Why LGBT travellers should visit Gothenburg

Drew Wilby

Gothenburg is located on the west side of Sweden, and just a two-hour flight from Heathrow Airport. It is the perfect place for any traveller who wants to visit a big city that still manages to have a cosy and quaint feel. Sweden as a country is extremely open-minded and accepting of all the LGBT community, and this city really does show how accepting it is by having some amazing spaces for all people to enjoy and feel safe in.

Its charming streets and shops will provide pretty much anything for anyone who wants to visit, whether they are looking for amazing architecture to photograph, a stunning Swedish piece for their home, or even take a typical yet traditional Swedish fika. A fika break is a time in the day when people stop working and have a tea or coffee with something sweet. Any type of pastry works well but cinnamon buns are the norm.

The shops are extremely varied in both style and what they sell. The main shopping area is called Magasingatan and is full of trendy stores and cafes for all tastes.

A lot of vintage stores can be found as well as small independent shops too, which make the products sold there extremely special and unique – you will definitely want to take something home with you as a souvenir from the trip. But as you’d expect from Sweden, there are copious stores selling furniture and interior design accessories – which will put Ikea to shame – even if they can’t fit in your hand luggage.

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Having a gorgeous place to stay close to all of the action and attractions is a must, and Hotel Bellora ticks all of the boxes. It’s a lavish boutique hotel with its own exquisite Italian bar-restaurant, and also its own rooftop terrace bar which looks out over the city. Whats not to love?

Based on one of the main city centre streets known as The Avenue, it’s very accessible but also very stylish. Prices are based on a double room and can vary between 600 to 4000 SEK (Approx £60 – £400) per night.

Hotel Bellora, Kungsportsavenyn 6
Website: hotelbellora.se

For art lovers, the Gothenburg Museum of Art is one place not to be missed. Split over several floors, there is a variety of traditional and modern pieces, and also installations which take up entire rooms. The many interesting ways the pieces of art are displayed is an art form in itself, so you really do feel immersed as soon as you enter.

Admission is free for anyone under the age of 25 and anyone over it will pay only 60 SEK (approx £6) for entry into the main museum. Museum talks and tours do happen daily, so always check ahead of your visit to see if anything takes your fancy as the tour guides are extremely knowledgeable in all of the works and describe the art and also the room you are in if you or your family/friends have visual impairments.

The Gothenburg Museum of Art, Götaplatsen 6
Website: goteborgskonstmuseum.se

Thinking of the evening, the booming bars and clubs in the city are the places to be. One venue high on our list is the trendy BeeBar. It’s described as a ‘straight-friendly’ bar which serves colourful cocktails to match its fun atmosphere. This bar is busy at all hours of the day and night. This makes it a great place to eat decent food at an affordable price and watch the passersby from the outside seating area. Whether you are meeting friends for a drink and bite to eat or are wanting to meet new people, BeeBar is a great place to be.

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BeeBar, Kungstorget 13
Website: beebar.se

For anyone who wants to dance the night away, Greta’s Bar & Nightclub is the main LGBT club to go to. Split across two floors and various different rooms, Greta’s is broad appeal and an enviable late licence.

Club Gretas, Drottninggatan 35
Website: goteborg.com

To extend your stay in Sweden, look into venturing into the beautiful and natural area of West Sweden for a drastic change of pace just an hour outside of Gothenburg.

For more information, see Goteborg.com, the West Sweden website and Visit Sweden’s LGBT micro-site.

Holiday Extras

Before flying out from London Heathrow we stayed in the Hilton T5 and used the Aspire Lounge. These pre-holiday extras were organised by Holiday Extras, where you can also book insurance, car hire, transfers and airport parking.

Operating for 32 years, Holiday Extras has unrivalled experience in offering vital add-ons for your holiday, with over four million bookings last year alone. Holiday Extras promises its prices will never be beaten, but in the unlikely event you find the same product for less somewhere else, they will match the price, guaranteed.

About Drew Wilby

Drew Wilby is a photographer and graphic designer living in Manchester.