Day 1 and 2
Stay in top ranked hotels in Gothenburg
Check in at one of Sweden’s top hotels, as rated by the users of Tripadvisor. Try, for example, the stylish Upper House with its amazing outdoor pool jutting out from the façade, high above the bustling city streets. Or the Parisian style Hotel Pigalle, the feng shui certified design hotel Avalon hotel, or the lavish Dorsia Hotel & Restaurang in the style of la Belle époque.
Find more design hotels here..
Boat trips and architecture
Take a sightseeing tour with the Paddan Boats, an enjoyable way to see the city and the canals in 50 minutes. You'll get a great view of the Opera House, as well as of Kuggen, "The Cog" - a colourful, round building with triangular windows, designed by Gert Wingårdh, Sweden's most well-known architect and based in Gothenburg.
You can also take the river ferry Älvsnabben from Lilla bommen to Klippan. Along the way you will see both the Opera House and Kuggen. From Klippan, take a walk to the neighbourhood Majorna where you'll find many of the three-storey stone-and-wood houses called landshövdingehus ("County governor's houses"), erected from 1875 to 1940 and a typical - and unique - Gothenburg building style.
Also make sure to visit the Röda Sten Art Centre, located in a former boiler house in the harbour inlet, right by the bridge Älvsborgsbron. The centre houses exciting contemporary art exhibitions as well as a café. They are also the head of GIBCA, Gothenburg International Art Biennial for Contemporary Art, one of Scandinavia’s biggest art biennials, held every second year.
Go for a stroll in the compact city center to take in the mix of historical and contemporary architecture. Make the market hall Saluhallen from 1889 and the Feskekörka fish market (pictured above) two of your stops - maybe timing them with lunch, since both are excellent choices for a delicious meal.
Gothenburg City Hall (interior pictured above) is a world-famous building. The original part was erected as a Courthouse in 1672 and designed by Nicodemus Tessin Senior. The famous extension, finished in 1936, was designed by architect Gunnar Asplund and is often referred to as the Asplund Extension..
If you have the time, hop on a tram or bus and cross the river Göta älv to Frihamnen ("the free-port") to check out the public sauna, created by German architect collective Raumblabor Berlin and in large parts constructed from recycled material. Frihamnen is still characterized by the old ship building industry, but is going through some exciting changes to create a new area.
Also, don't miss Götaplatsen - the impressive square with the statue of Poseidon by Carl Milles. The square was constructed for the World's Fair in Gothenburg in 1923 and Poseidon is surrounded by beautiful buildings on three sides: the Concert hall, the City Theatre and Gothenburg Museum of Art. The museum is considered to have the world’s finest collection of turn-of-the-century Nordic art. Furthermore, works by masters such as Rembrandt, Picasso and van Gogh are shown side by side with works by contemporary artists such as Charlotte Gyllenhammar and Cajsa von Zeipel. The entrance hall also houses the Hasselblad Centre for Photographic Art.
On the way between the market hall Saluhallen and fish market Feskekörka, be sure to visit the area around trendy Magasinsgatan for some design shopping. Here you have interior design shops like Artilleriet and Artilleriet The Kitchen, Floramor & Krukatös, Norrgavel and Rum 21. All within walking distance and, of course, you can find even more gems here.
And if you’re into fashion, you have plenty of Gothenburg brands to choose from, like Nudie jeans, footwear from Sneaky Steve, feminine modern vintage by Jumperfabriken, denim “rebels” Dr Denim, young minimalistic fashion at Velour or marine fashion by Emma & Malena.
Visit the Volvo museum
See the history of Volvo since the start in 1927 in Gothenburg. Volvo Museum displays 8000 square metres of cars, buses, machines, engines and unique concepts. All by the local car manufacturer Volvo. The museum is easiest reached by car.
Design Bars and Restaurants
There are lots of great dinner options with a design twist in Gothenburg. Here are a few to whet your appetite!
- Koka: gourmet restaurant focusing on modern West Swedish gastronomy. Nominated to Best Interior by Architects Sweden and boasts one star in Guide Michelin.
- SK Mat & Människor, also one star in Guide Michelin, and awarded Best Interior by Architects Sweden.
- Toso: popular pan-Asian restaurant with exciting interior, run by star chef Stefan Karlsson. Serves fantastic drinks.
- Basque: trendy Spanish restaurant and bar with pintxos and a great selection of beer.
- Puta Madre: popular bar and restaurant in 1920s style. Famous for their tequila drinks.
- Atelier (Hotel Pigalle): trendy cocktails and live DJ´s every weekend. Rooftop bar open in the summer.
- Cielo Rooftop Bar (Hotel Bellora): small and cosy rooftop bar inspired by the Italian Riviera. Ranked one of the best rooftop bars in the world 2016 by hotels.com.
- Barabicu: trendy and popular pan-American grill, DJ in the later evenings.
Textiles in the town of Borås
Drive to Borås (45 min).
