With its dark yet inviting interior and restrained yet boozy vibe, Olhallen 7 encapsulates what’s great about Sweden. Here they like things to be ‘lagom’, which means ‘not too little, not too much, but just right’.
Gothenburg itself could claim to be a city of ‘lagom’. It’s not as hectic (or expensive) as the capital Stockholm, but it’s big enough to have plenty to see and do, making it a great introduction to the country.
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.
Liseberg also has the most improbable of observation towers.
Instead of taking a lift to a viewing deck, the deck itself rises to the top from ground level, turning as it ascends so you get a 360-degree view without leaving your seat.
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.
It’s a ‘lagom’ part of this ‘lagom’ city.
» Daniel Landon travelled with Visit Sweden and Goteborg . SAS (0870 60 727 727) has flights to Gothenburg from £135 return.
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.