Göteborg's International Book fair takes place every year in September and is highly recommended for anyone interested in arts and culture, books And have more than 100.000 visitors each year. This year the festivites will be held between 27-30 september (2012).
Södra Hamngatan (South Port Street) is located along the Stora hamnkanalen (Big Port Channel) and is very picturesque. The street opposite it is called North Porth Street. It hosts some important and remarkable buildings of the city like the Municipality Residence (Länsresidenset), the Palace House (Fürstenbergska palatset/Palacehuset), Riksbankshuset (Royal Bank House), Atlanticahuset (Atlantic House) and many more.
I see now that I took the second picture most probably of the architecture. Indeed, this yellow brick buildings are common for Göteborg but also for Norway. I thought the geographical proximity between both of them influence their culture in some way but I need to ask a Swede or Norwegian to be more sure.
The Paddan Tour is a great boat tour through the canals of Göteborg and out into the harbor. It passes under several bridges, including one so low it is nicknamed “The Cheese Slicer” and you actually have to get on the floor of the boat so you don’t hit your head! The tour goes by notable buildings, neighborhoods, gardens and boats. The boat is not covered, so make sure you wear appropriate clothing as it gets windy and you can get wet. It seats 80 people. Make sure you get there early. If the weather is nice there will be a long line and you may have to wait until the next trip if you get there too late. Don’t worry, though, they leave frequently so you won’t have to wait long. There is a guide at the front of the boat doing the commentary live. The young lady we had was very upbeat and personable. There are cruises offered in Swedish and English, or Swedish and German, so make sure you ask when you book your ticket. The tour departs from Kungsportsplatsen and lasts 50 minutes.
I must admit, I love sightseeing buses! I tried the tour here in Gothenburg and it was fantastic fun and very interesting. It gives you an overview of the city and the central parts most interesting sightseeing attractions.
If you want to get a brief picture as an introduction to Gothenburg, City Sightseeing is a very good tool for that!
Although Häcken from this autumn is back in the first division in Sweden, and although the club's economy is the second strongest among all the football clubs in Sweden - they still are just the 4th club in Göteborg.
They have very few supporters and the local newspapers writes less about them than Gais that plays in the second division.
They are from the island, "Hisingen", which is connected, and also a part of, Göteborg by a tunnel and two big bridges.
Häcken was formed late, it wasn't actually until the 2nd august 1940 that the club was borned. The good economy of the club is thanks to the big youth tournament that the club have organised every summer the last 30 years. It's named "Gothia Cup", and is the biggest youth tournament in the world (more info about that in another "must see"-tips.)
They have been going up and down between the first and second division the last seasons, but this autumn they won the "Superettan", and will 2005 once again play in "Allsvenskan".
Earlier when Häcken has played in the first division they have been hardly criticised for not making any big buys, not signing any star players, or even trying to avoid relegation.
This time the chairman, Åke Nilsson, has decided that Häcken will stay in Allsvenskan, and has promised to give the club 3-5 star signings.
Althoug so far (december 2004) none of that has happened...
Häcken has never won any big titles, except for class-victories in the Gothia Cup. But on senior-level their biggest success is a 6th place in Allsvenskan 1993.
Their biggest stars now is the liberian players Dioh Williams and Jimmy Dixon, who both plays for the Liberia nationalteam.
During a few weeks every year, at the end of February until the middle of March, most Swedes suddenly get crazy about books. It's time for the huge book sale! Every book store worth the name then has a huge sale on a lot of books, thrillers, biographies, guide books, fact books - just about everything. And for those of you who doesn't understand swedish - don't worry! A lot of books in english goes on sale too!
It starts at midnight on the 27th of February (check that up, as it might change from year to year) when the stores gets over crowded with crazy people who buy books they one week earlier never even had considered to buy.
You think I'm mean? Well, I just bought 8 new guide books, one about New York, whom I don't even have any plans to visit for the next couple of years at least...
But hey, it's a sale, it's crowded, and no one really thinks about what they are buying. But fun.
After a few days the panic has slowed down a bit, and also normal people can go into the book stores. Although the risk then is that all the good offers are already sold and gone.
A book store normally sell about 10 per cent of it's yearly sale during these few weeks, so you can imagine how many people that buy books during the sale.
The most famous book stores in Gothenburg are the big chains, "Wettergrens" and "Akademibokhandeln". Prices are at least 30 per cent lower than normal, but I paid 50-55 per cent less for my guide books than I would have done otherwise.
This year (2007) Akademibokhandeln had a really good offer during the first three days of the sale. Every book that wasn't on the normal sale, was 30 per cent off the normal price. So, sale in the whole shop in other words.