Browse new textiles, learn about the history of textiles and buy unique products. At the Textile Fashion Center in Borås, research, education, culture and innovation have all been brought together under the same roof, in a region with a centuries-long tradition of textile production.
The Smart Textiles Showroom exhibits cutting-edge textile research aimed at improving our lives, mainly in resource recovery and durable materials, medical technology, and interior design and architecture.
The Textile Museum illustrates the meeting point between the history of the textile industry and the future. Prominent designers and artists are behind many exciting temporary exhibitions here. Create your own hands-on experience by trying out twentieth-century fashion and different textile crafts.
Have lunch at The Company Restaurant, Bar & Café in the Textile Fashion Center and then take a tour to see the works from the street art festival No Limit Street Art. Check for guided tours at the Borås Tourist Office.
Bjertorp Castle Hotel
Drive to Bjertorp Castle (1 h 45 min).
Check in at Bjertorp Castle, Sweden’s youngest art nouveau castle: a rural escape, relaxed yet with a luxurious touch and an intriguing history.
Drive to Lidköping (35 min).
Porcelain in Lidköping
Visit Rörstrand Porcelain Museum,one of Europe’s oldest porcelain factories. The collections span almost three centuries, from 1726 to present time. Here you'll find for example showpieces and popular tableware, but also tools, sketches and a round kiln. Rörstrand is a much loved cultural heritage still in use.
Spiken fishing village
Drive to Spiken fishing village (25 min).
On the beautiful peninsula Kållandsö in Lake Vänern you'll find Spiken fishing village. Here you can enjoy lunch at Restaurang Sjöboden where they focus on locally produced ingredients. The restaurant has been included in Sweden's leading restaurant guide The White Guide, and is located just a few minutes drive from the stunning and medieval Läckö Castle, your next stop.
Check in at Victoriahuset
Drive to Victoriahuset (5 min).
The lovely Victoriahuset, a symbolic gift to HRH Crown Princess Victoria on her 30th birthday and dubbed one of Scandinavia's coolest buildings by The Times, was officially opened by the Crown Princess and her husband Prince Daniel in 2013. It houses a hotel, an exhibition and a restaurant. The quiet rooms are decorated in a natural, restful style, with beautiful views of the forest, the castle or the myriads of small islands in Lake Vänern.
Guided tour of Läckö Castle
Surrounded by magnificent gardens, Läckö Castle rises majestically in all its baroque glory from the tip of a promontory pointing out into the Lake Vänern archipelago. The castle’s 700 year old history as wel las its immaculately preserved ceiling paintings, woodcarvings and the parquet flooring dating back to the 1600s make it a must see. During the summer the area comes alive with for example exhibitions and guided tours inside the castle and the annual opera in the courtyard. Don't miss Lilla Slottsträdgården, "The Small Castle Garden", which is uniquely re-designed each year.
Dinner at Hvita Hjorten
Restaurang Hvita Hjorten ('White Hart Restaurant') in Victoriahuset offers a stunning view of Läckö Castle and Lake Vänern. The kitchen sources its ingredients from the surrounding area, for example using produce from the castle garden. Awarded for sustainable gastronomy in the White Guide, and ranked in the guide's Masterclass category.
Breakfast and check out.
Drive to Skärhamn on Tjörn Island (2 h 20 min)
Visit the Nordic Watercolour Museum
The Nordic Watercolour Museum, a place for meetings between art, nature and people, situated harbourside in Skärhamn on west coast island Tjörn. Let the sorroundings, the museum's design and the art work intrigue and mesmerise you. Here you'll find works by for example Salvador Dali, Louise Borgeois, Anders Zorn and Bill Viola.
Lunch at Vatten Gourmet & Café in Skärhamn
The location of restaurant Vatten could hardly be more beautiful, sitting waterside and with views of the pink-coloured granite skerries.
Visit "Sculpture at Pilane"
Drive to Pilane (15 min).
The annual Pilane event showcases the work of world-leading contemporary artists in an ancient landscape. The sculptures, setting and grazing sheep combine to make a visit here utterly charming, interesting and thought-provoking.
Check in at Salt & Sill or Lådfabriken
Drive to Klädesholmen (25 min) or to Hälleviksstrand (50 min).
Salt & Sill on Klädesholmen is Sweden's first floating hotel and offers a peaceful environment with guaranteed sea views over Bohuslän's outer archipelago. The hotel consists of six two-storey houses built on floating pontoons. The interior design is characterized by modern Scandinavian simplicity with functional furnishings and unique details. Some rooms on the lower level sport their own ladder right into the Skagerrak.
Lådfabriken 'the [fish] crate factory', in Hälleviksstrand, is situated on the cliffs of Bohuslän, only 30 metres from the Skagerrak Sea. Lådfabriken opened in May 2013 and the unique building houses four individually styled rooms. Relax in the 'light room' from where you can witness the sunset, or out in the garden with its terrace facing the sea and the archipelago.
Breakfast and check out.
The drive to Gothenburg takes about 1 h 10 min.