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Gothenburg new montage 2015-2.png
From left to right: First row: Göta älv with Barken Viking to the left. Second row: The Göteborg Opera and Gunnebo House. Third row: Poseidon at Götaplatsen and Gothia Towers including Svenska Mässan. 4th row: Gothenburg heritage tram and Elfsborg Fortress. 5th row: Ullevi stadium.
  • Little London
  • Gbg
  • New Amsterdam
  • The front side of Sweden
Sweden Vastra Gotaland location map.svg
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Location within Västra Götaland
Sweden location map, 40south.svg
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Location within South Sweden
Sweden relief location map.jpg
Red pog.svg
Location within Sweden
Coordinates: 57°42′N11°58′E / 57.700°N 11.967°E / 57.700; 11.967 Coordinates: 57°42′N11°58′E / 57.700°N 11.967°E / 57.700; 11.967
Country Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
Province Västergötland and Bohuslän
County Västra Götaland County
Municipality Gothenburg Municipality
Charter 1621
   City 447.76 km2 (172.88 sq mi)
  Water14.5 km2 (5.6 sq mi)  3.2%
203.67 km2 (78.64 sq mi)
3,694.86 km2 (1,426.59 sq mi)
12 m (39 ft)
 (2016) [1] [2]
   City 572,779
  Density1,300/km2 (3,300/sq mi)
581,821 [3]
1,015,974 [4]
Demonym(s) Göteborgare/Gothenburger
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
40xxx – 41xxx – 421xx – 427xx
Area code(s) (+46) 31

Gothenburg ( /ˈɡɒθənbɜːrɡ/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); [5] abbreviated Gbg; [6] [7] Swedish : Göteborg [jœtɛˈbɔrj] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is the second-largest city in Sweden, fifth-largest in the Nordic countries, and capital of the Västra Götaland County. It is situated by Kattegat, on the west coast of Sweden, and has a population of approximately 570,000 in the city center and about 1 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. [1]

Swedish language North Germanic language spoken in Sweden

Swedish is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden, and in parts of Finland, where it has equal legal standing with Finnish. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and to some extent with Danish, although the degree of mutual intelligibility is largely dependent on the dialect and accent of the speaker. Both Norwegian and Danish are generally easier for Swedish speakers to read than to listen to because of difference in accent and tone when speaking. Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. It has the most speakers of the North Germanic languages.

City Large and permanent human settlement

A city is a large human settlement. Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, and communication. Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, formal name: the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.3 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the central and southern half of the country.


Gothenburg was founded as a heavily fortified, primarily Dutch, trading colony, by royal charter in 1621 by King Gustavus Adolphus. In addition to the generous privileges (e.g. tax relaxation) given to his Dutch allies from the then-ongoing Thirty Years' War, the king also attracted significant numbers of his German and Scottish allies to populate his only town on the western coast. At a key strategic location at the mouth of the Göta älv, where Scandinavia's largest drainage basin enters the sea, the Port of Gothenburg is now the largest port in the Nordic countries. [8]

Royal charter Document issued by a monarch, granting a right or power to an individual or organisation

A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative as letters patent. Historically, they have been used to promulgate public laws, the most famous example being the British Magna Carta of 1215, but since the 14th century have only been used in place of private acts to grant a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organisations such as boroughs, universities and learned societies.

Thirty Years War War between 1618 and 1648; with over 8 million fatalities

The Thirty Years' War was a war fought primarily in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. One of the most destructive conflicts in human history, it resulted in eight million fatalities not only from military engagements but also from violence, famine, and plague. Casualties were overwhelmingly and disproportionately inhabitants of the Holy Roman Empire, most of the rest being battle deaths from various foreign armies. The deadly clashes ravaged Europe; 20 percent of the total population of Germany died during the conflict and there were losses up to 50 percent in a corridor between Pomerania and the Black Forest. In terms of proportional German casualties and destruction, it was surpassed only by the period January to May 1945; one of its enduring results was 19th-century Pan-Germanism, when it served as an example of the dangers of a divided Germany and became a key justification for the 1871 creation of the German Empire.

Scottish people ethnic inhabitants of Scotland

The Scottish people or Scots, are a nation and Celtic ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically, they emerged from an amalgamation of two Celtic-speaking peoples, the Picts and Gaels, who founded the Kingdom of Scotland in the 9th century. Later, the neighbouring Celtic-speaking Cumbrians, as well as Germanic-speaking Anglo-Saxons and Norse, were incorporated into the Scottish nation.

Gothenburg is home to many students, as the city includes the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. Volvo was founded in Gothenburg in 1927. [9] The original parent Volvo Group and the now separate Volvo Car Corporation are still headquartered on the island of Hisingen in the city. Other key companies are SKF and Astra Zeneca.

University of Gothenburg university in Gothenburg, Sweden

The University of Gothenburg is a university in Sweden's second largest city, Gothenburg.

Chalmers University of Technology university in Gothenburg, Sweden

Chalmers University of Technology is a Swedish university located in Gothenburg that focuses on research and education in technology, natural science, architecture, maritime and other management areas.

