A Weekend in Gothenburg, Sweden

The boys had a day off of school in mid-October, and in my trip planning frenzy and desire to take advantage of nice fall weather, we ended up with about 10 days in Sweden and Denmark.  The first thing we did after flying into Copenhagen was take a train for 3 hours to Gothenburg, Sweden for the weekend.

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On the train crossing the Øresund Bridge which connects Denmark and Sweden.

We booked the Spoton Hostel just outside the city center (either a short tram ride or a longish walk from the central train station).  It wasn’t in the most scenic area of town, but it was definitely the nicest and roomiest hostel we have ever stayed in. We had a huge room with 2 sets of bunk beds, plus 2 single beds, plus a bathroom, just for our family.  Though the hostel wasn’t in a very nice area (not dangerous, just boring), it was very close to a big amusement park, Liseberg, which we didn’t go to since we had plans to go to Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli Gardens at our next stop. We were also near their great science museum, which we did visit (see more details later in this post).

Here are some highlights of our weekend:

Vrångö Island

IMG_8633Gothenburg is located on the western coast of Sweden, with many islands nearby in the North Sea.  One set of islands is the Southern Gothenburg Archipelago, which contains the island of Vrångö.  The archipelago is within commuting distance of Gothenburg, and there are frequent ferry services to the islands, transporting the residents and visitors back and forth.  I had read about the islands and knew we wanted to visit, but wasn’t set on one particular island.  We hopped on a local tram that took us straight to the ferry port, where we had a choice of ferries departing to various islands.  The next departing ferry was headed to Vrångö, the southern most of the inhabited islands, so we hopped on. IMG_8496 (2).JPGA scenic half hour boat ride later, we had landed at Vrångö’s ferry port, and we headed off to explore the island. IMG_8514 (2).JPGWithout any real idea of what we wanted to do, we took a path from the ferry port through a residential area full of charming island houses. IMG_8532

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IMG_8537We followed the ferry crowd (really only about 10 people), assuming they knew more than we did, and after a short climb we arrived at a scenic viewpoint over the island and sea. IMG_8563.JPG

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IMG_8633.JPGFrom there, we walked along rocks on the coast, through the island’s nature preserve. IMG_8672 (2)

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IMG_8717 (3)Wrapping our way around the island, we eventually found the official path through the nature preserve.IMG_8715 (2)

IMG_8720 (2)The path took us back to the cafe just outside the ferry port with just enough time for a quick hot chocolate before catching the ferry back to Gothenburg. IMG_8728In total, we were on the island about three hours and loved our time exploring.

Gothenburg City Center

IMG_8755 (3).JPGWe spent time over the weekend on foot, just exploring all that Gothenburg had to offer. It wasn’t full of major tourist sites, but was a pretty city with nice buildings, shopping streets and restaurants to explore.IMG_8756 (2).JPG

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IMG_8773Of course, as we do everywhere we go, we found a playground for the kids to play in.IMG_8786.JPG

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This playground had a really cool mini track and field area.  Of course our competitive kids had to race!

One thing we enjoyed walking around Gothenburg were the beautiful fall colors – something we miss with the always-green trees of Southern Spain.IMG_8476 (2)

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Universeum Science Museum

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Near the hostel where we stayed there was a great science museum, the Universeum, and we had a great morning exploring it.  Everything was in English and Swedish so we didn’t have any problem understanding and learning. We all had a great time and the boys didn’t want to leave. We thoroughly recommend this place if you’re in Gothenburg with kids.

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A fun trivia fact: The boys would weigh a combined 199 kilos on Jupiter!

That wrapped up our quick but fun weekend in Sweden. After the morning at the science museum, we got back on the train and headed to Copenhagen.  Stay tuned for posts on our time in Denmark, including our visit to the home of LEGO!

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