Gothenburg has a compact city centre, and with your nights centred round the Avenue and the majority of the key sights and sounds within close proximity, it’s pretty easy to navigate the area under your own steam.
By bus and tram
If you’re planning on venturing further afield, or walking just sounds too much like hard work, then Västtrafik run a regular and reliable tram and bus network across the city. Trams are easily the most efficient way to get the boys around town, with services running every 8-10 minutes by day, half hourly at night and every 15-30 minutes at the weekend. Check out the city’s transport site for live travel info and step-by-step instructions on all the necessary what, where and how to’s. They’ve also got a handy mobile-friendly app that boasts a few nifty features including route suggestions, city maps and that ever-essential ‘You Are Here’ kind of gig (‘nuvarande position’) for the more directionally challenged members of your crew.
If you need to grab a cab there are several reputable taxi companies and a whole bunch of ranks throughout the city. But a word to the wise, chaps; there’s no red tape for taxi fares in this neck of the woods, so unless you negotiate your fare before you set off you’re likely to find the contents of your wallet swallowed up in a single trip. Also be aware of the fleet of illegal ‘svarttaxis’ operating throughout the city (easily identifiable – if the lack of meter doesn’t give the game away, then we’re pretty sure the dubious paint job should just clinch it).
Gothenburg City Card
If you plan to max out the public transport system it’s worth heading to one of the town’s Tourist Information Centres (found on Kungsportsplasen, Nordstan and Kingsbacka), or to the online facility, and nabbing yourself a Gothenburg City Card, which entitles you to free (or reduced) entry at a bunch of the city’s top attractions, as well as free parking and unlimited travel on the public buses, trams and boats.
Jan - Goteborg International Film Festival
Top flight international screenings and presentations when Scandinavia’s largest film fest lands in town.
May – Göteborgsvarvet
Billed as the ‘largest half marathon in the world’ (we figure they mean in terms of sheer numbers, adding miles seems fairly harsh), teams of sporting stags can get their long distance kicks with a blood, sweat and tears type tour of the city over the 21097.5 metre challenge that is May’s Gothenburg half marathon (that’s 21km, or 13 miles in old money).
May – Hammarkullekarnevalen (Carnival)
Food, stalls, fairs, parades, singing, dancing, a host of live shows and a distinctly Caribbean flavour take over the city for the annual three-day carnival extravaganza, and the most unpronounceable party name in the history of stag-kind.
Jun – Midsommer (Midsummer’s Eve)
Longest day of the year = largest holiday on the calendar! Head to the Castle, park or pretty much anywhere on the west coast, nab yourself a spot and tuck into the obligatory pickled herring and potato feast with a much needed Akvavit Snaps for afters. Great music, blinding atmosphere and up for it party-loving locals coming together for the biggest holiday of the year.
Jun – Göteborg Music Festival
Kungsportsplasen and the Avenyn march to the sound of traditional thumping beats when the yearly processions roll into town.
Jun – Stena Match Cup Sweden
Catch the annual nautical face-off as teams battle it out for the World Match Racing Tour trophy in Marstrand's choppy waters. Previous victors include the UK’s very own master of the waves, Ben Ainslie.
Jul – Nääsville Bluegrass Music Festival
Keep an ear out for some top dollar open-air jazz concerts around the striking Nääs Castle.
Aug - Way Out West
Slottsskogen Park turns into one giant rock-fest when the three-day music marathon brings the likes of Outkast, Paul Weller, Queens of the Stone Age and the Arctic Monkeys rocking into town. Kick back with a cold one. Feast on hot-dogs. And when the sun sets on the day’s tunes follow the crowds to late-night gigs across town as Way Out West becomes Stay Out West and takes the party to key venues around the city.
Aug - Kulturkalaset (CultureFest)
Another day, another excuse for more street food, beer and parties. And this one is HUGE! 6 days. One million visitors. And mass takeover of every inch of the city, from Götoplatsen to the harbour, as a mega-mix of concerts, comedy, food, sport, cinema, carnivals, theatre and street shows brings one of Scandinavia’s biggest ever cultural shindigs to town.
Aug – Göteborg JazzFestival
Jazz connoisseurs can throw more soulful shapes to the sound of blues, gospel and swing, when key spots across the city welcome top dollar acts from around the globe for August’s annual JazzFest.
If you’re a crew keen to cash in on ‘stag weekend = chance to act like big kids’ rights, then adrenaline junkies can get in some mighty fun-filled kicks at one of the top kickass theme parks on the planet (Forbes said so). We’re talking Europe’s biggest freefall ride, best wooden rollercoaster and the brand spanking new 4500 metre, two minute trip into oblivion. Or, you know, along the track. Either way, we’d recommend saving lunch for afters. Unless you’re a delicate crowd, in which case you can get your gentler kicks on the dodgems and tea cups if you so desire. The park’s Stora Scenen (main stage) offers a series of top free rock, pop and jazz gigs throughout the summer and head on down over Christmas for a few glasses of grog at the cooler-than-cool Liseberg Ice Bar.