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G O: O: O: O: T H E N B O R G (Alex)

by on June 28, 2017

Today, we had our first full day in Göthenborg. We took a boat tour and a walking tour. After both tours, I have come to the conclusion that Göthenborg is a better city for work than tourism. I will explain why below.

Göthenborg is Sweden’s second largest city; and it is built on a river. There are canals throughout the city which connect to the river. As a result of its locaton (super close to Denmark, and by definition, mainland Europe), Göthenborg was a major shipbuilding city. However, presumably due to cheaper labor in other countries and a high cost of living in Scandanavian countries (for tax reasons and a need for lots of imported items), these jobs left. This left Göthenborg’s largest industry gone. According to our boat tour and walking tour guide, tourism has become the new major industry, with some other companies having offices here.

That being said, there is very little to do. There are some interesting buildings, but not a lot of activities. I wish that there were more activities in this town, as supposed to one building after another.

One of the famous building is the opera house. See if you can guess what it is supposed to look like, and scroll down for the answer.



The opera house (The photo was originally taken because of the bouy, but proved to be the best photo of the Opera House that I got)

If you answered steamship, then you are correct. I did not think that it looked like a steamship, but rather the winner of a competition for the world’s ugliest Opera House. Is it intentional that the further you get away from Antartica, the worse the Opera Houses get? If you can not tell, I was underwhelmed. They also had “Götenborg’s Empire State Building.” Let’s play guess the nickname (scroll down to see the answer).IMG_4894.JPG

That is affectionally called the “Lipstick Building.” It got that name due to the obnoxiously red color at the top. It is slanted to meet building code. It feels very out of place in this city.

Ironically, my favorite aspect is the one that the citizens want to get rid of. This being the cranes that are an incredible feat of engineering.IMG_4874.JPG

Yes, the land is incredibly valuable. But they remind me of the ship building past of this city.

I do like the brick buildings, which are plentiful here. Scandanavia is a nice refresh from the baroquish architectural hell that is Central European castles.IMG_4891.JPG

There was a very cool torpedo propellor on display in the city.IMG_4898.JPG

One other highlight was a church. This church was not as cool as la Catedral de la Sagrada Familia (Barcelona), but it was not baroque.


This church is Lutheran

Now, it may look slightly baroquish from the outside, but the inside followed the idea that less is more, an idea that Apple needs to spread to Central Europe and any baroque-style building.IMG_4903.JPG


An interesting fact about Götenborg is that it is sinking into the ground. Since it is built on a swamp, the ground is not stable. In fact, the Dutch (who built Amsterdam and Jakarta [the Indonesian city famous for its lack of traffic problems]) had to help so that this city could be built. We found a great example of what should not happen to a building:


Look on the right side for an structural engineering masterpiece

We also saw the fish church. This was built since people (mainly the wives of fishermen) were selling fish outside in the rain/snow in the winter. It is a building designed to look like a church that is a fish market.

It smelled… fishy.

Our last thing to see was a park. It was moderately big, and very beautiful. Here are some photos from it (this is just a photo dump from my phone and may not be in chronilogical order):

We ended at a cafe with very good lasagne and chicken minced meat pie. They are famous for their cinnamon bun, which also was very tasty.

In conclusion: there was a lot to see but not a lot to do. It would not have been fun if we were unable to get a walking tour (the boat tour did not offer a lot of information). The city is a very livable city (good food), but it is not a good tourist spot, especially when compared to other larger european cities. This may change in the future, as they are adding lots of new attractions in 2021 for their 400th anniversary.

I am not sure how the rest of Sweden is. I assume that there will be more to ‘do’ in Stockholm, as for the most part, the second largest cities have a lot less to do.


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One Comment
  1. Dave Howes permalink

    Look for the Veggie gardens that people lease…….

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