In many aspects Gothenburg has changed from an industrial sea side town towards an innovative modern city. The heritage remains though and for example fishing is still a huge part of the city today. The variety of fresh fish and seafood is unique and in the early mornings you can see the fishing boats unload at the quays.
The Dutch built Gothenburg during the 1600s, as they were considered the best at building on marshland. This has given Gothenburg's city centre its famous channels that are distinctly dutch-inspired. The original city was built inside a large zigzag-shaped city wall that came to characterize Gothenburg for centuries to come.
Are you looking for budget-friendly things to do in Gothenburg? I will listed some great ways to see the city for next to nothing.
First you can go around the city and explore the old part of it. There is the old town and after, one of the best part of the city, the charming neighbourhood of Haga, that has a wonderful selection of cafés and small artisan shops. Haga is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Gothenburg. The main pedestrian street is Haga Nygata lined with well-preserved houses, many in the characteristic Gothenburg style called "landshövdingehus" with one floor in brick and the rest in wood. Normally here people come to have a coffee break that is called “fika” in Sweden.
Today, Haga is located in the middle of the city. But not when Gothenburg's first suburb was planned in the middle of the 17th century, after orders from queen Kristina. The name Haga actually refers to the Swedish word “hage”, which means “an enclosed field”. If you look towards the sky you will see a hill, climb it and you will arrive to the fortification Skansen Kronan that is on top.it was made to control the territory below. From there, you get a nice view of the district and a large part of the city.
Another nice point is the fishmarket. here you can eat something and let you taste at a good price the amazing fish of this city. The Fish Market is a "Fish Church", an hall completed in 1874 to a design by the city architect Viktor von Gegerfeldt. And yes, it does actually look like a church.
Second the city’s parks and the Botanic Garden.
The main path is quite long; it will take at least 2 hours to visit it quietly. Take the big road yu will see at the entrance on your left until the Japanese Dell. After that is all your choice. There are several path you can go through, depending what you want to see. There is a rock garden, a nice viewpoint on the city and much more. The entrance is free and it is a peaceful place where you can pass hours without crossing other people. The “Botaniska” was first opened to public in 1923 and it becomes a natural reserve in 1975.
Another idea is to go for a great budget-friendly day trip to the southern part of the Gothenburg archipelago. It is within easy reach by tram and ferry, and you only need one ticket for 28 SEK to go the whole way from the city centre (if you want to take more than one ferry just take a day tickets and you can go around all the day). Once there, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery, picturesque villages and rugged nature. The islands in this part of the archipelago are car-free and suitable for long walks or bike tours. Take your pick from islands like Brännö, Styrsö or Vrångö, and don't forget to bring with you food because the groceries will close early. I will describe it in another article!
If you arrive in Goteborg in summer you can also be lucky and find one of the annual events that in Gothenburg offers free activities, workshops, concerts and entertainment. I found the Gothenburg Culture Festival (Göteborgs Kulturkalas) in August, and so I enjoyed also the evening there.