Visited: May 2022
Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden and is worth a visit.
I arrived in Stockholm airport in the morning and got train tickets for the Arlanda Express (~$20/ticket one way) to take to Stockholm Centralstation. It was about a 20 minute train ride. We caught the train that we pre-booked online from Stockholm station to Gothenburg CentralStation. The train ride was about $40 roundtrip and was about 3 hours.
In Gothenburg, I recommend getting a 3-day pass that could be used for the train and bus. Their public transportation system was very efficient and both the trains and buses come quite regularly. It is also walkable in the city center.
After arriving and dropping off our luggage at the hotel, we went to Stora Saluhallen (The Market Hall), which was close to the Gothenburg CentralStation. I decided to get the standard meatballs dish but the marketplace has many restaurants to pick from.
We then went to the City Museum to learn more about Gothenburg.
From the museum, we also learned about nordstan, which is Sweden’s largest shopping center, consisting of 180 shops and 150 offices. We ended up getting poke at the mall for dinner.
We started the day at the Gothenburg Botanical Garden. It is a large garden that you can walk around for hours. There are even hiking trails connected to the garden that you can walk a few mile loop in.
For lunch, we went to hagabions cafe, which is a vegetarian cafe inside an indie movie theater. They have a changing menu so I would definitely recommend going to it and trying the food.
The Oscar Fredrik Church was nearby so we stopped there after lunch. It is an example of neo-Gothic style of architecture in Gothenburg.
We then went to the Gothenburg Museum of Natural History. It was smaller than I had expected (but I am also comparing it to the Museum of Natural History in NYC). There was a large bird and insects section, which I passed through quickly since I am not a fan of them. The museum is also located in the Slottsskogen City Park. It was raining in the afternoon so we did not walk around the park but it seemed like a nice park to sit in.
We went to Skansen Kronan, a fortress situated on the hill Risåsberget in the Haga district. We were not able to go inside but it has a great 360 view of the city and you can see some of the canons that were built around the fortress. There is a steep but smooth graveled path that I recommend you use to walk up and use the staircase to walk down- they were on opposite sides of the park.
We walked around the Haga district, which is famous for being the birthplace for the Swedish fika, a concept where you take a break during the day with friends by having a drink and snack.
We stopped by Café Husaren to try their hagabullen (cinnamon buns) but they had already ran out of them by late afternoon! We still had our fika.
We have never been to the opera before and decided to give it a try since there are student tickets available. We watched Viva la mamma. It was an enjoyable experience and something to try here!
Fun Fact: Did you know that Sweden is made up of nearly 270,000 islands?!
We decided to take advantage of the sunny weather that day to go island hopping. We took the bus to Saltholmens Brygga, which was the last stop to take the ferry to the island. It turns out you can use your tram card on the ferries in between the islands.
We started by taking the ferry to Styrsö. We walked to Stora Rös, which was the island’s highest point. It was quite windy at top but it would probably be better during the summertime.
We stopped by Café Öbergska, which was close to another ferry stop on the island but we decided to continue walking to the next island, Donsö. Donsö was connected to Styrsö by a bridge. The walk between the two islands had great views all around.
We also went to a high point on this island. You can see the bridge that we had crossed in the picture below.
Finally, we took the ferry to Vrångö, the southernmost inhabited island in the Southern Gothenburg Archipelago. Around 380 people live there year round! It is very scenic and quiet as we did a short hike in the southern half of the island.
We went to Trädgårdsföreningen, the Garden Society of Gothenburg. It has a few different gardens and buildings for you to see, including The Palm house, which is a greenhouse. It also had café Rosenkaféet where we got lunch.
We then stopped by Café Husaren where I was able to get their hagabullen (cinnamon buns). They were as big as my face!
We went to the Gothenburg Museum of Art. The museum’s collection features both Swedish and international work dating from the 17th century onward. It includes art from big names like Rembrandt, Picasso, and Monet.
We then went to Vi Viet. They were fully booked for the next few days but we managed to get a table through a walk-in at the beginning of dinner.
We finished going through the Gothenburg Museum of Art in the morning and got lunch at Roots Cafe, which is located in the library! It has great vegetarian options and is a good place to stop by after the museum or when browsing through the books at the library.
We went to CentralStation to take the train to Stockholm.