When I picked Gothenburg as the destination for a Christmassy weekend away I had no idea how much I’d love it. I’d got excited reading about the Christmas market, and even more excited when I discovered you could escape the city and be out in the archipelago in under 30 minutes, but little did I know I’d love the city as much as I did.
As soon as we walked off the plane I was exclamining how “cool” everything looked. We walked through a lounge with those amazing lightbulbs, there was greenery and it just looked cool!
As the weekend went on I found myself more and more in love with Gotenburg for the following reasons.
Gothenburg is the perfect size
Gothenburg is not too big and not too small. It’s big enough to have distinct areas; such as the hipster Linne and the touristy, old streets of Haga, but small enough to get to know and explore in a short space of time. Unlike London, where I couldn’t ever imagine getting to really know the city and all the fabulous places to eat, knowing the top places in Gothenburg seems possible!
There’s public toilets everywhere
A serious gripe of mine when I visit a new city, or even when I spend a lot of the day exploring London, is that there’s never any public toilets. You end up having to go somewhere and buying a drink, or sneaking in to a Mc Donalds to use the loo. In Gothenburg there were free public toikets everywhere and they were impressively clean!
Gothenburg knows how to do Christmas
You can’t fail but feel Christmassy during December in Gothenburg. I wrote more about the Liseberg Christms market previously, but it’s not just that that’ll get you feeling Christmassy. The chilly weather and the need to wear hats, gloves and scarves will help, as will the fairy lights, the dark evenings and the Christmas markets held in the city’s districts.
People are extremely friendly
Whilst sat in Ölstugan Tullen on a Saturday night the people next to us struck up conversation. They wanted to know how we found the food, why we were in Gothenburg and told us we’d made a great choice coming to the pub. This never happens in UK pubs in my experience. Conversations between strangers only seem to happen when you’re queuing for the toilet.
Everything looks cool
See the introduction above about this but my whole weekend was spent appreciating the gorgeous interiors and exteriors of every building and not to mention the cute home furnishings throughout the stylish shops. If I’d had a bigger bag I’d definitely have been in danger of maxing out my credit card.
Their parks are huge
Slottsskogen is a huge park in central Gothenburg which was close to our gorgeous Airbnb in the Mariaplan area. Slottsskogen has animals, a lake wide open space and lovely cafes in which to warm up with some Glogg or hot chocolate.
You can be in the wild in under 30 minutes
Just 20 minutes from central Gothenburg by tram and you can arrive at Salthomen. Salthomen is a port from which you can catch a ferry to the islands of the archipelago. The islands are stunning, peaceful and you simply have to visit if you’re in Gothenburg.
The Swedish tradition of taking a break to sip on some coffee. This is usually accompanied by cake, pastries of sandwiches. A tradition we should definitely make more of in England. Yes we have our cream teas, but sometimes you only want one cup of coffee and a good pastry.
The food is yummy
As we were only in Sweden for a relatively short period of time we didn’t get to eat quite as much Swedish food as I’d like, but what we did eat was delicious. A visit to Ölstugan Tullen, a restaurant with a special focus in beer, served up delicious Swedish dishes. I couldn’t pass up a chance to try some Swedish meatballs whilst actually being in Sweden and they were incredibly tasty. So much better than the dry meat you get in Ikea.
It’s not crazy expensive
Scandinavian countries have a reputation for being stupidly expensive. In the case of Oslo I’d tend to agree – that was a pretty expensive city. It could be because I’ve been in London for a year now so I’m used to high prices, but the prices in Gothenburg really weren’t ridiculous.
Take, for example, the cost of a three day transport card covering you for unlimited travel on buses, trams and the ferries to the archipelago. This three day pass costs just over £13, a one day travel card in London (for visitors without an Oyster card) costs £12 and that doesn’t include the Thames River boats either!
On top of this food was also cheaper as was beer. Definitely not bad for such a big city!