The Volvo Group is a Swedish multinational manufacturing company headquartered in Gothenburg. While its core activity is the production, distribution and sale of trucks, buses and construction equipment, Volvo also supplies marine and industrial drive systems and financial services. In 2016, it was the world's second largest manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks.

Gothenburg is served by Göteborg Landvetter Airport 30 km (19 mi) southeast of the city center. The smaller Göteborg City Airport, 15 km (9.3 mi) from the city center, was closed to regular airline traffic in 2015.

Göteborg Landvetter Airport international airport serving Gothenburg, Sweden

Göteborg Landvetter Airport is an international airport serving the Gothenburg region in Sweden. With just over 6.8 million passengers in 2018 it is Sweden's second-largest airport after Stockholm–Arlanda. Landvetter is also an important freight airport. During 2007, 60.1 thousand tonnes of air cargo passed through Landvetter, about 60% of the capacity of Arlanda.

The city hosts the Gothia Cup, the world's largest youth football tournament, alongside some of the largest annual events in Scandinavia. The Gothenburg Film Festival, held in January since 1979, is the leading Scandinavian film festival with over 155,000 visitors each year. [10] In summer, a wide variety of music festivals are held in the city, including the popular Way Out West Festival.

Gothia Cup international annual youth association football tournament in Göteborg, Sweden

The Gothia Cup is an international youth association football tournament organized by professional football club BK Häcken, which has been held annually since 1975 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Considered the biggest tournament in the world in terms of participating teams, competing youth teams throughout the world enter the competition. The Gothia Cup is also Sweden’s largest annual event.

Gothenburg Film Festival annual film festival held in Gothenburg, Sweden

Göteborg Film Festival is an annual film festival in Gothenburg, Sweden and the largest film event in Scandinavia. When it was launched in 1979 it showed 17 films on 3 screens and had 3,000 visitors. Today, the film festival takes place over 10 days each year at the end of January and beginning of February. In later years around 450 films from 60 countries are screened for 115,000 visitors. The film festival is also an important market place for the contractors in the movie industry.

Way Out West (festival) music festival in Göteborg, Sweden

Way Out West is a three-day music festival held in Gothenburg, Sweden, during August that plays host to a variety of popular music artists mainly from the rock, electronic and hip-hop genres. The main festival is complimented with the club concept Stay Out West which features after-hours gigs at various venues around the city.


The city was named Göteborg in the city's charter in 1621 [11] and simultaneously given the German and English name Gothenburg. [12] The Swedish name was given after the Göta älv, called Göta River in English, [13] and other cities ending in -borg. [14] [15] [16]

Both the Swedish and German/English names were in use before 1621 and had already been used for the previous city founded in 1604 and burned down in 1611. [17] Gothenburg is one of few Swedish cities to still have an official and widely used exonym. Another example is the province of Scania in southern Sweden.

The city council of 1641 consisted of four Swedish, three Dutch, three German, and two Scottish members. In Dutch, Scots, English, and German, all languages with a long history in this trade and maritime-oriented city, the name Gothenburg is or was (in the case of German) used for the city. Variations of the official German/English name Gothenburg in the city's 1621 charter existed or exist in many languages. The French form of the city name is Gothembourg, but in French texts, the Swedish name Göteborg is more frequent. "Gothenburg" can also be seen in some older English texts. In Spanish and Portuguese the city is called Gotemburgo. These traditional forms are sometimes replaced with the use of the Swedish Göteborg, for example by The Göteborg Opera and the Göteborg Ballet. However, Göteborgs universitet, previously designated as the Göteborg University in English, changed its name to the University of Gothenburg in 2008. [18] The Gothenburg municipality has also reverted to the use of the English name in international contexts. [19]

In 2009, the city council launched a new logotype for Gothenburg. Since the name "Göteborg" contains the Swedish letter "ö" the idea was to make the name more international and up to date by "turning" the "ö" sideways. As of 2015, the name is spelled "Go:teborg" on a large number of signs in the city. [20]


In the early modern period, the configuration of Sweden's borders made Gothenburg strategically critical as the only Swedish gateway to the North Sea and Atlantic, situated on the west coast in a very narrow strip of Swedish territory between Danish Halland in the south and Norwegian Bohuslän in the north. After several failed attempts, Gothenburg was successfully founded in 1621 by King Gustavus Adolphus (Gustaf II Adolf). [21]

The site of the first church built in Gothenburg, subsequently destroyed by Danish invaders, is marked by a stone near the north end of the Älvsborg Bridge in the Färjenäs Park. The church was built in 1603 and destroyed in 1611. [22] The city was heavily influenced by the Dutch, Germans, and Scots, and Dutch planners and engineers were contracted to construct the city as they had the skills needed to drain and build in the marshy areas chosen for the city. The town was designed like Dutch cities such as Amsterdam, Batavia (Jakarta) and New Amsterdam (Manhattan). [21] The planning of the streets and canals of Gothenburg closely resembled that of Jakarta, which was built by the Dutch around the same time. [23] The Dutchmen initially won political power, and it was not until 1652, when the last Dutch politician in the city's council died, that Swedes acquired political power over Gothenburg. [24] During the Dutch period, the town followed Dutch town laws and Dutch was proposed as the official language in the town. Robust city walls were built during the 17th century. In 1807, a decision was made to tear down most of the city's wall. The work started in 1810, and was carried out by 150 soldiers from the Bohus regiment. [25]

