A few months ago, in early December, I briefly got the opportunity to explore Gothenburg, Sweden on a work trip. Gothenburg is Sweden’s second largest city and sits on its western coastline. It longitudinally falls between Oslo, Norway and Copenhagen, Denmark.
During December, Gothenburg, like other parts of Sweden, decorates for the holiday. Lit candles and illuminated paper stars were displayed from the windows of nearly every home. Even Liseberg, a popular amusement park in Gothenburg boasted a large ‘Christmas tree’ made out of fairy lights.
While we only got to spend a little over a day in Gothenburg, my favorite part was undeniably Haga. Haga, is Gothenburg’s historic 18th century district with traditional wooden architecture painted in muted colors. Along its cobblestone streets are countless restaurants, quaint cafes, and shopping boutiques with antiques and trendy finds.
From the main road, is an alley that leads to a set of stairs, which offers access to the 300-year old fortress, Skansen Kronan. Although the walk up to the fort has over 100 steps, it shouldn’t be missed because of the wonderful view that overlooks the historic district and much of the red roofs that creates the cityscape of Gothenburg. It’s truly a great spot to take in the city. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go inside the fort because it was closed.
While in Haga, make time to partake in Fika, along with the rest of Sweden. Fika is a restorative time in which people relax over coffee or tea and a snack with friends. Haga offers many highly-rated cafes that are ideal for this mid-day reprieve, or for popping in and out to try a variety of Swedish sweets. You’ll likely notice the overwhelming amount of massive cinnamon rolls (Hagabullen) displayed in the windows of cafes.
Our favorite bakery was Cafe Husaren, which is well known for its freshly baked, large cinnamon rolls. But if you’re not a fan of cinnamon rolls, they also offer many other pastries and candies.
While there is so much to experience in Gothenburg, Haga’s quirky vibe is inviting and will likely stir intrigue in any traveler’s heart.