Holiday Inspiration

Gothenburg Guide

By Susan Ward Davies

Where to Stay in Gothenburg

Gothenburg is Sweden’s second largest city; it’s filled with quaint canals, cobbled streets, lush green spaces and some very good hotels indeed. Our pick of the bunch has got to be the recently opened uber-chic Clarion Post (Drottningtorget, 10, SE 41103). The former post office building retains many of its original features, from decorative ceilings to oak pillars, and also sports a very inviting rooftop swimming pool. With some of the best views of the city, it’s Gothenburg’s latest place to see and be seen. Another hotel that fits squarely into the design category is the luxurious Avalon Hotel in the vibrant Kungsportsplatsen district (Kungstorget 9, 411 17). It’s all jutting angles, white-washed walls and design-led furniture. If you’re heading just out of the city, then floating hotel Salt and Sill (471 51 Kladesholmen, Tjorn) is a more under-the-radar choice that’s well worth booking into.

Where to Eat in Gothenburg

Gothenburg has been voted the culinary capital of Sweden - with very good reason. Its archipelago geography lends itself to the freshest of fish dishes and some very innovative cuisine, there’s also a great cafe and afternoon tea culture. For the former the best place to start is the 19th-century fish market hall (Rosenlundsgatan, 41120), where a fresh catch is brought in every day and it’s the perfect place to eat huge king prawns on the harbour. The laid-back Restaurant Familjen (Arkivgatan 7, 411 34) is an absolute must-visit. Run by the seriously talented Bjorn Persson (who also runs the Michelin starred Koch och Vin), there’s a focus on local produce with a modern twist and the set menu is, quite frankly, to die for. Fiskekrogen (Lilla Torget 1, 411 18) comes similarly highly recommended.

If you’re not much of a fan of fish, don’t worry, there are plenty of places that serve up Sweden’s speciality: meatballs. For the best of the best in the city, head to Kungstorget (Kungstorget 7, 411 17) for traditional meatballs, creamy mash and tart lingonberries or the shrimp salad. For afternoon pottering and coffee and cake shops, you’ll be spoilt for choice, with each looking more tempting than the last. Try Froken Olssons Kafe (Ostra Larmgatan 14, 41107) with its cosy courtyard, Bar Centro (Kyrkogatan, 31) to drink your coffee like the locals, leaning outside against a wall in the sunshine. Over in the historic Haga district (the city’s oldest suburb), there are plenty of places to try out. Firstly head to Café Husaren (Haga Nygata 28, 411 22) and tuck into delicious, giant cinnamon rolls. Nearby, there’s Cafe Kringlan (Haga Nygata 13, 41301) with homemade pastries and some tempting lunch options. The rich smells of Da Matteo (Sodra Larmgatan 14, 411 16) are enough to draw in all but the most steely-willed. With its incredible sour-dough bakery and its own coffee roastery, it’s also nigh-on impossible to leave without trying something.

Where to Go Out in Gothenburg

Given its two universities, Gothenburg is a city filled with the young, the beautiful and the seriously stylish. Needless, to say its nightlife is hot. Puta Madre (Magasingatan 3, 411 18) is best not translated but is known all over the city for its sultry, dark burlesque interiors, its hearty South American cuisine and the fact they shake a pretty mean cocktail (fishbowls of Margaritas are a must). Across the street there's great music, dancing and a cool outdoor courtyard at Magnus & Magnus (Magasinsgatan 8, 411 18). Every year Gothenburg gears up for its biggest party, which comes in the form of the brilliant Way Out West festival ( that’s held from August 9th-11th. Plus, this year is set to be even more brilliant than usual, with Blur, Florence and the Machine and the Black Keys, Bon Iver, Feist and Hot Chip headlining.

Where to Shop in Gothenburg

Gothenburg is an absolute hot bed of creativity, from its media to its architecture to its design. It’s produced some world-class companies over the years, such as Hasselblad and counts Nudie (Vallgatan 15) and Monki (Sodra Larmgaten 11) amongst its better-known clothing brands. For more home-grown talent check out the charming Emma och Malena (Vallgaten 4, 411 16); the store itself is beautiful and you’ll probably leave wanting one of everything. Twist & Tango has simple, impeccably made pieces (Vallgatan 28); if it's too expensive, try its outlet store at (Haga Ostergata 4, 413 01). For an interiors shop that may convince you to up sticks and move to Gothenburg, check out Artillerriet (Magasinsgatan 19, 411 18). Just be prepared with your credit card. Round the corner, through an archway in a cobbled courtyard Floramor & Krukatos (Kasentorget 8, 411 18) is run by a mother and daughter and is all rough, exposed brick walls, beautiful handmade ceramic and fragrant flowers. If it’s vintage you’re after, you won’t be disappointed. Myronra (Jarntorgsgatan 10) is four floors of endless rails and boxes to rummage through. Back in the Haga (Haga Nygrata, 10) there’s an eclectic mix at The Charleston, while weekends see an enormous flea market, Kommersen (Forsta Langgatan, 27), that's worth checking out.

What to Wear in Gothenburg

All the cobbled streets mean it’s probably best to leave the heels at home. With such good shopping, you’ll definitely want to ditch all the clothes you’ve brought and flaunt your latest purchases.

Don’t Leave Gothenburg Without...

...having a few beers in the evening sun in the fragrant rose garden, trying some seafood (particularly the Swedish delicacy, herring), taking home some delicate hand-crafted pottery, and tasting some salted liquorice (it's weirdly delicious).

Beauty SOS – Where to Go for Pampering in Gothenburg

For the best spa in the city, head to the Skonhetsfabriken at the Clarion Post (Drottningtorget, 10, SE 41103). It's made up of 1,200 square metres dedicated to pampering, fitness and relaxing in its inviting swimming pool and saunas.

Like our Gothenburg guide but looking elsewhere in Europe to party? Check out our guides of where to eat, drink, sleep and be merry in Amsterdam and Berlin. Or for further information on Gothenburg, go to

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