The best things to do in Gothenburg are found along its Dutch-style canals and cobbled streets. You get to discover an exciting city with a rich past and cosmopolitan setting. Explore the cobbled streets of Gothenburg’s Old Town and Haga, which are home to antique shops, art galleries, and historical buildings dating back to the late 18th century.

    Foodies can find plenty of cafés, market halls, and modern restaurants that serve Nordic cuisine and seafood from the North Sea. End the night by checking out local pubs and vibrant nightclubs, many of which have been around since the 1900s. Read on for ideas on great things to do in Gothenburg.

    What are the best things to do in Gothenburg?

    1

    Crown Sconce (Skansen Kronan)

    A beautiful old redoubt offering magnificent views

    • History

    The Crown Sconce (Skansen Kronan) is a distinguished fortress which offers one of the best views in all of Gothenburg. The gorgeous 17th-century structure, the leafy park which surrounds it and the urban landscape below have made this spot into a favourite among locals for picnics in the sunshine. In the 19th century, once the Danes were no longer considered a dangerous fiend and a threat to Sweden's borders, the building was converted into a prison and today you can go on an exciting tour to learn all about what life was like for its prisoners.

    The Crown Sconce is located in the central neighbourhood of Haga in Gothenburg. It can be easily reached by public transport. Simply take a 10-minute bus ride from Gothenburg Central Station to Masthugget and you'll find the tower around 400 metres away.

    Location: Skansberget, Leijonsparres Väg 15, 413 04 Gothenburg, Sweden

    Phone: +46 704 184525

    Map
    2

    Oscar Fredrik Church

    Strike a pose outside a neo-Gothic church

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Oscar Fredrik Church may not be the oldest in Gothenburg, but it's an impressive edifice offering excellent photo opportunities both outside and in. The church is located in the district of Masthugget which is home to a great many interesting shops and cosy cafés. The gorgeous red and turquoise green tower can be seen from far and wide across the city. The highest point measures a whole 60 metres into the sky.

    Equally impressive is the bright, arched interior which offers ample opportunity to snap interesting geometric compositions or to find alluring backdrops that play with space. You'll also find some gorgeous paintings and stained-glass windows to point your lens at.

    Location: Oscar Fredriks kyrkogata 1, 413 17 Gothenburg, Sweden

    Phone: +46 31 731 92 50

    Map
    3

    Gothenburg Botanical Gardens

    Visit an 18th-century summerhouse at the herb garden

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo
    • Budget
    • Group

    Gothenburg Botanical Gardens has over 16,000 plant species that are cultivated in greenhouses and landscaped gardens. Highlights include a rock garden, a kitchen garden that grows hundreds of vegetables, and an herb garden with an 18th-century summerhouse. Gothenburg Botanical Gardens is free to enter all year round, but an admission fee of 20 kr is required if you want to check out the greenhouses.

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    Location: Carl Skottsbergs gata 22A, 413 19 Gothenburg, Sweden

    Open: May–August: daily from 10 am to 5 pm. September–April: daily from 10 am to 4 pm

    Map
    4

    Haga

    Pamper yourself at a 19th-century spa

    • Shoppers
    • History
    • Photo

    A 5-minute stroll from Gothenburg city centre brings you to the cobbled streets of the formerly working class district of Haga, the city’s oldest quarter. The main street Haga Nygata is lined with alternative cafés and art galleries that may draw you for hours. Shopping options here range from antique stores and vintage boutiques to independent chocolatiers and toyshops. Haga is also home to one of Gothenburg’s oldest spas, the neo-Romantic-style Hagabadet Spa, which dates to the 1870s.

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    Location: Haga, Gothenburg, Sweden

    Map

    photo by Andrzej Otrębski (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    5

    Fish Church

    Browse through dozens of stalls selling fresh seafood

    • History
    • Photo
    • Food

    Feskekôrka, located in central Gothenburg, is a historical seafood market dating back to the 19th century. Designed by Swedish architect Victor von Gegerfelt, this Gothenburg landmark is known as the Fish Church as it resembles a Gothic-style church. Inside, you can find dozens of stalls selling a variety of fish and ready-to-eat meals in the main hall, together with 2 seafood restaurants. On sunny days, grab a seat at the outdoor terrace to enjoy your meal with views of the Rosenlund Canal.

