I hope to take my girlfriend away on a relaxing break for a long weekend as we both are very busy at work this time of year. I would like to go to Sweden as I have heard that it is a nice country with many different things to see and do.
While Sweden can be a pricey destination, the second city of Gothenburg (locally Goteborg) is widely renowned as a cheaper alternative that will still provide you with that unforgettable Scandinavian experience. This coastal city has developed from an industrial centre to a creative and cultural hub that now caters for city visitors of all kinds.
I always say that the best way to take in a new city is to walk around and immerse yourself in the atmosphere but in Gothenburg I have to recommend cycling! With over 100km of safe bike routes and 50 city bike self-rental stations you can simply work your routes in a cheap, fun and relaxing ‘hop on – hop off’ way. The first half hour is free so it is worth taking a few minutes to plan your trip.
A 10 minute cycle from the city centre is the Linnéstad area, defined by an impressive blend of traditional Scandinavian architecture along with having the best of local produce. Whatever you’re budget you’ll have fun sampling the local cuisine at the eateries of Linnégaten, Gothenburg’s main restaurant district which is also known for its fantastic beer collection and boutique shops.
Back in the city, Gothenburg proudly hosts a collection of museums that any city would be proud of. Top of your list should be the Universeum which is actually the largest science centre in Scandinavia. This is a great place to spend an afternoon as there are many interactive exhibits – you can even find yourself going from outer space to a shark-infested tank in just a few short minutes! Other museums of note include the interesting Museum of Cultural History (Stadsmuseet) and the world’s largest ship museum, the awesome Goteborgs Maritima Centrum.
In keeping with the city’s world-leading sites, the Liseberg Amusement Park is a must-see as it was named in the Forbes top 10 Amusement Parks in the world just five years ago. There is something for everyone in this all-encompassing park with everything from large rollercoasters to tea cups and carousels.
If amusement parks are not your cup of tea, however, there are numerous other parks and gardens in which to take a more relaxing stroll. There is the spectacular 175 hectare Botanical Gardens that includes over 16,000 plant species, a Japanese rock garden and a waterfall. The price of all this natural beauty is just a modest €2 admission fee and is one of the most romantic ways to spend a day in Gothenburg.
With so much to see and do in such a short day, you will be glad to know that you needn’t worry about a great place to wine and dine in the evenings. The best nights are spent on a street called the Avenyn (the Avenue) where you will find the city’s trendiest niche clubs and bars, as well as smaller pubs, taverns, beer halls and sports bars.
Dining in Gothenburg is an equally unique experience, with the significant part of the menu fresh from the cold North Sea. Their white fish, shrimp and oysters are world-renowned and will provide the perfect platform for any romantic evening. If fish, however, is not what you are looking for you can walk the streets and find the best of world cuisine with everything from meats and cheeses to African and Asian cuisine.
Where to Stay
Hotell Liseberg Heden (****)
Prices start from €127 per room per night on Hotels.com
Hotell Liseberg Heden is one of the most recommended hotels in the city and there really is no surprise why. The hotel has 179 rooms and boasts an impressive restaurant, bar, sauna and fitness facilities. All rooms are also equipped with Wi-Fi.
As well as enviable on-site amenities, the hotel is also just minutes from Liseburg Amusement Park, the City Museum and Maritima Museum making it an ideal base for your stay.
Hotel Poseidon (***)
Prices start from €128 per room per night on Hotels.com
This is a great hotel for a short city-break in Gothenburg, located minutes from many of the city’s top museums and attractions such as the spectacular Opera House. Hotel Poseidon is a nice, smaller hotel of just 49 rooms, where all guests receive a complimentary breakfast and free Wi-Fi in the room.
The hotel is also particularly helpful in that there are on-site currency exchange facilities allowing you to sort your money before you even step outside the door.
Nya Varvet Studies (***)
Prices start from €114 per room per night on Hotels.com
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Nya Varvet Studies are located on the Castle Forest just minutes from the Botanical Gardens. There is also a nice quiet marina just in front of the hotel.
The hotel itself comes highly recommended, with consistently high reviews for its notable cleanliness, comfort and outstanding service. Nya Varvet Studies also offers dining facilities and all guests are provided with a complimentary buffet breakfast.
For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.Hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday.