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Situated on the west coast of Sweden, Gothenburg is a vibrant conurbation and Sweden’s second largest city. Since its founding in 1621 the city has grown considerably from its roots in shipping and industry, to now being hailed as an innovative tourist hub. It is filled with cafés, boutiques and art galleries and has built up quite a reputation for hosting international music festivals. Visitors to the city can enjoy culinary excellence in seafood and fish dishes, and as a promoter of eco-friendly travel expect to be able to traverse the city and her islands with a minimal carbon footprint. From the moment your cruise liner docks in port you will be swept up in the energy of this beautiful city.
Gothenburg is an eclectic mix of the old and the new, and as you wander around her streets you can enjoy stunning architecture and design as well as some exciting attractions and even a theme park. With so much on offer, here are some of the city’s highlights:
To see what Gothenburg would have looked like just over 300 years ago head to Haga. This area was originally a suburb of the city but now lies in its centre. It was designed in the middle of the 17th Century and the region has retained much of its original features and charm. It still has some of the wooden houses and you can visit the original fortifications on a nearby hill which also affords excellent views over most parts of the city. There are a number of little cafés and gift shops nestled along the streets in this historic area of town.
If you’re feeling energetic and fancy exploring the city and surrounding archipelago from a different angle then take to the sea in a kayak. There are a number of kayak hire companies to help you plan your adventure whether you choose to do it independently or as part of a guided tour. You can take off into the open water by heading out through the harbour or experience more of the city as you explore her canals. The surrounding islands and islets offer some spectacular views and can be enjoyed at your own pace.
Liseberg Amusement Park
On the outskirts of the city, the Liseberg Amusement Park is home to over 40 attractions, including the tallest free-fall ride in Europe and the Liseberg wheel which affords views across the city. They have recently opened a new area called Rabbit Land which is great fun for young kids. If you are fortunate enough to be visiting between mid-November through to December you will be able to experience the Christmas winter wonderland with over 5 million twinkling lights, sleigh rides, and ice shows mixed in with an expansive traditional Christmas market.
Science lovers should visit Universeum Science Centre with its seven floors housing an indoor rainforest and its inhabitants, gargantuan aquarium tanks some of which hold 8 different types of sharks and an underground exhibition with cave animals.
Being an international hub, Gothenburg has a wealth of shopping opportunities for visitors to enjoy. Set within the pedestrian friendly Moat area are some of Gothenburg’s small speciality shops all housed around cobbled courtyards and the ancient market hall that dates back to the 19th century. Local designers display their fashion and pieces of furniture here, and there are beautiful florists as well as unique jewellers to visit.
The largest shopping centre in Scandinavia, Nordstan, is located here, providing a selection of high street names and designers under one roof. Vintage and second hand goods are a booming trade in Gothenburg, with boutiques and flea markets springing up all the time. Head towards Magasinsgatan Street to find a wide variety of shops as well as a street market.
The city has gained numerous culinary accolades and it is easy to see why. There are a staggering number of excellent cafés and restaurants around the city catering for all tastes and budgets. For some sweet treats, Lejonet & Björnen serve up 30 different mouth-watering flavours of ice cream. Along with the usual varieties you can also find unusual combinations like saffron and honey, chilli and chocolate and blueberry cheesecake. There are also ice cream cakes and tarts available. For some of the freshest seafood in the city try The Feskekôrka fish market hall. It is a market but also houses some fine fish restaurants in a beautiful ecclesiastically fashioned building.
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