Speedrun through Gothenburg

I almost didn’t want to write a blog post dedicated to Gothenburg because we were there for only a day and a half, and I feel like we didn’t do it justice. We also completely forgot that we wanted to visit a steampunk themed bar there, but didn’t end up doing it! I titled this blog post after the unique experience we had during what happened to be their celebratory weekend for their 400th anniversary. It was a little unexpected, and we saw a marathon through the streets, and it mirrored the very short stay we had there, so I guess it would be worth writing a bit about anyway. 😊

When we arrived in Gothenburg it was after noon and we were hoping our hotel room would be ready, at least to be able to have a bit more comfort while freshening up. The weather was warm and the trams were not running for a few hours due to the celebration—which we only just found out about—so we had a sweaty walk to the hotel while we saw a bit of a street parade and crowds of people.

A town square area with tram lines running across the road, and a blue tram in the distance. A person in hi-vis is standing to the side and a line of people are at the edge of the tram lines, observing
A tram running through the town

We dropped off our bags and had a gander, but were really hungry so we stopped at a bit of an all-day-breakfast/brunch place for a meal.

The Slottsskogen park was a gorgeous forest-like park which I thought was worthy of checking out. We made our way there mostly on foot, dropping in on some vintage and second-hand shops on the way. I did very quickly learn that Gothenburg has a lot of parks and areas of green, as well as being surrounded by some hiking spots. That is automatic points for me liking a city! 🌳

A view of a lake with some ducks on the water in the foreground. There are green low-lying trees in the background that are reflecting onto the water. The sky is blue with some thick grey and white clouds.

In the park, they were setting up for the following day’s marathon. I really wanted to walk around and explore the park itself more, but everything seemed so far away and the park was massive. We were also way too tired to walk much further, and knew that the further we went in, the longer it would take to come back to the edge of the park to get the tram back to the centre of town. There wasn’t too much else we wanted to spend time looking at, so after walking around for a bit, we headed back to the city and to our hotel, where our room was finally ready.

For dinner we went to a local restaurant called Gumman Elvira, that Nick had spotted earlier. Although the waitstaff spoke English, there wasn’t an English menu, and we found that in some locations on our travels—even in major cities—they didn’t always have an English menu available. We just asked our waitress who translated the items on the menu and we picked a few things to share. The interior of the restaurant was really cosy and I liked that we were on the mezzanine level so we could have a nice view of the whole ground floor of the restaurant.

The dimly lit interior of a restaurant, seen from a mezzanine level looking down and out to the front of the restaurant. There is floor-to-ceiling glass and an outside seating area with tiny round tables and chairs. A clock is on the wall inside, above a tall shelf with some wine bottles and candles.
A cosy little place

As we walked around the streets afterwards, the city was still buzzing. People were out on the streets or filling up restaurants, and there was a small fireworks display that felt really close. It made for a very nice view with some of the city’s trams still running and the fireworks in the background!

A view down a city street at night time, with tram lines leading into the distance. In the background are pink fireworks that are concentrated to the middle of the photo.
A similar view to the previous photo but with a tram coming down on the tram line on the left. The fireworks are also pink in colour but a little more scattered.
Fireworks behind a tram—not a sight you see often
A pedestrianised cobblestone street at night, with coloured lanterns hanging from wires hanging between buildings on either side, giving a glowing yellow look to the street. A car is in the distance, with its front towards the camera.
There weren’t any people in the shopping streets of the city, but they were still lit

The following day we went to the area of Haga, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Gothenburg, where the old buildings have the style of the ground floor being in brick and the rest in wood. The buildings today house a lot of cafes and independent shops. This is kind of like my heaven. 🤩 A lot of the shops were closed since it was Sunday, but few were open. We found Nöller Espressobar, which had decent coffee, and ended up sitting there for a while. The street was being cleared for the marathon and it was exciting standing outside with the locals, cheering on all the participants as they dashed past. I guess it’s not often you see a marathon on your travels and are up close because they’re running through one of the city’s oldest areas with cobblestone streets.

A selfie of an Asian woman and a white man, sitting in a cafe and smiling. The brick wall of the cafe has about a dozen different caricatures on white paper framed in black.
The cafe had cool caricatures
A top-down view of two cups of coffee and a pair of sunglasses on a marble table.
A group of people dressed in running singlets and shorts, wearing a number on their front, running through an old cobblestone street. People on the edge of the street in front of an old building are sitting at tables and applauding.
Go, go, go!

