Gothenburg is the second largest city of Sweden and lies on the western border of the country. Even so, we planned to visit Gothenburg over a weekend. It was an intentional short trip to just feel the city and not write an in detail blog post claiming I know everything about Gothenburg. Hence, this post is about our first experience with the city in a very restricted time span. So, by now if you have read a few blogs on this website, you must have guessed that we left from Stockholm to visit Gothenburg. Stockholm was our base and returning point of the journey.
DISCLAIMER: This is just our experience during a very short visit to Gothenburg. There are many more worthy places to visit in Gothenburg. This blog post is just to say that even when you don’t plan much, there are a lot of beautiful places you might stumble into while walking through the city.
I have lived in the Skåne region of Sweden for a few years and travelled to Stockholm during that time, hence SJ is not new to me. There are few other companies running long distance within the country connecting various cities, but SJ has been my preferred company for a while, so when we decided to visit Gothenburg. I quickly jumped on to the website to book our tickets. We had narrowed down on the weekend of visit, hence we had to just book the earliest train available on that particular Saturday. It takes around 5 hours to reach as the train has to cover 473.4km between the two cities. Since it was just a weekend in our plan, taking an early train could give us some time to explore Gothenburg on Saturday.
Stay in Gothenburg
We booked an Airbnb apartment for our overnight stay. This apartment was a little bit outside the central region but well connected nevertheless by the local public transport.
Local public transport
We decided to buy ourselves 24-hour pass which works wonderfully for a tourist. Since we bought it on Saturday afternoon, it helped us survive till Sunday afternoon. This pass helped us explore Gothenburg as well as travel to and fro from our Airbnb apartment till the central station. Find more info here.
Our train journey was pretty much uneventful. But, I think it’s essential to
mention that when boarding a train from Stockholm Central station, be in time or before time. There are many platforms and it might take a while to figure the exact one and reach it. Especially, if you are coming via the metro station then crossing over from metro station platforms to regional train platforms can be confusing- they are different from pendeltåg platforms yet all in the same premises.
Gothenburg – Day 1
So, after reaching Gothenburg, we checked in our apartments, had lunch and decided to complete visiting Botanical garden. I think this place easily
demands 4 hours. There is so much to see and explore. Gothenburg, in general, is known to be a rainy city, and that’s what we experienced as well. Luckily we spent some time exploring the greenhouses and by the time we moved out rains had stopped and the greenery was fresh and inviting.
Gothenburg Botanical Garden
Botanical garden in Gothenburg has an area of about 430 acres has various regions and themes within the garden including a waterfall, a hill to climb and some sculptures. We visited in May but I would advise you to visit in June probably. Even though the tulips arranged across the garden where beautiful, I think more flower plants would be visible in June. Also, the greenhouses have 4000 different species.
Visit the website to find more details: https://www.botaniska.se/en/
Personally, I loved the experience, it is always very calming to spend time in greenhouses along with the unseen plant, flower and tree species. I love to see and discover something I haven’t seen before or in a long time. We loved climbing up the hill at one end of the garden and get an overview of the city. Entrance is free and hence it really depends on how much time you can spend in such a place. Entrance fee for greenhouses for adults is a mere 20SEK and is well worth it. I would highly recommend this to families as well.
The second day of Gothenburg started with a bus journey until the port of Alvsbörg. It was just one of those unplanned journeys to avoid rains and see the extreme end of Gothenburg. We got down at the port, had a look around, and returned back to the city to see few other easily visitable places.
Haga street and Haga church
After reaching the city, we had a quick lunch and rushed towards Haga Street. It is a cute little street basically lined with old houses from the 17th century, now converted into cafes and restaurants. One of the attractive features is also the Haga church which has a pink coloured roof. We just strolled in this street to reach our next destination.
Skansen Kronan AB
Next stop was Skansen Kronan AB. Skansen Kronan AB is a one-time fortress and currently used as a conference and wedding venue. To reach the fortress is to best to climb over 100 plus steps from the Haga District. Fortress also provides panoramic views of Gothenburg City!!
We spent about an hour at this place. It was fun to climb all the stairs and yet have climbed up the Skansberget hill.
After this, we decided to stroll our way back to the central station. What better way to do so than to have a look at the Kungsparken. Kungsparken is one of the best-preserved city parks in Europe. It is right in the middle of the city yet absolutely green and beautiful.
We ended our Gothenburg trip by quickly taking a stroll through trädgårdsföreningen. Beautiful park to relax, take a stroll, admire the flowers and have a picnic as well. It is so close to the central station that it is impossible to miss it.
That’s it, we returned back to Stockholm with a lot of amazing memories of greenery and flowers. We wish to visit Gothenburg again but this weekend trip was enough to get a vibe of the city. It felt very different from Stockholm. It felt a bit aloof, a bit relaxed and a bit too gloomy because of the rains. I am glad we spent time in nature, but on our next trip to this city we plan to visit more amazing places.