Earlier tradition said that only books that were three years or older were allowed to be included in the sale. But the last year that has changed, and now any book can go on sale. In 2007 the most popular sale books were Dan Brown's different books, which went for only 59 SEK (6 euro).
Or how about a huge world atlas for 79 SEK (8 euro)?
Here they will provide you with all things you need. Here you find very educated stuff and they are also very serviceminded. They will tell you what you can do in Göteborg and the region of Bohus län. Ask for some good spots to swim along the west coast of Sweden. They know the best places, and they will also share them with you. Here you also find a lot of brochures and maps for free. They also have a shop where you can buy souvenirs.
A great place to get a birds eye view of Göteborg is from the top of the somewhat confusingly nicknamed Lipstick Building. I think it takes quite a stretch of the imagination to think this building resembles a lipstick. Actually called Skanskaskrapan (The Skanska Skyscraper) or Lilla Bommen, this 83m tall skyscraper was built in 1989 houses mostly office space. Go inside and there is a desk where you can pay to go up to the top and buy a couple of small souvenirs. The staff member will lead you to the elevator and let you up.
Free with the Göteborg card, 30 SEK otherwise.
At the top of the Avenyn, in Götaplatsen square, there is a 22ft tall bronze statue of Poseidon standing nude in a tub with several smaller figures around him. He was built by the Swedish sculptor Carl Milles in the 1930s and is now a famous symbol of Göteborg. Such cultural institutions as the Concert Hall, Museum of Art, the City Theatre and the Library surround the fountain.
When I travel I love to try and find mini-golf courses. I’d never found one in Europe before, so I was very happy to discover this one on my first day walking through Göteborg, just off the Avenyn. The course looks incredibly simple when you first walk up, but don’t be fooled. Basically every hole had some sort of rise or curve to negotiate, or more than one hole, or obstacles on the course. There is plenty of room between holes, and several picnic tables to sit and have a drink or an ice cream treat from the cash desk.
Whenever you visit a town with canals, there is an opportunity to go on a canal tour. You can do this in our hometown, Malmö. You can do this in Copenhagen, but also in Göteborg. The Paddan tour is your traditional speech-by-friendly-tour-guide - tour. You will get to see the town from another perspective. The reason I like these tours is that you can always choose from sites you wish to explore further, sites that you maybe didn't think about visiting once on the tour.
I came across this monument on the waterfront near the ferry terminal marking the first Swedish settlers to American soil in 1638. Unfortunately for them they landed in Delaware which I guess given an option wouldn't have been their state of choice!
Like many adventurous architectural projects the so called ‘lipstick building’ probably worked better on paper than as a construction project. When I visited it was looking a little worse for wear and work was underway patching up the roof! If you purchase a Goteborg pass you can visit the roof top viewing deck for free. Ask nicely at reception and they will escort you to the appropriate elevator. The observation deck provides a great panoramic view of Goteborg and the inclusion of small opening windows allows for some great aerial photography. Note the café is actually on the ground floor and so if you’re prone to the munchies stock up on Mars Bars and coffee before you commence the ascent as you may be gone some time:)
If you like fortresses this is a must be tour! THe history of the fortress is:
Bohus Fortress lies along the old Norwegian - Swedish border in Kungälv, (20 kilometres north of Gothenburg). It commands its surroundings from a 40 meter high cliff, with the river forming a natural moat about it.
The construction began in 1308 under King Håkon V Magnuson, king of Norway from 1299 until 1319. At the time Bohuslän (Båhuslen) was Norwegian territory and it served as a main Norwegian defense against Sweden along the coast as well as the strong point for the Bohuslän region from 1308 until 1658.
The Norwegian fortress was invested numerous times, but was never captured. In 1593-1604 Bohus was upgraded to a bastion fortress. A new outer fortification was raised.
Under the terms of the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, Bohuslän (including Bohus Fortress) became Swedish.Since Bohus Fortress no longer lay on the border, it was of minimal future use to Sweden, which relied on the existing Älvsborg Fortress at Gothenburg and a new Carlsten Fortress erected at Marstrand.
At the end of the 18th century it was decided that the now unused fortress should be demolished. Demolition crews worked at the fortress for two months, at which time the money allocated for the task had run out. Residents of the surrounding town of Kungälv used the dressed stone of the fortress for building houses. Still, much of the fortress is still intact, including the large northern tower, "Fars hatt". The fortress is now a museum and open to tours in the summer.
The Göteborg Utkiken, also called The Lipstick, is the highest building. With the Göteborg Pass you have free entrance to the 22d floor. I bought the Pass via internet and used it also for tram and ferry to the Archipel.
From the 22d floor you can see that Göteborg really is surrounded by large woods. Photos can be made through the small open windows.
The Lipstick is about 5 minutes walk from tram stop Lilla Bommen, near the city center.
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