Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg, was once known as the industrial heart of the country. Whilst it’s working-class roots are still visible today, it has undergone major transformations over the past few years that have transformed it into a cosmopolitan hub!
Nowadays, Gothenburg is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination for those travelling around Sweden – and even as a destination in its own right.
Though fairly safe by European standards, Gothenburg still has some shady areas that should be avoided. Its layout can be confusing and difficult to navigate, so it’s important to have an idea of which neighborhoods you want to visit in advance so you can arrive prepared.
That’s why we built this guide! We’ve figured out the five best neighborhoods in the city, and categorized them based on what kind of traveller they are best for. Whether you’re interested in culture and nightlife, or simply want to save some cash we have you covered.
So let’s get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Gothenburg
- Where to stay in Gothenburg for your first time – Centrum
- Where to stay in Gothenburg on a budget – Majorna
- Best area to stay in Gothenburg for nightlife – Avenyn
- Coolest place to stay in Gothenburg – Haga
- Best neighborhood in Gothenburg for families – Linné
- Gustav Adolfs Torg is the main square in Centrum – from here you can check out some of the great cafes and bars
- Maritiman is a museum right on the coast where you can learn about the city’s seafaring culture and enjoy open air boat exhibits
- Brogyllen is a casual dining restaurant where you can pick up some Swedish favourites, as well as modern twists on classic dishes
Table of Contents
- Where to Stay in Gothenburg
- Gothenburg Neighborhood Guide
- Gothenburg 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
- #1 Centrum – Where to Stay in Gothenburg For your First Time
- #2 Majorna – Where to Stay in Gothenburg on a Budget
- #3 Avenyn – Best Area to Stay in Gothenburg for Nightlife
- #4 Haga – Coolest Place to Stay in Gothenburg
- #5 Linné – Best Neighborhood in Gothenburg for Families
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Gothenburg.
Best Hostel in Gothenburg: Backpackers Göteborg
Right in the middle of the budget-friendly neighborhood, it makes sense that Backpackers Göteborg would be our top pick for backpackers visiting the city! It also comes with fantastic ratings thanks to the excellent levels of service and the spacious common areas. WiFi is included.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Gothenburg: City Centre Apartment
This gorgeous two bedroom apartment is right in the heart of the city – perfect for first-time visitors! It sleeps up to four people, making it a great pick for families and groups visiting Gothenburg. The host has been awarded superhost status, meaning you can guarantee you will have a great stay.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Gothenburg: Scandic Rubinen
Scandic is a popular hotel chain across Scandinavia – known for their budget-friendly comfort and eco-conscious standards! Their Gothenburg hotel comes with excellent reviews and is elegantly decorated to a high standard. Despite the reasonable prices, they still provide all the usual facilities and service standards.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Gothenburg
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Gothenburg is a very rewarding city for tourists that want to see an authentic representation of contemporary Swedish culture! Known for its working-class routes, it is now packed with excellent coffee shops, quaint alleyways and modern boutiques and bars that will have you wanting to return.
Centrum is the most popular neighborhood due to its location right in the centre! This is where you can mingle with locals in marketplaces, admire the interesting architecture of the city and soak up the local culture. For first time visitors, Centrum also gives you easy access to the other neighborhoods.
Though Avenyn is often considered part of Centrum, it has its own character that we believe makes it a neighborhood in its own right! Centred around Kungsportsavenyn, this is the nightlife hub of the city and the place to be if you want to party like a local.
Meanwhile, in the west of the city, Majorna, Linné and Haga offer great options for those seeking alternative culture! Whilst Linné was once the hipster heart of Gothenburg, it has since gentrified even further and is now one of the most peaceful areas close to the city centre – perfect for families.
Majorna and Haga, on the other hand, have something a bit different to offer. Majorna is where many of the youths from Linné moved to when prices shot up, and it still remains a budget-friendly haven to this day. Haga has a more historic atmosphere and was once the main centre of the city.
Still need some more help deciding? Check out our more extensive guides below!
Gothenburg 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Gothenburg. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
As the name would suggest, Centrum is located right in the heart of the city and is where you will find most of the major attractions in Gothenburg!
For first time travellers, this is the obvious choice thanks to its excellent connections to other major tourist and entertainment areas of the city through the extensive public transportation network.
