Gothenburg (Swedish: Göteborg, pronounced "Yeutebory") is the second largest city in Sweden with approximately over 500,000 inhabitants in the municipality. It is situated on Sweden's west coast at the outlet of the Göta river. Much like its surrounding region, Västergötland, Gothenburg is known for its industrial backbone, notably hosting the Volvo Group and Volvo Cars headquarters.

Far from the grim industrial city one might imagine, Gothenburg is green and making the most of its riverine and maritime location, featuring many parks and canals. There are also many historic monuments from its relatively short but glorious past, and evidence of the Dutch-sourced city planning which makes Gothenburg share traits with Amsterdam and Jakarta. It also has a youthful side to it, with over 60,000 students (Gothenburg University is the largest in Scandinavia). Gothenburg has a reputation of being a friendly place, even more welcoming than Stockholm, the Swedish capital.

Statue of King Gustav II Adolf, who founded the city


Gothenburg is a city founded in the beginning of the 17th century by the Swedish King, Gustav II Adolf (see also Nordic history). It was once the center of the Swedish shipbuilding industry but with rising competition from foreign ship yards, many of the dry docks had to close down. Much of the inner harbor area has changed from industrial ship building to high technology and education, representative of the general change in the city. Today Gothenburg has both international sporting events, concerts, and conventions as well as a small town feel.

Politically it is dominated by the left-wing Social Democrats, and has been for many years, though Swedish politics is moving slightly to the right.

The "Guest Harbour" with the famous office building Lilla Bommen 1, jokingly referred to as the Lipstick building, in the background


The working-class history is easily visible, for example in the harbour area. Traditionally there has been few fashion houses or posh cafeterias, but that has changed in recent years with the reconstruction of the indoor malls in the city centre and with the opening of quite a number of American-styled coffee shops. In the city centre—where the University of Gothenburg is located—there are many students.

The intonation (which is however neither a dialect nor an accent) of the Gothenburgers is, for other Swedes, associated with cheerfulness and witty humour.

Tourist information

There are two tourist information offices in central Gothenburg - one in the Nordstan shopping center (next to the central train station) and one on Kungsportsplatsen about ten minutes walk from Nordstan. Gothenburg's official tourist website is another source of information.

Gothenburg offers the Gothenburg City Card, which allows entry into many tourist attractions, grand houses, museums as well as offering free travel on trams and buses and free parking. Among attractions covered are Ringlinien vintage train, admission to Liseberg, Universeum, free travel with Paddan boat, boat trip to New Älvsborg Fortress, guided tour by bus, Museum of World Culture, Gothenburg Natural History Museum, Gothenburg City Museum, Gothenburg Art Museum, Röhsska Museum, Maritime Museum Aquarium, Medical History Museum, The sports Museum, Maritiman, Casino Cosmopol, Gothenburgs utkiken, Guided tour of Gunnebo House, The Garden Society of Gothenburg, Greenhouses in the Botanical Garden, Röda Sten, Stinsen Sightseeing, Aeroseum, Volvo Museum, Mölndals Museum Recently, this card was made available to people's mobile phones, making it not only the most cost effective means of sightseeing but also the most convenient.

In case official tourist information is unavailable, Gothenburgers are usually more than willing to help.

Get in

Landvetter is Sweden's second-busiest airport

By plane

Landvetter Airport (IATA: GOT) is Gothenburg's main airport, located 25 km east of the city. It is served by about 30 different airlines, including SAS, Norwegian Ryanair and Wizz Air, who offer the most connections.

Almost all of the flights to Landvetter are short-haul ones from other European cities. If you want to fly in from other continents, you need to connect at a larger airport offering intercontinental flights. Norwegian and SAS offer connecting intercontinental tickets, as do several other European flag carriers flying to Landvetter. A flight ticket from Sweden's capital Stockholm to Gothenburg costs around 400 SEK.

There is a coffee shop, burger fast food service and newsagent land-side. Air-side you can find a few cafes, restaurants and bars as well as a number of gift shops and duty free. Foreign exchange facilities available both sides of security. The airport provides free wifi (Swedavia Airport) for up to 3 hours.

Most of the major car hire companies have facilities just opposite the airport exit.

