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- 15 Dec 2019, 3 nights
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Gothenburg is Sweden's second largest city, but with stone-cobbled streets, criss-crossing canals and cosy coffee shops, it has an intimate feel. It's a favourite among culture vultures, who come for the booming modern art scene, as well as the Konstmuseum, home to the likes of Picasso and Monet. There's plenty to do, from café-hopping and browsing boutiques to spending a day exploring the city's archipelagos.
Gothenburg hostels are scattered across the city centre, including an eco-friendly one inside a listed building dating back to the 1800s. If you'd rather be closer to nature, you can stay next to Stora Kåsjön lake, just five minutes from a beach. As well as the usual shared dorms (with female-only options), there are private bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. Most of the hostels in Gothenburg have free Wi-Fi and kitchens for everyone to use, and there's one with an outdoor terrace and grill. For a true Scandinavian experience, choose a Gothenburg hostel with a sauna.
Haga is Gothenburg's most historic district. Independent cafés and shops are housed in well-preserved landshövdingehus – vintage-looking buildings made from wood and stone. Pedestrianised Haga Nygata is the most popular street for travellers and locals. There, indulge in a fika (a break for coffee and cake) – with one of Gothenburg's famous plate-sized cinnamon buns. Neighbouring Majorna was once industrial, but is now the place to go for new eateries and a spot of culture, starting at the Röda Sten Art Centre.
You'll find plenty to do here – indeed, no visit to Gothenburg would be complete without a trip to the archipelagos. You can meander along Styrsö's rocky coastline and cross over to Donsö, known for its rustic red fishing huts. The Botanical Garden houses 16,000 different plant species and it's free to enter. Adrenaline-seekers should head to Scandinavia's largest amusement park, Liseberg, to try out the tallest free-fall tower in Europe.
Göteborg Landvetter Airport is around 30 minutes from the city centre. Travelling to Gothenburg from the airport (and vice versa) is easy thanks to the Flygbussarna shuttle bus service. Once you've arrived, the best way to get around is by tram. If you're staying in the city just for a short time and want to make the most of your visit, your best bet is a 24-hour or 72-hour ticket that's valid on buses, trains, trams and ferries. These can be bought at a Västtrafik kiosk, or using the To Go app.