Gothenburg, Sweden

Since Göteborg was founded in 1621 by King Gustav II Adolf, it has become Sweden’s second largest city and Scandinavia’s largest port. You will enjoy Gothenburg’s array of museums, historic sites, canals, parks and restaurants.

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1 Lipstick Building and Barken Viking Ship in Gothenburg, Sweden

Side-by-side at Gothenburg’s harbor are two of its famous landmarks. On the left is the Barken Viking, the Nordic countries’ largest sailing ship at 387 feet. The four-masted barque was launched in 1906 as part of Denmark’s merchant fleet, decommissioned in 1950 and is now a hotel and restaurant. On the right is the distinctive Skanska Skyscraper. Although formally called Lilla Bommen, the red upper floors earned it the nickname The Lipstick Building. Near the top of Läppstiftet’s 282 feet height is the Götheborgs Utkiken observation deck.

Jussi Björlings plats Christina Nilssons gata 1, 411 04 Göteborg, Sweden
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2 Gäveskär Light in Archipelago in Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg’s coastline is formed by the Kattegat Sea and the Skagerrak Strait, both of which empty into the Baltic. Here you will discover a string of islands called Göteborg Skärgård. The Northern Gothenburg Archipelago has ten islands that can be reached by bridge or ferry. The Southern Archipelago is car free and is dotted with over ten thousand homes, most of which are used only during the summer. Many are clustered into small communities but my favorites are the tiny cabins that are suspended along the rocky shore. I also enjoyed seeing all of the lighthouses. This 33 foot concrete tower with a red keeper’s house is the Gäveskär Light. It was built in 1964 yet the station has been perched on this tiny islet since 1886.

[57.661534, 11.769092]
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3 Opera House in Gothenburg, Sweden

Since the Göteborgsoperan opened along the shoreline of the Göta Älv river and the Lilla Bommen harbor in 1994, it has been the venue for ballet, musical and opera and it hosts about 250 performances annually. Its large auditorium can seat more than 1,300 people and the orchestra pit accommodates up to 100 musicians. The architect, Jan Izikowitz, claims to have captured the wings of seagulls in his post-modernistic design. It is reported that the enormous Göteborg Opera building has over 1100 rooms.

Christina Nilssons gata 1, 411 04 Göteborg, Sweden
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4 Gustavus Adolphus Statue in Gothenburg, Sweden

This bronze statue of King Gustav II Adolf celebrates when he pointed towards the ground in 1621 and declared where Gothenburg should be built. The original sculpture of the city’s founding father by Bengt Erland Fogelberg was erected in 1854 at Stortorget. The Big Square was renamed the Gustaf Adolfs torg in 1959.

Gustav Adolfs Torg Norra Hamngatan 18, 411 06 Göteborg, Sweden
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5 Former Börsen at Gustaf Adolfs Torg in Gothenburg, Sweden

When this stunning white, neoclassical structure was built in 1859 along the northern edge of Gustaf Adolf Square it was a financial and commodities exchange called Börsen. Today the former bourse is the administrative offices of the Gothenburg municipality. Inside the rooms are richly decorated and ornate. They are frequently used for City Council meetings and formal receptions.

Börsen Gustaf Adolfs torg, 411 10 Göteborg, Sweden
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6 Mythological Creature Flagpole Tie in Gothenburg, Sweden

This gilded mythological creature acts as a flagpole tie at Gustaf Adolf Square. It is extremely curious. Its horse’s head has as single horn like a unicorn but then it also has wings like an alicorn. Its slender torso has scales so perhaps it is a sea-horse or hippocampus. Or maybe it is a Capricorn with the head of a mountain goat and a fish body. Another possibility is that the craftsman fabricated a complicated figure to serve a simple function.

