Once a simple trading port on the North Sea’s Kattegat region, Gothenburg has developed into a massive city for commerce and entertainment, and one of the largest metropolises in all of Scandinavia. The waters of the sea and the Göta älv River remain Gothenburg’s lifeblood, but this city has diversified considerably as well, and is now a major center for manufacturing, education, and tourism (both domestic and international). As few of the original wooden 17th century buildings have been preserved, the new cityscape is an architectural marvel of National Romantic, Neoclassical, and Post-modern styles. Take a trip through the Old Town’s canals, explore the nearby archipelago by ferry, kick back in the many open spaces and gardens, or enjoy the abundance of gigantic international events–Gothenburg has something for every taste.
Location: The Outlet of the Göta älv River
Sweden’s second-largest city with over half a million residents in the city proper and nearly one million in the metropolitan area, is located on its western coast. With its North Sea port and proximity to both Denmark and Germany, it’s well served by both water-based trade routes and passenger ferries. Combined with the city’s two airports and numerous train and bus stations, connecting to the rest of Sweden and locations abroad is simple and straightforward.
Business: A Polestar for Manufacturing and Education
Gothenburg is a regional center for trade and industry. The city is famous as the home of Volvo, which still operates a manufacturing plant and remains the largest local employer. Other major firms include bearing company SKF and communications giant Ericsson. The former two companies have established technical schools in Gothenburg, joining the city’s two universities to create a hub of knowledge and research.
Culture: A Long-Standing Hub of Commerce
This city sports a long maritime history as part of major trade routes across the North Sea. In addition to Swedish, common languages spoken here have included English, Scots, and Dutch. Those looking to learn more about Gothenburg’s history and development should check out the Röhsska Museum or the City Museum–the latter being located in the former East India House. The Universeum is a popular public science center with experiment workshops and wild collections of insects, fish, and reptiles.
Activities: A Center for International Attractions
You definitely won’t want to miss Liseberg, the largest amusement park in all of Scandinavia and the most popular attraction in Sweden. A number of Paddan boats offer guided tours of the city’s harbor and canals. If the timing is right, visitors can also enjoy a number of massive annual events, including January’s Göteborg International Film Festival, April/May’s International Science Festival, July’s Gothia Cup youth football tournament, and August’s Way Out West music festival.