There is a Flygbussarna bus service from Landvetter into the city. It runs every 15–20 minutes, costs 95 SEK one way (185 SEK return) if you prepay online (otherwise it is 10 SEK extra). The journey takes approximately 20–30 minutes, during the day running every 15 minutes. It stops at several locations (first stop near Liseberg; final stop: the Nils Ericson Bus terminal which is next to the Central Train Station). Be aware that the only method of payment for the ticket is by credit card. Free WiFi is available on the coach.

Until 2014, the city was also served by another airport, called Gothenburg City Airport (IATA: GSE), so you can still find references to it. All flights from GSE have been moved to Landvetter.

Main entrance to Centralstationen at night

By train

Göteborgs Centralstation (tram Centralstationen/Drottningtorget or Nordstan) is the main rail station in Gothenburg. Highspeed trains of SJ and MTR connect with Stockholm in just over three hours. International train services are available to Oslo and to Copenhagen (via Malmö and the Öresund bridge), both in just under 4 hours. A daily night train connects with the northern Swedish cities of Luleå and Umeå.

Also, a private luxury train named Blå Tåget travels the route Gothenburg-Stockholm-Uppsala daily except Fridays. Journey times are longer than SJ fast-trains but the train boasts generous seating, free WiFi and includes an onboard restaurant.

Göteborgs Centralstation is a large complex which includes a long-distance bus terminal

By bus

Several coach services operate in and out of Gothenburg including Eurolines, Säfflebussen, GoByBus, Bus4you and Swebus Express. Nils Ericsson Terminalen, located in connection with the central station, is the most common bus stop.

By ship

Stena Line operates ships to/from Denmark (Frederikshavn) and Germany (Kiel). The terminals are situated near the city centre. Tramway stops: Masthuggstorget (Frederikshavn), Chapmans Torg (Kiel).

DFDS Torline is a cargo line with limited passenger capacity. They can take a small number of passengers (and their car) to Gothenburg from Belgium (Ghent) and United Kingdom (Immingham and Tilbury).

By car

European roads E6, E20 and E45 pass through Gothenburg. If you come by car from Stockholm, you should take E4 to Jönköping, and then national road 40.

Approximate distances & travelling time:

Be aware that parking in Gothenburg can be difficult and expensive, as free parking is rarely found. Prices per hour vary between 7 different zones and can be as high as 30 SEK per hour. Free parking is however included in the Gothenburg City Card, if you happen to own one.

Gothenburg has implemented a congestion charge (trängselskatt) for the central area since 2013. However, for Swedish rental cars the cost is commonly already included in the daily fee.

Get around

Public transportation within Gothenburg (and the west of Sweden) is operated by Västtrafik and consists of trams, buses and ferries. You can find more information about tickets and a journey planner on their homepage.

Public transport in Gothenburg can be very slow: For example, to cross one side of the city to the other can take up to an hour (to cross 10 km). However, inside the central area, transport is fairly rapid.

The local transport company (Västtrafik) has removed maps from just about all the tram stops; be prepared and have a map ready before you get there.

Västtrafik's ticket system

Since 1 December 2009 you cannot buy tickets from the driver on any buses in Gothenburg area, but are available onboard countryside buses or regional trains and in machines on trams in the Västtrafik system.

Tourist Ticket

Tourists and others planning to travel everyday are advised to buy a 1 or 3 day ticket. A blue card called the Västrafik card is charged with ticket information. They are bought at Västtrafik's service centres or from seven-eleven or Pressbyrån or some other stores. They cost 85 SEK (1 day) or 170 SEK (3 days) inside Gothenburg. One can also buy a tourist card from the tourist office which is valid as a tram/bus ticket and for museum entrance fees etc. You could also get a five trips card, valid for exactly five trips and costs 102 SEK. Longer period tickets (30 or 365 days) can be loaded onto a västtraffik card.

Single ticket

If you only travel occasionally, you can either buy tickets at 7-eleven, the Västtrafik "Tidpunkten" customer service centers, the Pressbyrån shops, from the blue ticket machines on the trams - which accepts coins or major credit cards, online via the Travel planner, or via sms if you have a Swedish mobile phone account. During daytime the cost is 25 SEK for an adult within the city zone (22 SEK with sms ticket).

