Elite Plaza Hotel Gothenburg
Lifestyle

A comprehensive guide to Gothenburg, Sweden's most charming city

By Linnéa Pesonen

Photo: Elite Plaza Hotel

From where to eat and stay to all the spots to explore, here is your stylish guide to the seaside Swedish town

Although Stockholm, the Swedish archipelago and Lapland are among the most popular destinations for visitors who wish to enjoy what the Nordic country has to offer, Sweden boasts a host of other locations worthy of exploring. The second-largest city in Sweden, situated on the country’s west coast, Gothenburg offers an excellent alternative for a fun city break.

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Spend your day roaming the streets and exploring the various boutiques and world-class restaurants, or enjoy a moment in the beautiful nature at one of the city’s many lush greeneries. Once it's time to unwind, fall asleep in those famous, silky-smooth hotel sheets...

Ahead, Vogue Scandinavia has listed the best places to eat, sleep and go whilst on your visit to the charming seaside town.

Where to eat

It’s safe to say that Gothenburg is a foodie’s paradise. The Swedish city is a culinary hotspot for every taste, from exquisite Michelin-star restaurants to quaint bistros and tucked-away cafés. For the best breakfast in town, head to the cobbled streets of the charming district of Haga, where traditional wooden buildings dating back to the 17th century create a historic scenery and house several cute cafés, boulangeries and independent boutiques.

Grab your favourite speciality coffee from da Matteo, or enjoy a nutritious breakfast at Le Petit Café or Kafé Magasinet. If you’re looking for a sweet treat in the middle of shopping, head to Café Husaren and try their Hagabullen (a plate-sized cinnamon roll), the city’s most famous pastry. Haga also boasts a bevvy of great lunch and brunch spots, where Kafferosten, Bönor och Bagels and Le GBG are amongst the tastiest.

Kafé Magasinet

Enjoy your breakfast surrounded by greenery at Kafé Magasinet. Photo: Claudia Nguyen The

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Try the classic Swedish pastries whilst in Haga. Photo: @cafehusaren

As Gothenburg is located on the shore, its offerings for delicious seafood are virtually endless. For a rustic and authentic setting by the waterfront in Klippan, head to Sjömagasinet and try their hearty menu that includes traditional dishes crafted from freshly-caught crayfish, lobster, mussels, and fish, amongst other treats. For a more fine-dining experience, visit Fiskekrogen and discover their innovative take on the finest delicacies the North Sea can offer.

If you fancy an atmospheric dinner full of flavour in the heart of the city, we recommend exploring Gothenburg’s popular Asian restaurants Toso, Cheri-Lee or Yaki-Da, which also has a buzzy cocktail bar and club. For the ultimate fine-dining trip for your taste buds, visit Michelin star-winning restaurants Bhoga or SK Mat & Människor.

Beautiful interiors at Fiskekrogen. Photo: Fiskekrogen

Where to sleep

Great accommodation places can be found across the city, from larger hotels to intimate boutique stays. At the Gothia Towers, located next to Gothenburg’s amusement park Liseberg, you’ll find two different hotels, one of them Upper House, that offers a five-star stay with spectacular views and rooms that boast sophisticated and contemporary design. Upper House also has a luxurious spa, where you can cool down at the outside pool after sauna, looking over the bustling city.

The outside pool at Upper House's spa certainly has unmatched views. Photo: Upper House

If you’re searching for a stay somewhere closer to the heart of Gothenburg, Elite Plaza Hotel will fit the bill perfectly. An upscale hotel located in an impressive, historic 19th-century building in the peaceful area of the city centre, Elite Plaza Hotel is just a stone’s throw away from the Central Station, Gothenburg Opera, shopping and restaurants. With carefully composed interiors that mix modern Scandinavian design with classic European influences, Elite Plaza Hotel’s rooms are the perfect place to wind down after a long day of walking around the city.

Elite Plaza Hotel Gothenburg

The settings at Elite Plaza Hotel almost make you not want to leave the room at all. Photo: Elite Plaza Hotel

In case you’re on the hunt for something more eccentric and intimate, the city's two leading boutique hotels are guaranteed to offer you a unique stay. Situated in central Gothenburg, Dorsia Hotel boasts one-of-a-kind rooms that are decadently decorated, bursting with vibrant, inviting colours and art. In essence, a maximalist’s dream.

At Dorsia, you’ll also be able to enjoy delicious food at their restaurant, headed by acclaimed chef Oskar Samuelsson. If you're looking to relax at a spa during your visit, fret not. A five-minute walk away, you'll find Dorsia's partner Hagabadet, where you can pamper yourself with a massage and a facial, or attend a yoga class.

Another boutique hotel that will make your stay in Gothenburg special, Hotel Pigalle is located in a beautiful building dating back to the 18th century. With Art Deco-inspired interiors that transport guests back to the Roaring 20s, you'll be surrounded by the most luxurious settings that ooze the era's emphasis on fun, expression, and excess.

A Maximalist's heaven: the lobby at Dorsia. Photo: Dorsia Hotel

Where to go

If your trip to the city is shopping-orientated, we recommend checking out Kungsportavenyen (or Avenyn), the main boulevard of Gothenburg. Adorned with shops and restaurants, the boulevard is also where the city’s famous landmark statue, Poseidon, is situated. Moreover, Avenyn is where the city’s busiest nightclubs are located, in case you’re in the mood to hit the dancefloor.

Gothenburg cityscape looking over Haga and Vasastan. Photo: Getty

Gothenburg is also great for second hand and vintage shopping, and the best stores for pre-loved treasures are sprinkled all over the town. Our best picks? Beyond Retro (their largest store in Sweden), Pop Boutique, Myrorna and Fabriken. For a dash on culture to your visit, the city houses museums that hold must-see exhibitions all year round. What could be better than spending a rainy day at the Museum of Fine Art, admiring their expansive collection of conspicuous and contemporary art? Or go and delve deep into nature at the Natural History Museum?

For those who wish to surround themselves with nature during their city break, Botaniska Trädgården (Gothenburg Botanical Gardens) and Trädgårdsföreningen are beautiful places for a peaceful stroll or a picnic under the giant leafy trees. If you’re in town during autumn, the gardens are the best place to witness as the summer’s green turns to vivid shades of orange, yellow, red and brown when the trees put on their autumn attire.

Villa Belparc. Photo: Villa Belparc

In addition to the gardens, Gothenburg has a large park, Slottskogen, which you will find packed with people frolicking in the sun come scorching summer days. In Slottskogen, there is also Gothenburg’s Zoo (the oldest zoo in Sweden), alongside a popular restaurant Villa Belparc, perched on one of the park’s glistening ponds. Although the ponds may serve as a refreshing dip for some, heading outside the city is recommended if you’re looking for a place to go for a swim. Along the coast, you’ll find windswept beaches and small Swedish villages, perfect for a brief stopover.