Gothenburg - Abbey Travel, Ireland



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Welcome to Gothenburg


The second largest city in Sweden, and Scandinavia's most important port, Gothenburg (or Goteborg) is situated on the west coast of the country, at the outlet of the Göta Canal which links Gothenburg to the Baltic Sea, and indirectly to the country's capital, Stockholm.

Positioned on the Göta River, Gothenburg, or Göteborg, was founded in 1621 by King Gustav II Adolf to secure access to the Atlantic, but the city was settled and planned by Dutch merchants who used it as their base for trade. The numerous canals and gabled houses are evidence of this early influence. Shipping and commerce have always been important industries in Gothenburg and the port is the arrival point of hundreds of visitors a year.

Gothenburg is also a stunningly beautiful city with its waterside location, green open spaces and fine architecture, and boasts a wide selection of cultural establishments with no shortage of theatres and museums. The main street, Kungsportavenyn, known simply as Avenyn, is a hive of restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels and shops and is at the centre of life in the city. Gothenburg is also well known as an event city, hosting major international events and artists, yet despite its sophisticated feel it still maintains a small town charm with its own special character, augmented by the large population of the University of Gothenburg. In many people's opinion, Gothenburg is more beautiful and entertaining than Stockholm, and also provides a better understanding of the people and the Swedish way of life.

Information & Facts


Gothenburg has an Oceanic climate with moderately cool weather in summer and comparatively cool winter weather. Temperatures are quite mild yet warmer than places further south due to the moderating influence of the warm Gulf Stream. Summer daylight hours extend to 17 hours, but last only around 7 hours in late December. Summers are warm with average high temperatures of 72°F (22°C) and lows of 55°F (13°C), but temperatures of around 77°F - 86 °F (25°C to 30°C) can occur. Winters are cold and windy with average temperatures around freezing, rarely dropping below 14°F (minus 10°C).

Getting Around

The compact city is easily navigated by foot, but a bus and tram network also covers the city and is easy to use. The Älvsnabben ferry provides services along the harbour and Padden boats tour the canals. All public transport tickets are interchangeable and there are a variety of travel cards available. There are extensive parking facilities and motorists are advised to find a parking space and explore the city on foot or public transport. The Gothenburg City Pass is the most cost effective way of getting around Gothenburg and of visiting the city's hot spots, offering free travel on public buses and trams along with special discounts and free entry to many museums and parks.

Swedish is the main language, with Lapp being spoken by the Sami population in the north. Most Swedes speak and understand English. Many also speak German and French.

The Swedish monetary unit is the Kronor/Krona or Crown (SEK), which is divided into 100 öre. Banks exchange money during business hours from Monday to Friday. At other times money can be changed at airports, ferry terminals, post offices and Forex exchange offices, which are open daily. There are numerous ATMs throughout the country, most of which accept MasterCard and Visa. Travellers cheques and most major credit cards are widely accepted for payment throughout Sweden.

GMT +1 (GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).

The well preserved, 17th century fortress is located on a small island at the entrance of the harbour, at the mouth of the Göta River. With a fascinating history of battles against the Danes, the fortress was once the mightiest citadel in Sweden for coastal defence and is highly popular with visitors. A dramatised tour is included in the admission fee.

One of the most well known attractions in Sweden, the Göta Canal was an important transport route for passengers and goods between Gothenburg and Stockholm throughout the 19th century until the building of railways and roads. It was also one of the biggest civil engineering projects to ever take place in the country. The canal stretches 118 miles (190km) from Sjötorp on Lake Vänern to the Baltic Sea at Mem and has 58 locks. Gothenburg is linked to the canal at Lake Vänern by the Göta River. The picturesque tree-lined channels are popular for cruises, which pass through the beautiful lakes of Vättern and Vänern, usually lasting about five to six days.

The Botanical Garden in Gothenburg is one of the largest in Europe and the most beautiful in Sweden boasting about 13,000 different species of plant. The area covers 175 hectares (432 acres), most of which is a nature reserve including an arboretum. Pride of the garden is the Rock Garden, but other worthwhile areas to visit include the Japanese Glade, the Rhododendron Valley and the greenhouses.

Boat trips to the southern and northern archipelago of Gothenburg are popular trips for both visitors and residents alike. The southern archipelago includes eight car-free, inhabited islands that boast sandy beaches, good swimming, beautiful nature, walking paths and a charm of their own. The northern archipelago is more populated and has numerous hotels, restaurants and sea-based activities.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Sweden, Liseberg Amusement Park has been welcoming millions of visitors a year for almost 80 years. Besides popular rides like the wooden roller coaster Balderand tamer rides for the children, there are over 30 different attractions, restaurants, and entertainment venues where concerts and shows attract huge crowds. Besides the summer season, Liseberg is also open over the festive season for the biggest Christmas market in Scandinavia, as well as food specialities of the season, an ice bar and Christmas entertainment.

Looking for something a bit different?  Check out our selection of cultural & adventure holidays or if you're looking to go it alone then see our selection of solo holidays.

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