Last weekend, my friend and I went to Gothenburg. The weekend trip was planned like many of our trips. We looked up flights that leave either Berlin or Hamburg late on Friday night and that are affordable and then randomly picked one of the destinations without knowing much about them. It ended up being Gothenburg.
Gothenburg, as it turned out, was a great weekend trip and we could easily have spent a couple more days here. The city is the second-largest in Sweden but it’s green and very clean and most attractions can be reached on foot or through the excellent public transport. Here are the highlights of what we did to give you some ideas for your next weekend trip:
1. Archipelago Tour
The first thing we did was to leave the city by boat and travel through the archipelago. The islands are spread out on Gothenburg’s west coast and there are two ways of getting there. We took a tourist boat from Lilla Bommen, north of the city center, which passed by the islands and then dropped us off on Vinga, where we had an hour before we were taken back. The tour was nice because we got lots of information about Gothenburg and the archipelago from our guide. It wasn’t cheap, though, and we had to pay 325,- kr per person.
If you’re on a budget, or you’re going from September to Mai (the boats from Lilla Bommen only leave during the very short Swedish summer), you can take the tram line 11 to the ferry terminal in Saltholmen. It takes 35 minutes to get there and your tram ticket is also valid on the ferries that will take you out into the archipelago.
The island we visited is, as I already mentioned, called Vinga. There’s a lighthouse with a steep ladder to climb and a museum that you can visit. Too bad most of the signs in the museum were on Swedish, but the lighthouse was worth the visit. As far as I know, you cannot get to Vinga by ferry.
The receptionist at our hotel recommended Brännö as the nicest island in the archipelago so if you’re taking one of the ferries, you should get off here.
2. Lunch at Stora Saluhallen
Stora Saluhallen is a market hall where you can get a tasty lunch without emptying your wallet. You can also buy all kind of sweets, cheese and meat. Get a plate of kötbullar with mashed potatoes and enjoy!
We arrived too late for lunch and weren’t very hungry so we stopped by at a bakery nearby where we had a cinnamon roll and a punschrullar, typical Swedish sweets.
The city museum is worth a visit for the Viking exhibition alone. Here, you can see a Viking boat that has been found upriver from Gothenburg. While the size is impressive at first, don’t forget that the Vikings crossed the Atlantic in those boats!
There are also some exhibitions on pre-historic times and the history of Gothenburg with new displays being under construction.
4. Walking Tour of Gothenburg
While you’re at the city museum, make sure to pick up one of the free ‘Walk with me’ brochures. In them, you’ll find a great walking tour that will take you past all of Gothenburg’s major attractions. You’ll pass the Feskekörka, Gothenburg’s fish market, and you’ll finish on the hill of Skansen Kronan, from where you have a great view of the city.
If you want to see a reindeer or a moose, this is your chance.
Slottsskogen is a huge park southwest of the city center. In its middle, you’ll find the Djurpark, a zoo with Scandinavian animals. We saw sheep, goats and, of course, the moose and a couple of reindeers.
Best of all, the park is open all day year-long and the entry is completely free.
Tram lines 1, 2 and 6 go to Linneplatsen, which is just next to Slottsskogen.
So what do you think? Are you already considering Gothenburg as a destination for your next weekend trip?