Hello all, I am pleased to come to you all with another travel blog post about my birthday day trip to Gothenburg, Sweden. Travelling for my birthday has definitely become a newfound tradition of mine and my 26th birthday was no exception. Similar to Milan, Gothenburg has been on my bucket list for a while after a recommendation from one of my good friends and the flights were ridiculously cheap (£27 return). Therefore, I booked the flights without any hesitation in November using Skyscanner. I was also extremely lucky to be provided with a complimentary pass from Göteborg & Co to explore Gothenburg’s most iconic sights thus forming the foundation of my itinerary.
Friday 14th February
My flight was at 8:15 am at Stansted and yet again I didn’t sleep much the night before because I was doing some last-minute prepping for the birthday slay. My flight was unfortunately delayed for 45 minutes which meant that my time in Gothenburg was essentially cut down by 1 hour. Nonetheless, once I landed in Gothenburg, I expeditiously made my way to the Gothenburg Tourist Information Centre to collect my Gothenburg Pass (it took 26 minutes on the Flygbussarna airport bus from Gothenburg Landvetter Aiport). After collecting my pass, I started to crack on with my itinerary and make the most of my birthday!
Gothenburg City Museum
The first stop on my birthday trip was the Gothenburg City Museum, which was located not too far away from the Tourist Information Centre. The Gothenburg City Museum showcases over 12,000 years worth of Gothenburg’s history from prehistoric times to present-day Gothenburg. The museum has 5 floors so be prepared to spend a bit of time here in order to take everything in. The first exhibition that caught my eye was the Vikingr era which spanned across two floors; which included Sweden’s only preserved Viking ship. I was getting throwback vibes to my primary school history lessons about the Viking Ages whilst being intrigued with the individual stories surrounding some of the characters famously incorporated into Marvel’s Thor franchise such as Loki and Odin. I made my way up to the very top floor and stumbled into the US & THEM exhibition by the Police Museum (Stockholm). This exhibition illustrated different perspectives of hate crimes throughout history in Gothenburg in order to highlight this problem and the various means that are being used to tackle it.
Gothenburg Museum of Art
I initially wanted to go to the Gothenburg Lookout Tower however, upon getting off the bus and consulting Google Maps, the route was trying to take me along a dual carriageway. I certainly wanted no parts of it so I decided to make a U-turn and make my way to the Gothenburg Museum of Art instead. The Museum of Art displays a variety of art spanning from the 15th century to the present day. I knew that I was in for a treat because right at the beginning of my journey through the museum, I was in awe with the stripper pole structure surrounded by revolving legs with killer stilettos! The art was shown in a variety of media such as paintings and sculptures originating from locations across Europe and the USA. In addition to this, there is also a vast collection of Nordic art from the late 19th century located within the Fürstenberg Gallery (within the museum).
Upon adequate viewing of the art museum, I decided to find a local cafe to participate in the Swedish tradition of Fika! Swedish natives practice the tradition of Fika daily whereby you take a break by sitting down with your friends to have coffee and baked goods. There was no way I was going to leave Gothenburg without doing this so I found a nice cafe called Espresso House where I ordered a semla pastry, chipotle bagel and a mocha! I was extremely hungry at this point but I was ultimately very pleased with my choices because the food was both delicious and filling. Overall, it was a nice breather to recuperate before setting off for the next attraction.
Museum of World Culture
After my Fika break, I made my way to the next attraction on my list which was the Museum of World Culture. The Museum of World Culture houses a large variety of exhibitions from all over the world with the aim to educate visitors on contemporary global issues and also on the variety and richness of cultures found all over the globe. This is very much a children-friendly attraction but it is interesting for visitors of all ages nonetheless with some interactive elements. I was particularly intrigued by the Crossroads exhibition which was curated on the underlying foundation of how the various items such as sculptures, clothing, water bottles, pottery and much more have crossed various borders whilst giving an insight into the various history of places and their inhabitants.
So the next stop Universeum was pretty much next door to the Museum of World Culture and let me tell you about Universeum! I initially thought that it was going to be similar to my time at We The Curious (Bristol), however, the range content housed under one roof exceeded my expectations for sure. Firstly, there was a freaking rainforest exhibition which honestly the humidity was so authentic that I was worried my wig was going to possibly slide off. Secondly, Universeum still had interactive scientific exhibitions like the chemistry hub which is always nice to take part in no matter what age you are. Not to mention there was also a mini aquarium and a mini zoo which somehow they managed to fit into the attraction which again fuelled my inner zoo/aquarium enthusiast. I personally feel like Universeum is worth the money whether you even if you pay for it or enter for free with the Gothenburg Pass! Overall, Universeum was the main highlight of my birthday trip and I would definitely keep on visiting this attraction whenever I decide to come back to Gothenburg.
Kunfsparken & Gothenburg Cathedral
After leaving Universeum, the day slowly started turning into night therefore time was of the essence to secure a nice picture of myself to commemorate my birthday. I made my way to Kungsparken which was in a different portion of the city but nonetheless the tram journey to the park was pretty cool and scenic. Once I arrived, I could immediately imagine the park on a pretty summers day and I was particularly digging the aesthetic that it was by a dinky little canal. Once I secured my picture, I tried to make the most of the small-time I had left before finding some dinner and luckily for me Gothenburg Cathedral was still open. I briskly walked over to the cathedral for a quick visit; cathedrals are always a must for me to visit because I love to marvel at the various type of architecture used. I was taken aback by the interior as it was something that I have never encountered before. The white marble interior gave off an opulent aura all around and was just a beautiful sight to see and take in. After seeing the cathedral, I used this opportunity to walk around the region of Haga which is basically the shopping district of Gothenburg even though all of the shops were closed.
I managed to find a pub called Harrys to grab a quick bite before I headed back to the airport since it was in close proximity to the bus stop. The food and drinks, on the whole, were decently priced however I personally wasn’t too impressed with the tempura prawn starter that I ordered. Nonetheless, the rose cider was very much up my alley. After I had finished eating and settled the bill, I made my way back to the airport thus drawing a close to my Gothenburg travels.
Overall, I absolutely fell in love with Gothenburg and I will definitely be coming back during the summer season (once Miss Rona has cleared off). There was something about the atmosphere and air in Gothenburg that was extremely refreshing and I was ultimately pleased to get out of the country for my birthday. There are certain attractions in Gothenburg that operate in the summer months such as Liseberg Theme Park and the Gothenburg Archipelago but these are all covered by the Gothenburg Pass! What I will add is that similar to Copenhagen, Gothenburg is a little on the pricey side (as are most of the Nordic countries) so this is something to keep in mind when budgeting for your trip albeit a day trip or a longer break. Lastly, I want to say a huge thank you to Goteborg & Co for contributing to my birthday experience in Gothenburg with your pass!
Until my next adventure,
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