Gustav Adolf’s Square Nordstaden, Gothenburg, Sweden
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7 Bicycle Rentals in Gothenburg, Sweden

To say that Gothenburg is bicycle friendly is an understatement because there are approximately 500 miles of bike paths in the city. Approximately 40% of the one million residents cycle one to three days a week. So it makes sense that a company called Styr & Ställ would launch a bicycle rental program in 2010. As of 2013, they offered about 1,000 bikes at 60 locations for nine months of the year. The 25,000 subscribers took them for a spin over 400,000 times.

Gustav Adolf’s Square Nordstaden, Gothenburg, Sweden
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8 Kronhuset Oldest Building in Gothenburg, Sweden

Kronhuset was an armory and grain storage for the military when built in 1654. Six years later, Karl X Gustav unexpectedly died while visiting Gothenburg. His five year old son Charles XI was brought here and announced as the new King of Sweden. His mother, the former queen, acted as his regent until he reached majority in 1672. Crown Hall, the city’s oldest building, has also been used for storage, a museum, a church, a town hall and now the venue for the Göteborg Wind Orchestra. The Kronhus sheds encircle this cobblestone courtyard. The Kronhuskvarteret house boutique shops and a café.

Kronhusgatan 1D, 411 13 Göteborg, Sweden
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9 Landmarks along Norra Hamngatan in Gothenburg, Sweden

This kayaker on the Great Harbor Canal is staring at the Christinae Kyrka clock tower. When finished in 1748, it was named in honor of Queen Christina. She was Sweden’s queen from 1632 until 1654. The yellow building on the right is the German Church’s sanctuary. The neighboring building on the left along Norra Hamngatan or North Harbour Street was built in 1753. The Sahlgrenska House was the private residence of Brigitta Sahlgren. She owned a huge sugary refinery and shipping business.

Tyska bron 411 14 Göteborg, Sweden
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10 East India House in Gothenburg, Sweden

The Swedish East India Company, which was a large shipping firm during most of the 18th century, commissioned prolific architect Bengt Wilhelm Carlberg to construct the East India House in 1747. The left or east wing along Norra Hamngatan (North Harbour Street) was finished in 1750. It took another twelve years to complete the building that faces the Great Harbor Canal. In 1861 Ostindiskahuset became a museum which, since 1993, has been called the Gothenburg City Museum. Göteborgs Stadsmuseum contains Swedish historical exhibits dating back to the antiquity.

Göteborgs Stadsmuseum Norra Hamngatan 12, 411 14 Göteborg, Sweden
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11 Saluhallen or The Market Hall in Gothenburg, Sweden

Stora Saluhallen is the largest indoor marketplace in Gothenburg. This is the place to go for a quick bite to eat for lunch or to shop for fresh fish, meat, cheese, bread, produce, fruits, spices and so much more. All forty stalls are piled high with tempting food. Since 1889, The Market Hall’s generous policy has been that the tempting aromas are free. Surrounding it is Royal Square. From 1847 until the mid-1870s, this was the location of the city’s only outdoor market.

Kungstorget, 411 17 Göteborg, Sweden
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12 Women Across From King’s Park in Gothenburg, Sweden

After the fortified walls around Gothenburg were dismantled in the early 1800s, the surrounding moats were converted into channels. These two women are sitting along a quay on the Rosenlund Canal. Across from them is Kungsparken. At 32.5 acres, King’s Park is one of the city’s largest green spaces.

Basargatan 8 411 17 Göteborg, Sweden
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13 Feskekôrka Fish Market in Gothenburg, Sweden

Based on its location in Western Sweden along the shores of the Kattegat bay which connects to the North Sea, Gothenburg had a prosperous and growing fishing trade through the mid 18th century. But its fish markets were often unregulated, smelly and guilty of unsanitary conditions. In response, the Feskekôrka was built in 1874 along the Rosenlund Canal as an indoor seafood market. It still has stalls and restaurants that serve a variety of delicious fish, most of which are freshly caught from the Baltic Sea.

