With its gorgeous waterfront and charming canal system, scenic parks and world-class museums, and outstanding restaurant and design scenes, Göteborg is an essential stop on your next trip to Scandinavia. Discover the highlights of Göteborg, find out how to get around, and find the perfect place to stay.

Your Göteborg Itinerary

Whether you have your heart set on snuggling in cozy cafés, discovering beautiful outdoor spaces, or digging into amazing seafood, Göteborg has it all. Here’s how to spend an amazing day in this west coast city.

Early Morning: Find Your Favorite Café

If you can’t start your day without a hot cup of coffee, you and Göteborg are going to get along swimmingly. After all, Swedes love their coffee, and you’ll find tons of places to grab a cup in every part of town. Just be sure to take it slow and sit down to enjoy your cup of joe. While you can definitely get to-go cups, you’ll miss out on all the great atmosphere if you’re in a rush.

One of the most stunning spots in Göteborg, Brogyllen is right in the heart of the city. Sip a cappuccino and dig into a pastry under the sparkling chandeliers or enjoy the views of the lovely Göteborg Canal as the city wakes up.

Da Matteo hasn’t been around as long as some of the turn-of-the-century coffee shops in Göteborg, but it’s become an institution since first opening in 1995. Stop at one of the many locations across town for a high-quality cup of coffee and a cardamom bun. You’ll need the extra energy to explore Göteborg, after all.

If you’re looking for a heartier meal with your coffee, head over to Kafe Marmelad on Mariagatan. Fill up with a breakfast sandwich or a slice of cake, but note that this spot’s mid-morning opening hours make it ideal for late sleepers.

museum art
The Goteborgs Konstmuseum (The Gothenborg Museum of Art) in Goteborg.

Late Morning: Peruse a Museum or Two

Art and design lovers, Göteborg is definitely your happy place. In fact, there are so many creative sights and attractions to take in that you might not have time for everything. Be sure to start with some of the highlights and pick out your favorites.

The Göteborgs Konstmuseum, or the Gothenburg Museum of Art, is a must, whether you prefer Renaissance art, contemporary art, or Nordic art. This world-class museum houses a massive collection of artwork dating back to the 15th century, and the contemporary collection here isn’t too shabby, either. The collection also includes work by a number of Swedish and Nordic artists, including Anders Zorn, Edvard Munch, and Albert Edelfelt.

Next, check out the Röda Sten Konsthall, an exhibition and gallery space with a graffiti wall in a former industrial complex. Browse the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art exhibition, which is open through mid-November 2017, and pick up some unique gifts during the Art and Design Christmas Fair.

Design and fashion lovers won’t want to miss a visit to the Röhsska Museum, either. The fashion collection dates back to the 1800s, and you can see examples of clothing, shoes, and bags from some of the world’s best designers right here.

garden society
The Garden society of Gotherborg in Goteborg.

Noon: Stroll Through Some Gardens

Get your camera ready and head out to capture the city’s best parks and gardens. Star in the Horticultural Gardens, or Trädgårds Föreningen, which is right on the canal in the heart of the city. Walk along the green paths, feel fancy in the formal gardens, and slip into the glass conservatory building, where you’ll find a rose garden and a palm house.

Nearby, the Botanical Gardens, or Göteborg Botaniska Trädgård, features over 400 acres with over 15,000 plant species. Be sure to check out the Rock Garden, the Japanese Glade, and the Rhododendron Valley. Don’t miss the greenhouse’s gorgeous collection of 1,500 orchids, either.

You’ll want to save some time for a visit to Slottsskogen as well. This is the city’s main park and has lots of shady walking paths, picnic areas, a free zoo, and a dance pavilion. Pop into the Göteborg Natural History Museum if you have time, too.

Early Afternoon: Break for Fika

When you’re in Göteborg, having a fika is basically a requirement. Similar to an afternoon coffee break, fika is the ideal time to sit down for a few minutes, chat with a friend, and enjoy a sweet treat or two. While fika is a tradition all over Sweden, Göteborg is one of the coolest places to take that afternoon coffee break, thanks to the many opulent cafés you can choose from.

So where should you go? Check out Ahlströms Konditori, which has been serving baked goods and tiny cups of coffee since 1901. Settle into the historic interior and feel like a queen or get some vitamin D out on the gorgeous courtyard. Over in the Haga neighborhood, Café Husaren is also a great pick for a classic fika. Don’t miss the cinnamon or cardamom buns here. They’re the perfect complement to your coffee.

