Population: 591 000 (metro 1 060 000)
Tallest building: Karlatornet (245m, 73 floors, built 2023)
Tallest structure: Brudarmossen-masten (331m)
County: Västra Götaland
Founded year (city rights): 1621
Area: 447.76 km² (city)
Year visited: 2004, 2018, 2022
Gothenburg, Göteborg in Swedish, is the 2nd largest city in Sweden, Scandinavia’s 5th largest city and capital of Västra Götaland county. The city is situated halfway between Copenhagen and Oslo, bordering both Bohuslän and Halland counties. Göteborg was named from Göta Älv, that flows through the city, it has a large port. Many parts of Gothenburg are quite hilly, with views of the city. Gothenburg is known as an industrial city, a port city and a city with two universities. It is also the headquarters of Volvo, where also the factories and the Volvo Museum are (in the suburb of Torslanda), as well as Astra Zeneca. Gothenburg is famous for its music, ”the Gothenburg sound” is wellknown among fans of heavy metal. The city hosts the Gothia Cup, the world's largest youth football tournament, and the annual Gothenburg Film Festival, the leading Scandinavian film festival.
Liseberg is a very popular amusement park, the largest one in Sweden, and the country’s most popular attraction. It opened in 1923 and is situated at the highway entrance to Gothenburg, in a hilly area. You can find two large rollercoasters (Balder and Helix), a flumride and a 116m high landmark tower with a catapult, Liseberg Atmosfear (formerly Lisebergstornet) among its attractions, as well as numerous restaurants and live venues.
Opposite Liseberg you find Scandinavia’s largest hotel, the Gothia Towers, which consists of three glass skyscrapers with glass-enclosed elevators, connected via skybridges, rooftop restaurants and a glass-bottom spa is among the attractions. It was originally built in 1984 with just two towers, but a 3rd tower was built in 2014 while the other ones increased their heights. It now has over 1200 rooms. Just next to Liseberg is also Universeum, a futuristic science center and museum that opened in 2001. It is very large and features a tropical rain forest, an aquarium, space vehicles and objects, a glass elevator that rides through a waterfall and many animals and birds. The Museum of World Culture (Världskulturmuséet, opened in 2004), is a very large, boxy modernist museum building in the area, with a much more interesting interior. Svenska Mässan (Swedish Exhibition) and World Trade Center are situated right next to Gothia Towers, opposite Liseberg, in a quite dull building complex. From Korsvägen, many of Gothenburg’s blue trams depart.
Nya Ullevi is a multi-purpose stadium (football, concerts, athletics, skating etc), that opened in 1958. During concerts it has a capacity for 75 000 people, it is one of the largest stadiums in Scandinavia, and centrally situated. The area around Ullevi consist mostly of modern buildings. The area where Ullevi, Scandinavium, Liseberg, Gothia Towers, Svenska Mässan and the museum mentioned above are situated, is called Evenemangsstråket (the road of
Nordstan is one of Scandianvia’s largest shopping malls, with about 180 stores, numerous restaurants and 150 offices, it is a popular meeting place for Gothenburg’s citizens. Nordstan is still open after the stores close, and has become known as a dangerous place to dwell then. It is a popular hangout for youths in the evening. Today Nordstan is quite outdated compared to newer malls, it is also a very ugly building complex. Lilla Bommen, also called Skanskaskrapan or the Lipstick, is a red and white 22-storey skyscraper built in 1989, a famous landmark for Gothenburg. There is an observation deck viewpoint on the top, called Götheborgsutkiken. At Lilla Bommen, that is also the name of the central harbour area, you find the postmodern Opera house, built in 1994. The barque viking, a four-masted ship launched in 1906, is also in the Lilla Bommen marina. It was the largest sailing ship ever built in Scandinavia, now serving as a botel.
Gothenburg has traditionally been a lowrise city, but many highrises and skyscrapers are planned for the near future in Gothenburg, some under construction, and some recently built. The tallest one will be Karlatornet, that with a height of 235m will surpass Malmö’s Turning Torso as Scandinavia’s tallest building, and will have company by other, lower skyscrapers, creating a new area called Karlastaden, part of Lindholmen on Hisingen island, situated right opposite the city center. Karlatornet will be a 73-storey all residential building and has an unusual twisted design by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (Burj Khalifa, Sears Tower) on the upper part. Gårda, Nordstan/Central Station, Liseberg and Lindholmen will all have their own clusters, changing Gothenburg’s skyline dramatically.
Centralstationen (Gothenburg Central Station) is a partly old yellow brick/partly glass building situated right opposite Drottningtorget (Queens Square). At Drottningtorget, that is an important tram hub and is next to the canal (Göta Kanal), you also find the imposing yellow brick neo-classic Clarion Hotel Post, the former main post office, that recently was converted into a hotel with a new highrise built upon it.
Järntorget (Iron Square) is a square known as a gathering for working people. It is also a tram hub. The character of the square might change when a new hotel skyscraper will be built.
