News, Culture & Society

How to visit Gothenburg for less than £100 a night

With its hip restaurants, cafes, boutiques and indie art scene, Sweden’s second-biggest city has stepped out of Stockholm’s shadow, but is too relaxed to take its new-found coolness seriously. 

Those seeking old-fashioned charm will be delighted by the west coast port’s elegant boulevards, historic wooden houses, canals and vintage trams — while a string of islands on its doorstep offer outdoor activities.

‘With its hip restaurants, cafes, boutiques and indie art scene, Sweden’s second-biggest city has stepped out of Stockholm’s shadow,’ writes Claire Webb

Where to stay

STF Goteborg City

STF is Sweden’s hostelling association, but there are no dormitories or shared bathrooms in this basic but stylish 102-room hotel. There is a communal kitchen, a cosy lounge and a coffee bar. The location is excellent — a two-minute stroll from the waterfront on a quiet, pedestrianised city centre shopping street. Doubles from £99, including breakfast (swedishtouristassociation.com).

Hotel Barken Viking

Anchored near the central shopping district, this floating hotel looks like it might set sail at any moment. The converted 1907 four-masted barque has a creaky, old-world charm and 29 wood-panelled rooms, each with a little bathroom and porthole. Guests can enjoy a sundowner and harbour views from the on-deck bar. Twin cabin from £92, including breakfast (barkenviking.com).

Aby Hotel

This new 223-room hotel is attached to a racecourse and conference centre in the suburb of Molndal, a 15-minute tram ride from the centre. The lobby is funfair-themed and the spacious rooms are tastefully furnished in greens and pinks. Breakfast is in a lovely restaurant overlooking the racetrack. B&B doubles from £93 (abyhotel.se)

Scandic No. 25

Tucked down a quiet street near the striking central railway station, No. 25 is the baby of Gothenburg’s seven Scandic hotels. The 112 rooms are comfortable if small, but the breakfast buffet is huge. If you like to sleep with the windows open, ask for a room facing the courtyard to lessen the sound of those passing trains. B&B doubles from £86 (scandichotels.com)

What to see and do

Canal cruise

Float down 17th-century moats and canals in an open-topped Paddan boat

Float down 17th-century moats and canals in an open-topped Paddan boat

Float down 17th-century moats and canals in an open-topped Paddan boat, then into the harbour past the seagull-inspired opera house. Paddan rides, with commentary from a guide, usually cost £16, but like most big attractions are included in the 24-hour city pass at £33 (stromma.com, gothenburgpass.com).

Admire Swedish art

The Museum of Art houses works by Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, Degas and Picasso. Don’t miss paintings by the Impressionists’ Swedish contemporaries, such as Richard Bergh in the Furstenberg Gallery. Also, check out contemporary shows at Roda Sten Art Centre on the riverfront (goteborgskonstmuseum.se, rodasten.com).

Island adventure

Dozens of tiny islands are scattered off the coast and tours depart several times a day in summer (£26, or included in the city pass). But much cheaper ferries go to the car-free southern isles. These run year-round and depart from Saltholmen and Stenpiren docks. One ticket covers tram and ferry (stromma.com).

Rollercoaster rides

The Liseberg amusement park is more charming than most (£42 for a day pass or £10 entry plus one to four £2 coupons for a ride). As well as fairground and children’s rides, there are hair-raising attractions like a wooden rollercoaster. At Christmas, the park is a winter wonderland (liseberg.com).

Where to eat

Saluhallen

This 19th-century market hall is a lively spot for a no-frills lunch. Perch on a high stool at a counter and try Swedish classics such as meatballs with lingonberry sauce (£8) or creamy fish soup (£6). Don’t leave without a bag of irresistible Steinbrenner & Nyberg sweet buns. (Kungsportsplatsen 46, storasaluhallen.se/en/vendors).

Gothenburg has plenty of places to eat from a 19th century market hall for a 'no-frills' lunch to quirky independent cafes (stock image)

Gothenburg has plenty of places to eat from a 19th century market hall for a ‘no-frills’ lunch to quirky independent cafes (stock image)

Feskekorka

With its Gothic eaves, the aptly named ‘Fish Church’ could be mistaken for a place of worship, but a salty whiff soon gives away its true function: a seafood market. Tuck in to the catch of the day for £16 at the teeny mezzanine restaurant Gabriel, or buy a box of plump prawns for about £15 and picnic by the canal. (Fisktorget 4, feskekorka.se).

Cafe Husaren

A queue often snakes out the door of this old-school coffee shop on a cobbled street in Haga — a neighbourhood famous for its wooden buildings, quirky wares and independent cafes. Cafe Husaren’s counter is always crammed with sweet treats, but people flock here for their giant version of Sweden’s favourite pastry: dinner plate-sized cinnamon buns for £6. (Haga Nygata 28, cafehusaren.se)

Familjen

This polished but friendly restaurant serves dainty dishes that show off the finest produce from the west of the country. Spending £32 on the supper menu gets you three courses with a meat or vegetarian main, such as tender pork shoulder with slivers of crisp kohlrabi. Whet your appetite with an expertly mixed, herb-infused cocktail for £12. (Arkivgatan 7, restaurangfamiljen.se).

Brasserie Lipp

The terrace of this all-day restaurant on the main boulevard is a great place for people-watching, and the food is as classy as the decor. A varied menu includes hefty burgers for £17, a Hawaiian-style raw fish bowl at £17 and perfectly cooked French classics. The lunch choice is more limited but good-value. Mains are just £11. (Kungsportsavenyn 8, brasserielipp.se). 

TRAVEL FACTS 

BA (ba.com) flies from London to Gothenburg from £127 return. The Flygbussarna coach to the city centre costs £18 return and takes about 30 minutes. More information at goteborg.com.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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