Top Things To Do in Gothenburg, Sweden


I have been slowly but surely trying to see all of the Nordic Countries, not sure if it's the vikings or what, but I just love these Northern Europeans. This year I checked Iceland off my list, I am headed to Denmark in a few weeks, and last year I had the chance to explore Norway for a week, so it was about time to hop over to Sweden (now when to see Finland?).

Gothenburg, for me, was the perfect place to start in Sweden and to get a sense of the Swedish culture.  It's a fairly good size city with a large university, so there is plenty to see, great restaurants and food, and lots of culture.  I had the pleasure of exploring Gothenburg for 6 days, but you could definitely get a feel for the city, see the top sites, and grab a couple delicious Swedish meals in just a few days.

If you're headed to Gothenburg soon, here are my top recommendations on things to do and see. Enjoy, enjoy!

Spend an afternoon at Palmhuset.

Palmhuset was one of my favorite spots in Gotenburg.  It's conveniently located a 5 minute walk from Central Station and just a few blocks away from the main shopping district. It's like a secret escape from the busy city.  I spent the afternoon walking the grounds and seeing all the different species of palm trees. It was such a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Grab a healthy and fresh lunch at Kale'i

While shopping one day a local gave me a list of restaurants and cafes to try in Gothenburg and Kale'i topped his list.  It was definitely the best meal I had during my time in Gothenburg and the atmosphere was lovely, too.  To be honest, the lunch special was in Swedish and I was too hungry to take the time to translate it, so I just ate from the lunch buffet (see above) and it was a mixture of fresh lentils, mint, hummus, and a delicious soup.

Take a stroll through the botanical gardens

The Botanical Gardens are easily accessible by tram and are such a great way to see a different side of Gothenburg.  There is a cafe on site, along with a small flower shop.  It's a nice way to get some good walking in and enjoy the nature.  Definitely one of the larger Botanical Gardens I have been to and it boast of being one of the largest in all of Europe.  So worth a visit!

Take the tram through the city and give your feet a rest

I thought these trams were just the cutest, but besides their cute aqua color, they are so useful for getting around town.  The best way to take advantage of the public transportation in Gothenburg is to get a city card from the tourism office.  With the city card you have access to all public transportation (trains, trams, and buses) as well as access to the museums, the amusement park, science center, and many other attractions.

If you're looking for a way to see as much of Gothenburg as possible, definitely get a tram pass or city card.  It'll save your feet and you'll be able to see so much more of this lovely Swedish town.

Visit the Gunnebo House & Gardens

The Gunnebo House was built in the 1700s as a summer villa for a wealthy merchant family.  Today it's used as a cultural venue and the gardens are always open to the public.  Sadly, I arrived during a renovation period and most of the house was being repainted except this one exterior wall pictures above.  

There is a cafe and small shop near the house where you can find delicious and authentic Swedish food.  The villa was being remodeled so the tours were closed, but I was told they would start back up in a few months (August 2017).  Nonetheless, walking the grounds and enjoying the quaint town was well worth it. 

Try an authentic Swedish "Kanelbullar" 

According to the internet and a handful of Swedes, Swedish people eat 316 cinnamon rolls a year (that's just an average).  We're talking almost 1 delicious cinnamon roll a day -- no wonder they are such happy people! But really, these kannelbulars are so good and taste like a less sweet cinnamon bun that you would get in the States.  If you're in Gothenburg you most certainly should grab one.

Every cafe had a surplus of kannelbulars, so I definitely took every opportunity to try one.  Not sure I was averaging one daily, but next time I am in Sweden I will do as the Swedes do and eat one with coffee each afternoon. 

If you're headed to Gothenburg anytime soon, I hope you find this list helpful.  It's such a lovely little city and worth a visit. 

xo Monet