24 hours: Gothenburg
Don't have any annual leave left? You can easily get a bit of culture in a foreign country with a weekend break, and still make it back in time for work on Monday. In my first weekend guide, I show you how to cram in as much as possible in the second largest city in Sweden; Gothenburg!
Have breakfast in Cafe Hueva in Haga. For just 65kr you get a standard nordic breakfast buffet that they love so much. However, with your cup of coffee or tea, orange juice, and cheese roll, you can get a delicious tasting muesli porridge which is gloriously nutty, with a choice of apple sauce or raspberry jam. The quaint cafe feels like it's stopped in time so it's a cute place to take a break. You can then explore the beautiful Haga district afterwards, which has elements of Soviet buildings with a quaint European town feeling, not unlike the iconic film Chocolat.
For some boutique shopping, Valahellen boasts some great boutiques if you want to avoid the standard Swedish chains of H&M and Weekday. Stationery lovers should head straight to Rum And Paper for brands such as Rifle and Co alongside authentic Swedish gifts. For some fashion for both genders, Grandpa is a great stop for some chic fashion and interior goals as well as some presents for your other half.
Grab a late lunch and try the local cuisine of fried herring, mashed potato and lingonberry jam. If you head to the area next to Grandpa, a street vendor called Strömmingsluckan will sell it for 65kr and you'll be surprised at how delicious it is even if not a fish-eater. Jump one across to De Matteo, a coffee chain within the city. With a great selection of drinks and cakes as well as a kind reception, it's great to relax inside for an industrial vibe or out in their courtyards.
End the day with an evening walk around the beautiful Slottsskogen Park. Whilst not quite the size of Hyde Park coming in at 137 hectares, it's still nothing to be sniffed at. The beautifully untouched area with rolling hills and cliffs to climb, is more like the New Forest in terms of terrain and a great way to spend an evening as the night draws in for the sunset.
Have a lazier breakfast at TheKitchen on the main road. Their 49kr smoothie bowl will fill you up with its sweet base and cinnamon granola and nut medley. Add in a tasty latte to set up your day and grab a chat with the barista who seemed very happy to talk!
Spend the rest of your morning walking up to Skansen Kronan fortress to see an amazing view of the city. Whilst a tough walk due to the path being very, very steep, it only takes about five minutes. It's worth it to see not just the beautiful architecture but a great panorama of the city.
Swedish people have break called 'fika' to catch up with friends and family, so take one at Kale'i Cafe. Their coffee is precisely done, measured and decorated with their ingredients being sourced locally. Of course, their treats such as their miniature blackberry pie will be hard to resist...
Under 25? Enter the Röhsska Museet design museum for free and explore interior from the past to present and a great collection of outfits from a Swedish fashion designer.Due to its size, it won't take long to wander around so you can also head into Palmhuset in Trädgårdsföreningen Park. For palm tree goals, the large white greenhouse has a stunning range of plant life and a cute sitting area to relax in.
Spend your evening at Pustervik, a great retro bar that often has live music to dance to and see the local bands. Even the drinks aren't too expensive at roughly 40-50kr.
With a range of Airbnb's, boutique hotels or hostels, the city is small enough to go from any of them easily. Hotel Flora and Hotel Avalon are two to take note of with rooms starting from approximately £90 a night. For a budget break, Slottsskogens Hostel is friendly, full of activities and dorms starting from £20 a night.
Norwegian Air: fares start at £29.90 return, with WiFi onboard and under two hours flight.
Approx money: (two nights roughly £30 per night, £45 per day) so under £150 for two days.
TOP TRAVEL TIPS
- Get the return bus from the airport for 195kr, saving 5kr and dropping you off in the centre of the city within 30 minutes (can only pay on card, return lasts 3 months)
- 10kr = £9
- Hello: halla
- Thank you: tak
- Goodbye: adjo