Along with the Dutch, the town also was heavily influenced by Scots who settled down in Gothenburg. Many became people of high-profile. [26] William Chalmers, the son of a Scottish immigrant, donated his fortunes to set up what later became the Chalmers University of Technology. [27] In 1841, the Scotsman Alexander Keiller founded the Götaverken shipbuilding company that was in business until 1989. [28] His son James Keiller donated Keiller Park to the city in 1906. [29]

The Gothenburg coat of arms was based on the lion of the coat of arms of Sweden, symbolically holding a shield with the national emblem, the Three Crowns, to defend the city against its enemies. [30]

In the Treaty of Roskilde (1658), Denmark–Norway ceded the then Danish province Halland, in the south, and the Norwegian province of Bohus County or Bohuslän in the north, leaving Gothenburg less exposed. Gothenburg was able to grow into a significant port and trade centre on the west coast, because it was the only city on the west coast that, along with Marstrand, was granted the rights to trade with merchants from other countries. [24]

In the 18th century, fishing was the most important industry. However, in 1731, the Swedish East India Company was founded, and the city flourished due to its foreign trade with highly profitable commercial expeditions to China. [31]

The harbour developed into Sweden's main harbour for trade towards the west, and when Swedish emigration to the United States increased, Gothenburg became Sweden's main point of departure for these travelers. The impact of Gothenburg as a main port of embarkation for Swedish emigrants is reflected by Gothenburg, Nebraska, a small Swedish settlement in the United States. [32]

With the 19th century, Gothenburg evolved into a modern industrial city that continued on into the 20th century. The population increased tenfold in the century, from 13,000 (1800) to 130,000 (1900). [33] [34] [35] In the 20th century, major companies that developed included SKF (1907) [36] and Volvo (1927). [37]

Goteborg Panorama.jpg
Panoramic view of Gothenburg's downtown coast line


View from Alvsborg Bridge Goteborg in moon light.jpg
View from Älvsborg Bridge

Gothenburg is located on the west coast, in southwestern Sweden, about halfway between the capitals Copenhagen, Denmark, and Oslo, Norway. The location at the mouth of the Göta älv, which feeds into Kattegatt, an arm of the North Sea, has helped the city grow in significance as a trading city. The archipelago of Gothenburg consists of rough, barren rocks and cliffs, which also is typical for the coast of Bohuslän. [38] Due to the Gulf Stream, the city has a mild climate and moderately heavy precipitation. [39] It is the second-largest city in Sweden after the capital Stockholm. [40]

The Gothenburg Metropolitan Area (Stor-Göteborg) has 982,360 inhabitants and extends to the municipalities of Ale, Alingsås, Göteborg, Härryda, Kungälv, Lerum, Lilla Edet, Mölndal, Partille, Stenungsund, Tjörn, Öckerö within Västra Götaland County, and Kungsbacka within Halland County. [41]

Angered, a suburb outside Gothenburg, consists of Hjällbo, Eriksbo, Rannebergen, Hammarkullen, Gårdsten, and Lövgärdet. [42] It is a Million Programme part of Gothenburg, like Rosengård in Malmö and Botkyrka in Stockholm. [43] Angered had about 50,000 inhabitants in 2015. [44] [?] It lies north of Gothenburg and is isolated from the rest of the city. Bergsjön is another Million Programme suburb north of Gothenburg, it has 14,000 inhabitants. Biskopsgården is the biggest multicultural suburb on the island of Hisingen, which is a part of Gothenburg but separated from the city by the river.

A panorama of central Gothenburg taken from Keillers park, facing south – from left to right: Göta älvbron, Lilla Bommen, Viking, The Göteborg Opera in front of Göteborgshjulet, Skansen Kronan, Oscar Fredrik Church, Masthugg Church, and Älvsborg Bridge


Gothenburg has a humid continental climate, closely bordering a Oceanic climate, [45] according to Köppen climate classification: Cfb/Dfb, although it totally fits in the second in the 0 °C isotherm. Despite its northern latitude, temperatures are quite mild throughout the year and warmer than places in similar latitude, for example Stockholm, or even somewhat further south, mainly because of the moderating influence of the warm Gulf Stream. [39] During the summer, daylight extends 18 hours and 5 minutes, but lasts 6 hours and 32 minutes in late December. The climate has become significantly milder in later decades, particularly in summer and winter; July temperatures used to be below Stockholm's 1961–1990 averages, but have since been warmer than that benchmark.