Centrum contains most of the major hotel chains that are based in the city. Unlike other cities, Central Gothenburg is actually a great place to mingle with locals as it is a major hub for shopping, dining and socialising for residents! It is also where you will find connections to other parts of Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
Things to See and Do in Centrum
– Head to the City Museum to discover artefacts from Gothenburg’s past, as well as stories from its present depicting the local culture
– Gustav Adolfs Torg is the main square in Centrum – from here you can check out some of the great cafes and bars
– The House of Emigrants is another fantastic museum dedicated to Swedish expats across the world and their impact on foreign cultures
– Fancy trying your luck at a bit of gambling? Casino Cosmopol is the largest establishment in the city and a popular start to a night out
– Maritiman is a museum right on the coast where you can learn about the city’s seafaring culture and enjoy open air boat exhibits
– Brogyllen is a casual dining restaurant where you can pick up some Swedish favourites, as well as modern twists on classic dishes
Best Hostel Centrum: Spoton Hostel & Sportsbar
Though located further south in the Events District, Spoton Hostel & Sportsbar is only a short tram ride from Centrum! This makes it an ideal pick for backpackers on a tight budget that still want easy access to the main attractions. It is also directly across the road from Liseberg Amusement Park.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Centrum: City Centre Apartment
Despite being able to house four people, this apartment still maintains a cosy atmosphere that ensures you will feel at home regardless of what time of year you visit! Located within a renovated apartment from the 19th century, it is almost an attraction in itself and exemplifies the Centrum neighborhood.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Centrum: STF Göteborg City Hotel
Somewhat steampunk-inspired, this unique hotel is a truly comfortable place to stay – and offers rooms at great rates too! A buffet breakfast is included, as is high speed WiFi access. Rooms come well equipped with large en-suites, luxury toiletries and flat screen TVs. There is also a 24 hour tour desk.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Once one of the more run down neighborhoods in the city, gentrification has hit Majorna hard! These days it is a major hub for students, creatives and migrants to the city – and despite the recent regeneration, it still has some of the best prices in Gothenburg. Sweden is a notoriously expensive country, so Majorna is a good place to offset this.
Majorna is also a great option for travellers looking for something a bit grittier than other parts of Sweden! Though not the main nightlife district, it still has some interesting bars with regular events and very reasonable drinks prices.
Things to See and Do in Majorna
– Vastergarten, located right on the riverfront, is the main shopping centre in the area which houses international and local brands
– Gahtenhielmska Kulturreservatet is a local cultural reserve where you can check out some traditional style houses from Gothenburg
– Beer lovers need to take a visit to Beerbliotek – they have an excellent selection of craft beers from across Scandinavia
– The Children’s Zoo is a must-visit for any families in the area – here you can pet local wildlife and check out the odd exotic creature
– Roda Sten Konsthall is a modern museum and exhibition venue – discover the industrial history of the city and its aims for the future
– What’s Deli is a great example of the influence hipster culture has on the area – that being said, their menu is exquisite
Best Hostel Majorna: Backpackers Göteborg
This hostel has such great reviews thanks to its fantastic social spaces and regular events – from pizza and pub nights to cinema screenings, there are plenty of opportunities to mingle with other guests! They also have free sauna facilities, and a budget-friendly breakfast can be added to your rate.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Majorna: Cozy Apartment
This beautiful apartment is decorated with plants to give you a warm and homely feel throughout your stay! It is one of the best-reviewed apartments in the area and is perfect for those visiting the city for a short trip. With two bedrooms, it can house up to five guests – ideal for families and groups.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Majorna: Spar Hotel Majorna
Only a short walk away from the tram stop, this is the ideal hotel for easily getting around all of the city’s main attractions without breaking the bank! It also comes with excellent facilities – including an on-site fitness suite and a sauna. A large buffet breakfast is provided every morningView on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Though formally part of Centrum, Avenyn has a character of its own thanks to the seemingly endless array of vibrant nightlife venues, casual dining restaurants and contemporary cultural attractions!
Even during the day, this neighborhood has a buzzing atmosphere that draws in visitors from across the world. One of the best things to do in Avenyn is to explore the side streets, with independent art galleries and cafés abound.
Like the rest of Centrum, Avenyn is well connected to most other areas of the city by public transport. It is also the best area to discover the city’s museums, where you can learn about the history and art and the influence they have had on local culture!
Things to See and Do in Avenyn
– Park Lane is the largest, and most popular, nightclub in Avenyn – it can get crowded, but the drinks are reasonably priced by Swedish standards
– For something a little more upscale, head to Nefertiti – this has a more laid back vibe and a fantastic rotation of DJs
– The Museum of Fine Art is located right at the end of Kungsportsavenyn – it is the largest gallery of its kind in the city
– Rohsska Museum of Design and Applied Art has a more practical scope, with some interesting exhibits about Swedish design
– Kungsparken, though not the largest park in the city, is the most popular in the centre and flanks the canal
– Kristenlundsgatan is the best destination for sampling cuisine in the area – we recommend Tvakanten for Swedish food or Moon Thai Kitchen for Thai
Best AirBnB in Avenyn: Modern Apartment
This lavish apartment reflects the modern focus of the surrounding area. Though it can sleep up to three thanks to the sofa bed in the lounge, we recommend it mostly for couples and solo travellers thanks to the fantastic pricing! There is a balcony where you can admire views across the city.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel for Backpackers Avenyn: Hotell Göta Avenyn
Whilst there aren’t any hostels in Avenyn, this two star hotel is perfect if your main concern is your budget! Rooms are fairly basic, though well decorated to reflect the historic nature of the building. There are high ceilings and balconies in every unit, and guests are provided with a complimentary breakfast.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Hotel in Avenyn: Scandic Rubinen
This elegant hotel is well decorated to ensure you have a comfortable stay! They aim to be as environmentally friendly as possible – which extends to their locally sourced buffet breakfast with extensive vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. They also have a rooftop bar which is a popular hangout spot in the summer.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Once the bustling centre of the city, Haga faced a lot of decline after businesses moved to Centrum! This has since been rectified, and Haga is now one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city. Many of the historic buildings have been restored, turning the area into a time capsule of the city’s origins.
