Go for a spin
Your first stop should be the famous Liseberg amusement park in the city centre.
Filled with adrenaline-pumping rides and roller coasters, it’s easy to see why this is the most popular tourist attraction in Sweden.
The former observation tower was converted to a drop tower in 2011 – AtmosFear and drops riders from 300ft – hold on to your breakfast!
The panorama over the city, the Gota River, the nearby port (the busiest in Sweden) and the hills in the background is fantastic. If you visit in the run-up to Christmas, the park will be transformed by five million fairy lights and bucketloads of fake snow.
It’s cheesy but wonderfully atmospheric, and a nice change from standard European Christmas markets. Don’t miss the ice bar – the fruity Gothenburg vodka cocktail is delicious.
A culture vulture city break
Gothenburg has a long maritime tradition (it’s not all rampaging Vikings) that’s worth checking out.
The Stadsmuseum, where you can see Sweden’s only original Viking boat, is well worth a visit.
The Sjofartsmuseet maritime history museum is good too, and the Maritman (closed in winter), is the largest floating ship museum in the world. It has 19 ships, including a Swedish navy destroyer and submarine, for visitors to clamber over.
For culture vultures there’s the Rohsska Museet, the only design museum in Sweden; Varldskulturmuseet, with exhibits on world culture; the Universeum science discovery centre (complete with an indoor rainforest); and the spectacular waterfront Opera House. Meanwhile, the Haga district has traditional wooden buildings and interesting shops and cafés.
It’s a great place to simply wander around, while the nearby Linne district offers a pleasant blend of bohemian yet trendy restaurants, cafés and bars.
Less than half an hour from Gothenburg are idyllic islands perfect for exploring and well connected to the mainland by ferry.
The coastline running north from Gothenburg to the Norwegian border is famous for its seafood, picturesque villages and more than 8000 islands dotted offshore.