Gothenburg Cruise Port

Port of Gothenburg: An Overview

The 203-foot tower of Masthuggs Church pierces the skyline of Gothenburg, the second-largest city in Sweden. Situated on the country's west coast, about halfway between Copenhagen and Oslo, this city of 543,000 is becoming a go-to destination on sailings in the Baltic Sea. In 2002, just five vessels carrying 2,400 travelers stopped there; now more than 100,000 cruise passengers on more than 50 ships disembark at this cosmopolitan university town.

The city is Goteborg in Swedish, pronounced "yur-te-borry." It might not be the port that inspired your dream trip to the Baltic, but it will likely be a pleasant surprise, and it's an easy place to wander on your own.

Don't Miss

Haga: If time is short, put the Haga at the top of your list. The main boulevard, Haga Nygata, is car-free and lined with antique shops, tiny boutiques and outdoor cafes.

Skansen Kronan: Climb the 200 steps to Skansen Kronan, a 17th-century fortress built to protect the city from Danish attack to the south. It provides a lofty overlook of the city. On the practical side, the 7-Eleven on Haga Nygata has free Wi-Fi, so it's a prime spot to pop in, buy a beverage and check your email.

Feskekorka: Public restrooms are located near the entrance of the Feskekorka, a c.1874 fish market that was built to resemble a church. (The name translates to "fish church.") Feskekorka is worth a look, if simply to admire the glistening pink rows of fish and shellfish that fill its display cases. Gothenburg has been named the Culinary Capital of Sweden, and seafood-lovers will find no argument with that.

Magasinsgatan: From the Feskekorka, it's an easy jaunt to Magasinsgatan in the Inner City, where trendy shops reveal what fashionable Swedes will be wearing next season. You'll also see famous names like Marimekko.

Kronhuset: Browse locally made craft items in the studios at Kronhuset (Old City Hall). Built in 1654, it's the oldest building in Gothenburg.

Saluhallen: Looking for a fun, local lunch spot? Pop into Saluhallen, the Market Hall. It's chock a block with purveyors of meats, cheeses, fish and produce, which spills outdoors in warmer months. Eat at an indoor counter, or get it as takeout for alfresco dining along the canal.

Goteborgs Konstmuseum: If you've got the time and the stamina or simply can't resist a cool museum, cross the bridge onto Kungsportsavenyen to the Aveny District to discover the Goteborgs Konstmuseum (Gothenburg Museum of Art), home to Nordic art dating from the turn of the 19th century.

Poseidon: While you're in the neighborhood, pay your respects to the sea god Poseidon, whose bronze likeness rises from the center of the city's most famous fountain.

Most cruise lines offer a "best of" Gothenburg tour that takes in most of these sites and perhaps the Gothenburg Botanical Garden (one of the largest in Europe) or the Volvo Museum, a display of cars that includes concept models and aircrafts built by the Swedish company.

Getting Around

Once you've arrived into downtown Gothenburg, there's a variety ways to get around: the hop-on, hop-off bus (currently 195 Swedish krona or about $25USD), traditional open-top paddan canal boats ($165 SEK or $20USD) and an old-fashioned trolley ($110 SEK or $15 USD).

But there's no need to spring for any of those in compact Gothenburg, since it's easily covered on foot. Armed with a tourist map -- we like the color-coded one called "The Best of Gotheburg in One Day" -- use the green swath of Tradgardsforeningen (park) as a visual reference point, and explore neighborhoods like the Haga and Aveny districts and the Inner City.

Where You're Docked

If you dock at Quay Skandia, where the largest ships go, your first reaction is likely to be "Ugh." It's an unattractive industrial zone of oil drums and container ships. But a 25-minute shuttle ride, offered gratis by many cruise lines, gets you into the attractive city center. Other local cruise ports include Freeport, just five minutes from the heart of town, and Arendal, about a 20-minute ride into the city. Tip: There's no reason to be the first one off the ship if you're exploring on your own, since the city doesn't really get going until 10 a.m.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The Swedish krona is the unit of currency. For up-to-the-minute rates, check www.xe.com or www.oanda.com. Denominations of paper krona are 20, 50, 100 and 500. Amounts below 20 krona are settled with coins.

Language

Swedish is spoken in Gothenburg, but most people in the tourism industry speak English.

For More Information

On the Web: Gothenburg

Cruise Critic: Northern Europe & Baltics

IndependentTraveler.com: Scandinavia

--By Diane Bair; Pamela Wright, Cruise Critic contributors

  • Gothenburg: Norwegian Getaway
    Timetogotime
    We took the shuttle in as it is quite a journey so not walkable - very pleasant city and we chose again to walk around and explore on foot - ... Read more
  • Gothenburg: Norwegian Getaway
    SGibbsFL
    Too long to clear boat. Had to pay to get into town which should have been a free shuttle considering where we were in port. LONG lines for shuttle to town. The town was nice- wish we would have had more time there ... Read more
  • Gothenburg: Norwegian Getaway
    Cruisingformetime
    Gothenburg is an industrial city. Keep this in mind. The Western islands tour was beautiful and worth doing but short. There's a shuttle that goes into the city from the port, but the port was not prepared for a ship that size and it showed in ... Read more
  • Gothenburg: Arcadia
    Ken Harrington
    Shuttle bus into centre and walked around aimslesly looking for intresting locations on local map. ... Read more
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