Summers are warm and pleasant with average high temperatures of 19 to 20 °C (66 to 68 °F) and lows of 10 to 12 °C (50 to 54 °F), but temperatures of 25–30 °C (77–86 °F) occur on many days during the summer. Winters are cold and windy with temperatures of around −3 to 3 °C (27 to 37 °F), though it rarely drops below −20 °C (−4 °F). Precipitation is regular but generally moderate throughout the year. Snow mainly occurs from December to March, but is not unusual in November and April and can sometimes occur even in October and May, in extreme cases even in September. [46]

Climate data for Gothenburg, 1981-2010; sunshine 1961-1990; extremes since 1901
Record high °C (°F)10.8
Average high °C (°F)2.0
Daily mean °C (°F)−0.5
Average low °C (°F)−3.0
Record low °C (°F)−26.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)84.2
Average precipitation days1299881091110121212122
Mean monthly sunshine hours 44691672112392562341961689947321,762
Source: [47] [48] [49]

Parks and nature

The Gothenburg Botanical Garden BotDSCF3134.jpg
The Gothenburg Botanical Garden

Gothenburg has several parks and nature reserves ranging in size from tens of square metres to hundreds of hectares. It also has many green areas that are not designated as parks or reserves.

Selection of parks:


Many buildings in the old part of the city were built along canals. Gothenburgcity.jpg
Many buildings in the old part of the city were built along canals.

Very few houses are left from the 17th century when the city was founded, since all but the military and royal houses were built of wood. [59] A rare exception is the Skansen Kronan. [60]

The first major architecturally interesting period is the 18th century when the East India Company made Gothenburg an important trade city. Imposing stone houses in Neo-Classical style were erected around the canals. One example from this period is the East India House, which today houses the Göteborg City Museum. [61]

In the 19th century, the wealthy bourgeoisie began to move outside the city walls which had protected the city. The style now was an eclectic, academic, somewhat overdecorated style which the middle-class favoured. The working class lived in the overcrowded city district Haga in wooden houses. [62]

In the 19th century, the first comprehensive town plan after the founding of city was created, which led to the construction of the main street, Kungsportsavenyen. [63] Perhaps the most significant type of houses of the city, Landshövdingehusen, were built in the end of the 19th century – three-storey houses with the first floor in stone and the other two in wood. [64]

The early 20th century, characterized by the National Romantic style, was rich in architectural achievements. [62] Masthugg Church is a noted example of the style of this period. [65] [66] In the early 1920s, on the city's 300th anniversary, the Götaplatsen square with its Neoclassical look was built. [62]

After this, the predominant style in Gothenburg and rest of Sweden was Functionalism which especially dominated the suburbs such as Västra Frölunda and Bergsjön. The Swedish functionalist architect Uno Åhrén served as city planner from 1932 through 1943. [62] In the 1950s, the big stadium Ullevi was built when Sweden hosted the 1958 FIFA World Cup. [67]

The modern architecture of the city has been formed by such architects as Gert Wingårdh, [68] who started as a Post-modernist in the 1980s. [69]

Gustaf Adolf Square is a town square located in central Gothenburg. Noted buildings on the square include Gothenburg City Hall (formerly the stock exchange, opened in 1849) and the Nordic Classicism law court. The main canal of Gothenburg also flanks the square. [62]

Characteristic buildings

Skanskaskrapan Barken Viking i Goteborg.JPG

The Gothenburg Central Station is in the centre of the city, next to Nordstan and Drottningtorget. [70] The building has been renovated and expanded numerous times since the grand opening in October 1858. In 2003, a major reconstruction was finished which brought the 19th-century building into the 21st century expanding the capacity for trains, travellers, and shopping. [71] Not far from the central station is the Skanskaskrapan, or more commonly known as "The Lipstick". It is 86 m (282 ft) high with 22 floors and coloured in red-white stripes. The skyscraper was designed by Ralph Erskine and built by Skanska in the late 1980s as the headquarters for the company. [72]

By the shore of the Göta Älv at Lilla Bommen is The Göteborg Opera. It was completed in 1994. The architect Jan Izikowitz was inspired by the landscape and described his vision as "Something that makes your mind float over the squiggling landscape like the wings of a seagull." [73]

Feskekorka Feskekorka-1.jpg

Feskekörka, or Fiskhallen, is an indoor fishmarket by the Rosenlundskanalen in central Gothenburg. Feskekörkan was opened on 1 November 1874 and its name from the building's resemblance to a Gothic church. [74] The Gothenburg city hall is in the Beaux-Arts architectural style. The Gothenburg Synagogue at Stora Nygatan, near Drottningtorget, was built in 1855 according to the designs of the German architect August Krüger. [75]

The Gunnebo House is a country house located to the south of Gothenburg, in Mölndal. It was built in a neoclassical architecture towards the end of the 18th century. [76] Created in the early 1900s was the Vasa Church. It is located in Vasastan and is built of granite in a neo-Romanesque style. [77]

Another noted construction is Brudaremossen TV Tower, one of the few partially guyed towers in the world. [78]


The Poseidon Statue at Gotaplatsen, a well-known cultural symbol and landmark Poseidon statue.jpg
The Poseidon Statue at Götaplatsen, a well-known cultural symbol and landmark

The sea, trade, and industrial history of the city is evident in the cultural life of Gothenburg. It is also a popular destination for tourists on the Swedish west coast.


