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Gothenburg Sweden | ©Hans Wessberg/Flickr
Gothenburg Sweden | ©Hans Wessberg/Flickr
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10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Gothenburg Over Stockholm

Picture of Judi Lembke
Updated: 19 January 2017
Sweden’s classic rivalry – is Stockholm or Gothenburg better? – has been around since ancient times and shows no sign of being settled soon. With that in mind it’s time to take a look at why Gothenburg is a better place to visit than Stockholm.

It’s cheaper

Stockholm is the self-proclaimed capital of Scandinavia and price tags reflect this. Overall, Gothenburg is 11% cheaper than Stockholm and this is reflected in hotel prices, when dining out, and when shopping. Additionally, Gothenburg is smaller in size, making it easy to get around on foot and not pay as often for public transport or taxis.

Swedish Kronor | ©Sippeangelo/Flickr
100 Swedish Kronor | ©Sippeangelo/Flickr

It’s less crowded

Stockholm has close to one million residents while Gothenburg has 500 thousand, which is enough to retain that city vibe without feeling like you’re in a crowd 90% of the time. Basically, in Gothenburg you can find some personal space while still enjoying all the benefits a city offers.

Gothenburg is less crowded | ©Metro Centric/Flickr
Gothenburg is less crowded | ©Metro Centric/Flickr

It’s closer to the continent

It’s just a hop, skip and a jump to either Denmark or Norway, whether that’s by car, train, or boat. The airport, Landvetter, offers flights to just about every country in the world and you can also easily catch a flight in Denmark or Norway.

Nordic flags | ©IIP Photo Archive/Flickr
Nordic flags | ©IIP Photo Archive/Flickr

One word: seafood

Sure, Stockholm is crawling with salmon but the quality of seafood caught on the west coast of Sweden has made Gothenburg a foodie destination. Plus, there’s the Fish Church, which sells top quality seafood right off the boats, so the prices are more than reasonable.

Fish Church in Gothenburg | ©Heather Cowper/Flickr
Fish Church in Gothenburg | ©Heather Cowper/Flickr

A better theme park

Sure, Stockholm has Gröna Lund and sure, that theme park is right in the middle of the city but Gothenburg’s Liseberg Amusement Park is Scandinavia’s biggest and best. It has roller coasters that will have you screaming for your mommy as well as fantastic restaurants right in the park.

Liseberg hydraulic roller coaster | ©Oliver Mallich/Flickr
Liseberg hydraulic roller coaster | ©Oliver Mallich/Flickr

Independent cafés still rule

Forget Starbucks (there’s only one in Gothenburg and it’s at the train station) Gothenburg is still a city devoted to its independent cafés – and there are plenty of them around every corner. And Gothenburg has long had a legendary thirst for the dark roast, so this is a big topic in the city.

Gothenburg café | ©Heather Cowper/Flickr
Gothenburg café | ©Heather Cowper/Flickr

Better football

Other Swedish cities might brag about their top teams but only Gothenburg can lay claim to having the most successful club on an international level. IFK Gothenburg won two UEFA Cups back in the 80s and while things don’t look as bright these days, there’s no reason not to cling to that glory.

IFK Gothenburg | ©Jeremy/Flickr
IFK Gothenburg | ©Jeremy/Flickr

The music scene

Sweden is the world’s third largest exporter of music and a healthy amount of that comes from Gothenburg. We’ll pretend Ace of Base never happened and focus on the fact that José González and Soundtrack of our Lives both hail from the jewel of the west coast.

José Gonzalez performing | ©Mariana Maia/Flickr
José González performing | ©Mariana Maia/Flickr

Way out West

Speaking of music, Gothenburg is rightfully proud of its inner-city music festival Way Out West which has been running for more than a decade. The laidback fest serves up the best of both domestic and international talent, and the Stay Out West afterparties are the stuff legends are made of.

Way Out West Music Festival | ©Niklas Hellerstedt/Flickr
Way Out West Music Festival | ©Niklas Hellerstedt/Flickr

The people are nicer

Even Stockholmers admit Gothenburgians are nicer – but see it as a character flaw. The plain truth is that if a Stockholmer bumps into you he or she will give you a bad look and possibly call you crazy. A Gothenburgian will politely apologise and make sure you’re okay.

Happy Gothenburgian |©Craig Morey/flickr
Happy Gothenburgian | ©Craig Morey/flickr