Gothenburg is one amazing city. We spent a week wandering through the center and exploring the area that surrounds it.
Spending time in a large city like Gothenburg can be expensive though. Since our budget is tight, we found a few things to do that fit our budget perfectly. Today we’re sharing a list of 5 budget things to do in Gothenburg, that we’re sure you will love!
We do recommend buying a ticket to travel by public transport for the time you’re in the city. It’s relatively inexpensive, and gives plenty of freedom to explore the city.
Besides having to buy a public transport ticket to be able to reach the destinations we talk about today, every single one of these destinations is totally free. If your budget is tight, there should be nothing stopping you to from visiting them!
If you do have some money to spare, we visited are a number of amazing vegan restaurants that you should definitely give a try.
1. Visit the Haga neighborhood
If you enjoy admiring old buildings and stunning architecture, the Haga neighborhood will be right up your street. Haga is one of the oldest neighborhoods to go shopping in Gothenburg, but still as charming as ever. It is one long street full of unique shops and cozy cafes you’ll find nowhere else.
And if your budget is low, you don’t have to buy anything to enjoy this area. The main reason to visit this lovely neighborhood is to admire the picturesque buildings! We really loved the look of them.
Haga is conveniently located, it’s only a short walk from the city center. If you’d rather go by public transport, take the tram to Hagakyrkan or Järntorget.
2. Gothenburg’s Garden society
Green cities are amazing. Research has often shown the multiplicity of nature’s positive effects on our well-being. Escaping the city buzz for a bit allows us to wind down and relax after a long day of sightseeing in the city.
Gothenburg is one of those green cities.
You can find several amazing green parks scattered around Gothenborg. We’d like to put one of them in the spotlight; the garden society. We really love the diversity that this park offers whilst being located in the heart of Gothenburg.
The rise in popularity of gardening in the 19th century led to the establishment of the Garden Society of Gothenburg, all the way back in 1842. Today, this is one of the few gardens left of many that once existed throughout Europe. The Garden Society is now one of Sweden’s cultural heritages and it still looks as if it was just constructed!
Within the park, you can find beautiful, lush rose gardens. You can spend hours gazing at what looks like infinite species of roses. The best thing is that the caretakers allow the garden to be cultivated naturally. Rather than using pesticides to protect the plants, they rely on nature in the form of birds!
When in need of a little warmth, take a step out of Sweden into the tropics by entering the palm house; the eye-catcher of the park. It really is an architectural beauty. Here, you’ll come across all types of exotic plants. In the palm house, we saw the cork tree in real life for the first time! Although it was obviously not in its natural environment (you’d have to travel to Portugal) it’s still great to be able to admire its sheer beauty. Cork is an incredibly sustainable and renewable resource, so we really loved to see it grow!
Besides the main attractions, you can also simply visit the park to relax on its extensive grass fields to enjoy the sun and perhaps read a book. When we visited the park, there we even people sun bathing in their swimwear! And if you feel hungry, just take a seat in the Rosenkaféet, a lovely café that overlooks the rose garden.
When you’re exploring the city center, the Garden Society is never more than a short walk away. During our stay in Gothenburg, it was the perfect place to get away from the crowded city, even just for a few hours.
3. Saluhallen and fish market
The delicacies are abundant within the Saluhallen and fish market in Gothenburg. Here you can find just about anything you would ever need to cook up a delicious meal.
The Saluhallen, also known as the market hall, is known for its structural beauty. However, as often is the case in large cities, construction work is carried out just about anywhere. So sadly, we couldn’t really enjoy the building’s exterior. The inside did look stunning though!
Both the Saluhallen and the fish market can best be described as a mix between a market and a store.
We love to experiment in the kitchen. Since we are trying to limit our plastic waste, markets have become the go-to place to find the largest variety in unpackaged goods. All you have to do is bring your own bags and jars so the employees can top them off.
The products offered can be a bit pricy at some stalls. Some of their more exclusive products in particular have higher prices, such as breads neatly wrapped in paper and a rope string.
Be it for their architectural beauty, or for their goods, we’d recommend you to check both out places when you get the chance.
4. Visit the archipelago
Another one of Gothenburg’s natural beauties are the archipelago. One can spend weeks exploring all the hidden gems on each of Gothenburg’s islands.
Getting to the islands was actually quite easy. You can take the tram to Göteborg Saltholmens Brygga and hop on the next ferry.
The ferry ride can take up to 90 minutes if you want to go the southernmost island, Vrångö. It was quite a pleasant ride though! The ferry is large and offers a little bar where you can buy food and drinks – but if you’re minding your budget, it might be best to prepare some healthy snacks in the morning! If the weather is nice you can also sit outside on the top deck to enjoy the views and fresh salty breeze.
And, pay attention here, if you already own a ticket for the public transport for the Gothenburg area (like we did), the ferry is included! How amazing is that! All public transport within Gothenburg is included on this ticket.
Vrångö was truly astonishing. The center of the island has a population of 380 people, leaving the north and south of the island to nature. We came across many families traveling to the island solely to enjoy the nice weather relaxing on the beach. If you get off the ferry, and take the first left, you’ll find a large beach just a 10 minute walk away.
Besides the beach, there are also two main hiking paths on the island. As you would’ve guessed, one is situated in the north and the other in the southern area. We explored the south with some great views over a diverse landscape.
5. Botanical garden and Änggårdsbergen
Our final budget tip of places to visit in Gothenburg is actually a combination of two destinations. They are located adjacent to one another. Again, both are close to the city center and can again easily be reached by tram.
Gothenburg’s botanical gardens is the first place that we visited. The admission to the general area of the park is free. However, you can make a donation of 20 Swedish kroner at the entrance to support the maintenance of this park. To enter their greenhouses you do have to pay a fee of SEK 20, which frankly is quite cheap.
This park offers an incredible variety of landscapes. From a rock garden with a waterfall, and the inspiring Japanese glade, to their gorgeous kitchen garden where you can learn some amazing facts to apply to your own vegetable garden back home.
Besides a wide array of chances to learn something about the many plants around us, the botanical garden also offers relaxing environments. A great place to work, or even to meditate, is the herb garden. Lovely fragrances will surround you, and it will be hard not to relax. During our visit, we encountered several people working and relaxing amongst the herbs.
Adjacent to the botanical gardens you’ll find the nature reserve called Änggårdsbergen. Here you can take bike rides and hikes, and just explore the nature. The combination of the botanical garden and Änggårdsbergen is just the perfect recipe for a day out.
You’ll want to schedule some time for this visit, there’s so much to explore!