When I tell people about our visit to Scandinavia, I describe Gothenburg as one of the surprise highlights of the trip. It’s very green, a good, manageable size, lots to do, chilled out, clean, healthy. Everything you expect a Swedish city to be, but better. I think it also has similarities to Edinburgh, in size and access to parks and gardens, which is why I think we loved it even more.
We arrived on the train from Malmö, about a three hour train journey, and checked into our hotel. The First Hotel G is right above central station, quite literally as we watched the trains coming in from the steamy sauna in the hotel spa. In the afternoon we had a potter around the main shopping city, popped down to the seafront to see the opera house at sunset and we chose a Nepalese restaurant for dinner at Restaurant Himalaya.
On our one full day in the city, we walked to Universeum – a science centre with rainforest zone! – and spent a hours surrounded by excited children, and their less excited parents, learning about space, the brain, the ocean and the natural world. It was fun, but I think aimed at the younger audience!
After lunch, we hid from the rain downpour in the city’s Museum of Art, playing ping pong in one of the exhibits and looking at everything from Renaissance to modern day art.
On our last morning in the city we woke up early and went for a run. We climbed the steps to Skansen Kronan – a fortress on a hill – before finding the trails of Slottskogen – a huge leafy park with wildlife zoo, natural history museum and botanical gardens. It was misty but running was a great way to explore further out of this small but sprawling city.
Grabbing coffee, we strolled around the bustling streets of the Haga district, watching ice skaters, spotting trams and taking in the quiet views. I loved Gothenburg and as we left for the bright lights of Oslo – the next stop on our honeymoon journey – I thought, yes. Gothenburg, I will return.