With most of the larger chains now being based in Centrum, shops and cafés in Haga are mostly locally owned! This is great for visitors that want to mingle with locals and soak up an authentic slice of Swedish life whilst in the city. It is also only a short walk away from both Centrum and Majorna.
Things to See and Do in Haga
– A large church right in the corner of the area, Haga Kyrka is a monument to the neighborhood’s historic past as the centre of the city
– Haga Nygata is the premier shopping destination in the city – especially if you are interested in locally owned boutiques
– For those that need to unwind a little, we recommend a trip to Hagabadet, a large spa facility that is surprisingly well priced
– Grab some tickets for a performance at Folkteatern and soak up traditional Swedish culture as performed by locals
– Stromma Kanalbolaget provide regular tours along the canals that are characteristic of the modern city and its industrial past
– Restaurang Solrosen is popular with locals for their excellent Swedish cuisine – and are particularly well known for their meatballs
Best AirBnB in Haga: Attic Apartment
Located in an attic, this apartment comes with some of the best views you will find in the city! It is well decorated with plenty of greenery to ensure a modern and comfortable atmosphere. The television is linked with cable services, as well as modern technological features that allow you to enjoy your own media.View on Airbnb
Best Hostel Haga: Linné Hostel
Though located in neighboring Linné, this hostel is only a short walk away from Haga – giving you easy access to both neighborhoods! They offer dorms, as well as budget-friendly privates including single and double rooms. Free high speed WiFi is available throughout the property, and bathrooms are shared.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Hotel in Haga: Hotel Vasa
Though run by a local family, Hotel Vasa is part of the Best Western franchise – ensuring you can enjoy the high levels of comfort they are known for! Being family-owned, however, still gives it an additional edge in that you are able to enjoy a more welcoming experience than you would at your average chain hotel.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Just south of Haga, Linné has a similar atmosphere, however, is generally a lot calmer in nature! This calm atmosphere makes it the perfect choice for families (as well as couples) that want to experience the Scandi-cool vibes of the city without any of the hustle and bustle of the more popular areas.
By far the most popular attraction in the area is Slottsskogen Park – the largest in the city, it comes with plenty of facilities that are perfect for families including a petting zoo and playgrounds! During the winter it is somewhat desolate, but in the summer it is a hive of life just outside of the city centre.
Things to See and Do in Linné
– Take the family to the Natural History Museum to learn about animals, plants and ecology in Sweden and across the world
– The Segway Centre is currently the only segway tour operator in the city – perfect if you want to give your feet a rest whilst taking in the sights
– Slottsskogen Park is a huge green space that is a must-see for any visitors to the area – check their website for a run down of events
– Pick-n-Paint is a fun local workshop where you can grab an ornament and paint it on site – perfect for young kids
– Head to Kafferosten in the morning to sample a typical Swedish breakfast – or simply indulge in their delectable cardamom buns
– In the evenings, Linnégatan comes alive with multicultural restaurants showcasing the different influences on local life
Best Hostel Linné: Linnéplatsens Hotel & Hostel
Operating as both a hotel and a hostel, Linnéplatsens actually comes with the best guest reviews in the entire city for Hostelworld! It has a much more upmarket feel than the other hostels in the city – though this is reflected in the price. Nevertheless, if you like to keep your home comforts it is well worth splashing out on.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Linné: Unique Big Flat
This massive four bedroom flat comes with five beds that can sleep up to six guests – perfect if you are coming as a large family or group! It is furnished with a classic Scandinavian design, and there is a huge balcony where you can sit back and soak up the ambience of the city.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Linné: Slottsskogen Hotel
Located right next to the park, this is the ideal choice for families that want to visit Gothenburg on a super strict budget! Despite the low fees, it comes with some fantastic facilities – including a roof terrace, a sauna and complimentary high speed WiFi. Breakfast is also included in the rate.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Gothenburg
Gothenburg is definitely a little beyond up and coming – but it still has an undiscovered feel to it that makes it a truly charming destination on Sweden’s west coast! Formally the industrial heart of the country, it is now a bastion of contemporary culture and absolutely a must-see.
For the best area, we’re going to go with Avenyn! Aside from the fantastic nightlife, it also boasts a prime location sandwiched between most of the areas mentioned in this guide – as well as the best public transport links.
Nevertheless, there’s more to travel than public transport – and every neighborhood mentioned in this guide has its own benefits. Whether you want culture or peace and quiet, we hope this guide has helped you to figure out your itinerary.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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Writer and Editor, Ana Pereira is a California native, inspired by Earth exploration and introspection. Recently, she spent several months exploring Africa and South Asia. She spends most of her “down-time” out in the wilderness, climbing, hiking, and beyond, and is feverishly passionate about travel and health.