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About city Gallery Where to stay

A number of surveys have revealed that two-thirds of Stockholm’s citizens would like to leave their city and move to Göteborg, located on the shores of the North Sea. It’s easy to see why – Göteborg is free of the capital city’s glossiness and self-importance, boasts the tastiest tap water in the whole country, has free-range penguins in the central park and access to the sea. Almost every inhabitant of Sweden comes to rest in Göteborg at least once a year. Annually, this Swedish city, home to around half a million people, also welcomes around 4 million visitors.

Göteborg is the second-largest city of Sweden, established by King Charles IX. At the beginning of the 17th century, the city was built following the example of Amsterdam – simply and tastefully. Its name comes from the local 900-kilometre-long Göta River, which is now trapped by concrete and functions as one of the main waterways for transporting tourists. Since the canal network of Göteborg stretches through its most spectacular places, boating is a very popular form of entertainment here. To avoid the city’s low bridges, one sometimes has to crouch or even lie down.

Beautiful classic architecture in Gothenburg city downtown
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Beautiful classic architecture in Gothenburg city downtown

Göteborg is the country’s most important sea harbour and a well-developed industrial city, expanding not just its light industry, but also metallurgy and car manufacturing operations. The city is home to the headquarters of such giants as Volvo, the photo equipment manufacturer Victor Hasselblad (which made the camera that went to the Moon), the tyre manufacturer SKF, and many others.

Due to its raised and reinforced territory, the centre of Göteborg is located 6 kilometres away from the shore. Its central square is adorned with a sculpture depicting King Gustav II Adolf. The ruler’s outstretched hand is pointing to the place where Göteborg had its beginnings as a city. Not far from this monument you’ll also see an ancient exchange, the Town Hall and the city’s oldest building, erected in 1643 as an armoury and now functioning as an exhibition hall. The Museum of Art is full of works by such painters as Rembrandt, Rubens and the 20th-century masters.

Traditional Midsummer celebration in Gunnebo Castle
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Traditional Midsummer celebration in Gunnebo Castle

Göteborg is very green, and its botanical garden is one of the 10 best gardens in the whole of Northern Europe. The Palace Park – an excellent place to enjoy a panorama of the city or to have a picnic – is located nearby. Enthusiasts of roses and palm trees simply must visit the Tradgardsfarepark; while children would really enjoy the Lisenberg Amusement Park.

Arguably, the best place for experiencing the spirit of Old Göteborg is the Haga District with its many small shops, cafés and other inns. By the way, Göteborg is also widely known for its culinary traditions. During the last nine years, the city’s chefs won the Swedish Chef of the Year Award seven times. The main ingredient of the local dishes is sea food – shrimp, lobsters, crabs and crayfish are all native to Sweden’s territorial waters.

Public children's park playground in Gothenburg city downtown
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Public children's park playground in Gothenburg city downtown

There’s even an expression “Göteborg shrimp”, which refers not to their shape or size, but freshness and method of preparation. The locals never freeze their shrimp. Right after being caught, while still in the ship, they’re boiled in salty water and brought to the fish auction, and later, they’re also distributed to kiosks, markets and restaurants. In this form, the shrimp is only sold on the first day. On the second day, everything that’s left go to cafés for making salads and other dishes.

The popular Swedish shrimp sandwich is a necessary item both in small inns and the trendiest restaurants. The only real competitor of shrimp is the Swedish bun – always fresh, always with cinnamon and powdered sugar, and they’re excellent with coffee. To the local Swedes, they’re roughly the same as what tea and biscuits is for the English, and the traditional coffee break is called fika.

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