Many of the cultural institutions, as well as hospitals and the university, were created by donations from rich merchants and industrialists, for example the Röhsska Museum. [79] On 29 December 2004, the Museum of World Culture opened near Korsvägen. [80] [81] Museums include the Gothenburg Museum of Art, and several museums of sea and navigation history, natural history, the sciences, and East India. [82] Aeroseum, close to the Göteborg City Airport, is an aircraft museum in a former military underground air force base. [83] The Volvo museum has exhibits of the history of Volvo and the development from 1927 until today. Products shown include cars, trucks, marine engines, and buses. [84]

Universeum is a public science centre that opened in 2001, the largest of its kind in Scandinavia. It is divided into six sections, each containing experimental workshops and a collection of reptiles, fish, and insects. [85] Universeum occasionally host debates between Swedish secondary-school students and Nobel Prize laureates or other scholars. [86]

Leisure and entertainment

Liseberg amusement park Lisebergsentren.jpg
Liseberg amusement park

The most noted attraction is the amusement park Liseberg, located in the central part of the city. It is the largest amusement park in Scandinavia by number of rides, [87] and was chosen as one of the top ten amusement parks in the world (2005) by Forbes . [88] It is the most popular attraction in Sweden by number of visitors per year (more than 3 million). [89]

There are a number of independent theatre ensembles in the city, besides institutions such as Gothenburg City Theatre, Backa Theatre (youth theatre), and Folkteatern. [90]

The main boulevard is called Kungsportsavenyn (commonly known as Avenyn, "The Avenue"). It is about 1 km (0.6 mi) long and starts at Götaplatsen – which is the location of the Gothenburg Museum of Art, the city's theatre, and the city library, as well as the concert hall – and stretches all the way to Kungsportsplatsen in the old city centre of Gothenburg, crossing a canal and a small park. [91] The Avenyn was created in the 1860s and 1870s as a result of an international architecture contest, and is the product of a period of extensive town planning and remodelling. [92] Avenyn has Gothenburg's highest concentration of pubs and clubs. Gothenburg's largest shopping centre (8th largest in Sweden), Nordstan, is located in central Gothenburg. [93]

The Haga district Haganygata.jpg
The Haga district

Gothenburg's Haga district is known for its picturesque wooden houses [89] and its cafés serving the well-known Haga bulle – a large cinnamon roll similar to the kanelbulle . [94]

Five Gothenburg restaurants have a star in the 2008 Michelin Guide : 28 +, Basement, Fond, Kock & Vin, Fiskekrogen, and Sjömagasinet. [95] The city has a number of star chefs – over the past decade, seven of the Swedish Chef of the Year awards have been won by people from Gothenburg. [96]

The Gustavus Adolphus pastry, eaten every 6 November in Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus Day, is especially connected to, and appreciated in, Gothenburg because the city was founded by King Gustavus Adolphus. [97]

One of Gothenburg's most popular natural tourist attractions is the southern Gothenburg archipelago, which is a set of several islands that can be reached by ferry boats mainly operating from Saltholmen. Within the archipelago are the Älvsborg fortress, Vinga and Styrsö islands. [89]

Festivals and fairs

Discussion by Nanna Ullman (1957) in front of the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre Goteborg Gothia Towers 4.jpg
Discussion by Nanna Ullman (1957) in front of the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre

The annual Gothenburg Film Festival, is the largest film festival in Scandinavia. [10] The Gothenburg Book Fair, held each year in September. [98] It is the largest literary festival in Scandinavia, and the second largest book fair in Europe. [99]

The International Science Festival in Gothenburg is an annual festival since April 1997, in central Gothenburg with thought-provoking science activities for the public. The festival is visited by about 100,000 people each year. [100] This makes it the largest popular-science event in Sweden [101] and one of the leading popular-science events in Europe. [102]

Citing the financial crisis, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions moved the 2010 World Library and Information Congress, previously to be held in Brisbane, Australia, to Gothenburg. The event took place on 10–15 August 2010. [103]


Entrance to the Way Out West Festival Way out west-entrance.jpg
Entrance to the Way Out West Festival

Gothenburg has a diverse music community—the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra is the best-known in classical music. [104] Gothenburg also was the birthplace of the Swedish composer Kurt Atterberg. [105] The first internationally successfully Swedish group, instrumental rock group The Spotnicks came from Gothenburg. [106] Bands such as The Soundtrack of Our Lives [107] and Ace of Base are well-known pop representatives of the city. During the 1970s, Gothenburg had strong roots in the Swedish progressive movement (progg) with such groups as Nationalteatern, Nynningen, and Motvind. The record company Nacksving and the editorial office for the magazine Musikens Makt which also were part of the progg movement was located in Gothenburg during this time as well. [108] There is also an active indie scene in Gothenburg. For example, the musician Jens Lekman was born in the suburb of Angered [109] and named his 2007 release Night Falls Over Kortedala after another suburb, Kortedala. [110] Other internationally acclaimed indie artists include the electro pop duos Studio, [111] The Knife, [112] Air France, [113] The Tough Alliance, [114] songwriter José González, [115] and pop singer El Perro del Mar, [116] as well as genre-bending quartet Little Dragon fronted by vocalist Yukimi Nagano. [117] Another son of the city is one of Sweden's most popular singers, Håkan Hellström, who often includes many places from the city in his songs. [118] [119] The glam rock group Supergroupies derives from Gothenburg. [120]

