clothes, you can find everything you’re looking for in Haga. Plus, you can tour the historic Skasen Kronan fortress and enjoy the spectacular Gothenburg landscape.
Smack dab in the city center, Slottsskogen is Gothenburg’s most beautiful park. Laid out in the 17th century, it also has special areas for playing football, frisbee, and golf. Plus you can see numerous Scandinavian native animal species from foxes to deer in the park zoo. Try to schedule your visit to overlap with the penguin and seal feeding times. And don’t forget to see Gothenburg Natural History Museum, also inside the park, with its taxidermy dioramas of animals from all over the world frozen in time in their native habitats.
You needn’t stray far out of the city to find charming towns, coastlines and hiking trails. Visit Marstrand, one of the loveliest of the islands around Gothenburg, by taking a boat cruise from the city center. Carlsten Fort, which has defended the wooden town below for more than 300 years, is a must-see when you go to Marstrand. And besides a restaurant where you can eat typical Swedish dishes, the castle also offers accommodation.