Photo by Pixel Petersson
The Departure Point: Gothenburg, SwedenSweden’s second-largest city, with nearly half a million residents, Gothenburg pulses with energy. Indeed, it has all the cosmopolitan trappings you’d desire, including Michelin-starred restaurants, a homegrown music scene, and gracious public spaces.
Yet nature is also readily accessible. Gothenburg is a canal city, with extensive bike lanes, forested parkland, and a waterfront that faces an enchanting archipelago of largely untouched, wildlife-rich islands. The fresh fish from these waters play a starring role in local cuisine. Just how revered is seafood? One of the main market halls, Feskekörka, translates to “fish church” in Swedish—and resembles one too. It draws both tourists and local shoppers alike.
Interior design is another Swedish point of pride, and there’s no shortage of places to browse in Gothenburg. Some of the finest home design shops are in the charming Haga neighborhood, which also has unique boutiques selling specialty items like tea, spices, and olive oil. In summer, there are attractive outdoor terraces where you can enjoy a retail break.
While there’s clearly plenty to keep you entertained in Gothenburg, the city also makes a great jumping off point for exploring all that West Sweden has to offer. The following recommended drives offer something to appeal to every type of traveler.