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.
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! 🌳
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.
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!
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.
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. 😆
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”.
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.
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.
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. 🥭
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:
- 3 days in Copenhagen’s city centre and its neighbourhoods
- Visiting LEGOLAND and LEGO House in Billund
- Stockholm: Fika, food, and metro station art
- From Flåm to Bergen via the scenic route, and car rental chaos
- More to come (this post will be updated)
Next stop: Oslo!