    Location: Fisktorget 4, 411 20 Gothenburg, Sweden

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Map
    6

    Stora Saluhallen

    Sample cheese, smoked meat, and chocolate at this foodie market

    • Shoppers
    • History
    • Food

    Stora Saluhallen is home to a variety of fresh produce stalls, delicatessens, bakeries, bars, and restaurants. Built in 1888, this indoor market is usually packed with locals shopping for groceries in the morning. A semi-circled glass roof plenty of natural light into the main hall, where you get to shop from over 40 vendors, many of which have been operating since the late 19th century. Must-tries include gourmet cheeses at Hugo Ericson Ost, handmade chocolate at Flickorna Kanold, and Kåges Hörna’s pannbiff med lök (pancake with potatoes, onion sauce, and lingonberries).

    Location: Kungstorget, 411 17 Gothenburg, Sweden

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Map

    photo by Jens Hunt (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    7

    Slottsskogen

    See elk and seals at the children’s zoo

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Group

    Slottsskogen (Castle Forest) is a family-friendly park directly across the street from Gothenburg Botanical Gardens. This 1.37-sq-km green expanse attracts animal lovers with its children’s zoo, which is home to Gotland ponies, elk, sheep, seals, and penguins. Slottsskogen has a natural forest that’s popular for enjoying nature trails and foraging for wild berries. The northern end of the park has an observatory that organises stargazing events for visitors in the summer months.

    Location: Slottskogspromenaden, 414 76 Göteborg, Sweden

    Map

    photo by Guillaume Baviere (CC BY 2.0) modified

    8

    Maritiman Museum

    Explore the Nordparken submarine at Gothenburg’s ship museum

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    The old docks on the north side of Gothia River form a backdrop to the Maritiman Museum, one of the world’s largest ship museums. Marine enthusiasts, adults and children alike, get to explore the museum’s extensive collection of ships and boats. You’re free to climb into the Nordparken submarine and board the Småland warship. Admission to Maritiman Museum costs around 125 kr per adult and 70 kr for children aged 5 to 15 years old, but rates are higher during summertime (June–August).

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    Location: Packhusplatsen 12, 411 13 Gothenburg, Sweden

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +46 (0)31-10 59 50

    Map

    photo by Guillaume Baviere (CC BY 2.0) modified

    9

    Liseberg Amusement Park

    Ride the Balder wooden rollercoaster at this amusement park

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo
    • Group

    Liseberg, one of the largest amusement parks in Sweden, features more than 40 thrill rides and family attractions dating back to 1923. Enjoy an adrenaline rush with a ride on the Balder wooden rollercoaster, which has a maximum speed of 90 km/h. Young children get to enjoy colourful slides and swings at Barnens Paradis playground, boat rides at Kaninresan (Rabbit River), and a double-decker carousel at Children's Paradise. Liseberg Amusement Park is open throughout the summer months, with very limited opening hours in winter.

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    Location: Örgrytevägen 5, 402 22 Gothenburg, Sweden

    Open: Hours vary by season (only opens on weekends in winters)

    Phone: +46 (0)31-40 01 00

    Map
    10

    Avenyn

    Party in Gothenburg’s 19th-century nightclubs

    • Nightlife

    Avenyn is Gothenburg’s trendy nightlife quarter, with dozens of bars, theatres, and nightclubs that have been around since the 1900s. The main boulevard is located between 2 public squares, namely Kungsportsplatsen and Götaplatsen. Enjoy a night of dancing at some of the city’s oldest nightclubs, such as Trädgår’n, Valand, and Port Du Soleil. If you’re a fan of theatre and classical music, the southern end of Avenyn is home to several venues, including the Lorensbergsteatern performing arts theatre and Gothenburg City Theatre.

    Location: Kungsportsavenyen, Gothenburg, Sweden

    Map

    photo by W.carter (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveller

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