We recently got back from a little trip to Sweden, to the city of Gothenburg. I decided to surprise Jack with this trip as a birthday present and little celebration holiday. I’d done a little research before booking and saw the most beautiful streets, parks, harbour, a theme park and great places to go out for some drinks, so decided it would be worth checking out. We want to tick off as much of the world as we can and experience everything, as visiting Gothenberg would also be our first experience of Sweden it was a definite yes! I surprised Jack with the holiday in a card on his birthday, so by the time we flew we hadn’t booked or planned a huge amount before visiting. This trip was fuelled with inspiration in our phones and a lot of winging it!
Sweden is renowned for being ridiculously expensive as a tourist, and all we can say about this is it bloody is! Even a standard sandwich topped £7-£8 which was both depressing and unavoidable, but although now rather poor, we did have a great time haha! Although it wouldn’t be a destination to go shopping in for this reason, there are some fab ways to save money here – and some things we think are soo worth splurging on.
I managed to score some amazingly priced flights, but that inevitable catch was flying at ridiculous o’clock in the morning. I had booked us 3 days in this gorgeous city though so although knackering, it meant we got to spend more time here. We stayed at Hotel Flora which is right on the river and the perfect amount of central to the bustle of Gothenberg – in one direction right on the edge of all the shops, following onto the harbour, and the other direction being parks and a long strip of restaurants and bars. The hotel ceilings were gorgeously high and the bed was so comfy, I absolutely loved it! When we arrived we managed to check in early, and had a quick power nap before exploring.
Sweden is particularly rainy in Autumn and Winter – we had travelled in early September so hoped to just miss it, but no such luck! It absolutely entirely completely poured down on our first day here, so as we were wandering around all the streets we picked up an (extorionate!) umbrella and decided to embrace it. The city is gorgeous with so many cobbly streets, alleys, waterside and clean scandi design throughout all the buildings and scenery. There’s an H&M around every single corner, along with a million of the same Irish pub chain. (Weird right?) We think it’s so important to wander around new places on foot where you can, and take it all.
After a few hours walking and taking all the lovely buildings and sights in, we warmed up in the hotel and headed to the Hard Rock Café in the busy restaurant region. Whilst never the most adventurous of meals, we just love to tick it off whenever we’re close and grab some of the cocktails. It’s such a lovely vibe and has become a real happy place for us on our adventures. We try and stick in more authentic food too, (promise!) but it’s always an enjoyable safe place for us. I had a grilled vegetable and Halloumi wrap and we both delved into our favourite hurricane cocktails. After food we explored some of the bars and pubs on the street, devoured some vino, and then settled in for the night.
On day two we decided to spend our time at Liseberg theme park – we are rollercoaster addicts and love the whole theme park atmosphere and thrill. Jack can ride absolutely any ride no matter what he’s eaten or drank; spin him around like a madman and he will be living his best life. I love big rollercoasters that have a destination, (move forwards!) but anything spinning in a circle and you can count me out! Some of the rides at this theme park were so damn good, and there were a range of rides to suit everyone’s stomachs. We jumped on all the biggest roller coasters, a few water rapids rides and a live action horror maze.
We also won a ginormous chocolate bar (filled with loads of other chocolate bars!) in the fairground section. We first tried this chocolate bar (wafer thing) in Iceland and we became addicted straight away, winning THIS many was a great end to our day here! Just before heading back to the hotel, we went on the big ferris wheel thing and went back to the hotel for a local takeaway and inbetweeners marathon. (Oh yes, we know how to have fun.)
We had a really late flight back to England the next day, so we decided to start the day exploring the last part of the city we hadn’t had a walk around yet. We ended up walking for a solid few hours and followed the whole waterfront, finding some of the most stunning houses, so many gorgeous little nooks and some old war-ships. They happened to have a free open day where you could hop on the boats and have a look around everything, so we jumped on board. It consisted of a little complex of about 6 boats, and you could go into the main chambers inside – including jumping in a submarine!
After some lunch we hopped in a taxi to an aquarium/indoor rainforest/discovery place, called the Universeum. So random and a museum-esque education based place, and such a good time! There were loads of different sections here about wildlife and the earth; my favourite part was probably the whole rainforest section with log bridges, tree tops and loads of different levels which had tropical plants and animals. It was far too hot to spend a long amount of time here, (we kept ducking in and out!) but so lovely to see. They also had fish tanks in this section relative to the climate, so we got to see our first piranhas (I wouldn’t mind hugely if they were also my last to see to be fair – they creep me out!) and we spotted the sweetest little sloth.
We also loved the aquarium area, including seeing this shark pal sitting on top of his tunnel. How odd (and MAJESTIC) is he!? I was stood there for a while convinced it was a fake and some sort of model, until he started moving haha.
We spent our last evening reading and chilling back at the hotel lobby, and discovered it also had the loveliest rooftop lounge bar we previously had no idea about – if we return to this hotel I’m not sure you’d ever be able to make me leave! Have a read of the Sweden tab on the blog to see what we would recommend doing here and how to save money in the notoriously pricey Sweden!