Why visit Gothenburg? The number of answers that can be given to this question is stunning. A lively city, with a particular energy, Gothenburg is famous for its inhabitants’ quality of life and character, welcoming and humorous: a place where you immediately feel at home, breathing in a relaxed yet sparkling atmosphere.
Populated with splendid parks, imposing buildings and ancient castles, Gothenburg is a young, creative city, full of galleries, museums and events: from food festivals to cultural events, sporting events and music festivals, every season here is electrifying. The sun never sets in the summer and the days are extremely long: it is the ideal time to stay up late and throw yourself into the Gothenburg night-life. It is also the time for a dip in the water, making the most of a great backdrop offered by the islands in the archipelago.
Even in the coldest seasons, the most characteristic districts, such as Haga, are an attraction point, with their coffee shops and alternative shops. The food in Gothenburg is fantastic: the biggest feature on menus is fish, to be tasted in rated restaurants or local inns where you can eat cheaply: even better, on a wild island, surrounded by fishermen’s houses. Run through by the River Gota and lying on the North Sea, the city is full of breath-taking panoramic points.
The second largest city in Sweden will enchant you with its architecture, it wonderful natural setting and its welcoming ways. Here are the 18 must-see places to visit in Gothenburg and the surrounding area, perhaps with Costa while taking advantage of our excursions.
- Gothenburg Museum
- Gustav Adolf Square and Opera Theatre
- Oscar Fredrik Church
- Järntorget Square
- Haga District
- Götaplatsen Square
- Universeum - National Museum of Science
- Skansen Kronan Fortress
- Masthuggskyrkan Church
- Kungälv and Västra Gatan Avenue
- Styrsö Island
- Carlstens Fortress
- Tjörnbron Bridge
- Skärhamn and Nordic Watercolour Museum
Gothenburg is also known as the Scandinavian Amsterdam, and on visiting the Stadsmuseum, it is easy to understand why. The collection in the Gothenburg Museum tells of evolution from prehistoric times to the nineteenth century, up to the industrial expansion that gave life to the modern city. Founded as a merchant port at the mouth of the River Gota, it was equipped with an ingenious canal system, designed on the Amsterdam model.
Today, the Gothenburg canals are the backdrop to quiet boat trips: if you so wish, the itinerary can continue as far as Stockholm, along the Göta Canal, the “blue ribbon of Sweden”. Located in the historical premises of the Eastern Indias Company, the prestigious Gothenburg Museum houses ancient testimonies and temporary exhibitions, also offering guided tours and itineraries on foot around the city. Inside, it is possible to admire a very special finding: the only Viking ship exhibited in Sweden. There is also a play area for children, a shop, a restaurant and a coffee shop for relaxing after a visit to the museum.
Gustav Adolf Square and Opera Theatre
Oscar Fredrik Church
Are you wondering whether to visit the Gothenburg Museum of Art? If you have time, the answer should most definitely be yes. It is worth it: the Konstmuseum, in fact, hosts one of the best late nineteenth-century art collections from North Europe. The permanent collection includes works by Swedish artists and international masterpieces, with canvases by Rembrandt, Monet, Chagall and Picasso amongst others.
In addition to the size and variety of its collection, the museum can also boast a creativity in its management: alongside temporary exhibitions and guided tours, workshops and family activities are also organised. There is also a coffee shop for a tasty break while commenting the best paintings. The construction style is typical of Neoclassical monumental architecture, reinterpreted with a Nordic slant: the particular nature comes from the ochre colour of the bricks, a sign of the city factory.
Universeum - National Museum of Science
Skansen Kronan Fortress
The Skansen Kronan Fortress is one the list of the best view points in Gothenburg. From here you can count the roofs in the Haga district and look at the green slopes of the hill. The defence structure was built in the second half of the seventeenth century, based on designs by Erik Dahlbergh, an engineer who won over the nobility with his military honours.
Skansen Kronan Fortress was equipped with 23 cannons to defended itself from all types of attack: however, it was lucky enough to not be used in war, as the enemy stayed at due distance. A possibility that it was well prepared for, thanks to its granite walls that are up to five metres thick. It was later turned into a prison and emergency shelter, and in the 20th century was turned into a military museum. Today it is a great panoramic viewpoint that pairs with Skansen Lejonet, its twin fortress that, unlike the golden crown of Skansen Kronan, bears a lion on its top.
Kungälv and Västra Gatan Avenue
Skärhamn and Nordic Watercolour Museum
Set sail for Gothenburg with Costa Cruises
Tell us the truth: you’re thinking about moving to Gothenburg. It would be hard to say your are wrong: the Swedish city is a unique mix of Nordic fascination and cosmopolitan atmospheres, full of green spaces and opportunities to enjoy yourself. Gothenburg is the youngest and most “social” city in Sweden, thanks to its important university and many clubs and bars. It is also a place steeped in history: it became big with trade and thanks to its system of canals. It still has wonderful traces of its own past. This jagged coastline and the archipelago islands frame it wonderfully: if you want to appreciate it at its best, visit Gothenburg on a Costa cruise, taking advantage of the many trips organised to the city.