Feskekôrka 411 20 Göteborg, Sweden
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14 Pointed Arches of Feskekôrka in Gothenburg, Sweden

Western Europe, and especially France, perfected gothic architecture from the 12th until the 16th centuries and typically favored it for the design of ornate cathedrals. One of its characteristics is the pointed arch. Therefore, it is curious that architect Victor van Gegerfelt chose this style when creating a fish market in Gothenburg, Sweden. But there is no question why it is called Fiskkyrkan or the Fish Church.

Feskekôrka 411 20 Göteborg, Sweden
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15 Chinese Consulate General in Gothenburg, Sweden

This green copper dome caught my attention from a block away. As I got closer, I was fascinated by all of the different types of pediments that were used above the windows and how they were accented by yellow awnings. Unfortunately, I could not learn more about this building other than it has been the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China since 1997.

Grönsakstorget 3 411 17 Göteborg, Sweden
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16 Skansen Kronan Fortress in Gothenburg, Sweden

Part of Gothenburg’s defense against the Danes in the late 17th century was the construction of two fortifications called redoubts. The stationed soldiers could easily defend themselves with over 20 cannons. Skansen Kronan means Crown Keep. The fort has six-sided, 15 foot walls made from granite with a gilded cross at the pinnacle. The fortress is perched high on Risåsberget Hill overlooking Skansberget Park and the city below. Not a single shot was ever fired during battle. Today, Skansen Kronan houses a museum and serves as a special event center for weddings and meetings.

Skansen Kronan Risåsberget, 413 04 Göteborg, Sweden
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17 Haga Nygata Street in Gothenburg, Sweden

Haga Nygata is a cobblestone pedestrian street that lets you feel like you are walking through a Gothenburg neighborhood during the 1800s. Although the Haga district was formed around 1650, it grew significantly 200 years later when laborers came to live in the city during a period of high industrial growth. Today, cafes, boutiques and street merchants selling their crafts populate the charming renovated and replica buildings.

Haga Nygata 413 01 Göteborg, Sweden
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18 First Public Library in Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg’s public library system was founded in 1861 through a sizable donation by James Robertson Dickson. Initially it was located in rented space in the laborers’ neighborhood of Haga. Then in 1897, the Göteborg Stads Folkbibliotek was built in this beautiful art nouveau style. It was the first public library not only in the city but all of Scandinavia. Also called the Dickson Public Library, it served as the main branch until 1967.

Södra Allégatan 4 413 01 Göteborg, Sweden
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19 Le Petit Café in Gothenburg, Sweden

If you get hungry while strolling along the cobblestone streets of Haga, I recommend you step into Le Petit Café. This small, quaint eatery offers wonderful pastas, quiche and salads plus delicious sandwiches on sourdough bread or baguettes. They also serve fresh fruit, pastries and eggs for breakfast. Eat inside or along the terrace. You’ll feel like you made a quick stop in France before returning to your sightseeing in Sweden.

Haga Nygata 2, 413 01 Göteborg, Sweden
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20 Robert Dicksons Stiftelse in Gothenburg, Sweden

The Dickson family was successful business people in Gothenburg who generated their wealth in shipping, timber and sawmills. Their biggest legacy was as philanthropists. Robert Dickson, who lived from 1782-1858, made large donations to build middle-class housing in the Haga neighborhood. In 1856, he started a foundation that today owns and manages over 1,000 apartments in Gothenburg. The headquarters of Robert Dicksons Stiftelse is in this building.

Västra Skansgatan 4F 413 02 Göteborg, Sweden
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21 Haga Kyrka or Haga Church in Gothenburg, Sweden

Plans to build the New Church started in the 1840s but Hagakyrkan was not finished until 1859. A big part of the delay was the lack of funds until David Carnegie Jr., a Scottish brewer who ran a successful mill in Gothenburg, made a large donation. This neo-gothic structure with its impressive bell tower is capped by a green copper spire. Haga Kyrka looms large over the Haga neighborhood.