Once the marathon runners had all passed through, we were finally able to exit the cafe and walk through Haga. After browsing the shops, we walked a lot of stairs to Skansen Kronan, a fortress at the top of a hill. I wouldn’t say the views are amazing, but I think most people like the idea of a good view of a city because it’s certainly different to what you see on the ground. 😆

A view of ascending stone steps with green painted railings, in a park with lush green trees on either side.
It’s always tricky to capture steepness and number of steps on camera. There were quite a few!
A view of the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, showing a lot of terracotta coloured rooftops in the foreground all rounghly the same height.
I didn’t really notice the colours of the rooftops until we were up here.
A view of an irregularly-shaped building made of large grey stones, with a path around its side. The building has a few archway windows. The grass around the building is long and very green.
We couldn’t enter the fortress.

It just so happened that the tram museum in Gothenburg was open on the day we were there. This is a tricky one to find and the museum does have a website (Ringlinien.org) with all the information you’d need, but it was a bit tricky to locate the museum on maps. If you look for Göteborgs Spårvägsmuseum you will find it on Google Maps. Searching for “Sparvagsmuseet” should help you locate it on Apple Maps but it will also return some results for other museums in Sweden that have the word written with the accents on the characters (Spårvägsmuseet) since the translation is—I believe—“tram museum”.

Two tram carriages stored indoors in a depot for display only. One is the front carriage, demonstrated by its large front windows and the destination sign above the carriage. The carriages are light bright blue and pale beige.
Just a couple of the trams we could see on the museum tour

It’s only open on Sundays, and only from 11:00am to 2:00pm. It’s a very small period of time! We arrived after 1:00pm but that didn’t seem to be a problem, and they had a guided tour at 1:30pm, where you can look at all the old trams and buses in the depot. We were the only ones doing the English tour and they weren’t super busy when we were there, but I would assume they have the English tour available as long as there are visitors who want to do the tour.

The inside seating of an old tram, with dark green leather seats, wooden rails and doors, and wooden floorboards
The interior seating on an old tram

It’s very interesting whether you are a transport nerd or not—I’m not one, but this sort of stuff with transport history fascinates me nonetheless. Nick is definitely a big fan. The museum holds some events where you can ride the heritage trams but that is only on certain days (check the timetable first).

It was soon time (again) for coffee, and Nick picked out a tiny place called Tony’s Coffeebar. It did have very good coffee! We were mostly people-watching from the high table by the window.

A white coffee cup on a saucer, with a white coffee with rosetta latte art. A pair of sunglasses sits is next to the coffee on a wooden surface. In the background is the front seating of a cafe and the street with some parked cars.
More coffee, please! I think this was one of the best flat whites I had on our trip

In the evening we went to a very good Caribbean restaurant called Karibia. The service was great—very friendly—and the food was delicious. We had ceviche to share, and they also gave us bread and dip. I had the seabass. I think… I think Nick had the lamb shank. 😅 For dinner we had mango brûlée to top it off. Yum. 🥭

A table in a restaurant served with a bowl of bread and dip, a neatly presented raw fish entree, and two cocktails on the table, one bright red-pink in colour in a tall bell shaped glass, and the other a little yellow with mint and fruit in a cylindrical shaped glass.
The cocktails were also great.
A white square plate served with white fish and sprouts on top, and crispy potato chips and sauce on the side
I had a feeling I would like the seabass when I saw it on the menu.
A tear-shaped dish with a dessert topped with icing sugar, alongside slices of mango
This was quite a unique take on the brûlée, in my opinion!
Me, Georgie, an Asian woman with short dark hair, standing in a pedestrianised street with cobblestone paths. The buildings are illuminated with coloured lights and there is a restaurant with outdoor dining behind me. I am wearing a blue raincoat over a black top and red pants, and leaning back slightly with the toes on my front foot pointed.
Bye, Gothenburg!

No fireworks that night, but we did take a bit of time to walk around and enjoy the city after dinner, since we had to leave the next day.

Other posts about this Europe (mostly Scandinavia) trip:

Next stop: Oslo!

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