Love seafood and all things Scandinavia? Skip Stockholm and head to Sweden’s west coast instead, setting your trip to the pace of the tide. Gothenburg City is arguably one of the best places to get your hands on fresh crab, lobsters and all those tasty crustaceans.
No doubt you should really love seafood to make the most of this foodie spot. Mussels, shrimp, oysters, lobsters, crayfish… they all come in on the boats in abundance. The temperature of the Västerhavet (the sea to the west) is exceptionally fresh, perfect conditions for great seafood.
“Shellfish holidays” for the win
Sweden’s Tourism Office even organizes special excursions to this area, where the sole attraction is the seafood itself. So-called “Shellfish holidays,” they’re complete with restaurants, accomomdation, weekend spa treatments and tastings. The most original: oyster safaris or even lobster fishing.
Seaside to Gothenburg City
Gothenburg is considered Sweden’s second capital. The city is rich in all sides of culture and is just as edgy and trendy as Stockholm. But you won’t find seafood in the capital like you can find here. Every trip starts with a visit to the city’s fish market, called the Church of Fish.
Church of Fish (Feskekôrka): for sure one of the city’s curious sights. This building seemingly looks like a church but in fact is the fish market where you can buy the catch of the day and fresh shellfish just off the boats. In all shapes, sizes, colours and forms, you’ll find it all here. Built in 1874 in the style of Norway’s wooden churches, you’ll find it right next to Kungstorget Square.
Floating Maritime Museum (Maritiman): 20 vessels dating as far back as the 1700s are moored together at the Packhus dock. Visit the Småland battle ship and the Fladen lighthour, even the Nordkaparen submarine.
Few know it but Gothenburg is considered one of Europe’s foodie capitals. Here are two not-to-be-missed places while visiting:
Sjömagasinet – the likes of Bruce Springsteen and U2 have dined here to taste the seafood creations from head chef Leif Mannerström.
- Address: Klippans kulturreservat, Adolf Edelsvärds gata 5
Fiskekrogen – this restaurant has more than 300 wines on the menu, each paired perfectly with lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, oysters and mussels.
- Address: Lilla Torget 1, A5
Discovering Gothenburg’s islands
Except during the busy summer season of tourists, these islands (Göteborgs skärgård, in Swedish) are usually very peaceful and quiet. Their unique maritime landscapes are easy to reach from Gothenburg City. The archipelago consists of around 30 rocky islands: some with houses and small fishing ports and others totally secluded and protected as natural reserves.
From Gothenburg, endless day trips are possible, especially by boat. Ferries can take you north to Hjuvik, on the island of Hisingen. The southern archipelago is also accessible by boast from Saltholmen, at the end of tram line 11. Be aware though, that only some islands have guest accommodation available.
How to get there
British Airways and SAS both take-off from Heathrow to fly to Gothenburg. From London City, try Air France. If you’re looking for a low cost option, Ryanair and Norwegian Air fly London to Gothenburg.
Would you rather visit Gothenburg or Stockholm? Sweden or Norway?