Hagakyrkan Haga Östergata 30, 411 22 Göteborg, Sweden
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22 Bräutigams Chocolate Store Sign in Gothenburg, Sweden

This delightful black iron sign of a pastry chef offering a small cake to a young girl hangs over the door of Bräutigams chocolate shop. Since 1870, this confectionery has delighted their customers with hand-made pastries, pralines, truffles, and marzipans which are a confection made from sugar, Spanish almonds and chocolate. For a special Swedish treat, try a Gustavus Adolphus pasty that’s made from chocolate with a portrait of the king on top. They are typically served on November 6, the day that memorializes his death in 1632.

Bräutigams Marsipan Haga Nygata 13, 413 01 Göteborg, Sweden
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23 Kungsporten Square in Gothenburg, Sweden

When Gothenburg was founded in 1621, much of the land was marshy. During most of the 17th century, Dutch engineers built fortified walls and moats around the city. This means of defense was short lived when the ramparts proved ineffective against enemy cannons. So the walls were torn down around 1810. About forty years later, this square was constructed at the location of the old King’s Gate. This used to be the main portal into the city. The plaza is named Kungsportsplatsen or King’s Port Place. Above the craftsman selling wicker baskets is the equestrian statue of King Charles IX of Sweden. Karl IX reigned from 1604 until 1611.

märra Östra Larmgatan, 411 09 Göteborg, Sweden
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24 Charles IX Equestrian Statue in Gothenburg, Sweden

In 1904, this monument by sculptor John Börjeson was erected at Kungsportsplatsen. It portrays Charles IX who was the King of Sweden from 1604 until 1611. The statue portrays him in armor primarily because his short reign was plaque with battles among his relatives in the House of Vasa over rulership plus aditional wars against Poland, Russia and Denmark. Frankly, Karl IX may be best remembered as the youngest son of Gustav I, the founder of modern Sweden, and as the father of Gustavus Adolphus who was one of Europe’s best military commanders and the founder of Gothenburg.

Kopparmärra Östra Larmgatan, 411 09 Göteborg, Sweden
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25 Exterior of Göteborgs Domkyrka in Gothenburg, Sweden

Göteborgs Domkyrka is the city’s third cathedral since 1624. After the two previous ones were destroyed by fire, construction on this church began at the start of the 19th century and it was consecrated in 1815. The clock tower was built ten years later and, in 1827, the copper top was added as the crown to its 173 foot height. It is reported that approximately 20,000 people are buried around Gothenburg Cathedral with another 3,000 inside.

Cathedral Gothenburg Kyrkogatan 28, 411 15 Göteborg, Sweden
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26 Organ Inside Göteborgs Domkyrka in Gothenburg, Sweden

The Empire style of architecture had just begun to flourish in France during the early 19th century when the Gothenburg Cathedral was being constructed. It is characterized by an elegant simplicity as demonstrated by this golden chandelier plus gilded and white organ. The original organ was finished in 1816. It was extensively renovated in 1962 but maintained its gorgeous appearance.

Cathedral Gothenburg Kyrkogatan 28, 411 15 Göteborg, Sweden
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27 University Library for Social Sciences in Gothenburg, Sweden

For 95 years starting in 1900, this was the location of the Gothenburg City Library. It then became the Literature and Journals Library and, in 2013, it was renamed again as the Library for Social Sciences. Among its collection are a large number of historic newspapers. The Samhällsvetenskapliga Biblioteket is one of ten libraries under the Swedish name Göteborgs Universitetsbibliotek or, in English, Gothenburg University Library. This collection is managed as a state institution.

Vasagatan 2 A Haga, Göteborg, Sweden
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28 University Humanities Building in Gothenburg, Sweden

The Gothenburg University College was founded in 1891 and after several mergers it became the Göteborgs Universitet in 1954. Currently this public school educates nearly 27,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students in eight academic faculties including the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in this building. Despite its campus being located in central Gothenburg, it enjoys plenty of green space.

Renströmsgatan 6, 412 55 Göteborg, Sweden
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29 Näckrosdammen at Renström Park in Gothenburg, Sweden

Behind several of the buildings on the University of Gothenburg’s campus is the Renström Park with this scenic pond called Näckrosdammen. Its beautiful serenity is a magnet for parents with young families and students on a break. They come for a quiet respite from the inner city and a chance to stare at the gorgeous reflections.

