For the past few years, Sweden’s second-biggest city has been embracing tourism in a big way, gaining an international reputation for its cool cafés, laid-back parks and world-beating shellfish. But despite its newfound popularity, Gothenburg retains a friendly, small-town feel, and with a little effort it’s easy to find places away from the tourist trail. Here are some of the more unusual options for spending time in the city, with opportunities to meet locals along the way.

Take the plunge

You don’t need to travel far beyond the centre of Gothenburg to find the Sweden you’ve seen in pictures, with big skies, green forests and rippling blue lakes. Delsjön, just to the east of the city, is a favourite swimming spot for locals during the summer, when the sun shines brightly until late in the evening. Start at the northwestern edge of the lake where there’s easy access to the water, which ranges in temperature from goose-bump chilly to surprisingly warm, depending on whether you visit at the start or the end of summer. There are lots of peaceful spots where you can dry off – beer in hand – on the sun-warmed rocks nearby.

 

 

Go underground (or underwater)
For a country that was supposedly neutral during the Cold War, Sweden amassed a surprising amount of military hardware. Take a bus ride out towards Gothenburg City Airport (known locally as Säve) and you’ll pass one of the country’s secret underground air bases, where fighter planes were stashed some 30 metres below the rocks. Today, a large part of the bunker is open to visitors as Aeroseum, an aviation museum with more than 30 planes on show.
Back in the centre of Gothenburg, right along the riverfront, you’ll find Maritiman, a small floating museum that showcases the city’s long seafaring heritage. The highlight of a tour here is clambering down into a cramped 1960s submarine that was once filled with torpedoes, and still sits hidden beneath the waterline today.

 

 

 

Pick your own
When August rolls around, the floors of the forests around Gothenburg are often speckled yellow with delicious chanterelles. Searching for these edible mushrooms provides the perfect excuse for a long walk in the forest and on Hisingen, the island immediately north of the city centre, there are no end of places to start looking. Sound too much like hard work? No problem: many of the city’s Swedish restaurants put chanterelles on their menus as soon as the season’s first mushrooms appear.

 

 

Cinema Cinema

 

Watch a film
Gothenburg hosts a couple of film festivals per year and has some excellent independent cinemas showing films from Scandinavia and beyond – often with English subtitles. One of the best places to try your luck is Hagabion, housed in a beautiful 19th Century school building on Linnégatan. Apart from the tiny cinema, there’s an excellent, all-vegetarian restaurant decorated with old movie posters, and a welcoming bar that spills out onto the cobbles on summer evenings, attracting some of the coolest kids in town.

 

 

The Sunvil Family

By The Sunvil Family

1st July 2014



The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

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