Gothenburg's own commercially successful At the Gates, In Flames, and Dark Tranquillity are credited with pioneering melodic death metal. [121] Other well-known bands of the Gothenburg scene are thrash metal band The Haunted, [122] progressive power metal band Evergrey, [123] and power metal bands HammerFall and Dream Evil. [124]

Many music festivals take place in the city every year. The Metaltown Festival is a two-day festival featuring heavy metal music bands, held in Gothenburg. It has been arranged annually since 2004, taking place at the Frihamnen venue. [125] In June 2012, the festival included bands such as In Flames, Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Lamb of God, and Mastodon. [126] Another popular festival, Way Out West, focuses more on rock, electronic, and hip-hop genres. [127] [128]


Fireworks at the opening ceremony of Gothia Cup Fyrverkeri pa Gothia.jpg
Fireworks at the opening ceremony of Gothia Cup

As in all of Sweden, a variety of sports are followed, including football, ice hockey, basketball, handball, baseball, and figure skating. A varied amateur and professional sports clubs scene exists. [129]

Gothenburg is the birthplace of football in Sweden as the first football match in Sweden was played there in 1892. [130] The city's three major football clubs, IFK Göteborg, Örgryte IS, and GAIS [131] share a total of 34 Swedish championships between them. [132] IFK has also won the UEFA Cup twice. [133] Other notable clubs include BK Häcken (football), [134] Pixbo Wallenstam IBK (floorball), [135] multiple national handball champion Redbergslids IK, [136] and four-time national ice hockey champion Frölunda HC, [137] Gothenburg had a professional basketball team, Gothia Basket, until 2010 when it ceased. [138] The bandy department of GAIS, GAIS Bandy, played the first season in the highest division Elitserien last season. The group stage match between the main rivals Sweden and Russia in the 2013 Bandy World Championship was played at Arena Heden in central Gothenburg. [139]

The city's most notable sports venues are Scandinavium, [140] and Ullevi (multisport) and the newly built Gamla Ullevi [141] (football).

The 2003 World Allround Speed Skating Championships were held in Rudhallen, Sweden's only indoor speed-skating arena. [142] It is a part of Ruddalens IP, which also has a bandy field and several football fields. [143]

The only Swedish heavyweight champion of the world in boxing, Ingemar Johansson, who took the title from Floyd Paterson in 1959, was from Gothenburg. [144]

Boats at Saltholmen in the Gothenburg archipelago Batar vid Saltholmen.jpg
Boats at Saltholmen in the Gothenburg archipelago

Gothenburg has hosted a number of international sporting events including the 1958 FIFA World Cup, [67] the 1983 European Cup Winners' Cup Final, [145] an NFL preseason game on 14 August 1988 between the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings, [146] the 1992 European Football Championship, the 1993 [147] and the 2002 World Men's Handball Championship, [148] the 1995 World Championships in Athletics, [149] the 1997 World Championships in Swimming (short track), [150] the 2002 Ice Hockey World Championships, [148] the 2004 UEFA Cup final, [151] the 2006 European Championships in Athletics, [152] and the 2008 World Figure Skating Championships. [153] Annual events held in the city are the Gothia Cup [154] and the Göteborgsvarvet. [155] The annual Gothia Cup, is the world's largest football tournament with regards to the number of participants: in 2011, a total of 35,200 players from 1,567 teams and 72 nations participated.

Gothenburg hosted the XIII  FINA World Masters Championships in 2010. [156] Diving, swimming, synchronized swimming and open-water competitions were held on 28 July to 7 August. The water polo events were played on the neighboring city of Borås. [157]

Gothenburg is also home to the Gothenburg Sharks, a professional baseball team in the Elitserien division of baseball in Sweden. [158]

With around 25,000 sailboats and yachts scattered about the city, sailing is a popular sports activity in the region, particularly because of the nearby Gothenburg archipelago. [159] In June 2015, the Volvo Ocean Race, professional sailing's leading crewed offshore race, concluded in Gothenburg, [160] as well as an event in the 2015–2016 America's Cup World Series in August 2015. [161]

The Gothenburg Amateur Diving Club (Göteborgs amatördykarklubb) Has been operating since October 1938.


