1. Swedish Midsummer
Possibly the most popular holiday in Sweden, Midsummer is an experience you won’t easily forget. Among the age-old traditions that the locals will happily introduce you to are putting flowers in your hair, dancing around a maypole, singing songs and jumping like a frog (yes, that goes for adults too!) Other Midsummer-must-haves include pickled herring, new potatoes, sour cream and chives, all washed down with generous amounts of flavoured schnapps! And for dessert – a cake with fresh strawberries, of course. Want to find out who you’re going to marry? Head out to the meadows, find seven different flowers and put them under your pillow to dream of your husband, or wife, to be.
2. The Stunning Archipelago
Thought island hopping was only a thing in Greece? Think again! The Gothenburg archipelago offers over 20 stunning little pearls with charming villages, breathtaking nature and enough cliffs and beaches to find your own private picnic spot by the sea. This is the ideal place to unwind and relax – whether that means chilling on a cliff all day, or going for a walking, biking, kayaking, fishing or bouldering adventure. Or try a seal-safari? Most of the islands can be easily accessed by ferry, and the southern ones are totally car-free. After a long day in the sun, there are plenty of cosy cafes and restaurants offering delicious meals in idyllic settings. Want even more freedom? Rent your own boat and go wherever the wind takes you.
3. Seafood Madness
If you love fish and seafood, Gothenburg is your place to eat. Or perhaps more correctly – feast. The cold, clean waters of the North Sea provide fresh and flavourful shrimp, oysters, crayfish, mussels and lobster that you can buy directly from the fishing boats, or in the beautiful fish market hall Feskekôrka from 1874. The shellfish capital’s fish and seafood restaurants, with their imaginative chefs, offer classic dishes as well as new innovations for every palate. But make sure you taste the traditional shrimp sandwich at least once! And if you want to try your own luck at catching the goodies, there are plenty of tours and guides ready to take you out to sea.
4. Way Out West Festival
Prince, Kanye West, Patti Smith, Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill, Neil Young, Kraftwerk. Whatever your music preference, one of your absolute favourites has probably entered a Way Out West stage during the festival’s eleven years of life. During three days in August, the entire city park Slottsskogen is taken over by live music, world class DJs and massive party vibes, a dazzling celebration that has spread across the city and its venues creating a close to 24/7 experience – if you manage to stay awake, that is. Since the start, the festival programme has expanded into music-related film screenings, talks and an entire Stay Out West area for late-night gigs, ensuring there’s something for every taste. Also, don’t miss out on the cozy picnic-like preparty right outside the festival entrance, a perfect place to make new friends!
5. Unlimited Roaming
No, we’re not talking 4G here, although Sweden does have an impressive mobile coverage even in remote areas. We’re simply referring to The Right of Public Access (Allemansrätten in Swedish), more commonly known as the freedom to roam. Here, you’re free to walk, sail, moor your boat and go swimming (almost) wherever you like, put up a tent for a night, make a fire and pick berries, mushrooms and flowers growing on the ground. Quite some freedom, right? Bring a tent, good walking shoes and see where the road takes you! Just remember – with freedom comes responsibility, so respect nature, wildlife, land owners and your fellow explorers.