It always annoys me, landing in the dark as you do not get chance to familiarise yourself with the city you are visiting in the daylight. However, sometimes there are no other options especially when there is only one flight a day to your chosen destination. This happened recently when we visited Gothenburg in Sweden. We landed at Gothenburg Landvetter airport at 5.00pm and it was pitch black. We were lucky enough to have a Blacklane transfer from the airport to the hotel and our very smart driver Daniel was waiting for us in the arrivals terminal – he even offered to carry my bag which I thought was a great touch.
As we zipped along Daniel gave us some great tips and recommendations about where to visit and what to do in Gothenburg which we greatly appreciated, especially the information about Kungsportsavenyen (The Avenue) where you will find numerous bars and restaurants, including my go-to place – The Hardrock Café. Daniel dropped us at our hotel – The Radisson Blu Scandinavia which is located a stone’s throw away from the central train station and extremely well located for all the major attractions within the city. Once we had checked in we dropped our bags in our room and headed to the hotel bar for a quick drink which was at first full with people enjoying a post work drink however by 7.00pm it soon thinned out.
We finished our drinks and headed out to see what a Wednesday evening in Gothenburg looked like – grabbing a city map from the concierge desk as we went. We headed to The Avenue as advised and found some lovely looking intimate restaurants and busy(ish) bars. We chose The No1 Sportsbar which of course wasn’t a traditional Swedish bar but as we had not had the opportunity to find the lay of the land during daylight hours and we were ready for our first drink of our trip, this place did the trick. We happily spent the evening drinking Falcon lager and eating some bar food. Mr ESLT loved it as they were showing some Champions League football which is obviously a crowd pleaser as the bar was pretty full.
As we only had two days in the city we had to be switched on to ensure that we saw the main things Gothenburg has to offer. Therefore, we decided to split our time equally – one day in the city and one day out at the Southern Archipelago. We used the map, that we had liberated the night before from the concierge’s desk, to identify where the key sights where and formulated a plan as how to see them all in one day. It appeared to us that the city isn’t massive and everything could be managed on foot. We therefore devised our own walking tour of Gothenburg. We wrapped up warm (Sweden is cold in February) and started out on our sightseeing mission.
Sights seen and legs weary we felt a real sense of achievement as we headed out for drinks and our evening meal. We headed back to The Avenue and straight to the Hardrock Café. After walking 18km that day we deserved the treat of fajitas (me) and steak (Mr ESLT) washed down with beer. Bellies full fatigue soon set in and we had to retire to our hotel for an early night ready for the adventure that awaited us the next day.
Our second (and last day) meant a visit to the Southern Archipelago, a group of small islands off the coast of Gothenburg. It could not have been easier to get there. We visited the ticket office outside the central train station where the girl behind the counter could not have been more helpful. Tickets in hand we headed (by way of tram and ferry) over to Styrsö, the biggest island in the Southern Archipelago. The scenery on the island is so beautiful and it’s so peaceful – the perfect place for hiking and photography. We are glad that we had taken the time to visit. The only downside was that because it was low season nothing on the island was open and our stomachs were telling us it was way past lunch.
Once back on the mainland and back in Gothenburg we headed to Café Du Nord which is directly opposite The Market Hall (Saluhallen)where Mr ESLT sampled authentic Swedish meatballs, mashed potato and gravy, a dish he had been hankering after since we had touched down. Needless to say he loved it! It was just a shame we were flying back to England the next day as I’m sure he would have loved to have had it again. As day turned into night we quickly got changed and decided what a Friday night had to offer in Gothenburg.
The city seemed to be a bit more alive, maybe because it was the start of the weekend and everyone seemed in high spirits. As we had an early flight the night morning we had to be careful not to get too caught up in the Friday night revelry, easier said than done when the Falcon started flowing and we had to drag ourselves away from the Joe Farelli’s bar on The Avenue and to our reservation at the very intimate El Corazon restaurant just a few doors down. I’ll be honest I had fajitas again and Mr ESLT had one of the biggest, yummiest pizza I had ever seen. The 4.15am alarm call always on our mind we headed back to the hotel.
We Ubered back to Landvetter Airport (approximately £18) which was a very easy and enjoyable experience, unlike the time Uber abandoned us at Kings Cross in London and then charged us for the pleasure….I digress! All in all we had a great time in Gothenburg and as it was my first time in Sweden it has whetted my appetite to visit again. On more than one occasion we were advised to come back in summer as it is a very green country. A boat trip was also recommended if we were to return when the weather was water. So that’s what we plan to do one year….we’ve added it to the never ending list.