Näckrosdammen 412 55 Gothenburg, Sweden
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30 Vasakyrkan or Vasa Church in Gothenburg, Sweden

Architect Yngve Rasmussen designed the Vasa Church primarily with a neo-Romanesque style with hints of National Romanticism. He specified the façade be constructed with Bohus granite. The impressive clock tower with its copper roof leads your eye down to the Ascension of Christ mosaic above the front door. There you will see an inscription that reads,” I am the road, the truth and life.”

Vasakyrkan Vasa Kyrkoplan 1, 411 27 Göteborg, Sweden
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31 Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg, Sweden

The Museum of World Culture creates three large exhibits a year about global issues that “reflect the diversity and variability of the world.” Världskulturmuseet also maintains an offsite research library of over 30,000 documents and photos plus they manage over 100,000 objects that travel to other locations across the globe. This museum is one of several that are managed by the Swedish Ministry of Culture. On the left is the Höjdskräcaken, a 196 foot tower drop ride at the Liseberg amusement park.

Södra Vägen 54, 412 54 Göteborg, Sweden
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32 Gothia Towers in Gothenburg, Sweden

Collectively, these three glass high-rises contain 77 floors of conference and exhibition space known as Svenska Mässan. Inside is also the Gothia Towers Hotel. Its 1,200 hotel rooms qualify as the largest hospitality complex within the Nordic countries. The youngest of the three towers was finished in 2014. At a height of 328 feet, it is Sweden’s sixth tallest building.

Gothia Towers, Mässans gata 24, 402 26 Göteborg, Sweden
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33 Diplodocus Dinosaur Roaming Among Skyscrapers in Gothenburg, Sweden

This long-necked dinosaur looks like it is roaming through the city streets during a Jurassic Park movie sequel. At over 100 feet long, this diplodocus was the world’s largest dinosaur when it lived in North America over 150 million years ago. This attention-grabbing statue stands in front of the Universeum. Inside the science center you’ll see several more life-size dinosaurs.

Universeum Södra Vägen 50, 400 20 Göteborg, Sweden
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34 Universeum Science Center in Gothenburg, Sweden

The Universeum is positioned as a science center but it offers so much more than that banner would suggest. For example, it has exhibits on technology, space, crime, marine life and animals from the rainforest in addition to live insects, birds and an aquarium. It is the ideal place to spend an afternoon exploring the world, especially with your children. As you can see from the Ferris wheel, it is located next to the Liseberg amusement park.

Universeum Södra Vägen 50, 400 20 Göteborg, Sweden
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35 Liseberg Wheel at Liseberg Amusement Park in Gothenburg, Sweden

The Liseberg Wheel is one of thirty-seven rides featured at the Liseberg amusement park. Up to eight people can sit in each capsule as they slowly climb to a height of 196 feet, offering a spectacular view of Gothenburg, Sweden. Over three million people a year visit this park which opened in 1923. Additional features of this 260 acre entertainment center are a botanical garden, multiple attractions and a stage that has hosted a Who’s Who of musical performers.

Lisebergsteatern Örgrytevägen 5, 402 22 Göteborg, Sweden
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36 Hertziahuset in Gothenburg, Sweden

I enjoy discovering gorgeous architecture that is not listed in any tourist map or “places to see” list. This art nouveau building at Packhusplatsen 2 is a classic example. I was immediately attracted by the bow windows, granite lower façade with the warm bricks on the upper levels capped with a copper roof. Hertzia was designed by Louis Enders and built in 1901 for the JA Hertz & Company. They engaged in trading and used this facility as their headquarters and a warehouse.