Prepaid card (Pay-as-you-go)

If you will be travelling more often it might be a good idea to buy a prepaid västtrafik card that also gives a discount. This card can be charged with any amount at a time until the card contains a maximum of 1500 SEK. In addition you must pay a 50 SEK deposit which can be used in part to pay for your trip, but if any of the deposit money is used, another trip cannot be made until you recharge the card again. If you return the card to a Västtrafik service center the deposit will be refunded to you.

If you travel within one zone a fixed price is deducted from your card, which is SEK 19.40 for an adult within the Gothenburg zone at the time of writing. If you travel across a zone border the journey will be more expensive. With the exception of the southern part of tram no. 4 (all stops from Krokslätts Torg to Mölndals Centrum) the entire tram system lies within the Göteborg municipality.

The card is used by touching it to one of the card readers in the vehicle when you board. If you intend to travel in more than one zone you must press the + button on the card reader before touching in and also touch the card to the reader when exiting the vehicle (otherwise, you will be charged for a journey to the terminal destination of the bus/tram). For tourists it's recommended you always touch in and out with the + button as the system will then always deduct the correct amount and you will not have to bother about the zones.

The Västrafik card can be bought from Västtrafik's service centres or from most convenience stores.

You can change freely between buses, ferries and trams 90 minutes after you first used your ticket. If you traveled in more than one zone the 90 minutes time will count from the time you disembarked in the last zone. When travelling between zones, remember to always touch in and touch out on each separate vehicle - otherwise you will be charged for each as separate journeys.

One should know that it might seem easy to get on one of the buses or trams without a valid ticket, but if a biljettkontrollant (ticket controller) would find out, you will be charged with a fee of 1200 SEK.

By tram

Gothenburg has a famous network of trams, covering most of the city. With over 150 km the Gothenburg tram is the largest light rail network in Scandinavia. The network consists of 12 tram lines, 1 to 11 and 13, and every line except no 8 passes through the main tram stop Brunnsparken ('Well Park'). It is located one tram stop or a 2 minute walk from the train station, Centralstationen. The trams runs approximately every 8–10 minutes during daylight and twice every hour at night, at weekends the trams run every 15–30 minutes. Notice that not all lines runs nighttime. This and the boats Paddan (operating from Kungsportsplatsen) is the best way to see the city as they run above ground at a comfortable yet quick pace.

By bus

Trams are the most efficient way to travel within the city centre, but if you're planning to go further you might need to go by bus. Bus lines heading in the same direction often departs from the same part of the city. There is no real equivalent to the large central tram and bus stop Brunnsparken—most others are divided into several "smaller" hubs, which you often reach by tram.

By ferry

Two ferry services run across the river; Älvsnabben is the regular ferry service with traffic every thirty minutes, and Älvsnabbare that only run between Rosenlund and Lindholmspiren (free of charge) during work hours. Besides transport, this can be a good way to see the city from the river.

Ferries to the southern archipelago run from Saltholmen, with three different lines: Vrångö line, Brännö Rödsten line and the less trafficated Förö line. The service runs once an hour or less.

Styrsöbolaget run the ferry services under licence of Västtrafik - you can still use the city public transport ticket. On their homepage can you find time tables and more information about the islands.

By taxi

There are several taxi companies, for example Taxi Göteborg (031-650000), Taxi Kurir (031-272727) and Minitaxi (031-140140). Initial fare from 35 SEK, and then from 10 to 14 SEK/km. Every taxi must have comparing prices well visible according to law, and it's often placed in the side window. No 1 is daytime, no 2 is rush hour and no 3 is for night time service, and then you see the initial fare, price per hour, price per kilometre and comparing prices for a typical journey.

Note that prices between companies vary. For the above-mentioned larger companies the visible comparing price is about 300-350 SEK. Dubious taxi operators take about double the price, so make sure to compare before you enter. For longer travels, negotiate a fixed price. To the airport it should be around 500 SEK.

Illegal taxis, called "svarttaxi", are operating, particularly during Friday and Saturday nights. They are generally cheaper, but using them is not advised, particularly for women or drunk passengers, since muggings and rapes have occurred involving illegal taxis.

By bicycle

Gothenburg city bikes

Gothenburg has a nice network of bicycle paths, reaching all parts of the city. You can buy network maps at the tourist information centres, and you can find an online version at the link.

