With its scenic riverfront, legendary hospitality and hip nightlife scene, many visitors to Gothenburg find themselves staying longer than intended, but with only a few days to take in the highlights, there’s no time to waste. From haggling over produce at Scandinavia’s biggest fish market to island hopping along the coast, here are some ideas for how to spend 3 days in Gothenburg.
Day 1: Take a bus and boat tour of the city
The easiest and cheapest way to visit Gothenburg’s top attractions is by booking on a Hop-on Hop-off bus and boat tour. Start with a stroll up the central boulevard of Avenyn, the city’s busiest shopping street, then hop on a boat at Kungsportsplatsen for a scenic cruise along the city’s canal ways. Next stop is the Lilla Bommen harbor, where you can admire the striking Gothenburg Opera House, take in the views from the Lipstick skyscraper and enjoy lunch on the deck of the Barken Viking ship. Spend the afternoon exploring the many restored vessels of the Maritiman maritime museum, browsing the shops at the nearby Nordstan shopping mall or getting your adrenaline pumping at the legendary Liseberg amusement park.
Day 2: Cruise the archipelago
Gothenburg lies just a few kilometers from the Kattegat sea so make the most of the rugged coastline with a cruise around the Southern archipelago, a group of islands located just 30 minutes out of the city. Pay a visit to the historic island fortress of Nya Älvsborg along the way, then enjoy kayaking off the coast of Asperö island, swimming at the beaches of Styrsö island, or hiking and bird-watching on the nature reserve of Vrangö island.
Day 3: Relax in the city’s parks
Escape the busy city center for the tranquil surroundings of Slottsskogen park, where you’ll find Gothenburg’s Natural History Museum, Barnens Zoo and the Djurgårdarna animal park. Stop off en-route at the Feskekörka fish market to pick up some picnic supplies, then enjoy a game of mini golf and a walk through the woodlands, before eating lunch alfresco. Nearby, the Gothenburg Botanical Gardens are also worth a visit, the largest in Sweden and home to a bamboo grove, a Japanese garden and over 12,000 exotic plant species.