Having recently come back from a glorious trip with my girlfriends, I wanted to share with you my favourite 10 Top Things to See and Do in Gothenburg, Sweden. Having not known a huge amount of people who had visited I want to share all the fantastic places we found on our adventure that you can’t miss!
There are regular flights from London Gatwick with Norwegian Air, approximately £96 return per person (depending on season and times), was my first time flying with them and can tell you I loved the on flight free wifi to keep me entertained! Although with the flight being about two hours long, I used the time well for a nap and a few chapters of my book.
Carbon Emissions Offset
This is the first time I’ve actively looked into offsetting the carbon emissions of my air travel for my holidays. Myclimate calculates the carbon emissions for your flights per person from the airports you’re using and depending on the class, for my trip it would generate 0.475 tons of emissions but you can pay to support international projects and sustainable developments to not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also contribute to social, ecological and economic development in the region. Mine came out as €11 to offset for both flights in total. I will now be adding this process in my decision making to visit a place if I can afford the outset costs when researching accommodation and flights.
Having had a great time in Stockholm, we were keen to explore more of what Sweden has to offer, not wanting to rush around to tick sights off a to-do list but to be able to stroll and enjoy the city unfolding in front of us. We had a rough itinerary to see the key recommended places but didn’t plan every second so could enjoy a chilled break.
What To See and Do
Palm House at The Garden Society of Gothenburg
Having dropped off our bags at our hotel, we were out to the first spot on our list. It was a gloriously warm day so took a stroll along the tree-lined paths to The Garden Society of Gothenburg park, is is one of the best-preserved 19th-century parks in Europe. Heading towards the palm house which was from 1878, modelled on the London Crystal Palace. A whole host of tropical plants are housed here and a great spot to wander around. Don’t forget to visit the rose garden too on the grounds with 1200 different kinds of rose plants to perfume the summer air.
Shops and Coffee Shops of Haga
Heading to the oldest neighbourhood in Gothenburg is an absolute must. Lined with traditional preserved houses which now house independent shops and coffee shops for you to spend plenty of time having a lovely time pottering around. Fika is a big past time in Sweden, the art of the coffee break, there’s plenty of places to try the bespoke biscuits, cakes and buns to go alongside your coffee pick me up. Haga is the place for you for drool-worthy homewares, in fact, my friends paid for hold luggage to make sure their shopping wouldn’t be limited to bag space!
Champagnebaren Kyrkogatan 13 – Champagne Bar
Nestled in an off-street courtyard lined with fairy lights is Champagnebaren Kyrkogatan 13, a champagne bar run by two female friends who wanted to take the stuffiness from sourcing delicious bubbles. After a hard day of shopping in Haga, how about selecting some bubbles which have been sourced from fifty champagne houses of small producers who are protecting the craft and environment to make some really special champagnes. I went for the Jean Velut Rosé with a deep red in colour but with the lightness and fruity notes of a blush rosé. You can pick to have your champagne by the glass or bottle so amongst friends with different tastes you can pick and choose what to have, as well as them running champagne tasting sessions.
Brännö Nature Reserve
By utilising the cities fantastic transport links you can reach some new areas to explore. As we were staying near the central station, we were able to pick up cheap tram tickets to the ferry port, which included in our ticket, able to travel to Brännö, one of the southern part of Gothenburg’s archipelago islands which only has just over 800 inhabitants. With no narrow roads and no cars allowed on the island, it makes for a quiet escape from the busy city. We took a path to the nature reserve which took in the beautiful woodlands and coastal paths around the island. Which meant the wine at lunch was well deserved. The tram tickets can be picked up from the newsagents before getting on board and are valid for a couple of hours, making it a cheap way for groups to move around.
Cinnamon Buns from Café Da Matteo
You can’t visit Sweden without trying several of the delicious cinnamon and cardamom buns and luckily there are many branches of the Da Matteo cafés around the city so you’re never too far from you’re next cinnamon bun hit. We stopped off at the Magasinsgatan branch after nosing around all the housewares, stationery and clothing shops oozing in Scandi cool, needing a restorative pick me up, roasting their own coffee beans means you’re also in for a rich coffee experience, the perfect partner to soft gooey buns. If you’re not having at least three buns a day whilst visiting, are you even holidaying right??
Dinner in a Historic Post Office– Norda
Set in the historic post house near Central Station, is the rich art-deco inspired wooden panelled, Norda restaurant, with a menu that is Swedish influenced with an American East coast. Sinking to the velvet booths, we tucked into the best bread basket I’ve ever had in a restaurant. A mix of grain bread, mini loaves and crispbread with whipped butter to slather on. Well worth a visit for the bread alone, but just wait until the other courses.
The main course I went for, Cauliflower – Three times of cauliflower with courgette noodles, browned butter with soy and hazelnuts with herb croutons. Served with a portion of creamy mac and cheese, the browned butter richness with nutty hazelnuts alongside the freshness of the cauliflower made for a sublime dish.
Dessert was a complete chocolate overload, chocolate terrine with vanilla-infused rhubarbs, wild strawberries and cottage cheese sorbet, and raspberry marshmallows. The most perfectly poached rhubarb with body still and a wonderful vanilla flavour, which paired the rich of the chocolate beautifully. The sorbet was light with the tartness of the cottage cheese, adding a lightness to the rich dessert. A great way to end a lovely meal.
Fish Church – Feskekôrka
Built-in 1874 and inspired by the wooden Norwegian stave churches and Gothic stone churches. Housing a fresh fish and shellfish market where you can buy all kinds of seafood delicacies caught on the day as well as a restaurant upstairs serving up the catches from the below market.
Look Out Over the City – Skansen Kronan
A gentle walk from the centre to the fortress built in 1700 on a hilltop, which offers lovely views over across the city. You can climb a staircase on the side of the fortress for a slightly higher view but really it’s a lovely small green space above the city noise and bustle, and to take a moment with your travel buddies.
Canal Boat Trip
A great way to see the city on a beautiful day with minimal effort from your part, a boat trip along the canal and moats of the city. Paddan was one of the main companies that run trips, about 50 minutes long for approx., €15 but there is also an option for a long route that is a hop-on, hop-off the boat if you wanted to visit the sights along the way. A nice way to learn about the city and its history in a very gentle way. We even brought a picnic on board as short on time before heading to the airport home.
Giant Cinnamon Buns at Café Husaren – Hagabulla
When researching our trip, there was a place I knew I wanted to visit. That is because of this place (Café Husaren) makes giant cinnamon buns the size of your head! Dreams do come true! We stopped off to the chandelier decorated tearoom to pick up some of the monster buns, but there was plenty of other fika treats on offer to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth! They can also go through airport security if you need a unique souvenir of your trip!
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