If you’re looking for a snack with a pet-friendly twist, head over to Flickorna på Färjenäs in Hisingen. This dog-friendly café provides pups with their very own afternoon treats to keep them busy while you dig into your cinnamon bun.

The Liseberg in Goteborg.

Late Afternoon: Get Out on the Water

Also known as the River City, Göteborg is perched on the Göta Älv River, not far from the North Sea. While you’ll definitely want to spend some time strolling along the canals, you’ll also want to get out on the water.

If you’re short on time, try a river tour to see the city from a whole new perspective. The boats are open-top, so there’s nothing to obscure the beautiful views from the harbor, river, and canals. You’ll also get the scoop on Göteborg’s history as a shipbuilding city and an important point of defense. Boats leave from the city center a couple times an hour, so it’s easy to hop on any time.

If you have a couple hours to spare, an archipelago tour is a must. There are about two dozen islands within a short boat ride of Göteborg, and they’re just as charming as you’re imagining. Sit back and relax with a comprehensive tour of the islands, and keep an eye out for cute fishing villages, seal families, castle ruins, and gorgeous scenery.

Evening: Treat Yourself to an Amazing Meal

Göteborg is famous for its seafood, and you won’t want to miss your chance to dive in and explore all the delicious options. If you’re feeling fancy, reserve a table at Sjömagasinet, a Michelin-starred restaurant that specializes in Swedish cuisine and some of the best seafood you’ll ever sample. Be sure to marvel at the rustic atmosphere and the 1775-era building as you enjoy halibut with lobster sauce, roe with pickled onions, or monkfish with oyster emulsion.

To expand your Nordic cuisine horizons, check out Restaurang Adler in Vasastan. This two-level restaurant serves Swedish tapas on the main floor and beautiful Nordic dishes and drinks on the top level.

Want to dig into more than just seafood? One of the trendiest spots in town is Tredje Långgatan, a historical complex with multiple restaurants, a bar, a coffee shop, and even a food truck or two. It’s perfect for a group who just can’t agree on one type of cuisine or for those who prefer grazing and trying all the options. Grab a cocktail at the bar, have a taco or two at Tacos & Tequila, and slurp freshly made noodles at Made in China.

Don’t miss your chance to explore Göteborg’s amazing cocktail options, either. Spin by Forssen & Öberg, which pours impeccable glasses of champagne, or head over to Stranger for creative negronis, classic daiquiris, or international beers.

skansen kronan
The Skansen Kronan in Goteborg.

Göteborg Guide Landvetter Airport

Whether you’re flying into Göteborg from overseas or from elsewhere in Europe, you’ll land at Göteborg Landvetter Airport (GOT), which is about 15 miles east of the city center. As Sweden’s second-busiest airport, this is a bustling spot with one combined domestic and international terminal. The airport’s largest area is dedicated to flights bound to domestic and Schengen Area destinations, and there’s an area dedicated to international and non-Schengen Area destinations beyond the immigration checkpoint.

GOT serves about two dozen airlines, including Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Primera Air, Ryanair, Air France, and Wizz Air. From GOT you can reach domestic cities like Stockholm and Umeå along with European destinations like London, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Istanbul, Paris, Athens, and Tehran.

How to Get to and From Göteborg Landvetter Airport

It couldn’t be easier to take a taxi to or from GOT, as most taxi companies offer fixed rates between the airport and the city. You can even pre-book with taxi companies like PK Trafiken and Taxi Alingsås for a stress-free ride. You can also use Uber for airport pickups, but note that UberX cars tend to be tiny, which may not leave enough room for you and your luggage.

If you’re planning to start or finish a road trip in Göteborg, pick up a rental car at the airport. You’ll find all the major car rental companies, like Hertz, Sixt, Europcar, and Budget in the car parks just outside the airport.

It’s also easy and cheap to take the bus to and from GOT. Flygbussarna offers express service from the city center to the airport, and you can also use Swebus Express to get to and from the airport and the surrounding suburbs. Look for all of the express and local bus options right outside the check-in hall.

What to Do at Göteborg Landvetter Airport

GOT may not be the largest airport you’ve ever traveled through, but there’s plenty to do here. Stock up on your favorite scents, liquors, and chocolates at a fraction of the price in the duty-free shops, treat yourself to some Swedish candy at Res Gott, or pick up some reading material at the Pressbyrån newsstand. If you’re feeling green, save your extra funds for a carbon credit. The airport itself is carbon-neutral, but if you want to make your trip a little more eco-conscious, carbon-offset your flight.