Packhusplatsen 2 411 13 Göteborg, Sweden
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37 Gothenburg Museum of Art in Gothenburg, Sweden

This handsome, Neoclassical pavilion with its arcade and warm brick façade was built in 1923 as part of Gothenburg’s Tercentennial Jubilee Exhibition. Two years later, it became Göteborgs Konstmuseum. Since 1861, the museum has displayed a collection of art from across the Nordic Countries dating back to the 1400s. The exhibits include works by masters such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and Rembrandt. This view is from Avenyn, Gothenburg’s primary boulevard. It was formally called Kungsportsavengen.

Götaplatsen 6, 412 56 Göteborg, Sweden
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38 Poseidon Statue by Carl Milles in Gothenburg, Sweden

This naked bronze statue of Poseidon is considered to be the protector of sailors. He is typically portrayed as an old man with a beard holding a trident. However, in this version, he is young and holding a fish in one hand and a shell in the other. This image of the Greek Olympian deity, who is the God of the Sea, has become the iconic symbol of Gothenburg. Created by Carl Milles in 1931, the sculpture stands 22 feet in a water fountain in front of the Gothenburg Museum of Art.

Poseidon Statue 412 56 Gothenburg, Sweden
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39 Mermaid Statue by Carl Milles in Gothenburg, Sweden

This stylistic mermaid is one of six figures surrounding the elaborate fountain at Götaplatsen square. She holds two fishes. Each has a nozzle that spays water towards the tall statue of Poseidon who in Greek mythology is the god of the oceans. Along the basin are carved reliefs of marine animals. After Swedish artist Carl Milles created this ensemble in the early 1930s, he moved to the United States where he enjoyed a prolific career as a sculptor for the next twenty years.

Poseidon statue Götaplatsen 4, 412 56 Göteborg, Sweden
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40 Stadsbiblioteket Main Library in Gothenburg, Sweden

Since 1967, the Stadsbiblioteket has been the location for Gothenburg’s main city library. Inside are nearly 10,000 square feet of space on five floors that house an enormous collection of materials including 400,000 books. It was reopened in 2014 after an extensive renovation. The public library is one of four prominent landmarks bordering Götaplatsen square. The others are The Museum of Art, the City Theater and the Concert Hall.

Götaplatsen 3, 402 29 Göteborg, Sweden
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41 Clarion Hotel Post in Gothenburg, Sweden

This grand façade was the entrance to the Posthuset when it opened facing Drottningtorget in Gothenburg in 1925. After the old post office building underwent a major renovation, it reopened as the Clarion Hotel Post in 2012. The highly-rated facility has 500 rooms and is part of Nordic Choice Hotels.

Drottningtorget 10, 411 03 Göteborg, Sweden
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42 Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden

The Ullevi is a huge, open-air stadium that was built in 1958 to host some of the World Cup games. Since then it has been the venue for countless speedway and sporting events including the first NFL game that was played in Europe in 1988 between the Minnesota Vikings, my hometown team, and the Chicago Bears. It has also been a popular arena for concerts by all-star performers such as Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and Billy Joel.

Ullevigatan 411 40 Göteborg, Sweden
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43 Volvo Museum in Gothenburg, Sweden

The Volvo Museum in Gothenburg celebrates the history of this Swedish vehicle manufacturer since it was founded in 1927. On display is their first production car, the ÖV4. That is an abbreviation for Öppen Vagn 4 cylindrar but it was nickname Jakob. You’ll also learn about their first truck, the Series 1, which was initially marketed in 1928. In addition, the museum exhibits by decade many of Volvo’s classic autos, trucks, buses and construction equipment. It is located near the Port of Gothenburg next to the company’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities.

Arendal Skans, 405 08 Göteborg, Sweden
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44 Lighthouse at Port of Gothenburg, Sweden

If you arrive into Sweden’s second largest city by cruise ship, then you will enter through the busiest port in Scandinavia. 73 cruise ships docked along just four quays in 2014 while disembarking over 100,000 passengers for a delightful day of sightseeing. But this traffic is a very small percent of the 11,000 vessels that annually enter the Port of Gothenburg.

Rune Lighthouse Måsholmsvägen 12, 418 79 Göteborg, Sweden
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