Gothenburg is how Sweden is becoming trendy(ier)
And what a better example than Gothenburg to show how cool Swedes can be.
Until the time that I started planning this trip I had never heard for Gothenburg and it turns out that it's the third largest city in Sweden and has a booming tourist and commercial economy. We were to be in Sweden for seven days and needed to split our stay so we could see more than Stockholm, which I loved as well. So after doing a little research we ended up choosing Gothenburg. A great reason for us to select it was because Euro Pride was being hosted in the city around the same dates so that made our decision even easier.
Located Southwest of Stockholm, across the country on the West Coast, it's an easy train ride. We didn't go directly there, instead had another stop in Copenhagen so if you have more time I recommend that you start in Stockholm, take a train to Malmo-Copenhagen and then back to Gothenburg-Stockholm. This worked out great for us, in a triangular route.
The best thing about Sweden is its people. And this didn't disappoint at all in Gothenburg as the locals were super friendly and welcoming. The city was a party town as they were about to start Euro Pride weekend. The weather started cooling down with some rains by the time we got there (mid-August) but that didn't stop the party.
Our hotel was Bellora which was an Italian-themed hotel that makes you feel like in Italy with the Swedes, prefect combo. The location is perfect right on the main street of Kungsportsavenyen, easy walking distance to anywhere in town including the train station. The lobby is in theory a restaurant and cafe so anytime you walk into the hotel there seems to be a party and the atmosphere is celebratory all over the place. Hang out and meet locals while you wait there. Smaller guest rooms but perfectly Italian-decorated sticking to the theme. One of the best highlights is that the hotel has a rooftop terrace, Cielo, with great views of the old town, happy hour with Aperol Spritz and DJ spinning some lounge tunes. It was perfect for afternoons and sunsets. Happening spot in the city.
The Haga is what I'd consider Old Town. With cobblestone streets, small older wooden buildings, carriage houses converted into small bars and boutiques. The stores here are so good, unique shopping and getting that Scandinavian-rustic look from decor stores was so perfect. I recommend you spend some time here walking around, shopping, eating and having fika (coffee). Don't expect any of the commercial brands here, you can still find them in town but the Haga is for smaller stores owned by locals and artists. Great place to buy bed linens.
Up hill from the Haga there is a small medieval tower, Skansen Kronan, that you can almost see from anywhere in the vicinity. It's a steep hill but worth climbing it to the top as it will give you almost 360-degree views of the city, the harbor - which is the busiest harbor in the country - and a glimpse at medieval Gothenberg with a military tower overlooking the sea to protect from invaders. And while climbing this hill you'll also get to see a more local neighborhood and how the locals live here.
Gothenburg is a very green city, so many trees and parks and that allows people to walk around so easily, meeting people anywhere you go and when night comes it becomes a party city. I wasn't expecting that much happening at night but the Swedes really know how to enjoy day and night. There are many clubs and one cool thing about the town is that clubs are mixed, literally. Don't expect to see gay-only or straight-only bars, they all welcome anyone and everyone so there's a true atmosphere that we're all invited anywhere and because of that you get to meet a lot of fun people.
Some fun bars and restaurants in town are: Upper House Lounge, Dorsia, Stranger X Stranger, Puta Madre. And the best clubs are Bee Kok Bar, SLM Gothenburg, Greta's.
This city feels like a small-big city, I don't even know how to describe it but it three days that we got to spend there we got to see and meet so many people and places. Food was amazing, our hotel was the best and the party never ended, literally until sunrise, walking back to our hotel room while the sun started to brighten up the cobblestone streets.