A long time ago we made a promise with my best friend – wherever we go to study, work or live, we will come to visit each other. Last August my friend moved to Gothenburg to get her Master’s degree at Chalmers University. At first I had a plan to go there by plane with other girls. Then I decided to take a ferry to Stockholm and drive my BMW to Gothenburg. However, no one could join me, and spending a night on the ferry alone seemed like the worst idea ever. So, I switched back to the plane and took tickets to visit Anastasia in April 2016 because I couldn’t wait for this moment any longer.

What is the city?

Gothenburg or Göteborg is the second-largest city in Sweden and the fifth-largest in the Nordic countries. This city is located on the west coast of Sweden and has a population of almost 550,000 inhabitants. It’s quite easy to get there because of Göteborg Landvetter Airport, located just 30 km southeast from the city center. Gothenburg is home to many students, as there are two huge universities: the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. Can you imagine what kind of atmosphere this student-city has? By the way, Volvo was founded in Gothenburg in 1927.

So, what did I like about Gothenburg in spring?

The atmosphere and people

For me it felt like being back to Austria. People around seemed to be open, friendly and optimistic. Thousands of new faces, places and sounds were everywhere. I was literally feeling how the city was energizing me by its amazing spirit that motivates you to achieve new heights and go on new adventures. Of course, I couldn’t resist telling that Swedish men are truly handsome. It feels like your jaw drops every minute, when you look around. Besides, now I know why people call Swedish ladies the most beautiful ones in the whole Europe. That is totally understandable now!

The architecture

When you walk around the city, you want to picture every corner. The combination of different styles makes the city even more special and stunning. I strongly recommend you to visit Haga, a city district well-known and beloved for its picturesque wooden houses, 19th century-atmosphere and cafes. Originally it was a working class suburb with a rather bad reputation, and then it was gradually transformed into a popular place for tourists and locals.

The islands

The Gothenburg region is all about islands surrounded by the North Sea. You can take a ferry and explore each of them. In my opinion, it’s an awesome way to spend your Sunday or escape from the city at least for a couple of hours when you feel like you really need it. We explored the island called Styrsö which lies in the Southern Göteborg Archipelago with about 1,400 inhabitants. Regular ferries connect the island to the city and a bridge links Styrsö with another island called Donsö. Those beautiful islands have won a special place in my heart!

The parks

Can you imagine a free park (no entrance fee to pay) with penguins, seals, horses, goats, swans and other animals at almost near the city center? I was truly impressed by the beauty of Slottsskogen Park. I believe that it’s a great place to ride a bike, sunbathe or have a long walk with interesting talks in good company. If you visit Gothenburg one day, you simply have to check out this place.

Fika-time

Fika is an important concept of local culture. Swedish people have a special time for treating themselves every day. They go to the cafes with their friends, colleagues or relatives to have a cup of good coffee or savory tea with some pie, cake, muffins or cookies. The atmosphere in the cafes is just amazing – people are so talkative and positive all around!

After-work

On Fridays from 6 pm till 10 pm you get all the drinks at -50% discount! We went to Yaki-Da because this one also served free pizza. We had a great time there! In my opinion, it’s an awesome opportunity to make new friends and important connections over a cocktail or beer. People are all chilled and open. You can see many people dressed up because they really go straight after work to these events. If you haven’t got enough, you can go upstairs and dance off your head on the dancefloor there. I strongly recommend to go and check what this party is about.

Public transport

Do you need a tram when you are leaving from the bar at 3 am? Here it is! The well-planned and organized public transportation will help you get to any place whenever you need it. You don’t have to wait for any bus and tram for long. Besides, an easy-to-use app on your smartphone will help you organize your route, whether it’s a straight one or with changes with different means included (even a small ferry), and check the exact departure and arrival times.

This is shortly about the hightlights of my trip to Gothenburg in April 2016. I didn’t expect that I could fall in love with this town so quickly. I couldn’t imagine how different Sweden is from Finland. Even though these Scandinavian countries are neighbours, they have more differences than similarities.

The way to learn yourself

Everytime you travel to a new place, you learn something new about yourself. Sometimes you get home after a trip and realize that you will never be the same person, especially after meeting some extra-ordinary people.

“We all wanna be somebody, we just need a taste of who we are!” I’m grateful to Gothenburg and super-cool people for giving me this taste. I want to thank every local and international person living there for creating such an amazing spirit for this town. I felt so alive and happy while being there. So yes, I found a place that can be competitive to Austria! If Sweden had the mountains, I’d have called it an absolute competitor.

Write me, if you have any questions about this city, and stay tuned for my new blog entries!