We didn’t have any big plans for Gothenburg, it just seemed like a good place to stop off for a few days (1-4 Sep) between Oslo and Stockholm. Because we didn’t have anything specific in mind we, for the first time, invested in a couple of those 48 hour city cards that give you free public transport and museum entry.
As a result, we ended up going a little crazy with the sightseeing! Since everything was now “free” and it didn’t cost us anything extra to get around, we packed in an awful lot more than we normally would. This is kind of why we’d never done one of these cards before: if we’re based somewhere for 5 days we don’t really want to cram everything into 1 or 2, we’d rather space it out at a more relaxed pace. On this occasion however, it worked out quite well and we ended up visiting some rather cool places that we otherwise never would have considered!
A floating maritime museum comprised of 13 retired vessels that you can climb all over and explore inside, including a submarine and a destroyer. I’m not really into military stuff or boats but I did find the whole thing pretty cool!
An underground bunker from the Cold War era that now houses a museum of aircraft. Maybe it’s because it was Father’s Day back in Australia that we were subliminally driven to visit these first two places as this normally wouldn’t be at the top of my list, but it was pretty cool too. Some of the craft are still airworthy and you can climb inside some of the others, including fighter jets and helicopters.
The Universeum is a science museum slash aquarium slash zoo, with everything from live animals (including piranhas and free-roaming monkeys) to exhibits about what it’s like to live in space (you can try out a space hammock), fight crime (with interactive forensic exhibits) or have super powers borrowed from nature (don a Velcro suit and you can climb a wall like a gecko). Cool for adults and particularly fun for kids, it can be kind of pricey on its own but very good value with the city card.
(I love the Gothenburgian trend of adding “seum” on the end of words to create museum names. ;)
The third (and biggest) Scandinavian theme park we visited in the space of two weeks. I think we’re somewhat roller-coastered-out now (for the time being) but if you like big rides then you’d have an awful lot of fun here. The city card gives you free entry to the park but you still have to pay for rides. Since we were only there for 2 hours we opted for a book of tickets which was enough for the both of us to go on three rides. We chose Balder, a massive (and actually quite scary!) wooden roller coaster; Lisebergbanan, a very fun roller coaster built on the side of a small mountain; and the Ferris Wheel for some good old fashioned romance and views.
Trädgårdsföreningen (Garden Society of Gothenburg)
I’m not sure what the city card entitles you to here because entry to the gardens seemed to be free either way, but we might not have gone if we hadn’t seen it mentioned in the leaflet. The gardens are lovely, particularly on a sunny day, and if you go then visiting the greenhouse is a must.
Again not something we would have done if it hadn’t been included with the city card but I’m really glad we did, it was great! We had a fantastic guide who said everything with the same enthusiasm in both Swedish and English, and probably does the same thing several times a day, several times a week, but it never once got dry or boring.
We tried to do this first of all to get an overview of the city, but timing didn’t work out and it ended up being one of the last things we did. It was cute but not essential.
We also wanted to:
- Get two shrimp boxes for the price of one at Kajskjul 8 but were gutted to find out the offer is only available in summer.
- Visit the Volvo museum, which was supposed to be near the Aeroseum, but it turns out it’s not, which is why we couldn’t find it. :P
- Check out the photography exhibitions at the Hasselblad Center, but we didn’t time the opening hours correctly.
- See Gothenburg from the top of “the lipstick“, but in the end we prioritised other things.