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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Sweden > Gothenburg

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Things to do in Gothenburg

Discover the city’s most exciting cultural hub

This abandoned heating plant was commandeered by street artists and nightcrawlers in the 1980s. Since then Roda Sten (tel: +46 (031) 12 08 16; rodasten.com) has gradually turned into a cultural hub for contemporary art exhibitions, club nights and a restaurant that serves a famous meat-free Sunday brunch.

Get a sweat on in the sauna

Like next door neighbour Finland, Sweden has a strong sauna tradition and Gothenburg has many to try. One of the most spectacular saunas in town is in Frihamen (tel: +46 313 68 42 00; www.goteborg.com/en/the-sauna-in-frihamnen), and it’s more of a post-industrial landmark than a wooden sweatbox. However, it is hot as hell and you'll need to book.

Get out into the archipelago

The city sits on the southern end of the Göteborgs skärgård (Gothenburg archipelago), which means boat tours, sea kayaking and island exploring aren’t far away. Brännö is one of the most popular of the many islets and, unusually, boasts 800 residents. The tourist office (tel: +46 08 508 28 508;www.goteborg.com/en/good-to-know/getting-to-the-archipelago/) will loop you in with the information.

Hit the near slopes

Few cities have ski slopes within striking distance of the centre and Gothenburg’s selection will keep everyone happy. Alebacken (tel: +46 303 74 18 20, www.alebacken.nu) is 20 minutes’ drive away and boasts three slopes, one of which is perfect for beginners. Alternatively try cross-country skiing at OK Landehofs (tel: +46 031 91 73 24; www.oklandehof.se) ski resort near Landvetter airport where - along with patient instructors - you’ll find plenty of trails.

Play some (indoor) volleyball

The Beach Center (tel: +46 031 47 52 82; http://www.goteborg.com/en/beach-center) is home to the world’s largest beach volleyball hall, which contains five white sand beaches, each decorated with palm trees, chirping birds and piped ocean sounds. Beach bums can sink a couple at the bar.

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Featured Hotels

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Elite Plaza Hotel

A stylish business hotel in a more than 100-year-old building, the Elite Plaza Hotel opened in 2000 and is one of the most luxurious hotels in Gothenburg. There are 121 rooms and six suites, all with satellite TV and broadband internet connection. The hotel has an excellent restaurant, Svea Hof Restaurang & Bar, as well as an English pub, The Bishop's Arms.

Dorsia Hotel

Mixing aristocratic artistry with a contemporary palette of plums, rubies and jades, the Dorsia Hotel is one of the finest establishments in Gothenburg. With mulberry silk duvets and Egyptian cotton linen in the sleeping quarters, plus grandiose sitting rooms that call out for a slow brandy or port, it's a refined inn that few will wish to leave. Free Wi-Fi and lava-android TVs come as standard and the excellent in-house restaurant is more foie gras than fries.

Upper House

The clean and contemporary sleeping chambers at Upper House, with their Nordic sharpness and modern apartment-like space, are found in the top floors of the Gothia Towers. While the attention to detail is first rate, with king-size, cushion-filled beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, choice flat screen TVs and a changing room service selection, it's famed for the large, wall-sized windows that afford incredible views over the city vista. The hotel also has three swimming pools, Turkish baths, spa treatments and a locally-sourced breakfast.

Hotel Bellora

With a choice of 98 chic rooms, the Hotel Bellora is a beautiful lifestyle-hotel that mixes Italian Dolce Vita with a cosmopolitan flair. With an Espresso Bar warmly nestled in reception area that sources speciality beans to complement its indulgent chocolates and Italian pastries, it’s not just the 4-star comfort of the rooms that keeps visitors returning.

Hotell Liseberg Barken Viking

The 4-star Hotell Liseberg Barken Viking is housed in one of the few remaining four-masted barques in the world. The ship was built in 1907 and is moored in the Gothenburg guest harbour next to the Gothenburg Opera. The hotel offers rooms and a restaurant with a unique maritime atmosphere and furnishings. There are several conference rooms on board as well.

Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel

This sophisticated luxury hotel in Gothenburg, opposite the central train station, has 349 elegant rooms with free Wi-Fi access, swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna and fitness centre. The hotel also offers excellent conference facilities. The Atrium Bar & Restaurant is located in the hotel lobby.