SKF Wingquist self-aligning bearing Wingquist bearing00.jpg
SKF Wingquist self-aligning bearing

Due to Gothenburg's advantageous location in the centre of Scandinavia, trade and shipping have always played a major role in the city's economic history, and they continue to do so. Gothenburg port has come to be the largest harbour in Scandinavia. [8]

Apart from trade, the second pillar of Gothenburg has traditionally been manufacturing and industry, which significantly contributes to the city's wealth. [162] Major companies operating plants in the area include SKF, Volvo (both cars and trucks), and Ericsson. Volvo Cars is the largest employer in Gothenburg, not including jobs in supply companies. The blue-collar industries which have dominated the city for long are still important factors in the city's economy, but they are being gradually replaced by high-tech industries. [163] [164]

Banking and finance are also important, as well as the event and tourist industry. [8]

Gothenburg is the terminus of the Valdemar-Göteborg gas pipeline, which brings natural gas from the North Sea fields to Sweden, through Denmark. [165]

Historically, Gothenburg was home base from the 18th century of the Swedish East India Company. [166] From its founding until the late 1970s, the city was a world leader in shipbuilding, with such shipyards as Eriksbergs Mekaniska Verkstad, Götaverken, Arendalsvarvet, and Lindholmens varv. [167] Gothenburg is classified as a global city by GaWC, with a ranking of Gamma−. [168] The city has been ranked as the 12th-most inventive city in the world by Forbes . [169]


Gothenburg became a city municipality with an elected city council when the first Swedish local government acts were implemented in 1863. [170] The municipality has an assembly consisting of 81 members, [171] elected every fourth year. [172] Political decisions depend on citizens considering them legitimate. Political legitimacy can be based on various factors: legality, due process, and equality before the law, as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of public policy. One method used to achieve greater legitimacy for controversial policy reforms such as congestion charges is to allow citizens to decide or advise on the issue in public referendums. In December 2010 a petition for a local referendum on the congestion tax, signed by 28,000 citizens, was submitted to the City Council. This right to submit so-called “people's initiatives” was inscribed in the Local Government Act, which obliged local governments to hold a local referendum if petitioned by 5% of the citizens unless the issue was deemed to be outside their area of jurisdiction or if a majority in the City Council voted against holding such a referendum. [173] A second petition for a referendum, signed by 57,000 citizens, was submitted to the local government in February 2013. This petition followed a campaign organised by a local newspaper – Göteborgs Tidningen – whose editor-in-chief argued that the paper's involvement was justified by the large public response to a series of articles on the congestion tax, as well as out of concern for the local democracy. [174] [173]

View over Gustav Adolfs torg, square named after Gustavus Adolphus, the founding father of Gothenburg

Proportion of foreign born

Largest groups of foreign residents [175]
NationalityPopulation (2014)
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 11,872
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 11,706
Flag of Somalia.svg  Somalia 6,912
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina 6,863
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland 6,793
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 3,441
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria 3,361
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 3,266
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 3,057
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 2,832

Approximately 75% of Gothenburg's inhabitants were born in Sweden. [176] According to Statistics Sweden, 140,093 foreign born people resided in Gothenburg municipality in 2016, which is about 25% of the population. [177] 45% of Gothenburg’s immigrant population is from other parts of Europe, and 10% of the total population is from another Nordic country. [178]


Gothenburg has two universities, both of which started as colleges founded by private donations in the 19th century. The University of Gothenburg has about 38,000 students and is one of the largest universities in Scandinavia, [179] and one of the most versatile in Sweden. Chalmers University of Technology is a well-known university located in Johanneberg 2 km (1 mi) south of the inner city, lately also established at Lindholmen in Norra Älvstranden, Hisingen. [180]

In 2015, there were ten adult education centres in Gothenburg: Agnesbergs folkhögskola, Arbetarrörelsens folkhögskola i Göteborg, Finska folkhögskolan, Folkhögskolan i Angered, Göteborgs folkhögskola, Kvinnofolkhögskolan, Mo Gård folkhögskola, S:ta Birgittas folkhögskola, Västra Götalands folkhögskolor and Wendelsbergs folkhögskola. [181]

In 2015, there were 49 high schools Gothenburg. Some of the more notable schools are Sigrid Rudebecks gymnasium, Hvitfeldtska gymnasiet, Göteborgs Högre Samskola, Mikael Elias Teoretiska Gymnasium, Polhemsgymnasiet, Donnergymnasiet and IHGR. Some high-schools are also connected to large Swedish companies. SKF Technical high-school belongs to SKF and Gothenburg's technical high-school belongs to Volvo. An international school with campuses in Guldheden and central Gothenburg is called the International School of the Gothenburg Region. [182]


Public transport

Gothenburg's trams Tram 2 at Brunnsparken.jpg
Gothenburg's trams

With over 90 km (56 mi) of double track, the Gothenburg tram network covers most of the city and is the largest tram/light rail network in Scandinavia. Gothenburg also has a bus network. Boat and ferry services connect the Gothenburg archipelago to the mainland. The lack of a subway is due to the soft ground on which Gothenburg is situated. Tunneling is very expensive in such conditions. [183] The Gothenburg commuter rail with three lines services some nearby cities and towns. [184]

