Discovering Gothenburg, Sweden
The energy is very nonchalant, there is a sense from the inhabitants that they know what they’ve got and it doesn’t really matter if you don’t know. Gothenburg is a multicultural city, surprisingly more so than the much favoured capital Stockholm. I do think that the multi-culturalism plays a big part in the diversity of the city and the restaurants and bars are evidence of this; from the vast array of bars playing most sounds from Hip Hop to House, to the various globally-infused cuisines on offer, among which were Ethiopian, Korean, French and of course Swedish. I believe it is the law that every bar has to serve food too, which definitely gets a thumbs up from foodies like myself. One of my favourite restaurants is Bourbon St, it advertises itself as Cajun/Creole cuisine; they do the name proud. Try the fishcakes while listening to the laidback blues music and make sure you take a trip to the toilets, the decor downstairs is crazy.
I didn’t know until we arrived but Gothenburg is home to Cafe Husaren, which is famous for serving the largest Cinnamon Buns (at least 10cm wide). My friends and my own opinions were divided about the buns; I found them too dry for my liking.
As it is Sweden it’s not cheap, but being a Londoner these prices weren't too shocking they were normal and in some cases a bit cheaper (some). Gothenburg’s harbour is beautiful. As I am writing, I am remembering some locals sitting on a bench, watching the reflecting lights speckle in the water courtesy of the brightly lit theatre house behind. There are also many boat bars along the harbour to take your fancy, if you feel like drink.
There are efficient means of transport but Gothenburg is definitely a place you should walk around, there were a few times when we realised that we didn't need to take the tram as we could have walked ( A secret: the most beautiful streets we discovered were via foot).
Catch a ferry to one of Sweden’s many archipelagos. We visited Brännö, 20-25 minutes away from Gothenburg. You’re not allowed vehicles on the island (bikes only), which helps create the tranquil and homely environment along with the IKEA inspired or inspired IKEA houses scattered around. It has this idyllic feel about it.
We chose to stay with a host family via the website Air BnB; as it worked out a bit cheaper not staying in the centre. The house was a direct 10 minute bus ride to the centre and it helped that our host had the bus times memorised to a T.
All in all Gothenburg definitely merits a visit and a certain no frills airline can get you there and back to London for £60.00 if you book early enough.