You can bring your bike on the ferries, on some trains but not on trams or buses. The service is free on Älvsnabben but cost 10 SEK on the ferries in the southern archipelago.

You can rent a bike from Cykelkungen or if you are staying at a hostel they can often provide it for you.

In the most central parts there are an automated loan bike system Styr & Ställ, registration of 25Kr fo r3 days an reserving an amount on your credit card they are free to use as long as you use for only 30 minutes and then replaced in another place. You can then take a bike again 2 minutes later. An real-time map showing how many bikes and free parking slots are available at each station can be downloaded from .

By foot

With a compact city centre most sights are easily reached by foot, and it's a nice way to get around.

Popular walks around the city includes the nature reserve around the lake Delsjön, the park Slottskogen, the botanical garden, on any of the islands in the southern archipelago, or in the neighborhood Haga.


Notable buildings

The Skansen Kronan is positioned atop a steep hill in Haga


Entrance to the Universeum
The Volvo Museum is about more than just cars and trucks
Botanical Garden in June

Parks and Gardens


Concert/Entertainment Venues


Sport events



While the Gothenburg University generally requires a longer stay to partake in their courses, if you want to do a shorter course, for example a language course or pottery course rhere are a few options:


Gothenburg's focus is strongly on industry - it is not especially known for a kind of confectionery or a novelty item like many other historic cities. So, if you are after something made in Gothenburg that the city is famous for, get yourself a Volvo. If you are on a budget, an SKF bearing will do as well.

Otherwise, Gothenburg is rich in shopping opportunities for more mundane or even special products that might not be made locally or be known for being so:

Apart from the abovementioned, the entire island of Inom Vallgraven is one big shopping area, with shopping windows extending along entire streets, so if you want to shop 'til you drop, this is where you should go. For other shopping opportunities, see below:


Raggmunk: Potato, wheat pancake with fried pork belly and lingonberries

The main restaurant street in Gothenburg is Linnégatan running from Järntorget to Linnéplatsen. It has a high concentration of good restaurants of all kinds in the low to moderate price range.

Most restaurants offer lunch menus ranging 60-80 SEK, mostly they are served between 11:30 and 14:00.




After Work

Every Friday, some pubs and restaurants have After Work specials with happy hour prices in the bar. Some pubs also offer after work on the other weekdays.


In the summertime there are outdoor serving along Avenyn and Linnégatan.

You can pick up the free Nöjesguiden and Djungeltrumman magazines in various stores to read more about Gothenburg's nightlife. They are only available in Swedish though.


There are several different clubs in Gothenburg, with a wide array of music styles.


Gothenburg has a vast array of cafés practically everywhere. In the district Haga (near Järntorget) you can find a lot of nice cafés. It is quite normal to get a free re-fill if you buy filter coffee (bryggkaffe in Swedish).


Clarion Hotel Post, formerly the Central Post Office Building


Many Youth Hostels only offer their lowest prices to members of STF or IYHF.



Stay safe

Most crimes against tourists are crimes of opportunity, such as pick-pocketing, bicycle theft, auto theft and auto vandalism. Pickpockets converge in Gothenburg during the summer months so beware. As always, do not leave valuable items in your car or in a cloakroom, and watch your bag in crowded places. Most shops and all major taxi companies accept credit and debit cards, so there is no need to carry a lot of cash. Downtown Gothenburg is plagued by illegal taxis by night, and they are considered very unsafe, especially for women. Check the taxi rate, which should be on a yellow window sticker; the preferred price should be in the range of 300-350 SEK. Generally speaking, crime rates in Gothenburg are quite low from an international perspective.


As in many secondary cities around the world, the people of Gothenburg are known to be die-hard hometown patriots. Any compliments about the city will be appreciated. Comparisons with Stockholm, on the other hand, would be rather unwelcome.


Religious Services

Protestant churches:

Roman Catholic churches:

Church of the Anglican community:

Islamic Mosques:

Go next

Routes through Gothenburg

Oslo Kungälv  N  S  Kungsbacka Malmö
Malmö Kungsbacka  W  E  Alingsås Stockholm
Karlstad Trollhättan  N  S  Frederikshavn

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 24, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.