Haga is a nice district with small picturesque wooden houses, housing cafés and shops. Haga Kyrka is a neo-gothic church, that opened in 1859. Skansen Kronan is a 17th century stone redoubt (fortress) that rises above Haga.
Slottsskogsparken is a very large park, that borders central Göteborg. Botaniska Trädgården (Botanical Garden) is very popular and situated in a hilly area near Slottsskogsparken.
West of Järntorget you find the residential areas Masthugget (where you find the tall Masthuggskyrkan), Olivedal and Majorna. Majorna is a hilly area where you find the classic record store Bengans. On a hill at Masthugget you find the beautiful red-brick, neo-gothic church Oscar Fredriks Kyrka, designed by Helgo Zettervall. It is 60m high and was inaugurated in 1893. Linnégatan is a major street with some beautiful buildings that goes between Slottsskogsparken and Järntorget.
Gothenburg is known for its many canals, designed after Dutch cities. Part of the famous Göta Kanal flows through the city.
The inner city, Inom Vallgraven (Inner Moat), is filled with beautiful old buildings. Here, right next to the canal, you find the most important square in the city - Gustav Adolfs Torg. King Gustav Adolf was the founder of Göteborg, an equestrian statue of him can be found in the middle of the square. The City Hall (Stadshuset), the Town Hall (Rådhuset), the Bourse (Börsen) and Wenngrenska Huset, all neo-classic, can be found around the square. Drottninggatan (Queen St) is the main pedestrian street in the old town area. It is 800m long and one of the oldest streets in the city. Kungsgatan (King St) is a larger road, that goes parallel with Drottninggatan. At Kungsgatan you find Göteborgs Domkyrka (Gothenburg Cathedral), a large church in neo-classicist style. It is also known as the Swedish Church, to distringuish it from Tyska Kyrkan (the German Church), a church from 1748 situated at Norra Hamngatan (North Harbour St), a street that goes along the canal in the Old Town/Inner Moat area. Östra Hamngatan (E Harbour St) is a large road with many trams passing. Here you find NK (Nordiska Kompaniet), a large department store, one of only two left of this classic chain. The famous rock music club Sticky Fingers is also in the Inner Moat area. Feskekörka is a very popular fish market that resembles a neo-gothic church, right next to the canal in the Old Town.
Trädgårdsföreningen (Garden Society of Gothenburg) is a park and horticultural garden situated next to Avenyn, on the south bank of Göta Kanal, the canal separates it from the old town. Nya Allén (New Alley) goes through the park.
Kungsportsavenyn, or just Avenyn (the avenue), is the most prestigous road in Gothenburg, where you find some of the most important restaurants and stores. Park Avenue Hotel and Hard Rock Café is situated here, as well as many classic cafés. Avenyn is 840m long and leads to Götaplatsen, where you find a large staty of Poseidon inside a fountain (7m high, designed buy Carl Milles), Stadsteatern (Municipal Theatre), Göteborgs Konstmuseum, the large art museum from 1923 with works of among others Picasso, Rubens, Zorn and Dubuffet and Göteborgs Konsthall (Gothenburg Art Hall), all large yellow-brick buildings. The Art Museum includes the Hasselblad Center exhition hall about the famous Swedish camera that was used on the moon. While the avenue itself is considered beautiful, there are just a few historic buildings, many buildings are yellow brick and modernist style. One of them is the recently refurbished Göteborgs Stadsbibliotek (the Municipal Library). Stora Teatern is a grand theater building at the other end of Avenyn, next to the canal. Södra Vägen (South Road) is a large road with imposing buildings, parallel to Kungsportsavenyn.
Vasastan is a fashionable district West of Avenyn, with beautiful imposing buildings. It was named after Gustav Vasa. Vasagatan and Storgatan are the main streets in Vasastan. At Vasaplatsen, a triangular square and tram hub, you find an impressive obelisk, The Torgny Segerstedt Monument. Next to Vasaparken, you find the tall church Vasakyrkan from 1909, part of the fashionable Lorensberg district.
Gothenburg is trafficated by light blue trams, that are quite old by today’s standards. There are also buses but no subway. Göteborg Landvetter Airport is Gothenburg’s major airport, situated 30km southeast of the city center. It opened in 1977 and is the 2nd largest airport in Sweden, after Arlanda. Landvetter has one large terminal, merged from two.
Göta Älv (River of the Geats) passes North of Gothenburg’s city center. At the harbour, several large ferries depart. The large suspension bridge Älvsborgsbron, a landmark of Gothenburg, is passing above Göta Älv in the West part of Gothenburg. It is 933m long and 107m high and opened in 1966. The North part of Göteborg from Göta Älv is situated on a large island called Hisingen. It is Sweden’s 5th largest island, the North part of it is in Bohusläns country, while the rest is in Västra Götaland, just like central Göteborg. In Lindholmen, a wealthy district just opposite central Göteborg from the river on Hisingen, Karlatornet, Scandinavia’s tallest skyscraper, will be completed in 2023. In 2021 you can take the cable way (linbana) over Göta Älv.