Rail and intercity bus

Other major transportation hubs are Centralstationen (Gothenburg Central Station) and the Nils Ericson Terminal with trains and buses to various destinations in Sweden, as well as connections to Oslo and Copenhagen (via Malmö). [185]


Sweden Vastra Gotaland location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
Map showing the locations of airports around Gothenburg

Gothenburg is served by Göteborg Landvetter Airport ( IATA : GOT, ICAO : ESGG), located about 20 km (12 mi) east of the city centre. It is named after nearby locality Landvetter. Flygbussarna offer frequent bus connections to and from Gothenburg with travel time 20–30 minutes. Swebus, Flixbus and Nettbuss also serve the airport with several daily departures to Gothenburg, Borås and other destinations along European route E4. Västtrafik, the local public transport provider in the area, offers additional connections to Landvetter. [186]

The airport is operated by Swedish national airport operator Swedavia, and with 6.8 million passengers served in 2017, it is Sweden's second-largest airport after Stockholm Arlanda. [187] It serves as a base for several domestic and international airlines, e.g. Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Ryanair. Göteborg Landvetter, however, does not serve as a hub for any airline. In total, there are about 50 destinations with scheduled direct flights to and from Gothenburg, most of them European. An additional 40 destinations are served via charter. [188]

The second airport in the area, Göteborg City Airport ( IATA : GSE, ICAO : ESGP), is closed. On 13 January 2015, Swedish airport operator Swedavia announced that Göteborg City Airport will not reopen for commercial services following an extensive rebuild of the airport started in November 2014, citing that the cost of making the airport viable for commercial operations again was too high, at 250 million kronor ($31 million). Commercial operations will be gradually wound down. [189] The airport was located 10 km (6 mi) northwest of the city centre. It was formerly known as Säve Flygplats. It is located within the borders of Gothenburg Municipality. In addition to commercial airlines, the airport was also operated by a number of rescue services, including the Swedish Coast Guard, and was used for other general aviation. [190] Most civil air traffic to Göteborg City Airport was via low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz Air. Those companies have now been relocated to Landvetter Airport. [191]


Gothenburg harbour seen from the Alvsborg bridge, seen to the left is the ship HSS Stena Carisma and to the right MS Stena Scandinavica (1983). Gothenburg, Sweden, from the Alsborgs Bridge.jpg
Gothenburg harbour seen from the Älvsborg bridge, seen to the left is the ship HSS Stena Carisma and to the right MS Stena Scandinavica (1983).

The Swedish company Stena Line operates between Gothenburg/Frederikshavn in Denmark and Gothenburg/Kiel in Germany. [192]

The "England ferry" (Englandsfärjan) to Newcastle via Kristiansand (run by the Danish company DFDS Seaways) ceased at the end of October 2006, [193] after being a Gothenburg institution since the 19th century. [194] DFDS Seaways' sister company, DFDS Tor Line, continues to run scheduled cargo ships between Gothenburg and several English ports, and these used to have limited capacity for passengers and their private vehicles. Also freight ships to North America and East Asia leave from the port. [195]


Gothenburg is an intermodal logistics hub and Gothenburg harbour has access to Sweden and Norway via rail and trucks. Gothenburg harbour is the largest port in Scandinavia with a cargo turnover of 36.9 million tonnes per year in 2004. [196]

Notable people

Kal and Ada at Liseberg Staty Kal ada Lisebergs entre.jpg
Kal and Ada at Liseberg

Two of the noted people from Gothenburg are fictional, but have become synonymous with "people from Gothenburg". They are a working class couple called Kal and Ada, featured in "Gothenburg jokes" (göteborgsvitsar), songs, plays and names of events. [197] [198] Each year two persons who have significantly contributed to culture in the city are given the honorary titles of "Kal and Ada". [199] A bronze statue of the couple made by Svenrobert Lundquist, was placed outside the entrance to Liseberg in 1995. [200]

Some of the noted people from Gothenburg are Academy Award Winning actress Alicia Vikander, cookbook author Sofia von Porat, footballer Gunnar Gren, artist Evert Taube, golfer Helen Alfredsson, industrialist Victor Hasselblad, singer-songwriter Björn Ulvaeus, diplomat Jan Eliasson, British Open Winner and professional golfer Henrik Stenson, and YouTuber PewDiePie.

International relations

The Gothenburg Award is the city's international prize that recognises and supports work to achieve sustainable development – in the Gothenburg region and from a global perspective. [201] The award, which is one million Swedish crowns, is administrated and funded by a coalition of the City of Gothenburg and 12 companies. [202] Past winners of the award have included Kofi Annan, Al Gore, and Michael Biddle. [203]

Twin towns and sister cities

Gothenburg is twinned with: [204]

With Lyon (France) there is no formal partnership, but "a joint willingness to cooperate". [206]

See also

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The following is a timeline of the history of the municipality of Gothenburg, Sweden.


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Preceded by
Berlin, Germany (1995)
World Gymnaestrada host city
Succeeded by
Lisbon, Portugal (2003)
KML is from Wikidata