Don’t want to depend on airline food? Grab a coffee at Espresso House or Joe & the Juice or pick up a burger at Max, one of Sweden’s most popular burger chains. If you’re looking for a meal that’s a bit more filling, try Scrimshaw Bar, which serves dishes inspired by Sweden’s west coast.

You can even deepen your knowledge of Swedish art and design before you board. Stop by the collaborative exhibition from the Nationalmuseum and Swedavia in the airport’s arrivals hall to see some of the coolest examples of Swedish design. Check out the voice-controlled bike helmet, the energy-aware clock, the 3-D-printed guitar and the power-aware cord. You’d better hurry, though. This exhibition is only scheduled to last through fall 2018, when the Nationalmuseum’s main building reopens in the heart of Göteborg.

Alternatives to Göteborg Landvetter Airport

Most visitors arrive in Göteborg via GOT, but that’s not your only option for getting to this charming city. If you want to see a little more of the countryside, consider flying into Sweden’s biggest airport, Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN), which is located just outside of Stockholm.

Once you land at busy ARN, you can take the high-speed Arlanda Express to Stockholm’s central train station, where you can hop on the super efficient SJ Snabbtåg train route that links Sweden’s west coast to its east coast. As an added bonus, you’ll get to sit back and take in Sweden’s gorgeous scenery along the three-hour trip.

gothenborg cathedral
The Gothenborg Cathedral in Goteborg.

Where to Stay in Göteborg

From boutique hotels to lively hostels to Insta-worthy private rentals, there’s a place for every budget and accommodation preference in Göteborg. Take a look at some of the top options.

Top Boutique Hotels in Göteborg

Right in the middle of it all, Hotel Bellora is an action-packed spot that’s perfect for social butterflies. You’ll love the flower-filled bar, the rooftop lounge with stunning views, and all of the shopping and dining right outside the hotel’s front door.

Nearby, Avalon Hotel features minimalist rooms with Nordic design touches, along with a restaurant and lounge where you’ll definitely want to see and be seen. If you’re visiting during the summer, don’t miss the rooftop pool.

Göteborg is packed with amazing spas, and when you stay at the Sankt Jörgen Park, you’ll have one of the city’s best right at your fingertips. Nestled on the edge of the city, this is a great place to relax and treat yourself to a Swedish massage or two. This design hotel also boasts classic Scandinavian touches, including minimalist furniture and a cozy fireplace near the bar.

Best Hostels in Göteborg

Whether you don’t want to shell out for a boutique stay or you’re looking for somewhere you can mix and mingle with fellow travelers, Göteborg’s hostels are smart picks. Check out the Slottsskogen Hostel in fun Linnéstaden. Rooms sleep anywhere from two to five people, and most have bunk beds. Hang with other guests in the fully equipped kitchen or save your appetite for the super affordable organic breakfast served each morning. This hostel goes above and beyond with a pool table and free Wi-Fi, too.

Next door, Backpackers Göteborg has private and dorm-style rooms, so you can get some peace and quiet or chill with other travelers. This spot also has a full kitchen that you can use, or you can head next door to the Slottsskogen Hostel to partake in the organic breakfast each morning. Don’t miss out on Backpackers’ many pub crawls, movie nights, and walking tours if you want to get to know your fellow travelers.

Also in Linnéstaden, the Linnéplatsens Hotel & Hostel has dorm-style and group rooms, along with essentials like a kitchen with everything you need to prepare a gourmet meal. Tons of shops and cafés are just down the street, making this hostel a great spot for visitors who want to explore Göteborg without overspending.

Coolest Private Rentals in Göteborg

If you can’t get enough of Swedish design and the cozy aesthetic that it creates, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to book your own place in Göteborg. After all, with a private rental, you can feel like you own the place and imagine what it would be like to live in Göteborg full time.

Snag an adorable flat right in the city center and stay just steps from all of the top attractions. Book a cozy spot in Haga and discover all the great cafés right outside your front door. Grab a cute spot near the university and see what college life in Sweden is all about. Or stay a little further out and get easy access to Göteborg’s top museums and parks. No matter where you stay, everything is just a short tram ride away in Göteborg.

From green spaces and islands to art and museums to delicious cuisine and sweets, Göteborg has everything you need in a Scandinavian getaway. Book your hotel, tours, and every aspect of your stay on GoDoTrip, and get ready for an unforgettable trip to Sweden’s River City.