Gothenburg (Göteborg), is Sweden’s second biggest city. Visitors can explore the beautiful coastal city, magical islands and some of the best seafood in the world. There are many things to do in Gothenburg that involve getting out and exploring the outdoors.
Located on the west coast of Sweden, Gothenburg has a city pulse with nature on its doorstep.
Things to do in Gothenburg to experience nature
Go cycling in Gothenburg
Rent a bike and explore the city with brand new rental bikes from Styr & Ställ. Styr & Ställ has launched more than 130 stations and 1,750 bicycles around town during summer 2020, which can be rented via a new app-based booking system. Single-ride passes start from 20 SEK / 1.70 GBP.
For those who want to head out of town, the säröbanan route awaits. Ride from Gothenburg down the old railway line to Särö and experience spectacular views of the sea and beautiful nature along the way. The last train to Särö departed in 1965. But that doesn’t mean that the old railway line no longer attracts visitors, in fact it’s quite the contrary.
Today, Säröbanan is a highly popular bicycle route, taking you from Linnéplatsen in central Gothenburg to Särö, passing the cliffs, beaches and natural areas along the coast.
Delsjön is one of Gothenburg’s most central swimming and nature areas. Here you can take a relaxing walk in the nature reserve, go on a canoe trip, take a delightful swim at the beach Delsjöbadet or from the surrounding cliffs. At the beach you find jetties, playgrounds, a barbecue area and a beach volleyball court. In addition, Skatåts fitness centre offers a number of running tracks.
Alternatively, head to The Sauna Frihamnen. The sauna is situated in the park Jubileumsparken which is part of the city’s quatercentenary. It was created by German architect collective Raumblabor Berlin and in large parts it’s constructed from recycled material.
The rock climbing in and around Gothenburg is considered some of the best in Sweden. Visit the crags of Utby and you’ll soon realise why. Or get a boat to the island of Hönö and go bouldering in a unique environment. If you’d rather stay indoors, there are several challenging indoor climbing walls to try.
Rock-climbing in Utby, Sweden
Rock-climbing in Utby just outside of Gothenburg. Copyright Daniel Breece
Discover parks and gardens
One of the most popular things to do in Gothenburg is to visit one of the parks or gardens in and around the city.
Gothenburg botanical garden
At Gothenburg botanical garden you’ll find around 16,000 species of plants in the different greenhouses and the rock and herb garden. The Botanical Garden offers a vast and impressive collection of plants and flowers and is a great place to visit all year round. With over half a million visitors a year it’s one of the most popular attractions in the region. Although you can still find your own spot or path.
Gothenburg botanical garden
Änggårdsbergen Nature reserve, within walking distance of the city centre, is a popular spot for outdoor activities ranging from strolling through the woods to downhill mountain biking. The varied ecological environment and fauna contains several examples of nature typical of Western Sweden, such as heathland and moorland. Änggårdsbergen lies next to the Botanical Gardens and stretches from the green parks of western Gothenburg towards the nature area Sisjön, south of the city of Mölndal. Forest bathing is a must for those who really want to get back to nature.
Slottskogen is Gothenburg’s main park. Take a stroll along the winding paths lined with leafy greenery and you’ll see why Slottsskogen is the locals’ favourite place to unwind. You’ll also be able to see elks, Gotland ponies, Gute sheep and other Nordic animals in the park zoo. In Slottsskogen you’ll find large, open spaces, perfect for children to play in or for outdoor activities. There are also volleyball courts, miniature golf, outdoor gyms and playgrounds. One of the popular playgrounds is adventure playground Plikta.
On the other side of the park is the exciting playground Naturleken that uses nature to create a fun environment for children. The observatory Slottsskogsobservatoriet is located in the northern part of the park, on the top of the hill, and it’s a great spot to visit if you want to learn more about stars and planets.
Vättlefjäll nature reserve
Vättlefjäll nature reserve is one of the larger open-air recreation areas in the region. Here you can go canoeing or fishing in the many lakes, hike along the trails Bohusleden, Vättlefjällsleden and Pilgrimsleden and enjoy the moorlands, forests and hills.
Join a Gothenburg city walking tour
While not exactly in nature, you’re still experiencing the outdoors by joining a Gothenburg city walking tour. And if you love coffee and pastries, then choose a walking tour that includes the Swedish tradition of “fika” – like this one.
Explore the northern archipelago
The Gothenburg archipelago – with several islands within short distance of each other – is perfect for a weekend trip.