When researching what to do and where to go in Gothenburg more than one source recommended spending some time in Haga, which is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city. On our walking tour of Gothenburg we factored having lunch in Haga into our plan. If walking is not your thing you can jump on a tram and get off at the stops Hagakyrkan or Järntorget. Leaving the Feskekorka (the Fish Market) we headed over the canal and into Haga. The first site we found was Haga Church our left hand side. The church belongs to the Gothenburg Haga Parish within the Diocese of Gothenburg of the Church of Sweden. It was opened on 27th November 1859.
We crossed the road and headed down Haga Nygata which is the main street through Haga, it runs from one end to the other and is pedestrianised. It is lined with traditional wooden houses together with numerous independent shops and cafes. The atmosphere in Haga is very chilled out and relaxed which is reflected in the type of shops you will find in the area. The majority are arts and crafts shops selling their wares, coupled with antique and second hand shops where we found loads of cool stuff from years gone by.
Originally, Haga was a working class suburb of the Gothenburg with quite a bad reputation. Major renovations in the area took place in the 1980s with a number of the original houses renovated or torn down and replaced by replicas. Slowly but surely the areas was transformed into the popular Gothenburg suburb it is today. Haga has a population of about 4,000 people attracting arty types and bohemian dreamers. A hit with tourists too although I imagine more so in the summer months when cafes put tables and chairs outside for people to enjoy their lunch in the sunshine.
Our tummies rumbling we checked out a couple of the many cafes before deciding on Cafe Habbe Lelle. If coffee (fika) is your thing you will be hard pushed to walk 10 metres without finding a coffee shop to tempt your taste buds. The cafe we chose was super cute with mismatched tables and chairs in soft pastel colours. The warmth inside was a lovely welcome break from the February Swedish weather outside. Although we were blessed with beautifully blue skies throughout our stay in Gothenburg it was bitterly cold. Without an English menu available and the language barrier between the barista and I, I somehow managed to order us two paninis and two cups of tea. There was a lot of pointing involved but we got there in the end and it was actually quite nice!
Directly opposite the cafe is an antiques shop with some very interesting things in. As the saying goes ‘one man’s trash, is another man’s treasure’ and I’ll be honest I found a lot of treasure in there. I’m like a magpie – drawn to pretty shiny things! Unfortunately, as we only had carry on bags which were already full to the hilt with winter clothes, we simply couldn’t buy anything to bring home 😦
We walked the full length of Haga Nygata and continued our journey up Risåsberget hill to the Skansen Kronan fortification 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. We spent a bit of time up there looking at the fort and the cannons that surround it. The hill is quite steep and we didn’t realise that we were actually pretty high up which gave us great views over Gothenburg.
We headed down the hill and back on to Haga Nygata, time had got away from us in this unique neighbourhood and it was time to get back to the city centre before we lost the light. Luckily for our waistlines Mr ESLT and I don’t like cinnamon but if you do when in Haga you must try one of the most famous pastries in town – Hagabullen which is a plate sized cinnamon bun which looks sooooo good!!! Haga is a tranquil little piece of Gothenburg with a lovely chilled out vibe. If you ever visit the city we recommend you check it out for yourself.