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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.