When we visited Gothenburg, Sweden at the beginning of February we were very lucky that the snow that the city had seen in mid January had gone. Everyone we met commented on how bad it had been. It had brought cars, trains and trams to a stand still and had frozen the water linking the mainland to the Southern archipelago making it only just possible for the ferries to run. Apparently, it had been so thick that even walking in it was hard work too. I love snow and had been looking forward to seeing it, however I was relived that it had gone by the time we arrived. In fact we were greeted by clear blue skies and even though it was freezing cold, once we were wrapped up warm in our winter coats, scarves and gloves, it was perfect conditions for walking around this fascinating little city.
When on city breaks we normally jump on hop on hop off buses as we find they are the best way to see as much of a city in a short space of time. However, as we visited Gothenburg in February it was classed as low season therefore the buses weren’t running. As we only had a day to fit everything in I was initially worried that we wouldn’t get to see all of the major sites. Nevertheless, we were definitely going to try. We grabbed a map from the concierge’s desk at our hotel and devised our own walking tour to ensure we got to see everything we wanted to.
Gothenburg Central Train Station – The Barken Viking, Distance: 750m
Our first stop on our walking tour was the Barken Viking. We had assumed that it was a traditional viking boat when in reality it is actually a hotel and conference centre. I suppose it would be quite quirky to stay onboard it? Luckily, the Barken Viking is situated in the harbour which was lovely to wander around and look at all the boats making the journey worthwhile.
The Barken Viking – Göteborgsoperan (The Gothenburg Opera), Distance: 500m
A quick walk across the harbour and we were at the Opera House. Completed in 1994 this building is very modern in comparison to its neighbours and very impressive. The Göteborg Opera has 250,000 visitors per year and about 270 performances are given on the different stages. Several international stars have visited the opera house through the years.
Göteburgsoperan – Kronhuset (The Old City Hall), Distance: 550m
After crossing back from the harbour into the city we found our next site the Old City Hall down an unassuming side street. This building is oldest one in Gothenburg. Here you will find the main building which was built in the 1600s in red brick together with a number of outhouses and sheds around the back of it. A number of them now sell arts, crafts and knickknacks – perfect if you are looking for a souvenir.
Kronhuset – Gustaf Adolfs Torg, Distance: 260m
Leaving the Old Town Hall we walked for a couple of minutes and found ourselves at the next stop on our journey – Gustaf Adolfs Torg which is a square in central Gothenburg. It was originally called Stortorget (The Big Square) until a statue of the founding father of Gothenburg, king Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden was placed in the middle of it. In the square you will find the Town Hall and the Law Courts. Nothing much to do here. It was nice to see the statue but we didn’t hang around too long and headed to our next point on the map.
Gustaf Adolfs Torg – Feskekörka (The Fish Market Hall), Distance: 1.1km
Next stop was the instantly recognisable Fish Market building. I, myself am not a massive fish fan however Mr ESLT is and the second we walked inside must have felt like a dream come true for him. Fish, fish and more fish as far as the eye could see. I think you would be hard pushed not to find the fish you are looking for as there is an array of fresh fish on display. You can either sit down and grab your lunch there or buy some raw and take it home to cook yourself.
Feskekörka – Haga, Distance: 750m
We crossed the canal into the very bohemian neighbourhood of Haga. Our tummies rumbling we knew it was lunchtime. After a great morning exploring and sightseeing we decided head into one of the quaint little cafes and grab some food and a big pot of tea to warm us up. After lunch we headed back out to see what else Haga has to offer. We found a number of craft shops and vintage shops – all very chilled out and laid back.
Haga – Skansen Kronan (Fortification), Distance: 750m
Next stop on our tour was probably my favourite, We headed up the Risåsberget hill to the Skansen Kronan which was built in the later half of the 17th century as part of the defence against a possible battle with the Danish, however it was never attacked. It is now a conference centre and in the summer months the on site cafe also opens serving traditional Swedish food. Also in summer you can take a guided tour of the fortification. From this vantage point it also gives you great views over the rooftops of Gothenburg.
Skansen Kronan – Salhullen (Market Hall), Distance: 1.9km
We left the Haga neighbourhood and took a leisurely stroll along the partially frozen canal to our penultimate site on our tour, Sulhallen (The Market Hall). Sulhullen has been Gothenburg’s largest market place since the mid 19th century and is now home to over 40 shops and places to eat. Great if you want to pick up fresh food including meats, fruit and cheese during your visit.
Salhullen – Kungsportsplatsen, Distance: 180m
Last but not least we visited Kungsportsplatsen which is another public square in central Gothenburg. A statue of King Charles IX was placed there 1904, where it still stands to this day. You will also find the Tourist Information Centre here if you need any further assistance or have any questions about the city. As we had been walking and exploring all day we were feeling the pace by this point plus time was not on our side so a quick look at the statue and then we headed back to our original starting point.
Kungsportsplatsen – Gothenburg Central Train Station, Distance: 700m
As we arrived back at the Centre Train Station we felt like we had not wasted a second in Gothenburg and had seen all the major sites, in one day, on foot. Ideally we would have like to have visited Liseberg too which is Scandinavia’s largest amusement park however it is not open during the winter months 🙁 There are also a number of sports stadiums in Gothenburg however as there were no sporting events on whilst we were there we did not bother visiting any of them. So after a great day we headed back to our hotel ready to kick our shoes off and put our feet up for a while.
Total distance: 7.4km