When most travelers thing of visiting Sweden going to Stockholm immediately comes to mind, but Gothenburg — the county’s second largest city — shouldn’t be forgotten about.
WHAT TO SEE
Gothenburg is totally comfortable in it’s working class skin and is steeped in fishing and naval history. Walk the charming cobbled streets of the old district Haga and admire the fort Skansen Kronan, built in 1687 to protect the city from the Danes.
WHAT TO LISTEN TO
This is an indie band Mecca, but also home to the best festivals the country can offer. Way Out West (Aug. 12-14, www.wayoutwest.se/english) features M.I.A., Paul Weller and La Roux etc. The Gothenburg Symphony orchestra is led by superstar director Gustavo Dudamel and holds a free concert in the park Slottsskogen (June 6).
WHAT TO EAT
Revered in Gothenburg, Feskekörka (which looks like a temple) was built as the city’s fishmarket in 1874, and is still where you’ll find the best sea food. www.feskekörka.se.
WHAT TO DRINK
A “STÖL” is an abbreviation you’ll see on many a bar menu. It means a big, strong, lager. But you can also sip nice cocktails at for example Tranquilo (Kungstorget 14) and Heaven 23 Skybar).
WHAT TO WEAR
Swedes in general dress casually, and in Gothenburg indie is trés chic. A good local designer is Maria Westerlind.
WHAT TO DO
Kick back and relax. Enjoy the chilled pace, the famously warm Gothenburg sense of humour and the thrilling rides at Liseberg amusement park.
WHAT NOT TO DO
It won’t necessarily get you into trouble, but it won’t win you any friends either. Remember you’re on the West Coast, the front side of Sweden, where the sea is salty and you see the sunset.
WHAT TO SAY
There are more men called Glenn in Gothenburg than anywhere else in Sweden. The most famous is of course Glenn Strömberg, a football player and local hero — even though he lives in Italy now.