10 Free Things to Do in Gothenburg

Gothenburg for Budget Travellers

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    On a Gothenburg city break, you’ll find that a little money can take you quite a long way. Many of the city’s historical attractions are free to enter all year round, as are the lush gardens, including Slottsskogen and the Gothenburg Botanical Gardens. If you’re looking to learn about Sweden’s history, many museums are free if you’re below 25 years old, so make full use of your youth and enjoy a day of museum-hopping.

    For those with a passion for the great outdoors, a short drive from the centre of Gothenburg takes you to Delsjön, where you can enjoy swimming, hiking, and jogging along the expansive lakefront. Plan your budget-friendly holiday by checking out our pick of free things to do in Gothenburg.

    1

    Slottsskogen (Castle Forest)

    See elk and seals at the children's zoo

    Slottsskogen (Castle Forest) is a family-friendly park directly across the street from Gothenburg Botanical Gardens. This 1.37-sq-km green expanse attracts animal lovers with its children’s zoo, which is home to Gotland ponies, elk, sheep, seals, and penguins. Slottsskogen has a natural forest that’s popular for its nature trails and the chance to forage wild berries. The northern end of the park has an observatory that organises stargazing events for visitors in the summer months.

    Adress: Slottskogspromenaden, 414 76 Gothenburg, Sweden

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    foto av Guillaume Baviere (CC BY 2.0) redigerad

    2

    Frihamnen Public Sauna

    Relax at this riverfront sweat lodge

    The Frihamnen public sauna is a sustainable sweat lodge that’s made with recycled materials, including over 10,000 glass bottles and salvaged corrugated steel. The sauna is part of the Jubileumsparken (Jubilee Park), which has a public swimming pool and a playground overlooking the Gothia River. The elephant-shaped sauna is free to enjoy all year round. Note that it’s a shared space for men and women, so bring a bathing suit if you’re uncomfortable with nudity.

    Adress: Frihamnen 7, 417 55 Gothenburg, Sweden

    Telefonnummer: +46 (0)31-368 96 39

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    foto av DavidIvar (CC BY-SA 4.0) redigerad

    3

    Free concerts at Gothenburg Opera

    Visit the foyer on Saturdays for free performances

    Gothenburg Opera, located in the city centre, hosts classical music, theatre, and dances all year round. Tickets to a show can be expensive (about 300 kr or more), but the opera house offers free foyer concerts on selected Saturday afternoons – ideal if you’re on a tight budget, but still want to enjoy the arts. If you’re in the city during the annual Gothenburg Culture Festival (in August), you get to watch a variety of performances at the main stage for free.

    Adress: Christina Nilssons gata, 411 04 Gothenburg, Sweden

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    foto av Andrzej Otrębski (CC BY-SA 3.0) redigerad

    4

    Gothenburg Museum of Art

    See 19th-century Nordic artwork at Fürstenberg Gallery

    The Gothenburg Museum of Art displays works by notable Nordic and international artists, including Rembrandt, Carl Larsson, Bruno Liljefors, and Rubens. The collection spans from the 19th century to the modern age, attracting art enthusiasts from all over the world. The Fürstenberg Gallery is one of the museum’s largest exhibits, where you can see contemporary Nordic paintings, as well as Dutch and Flemish paintings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Photography exhibits take place at the Hasselblad Centre, located on the ground floor. Admission is free for visitors under 25 years old.

    Adress: Götaplatsen 6, 412 56 Gothenburg, Sweden

    Öppet: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am to 6pm, Wednesdays from 11am to 8pm, Friday-Sunday from 11am to 5pm (closed on Mondays)

    Telefonnummer: +46(0)31-368 35 00

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    foto av Bolstermage (CC BY-SA 3.0) redigerad

    5

    Röda Sten Art Hall

    Spray-paint your own design on the Draken graffiti wall

    The Röda Sten Art Hall is a non-profit cultural centre that offers free events for all visitors below the age of 26. It spans 4 floor, with galleries displaying contemporary artwork and creative spaces where you get to enjoy live performances, lectures, and workshops. Every Tuesday evening, you get to leave your mark on the Draken graffiti wall. Aspiring photographers may also enjoy Tuesdays for the Photo Group sessions, where they can collaborate on different themes. Admission to Röda Sten Art Hall is free if you’re below 26 years old, and 40 kr for adults.

    Adress: 1 Röda Sten, 414 51 Gothenburg, Sweden

    Öppet: Tuesday and Thursday-Friday from midday to 5pm, Wednesday from 12pm to 8pm, Saturday-Sunday from midday to 6pm (closed on Mondays)

    Telefonnummer: +46 (0)31-12 08 16

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    foto av Arild Vågen (CC BY-SA 4.0) redigerad

    6

    Gothenburg City Library

    Watch children's shows in the Tellus stage room

    Gothenburg City Library displays thousands of books and digital materials on various topics for free. It’s located in Götaplatsen Square, about 800 metres northwest of Gothenburg Museum of World Culture. The library has a spacious children’s department on the ground floor, where your little ones can read from a variety of genres, watch TV shows, join storytelling sessions, and play video games. Gothenburg City Library also hosts many free events throughout the year, including creative writing courses, author talks, and poetry readings for visitors of all ages.

    Adress: Götaplatsen 3, 402 29 Gothenburg, Sweden

    Öppet: Monday-Friday from 9am to 9pm, Saturday-Sunday from 10am to 6pm

    Telefonnummer: +46 (0)31-368 34 00

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    foto av Wikimalte (CC BY-SA 3.0) redigerad

    7

    Vasa Church

    See a 1920s mural of Christ at the main altar

    Vasa Church is a granite cathedral dating back to 1909, making it one of Gothenburg’s oldest buildings. Built in Neo-Romanesque style, it features arched windows and white walls, with a bold mural depicting the ascension of Jesus Christ at the main altar. Painted by Swedish artist Albert Eldh, the painting was added to the church in the 1920s. Religious services take place at Vasa Church, where you get to experience the local Catholic community in Gothenburg.

    Adress: Vasa Kyrkoplan 1, 411 27 Göteborg, Sweden

    Öppet: Monday-Friday from 8.30am to 3.30pm, Saturday from 11am to 3pm, Sunday from 10am to 7pm

    Telefonnummer: +46 (0)31-731 86 70

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    foto av Johan Jönsson (CC BY-SA 4.0) redigerad

    8

    Museum of World Culture Gothenburg

    Enjoy family-friendly workshops at the museum's permanent exhibition

    The Museum of World Culture Gothenburg displays exhibitions on current global issues and events that are suitable for visitors of all ages. The museum’s permanent exhibition – Together – allows families to learn about ways of living together through workshops and games, including creating patterns using light and sand, playing charades, and exploring objects in total darkness. Entrance to the Museum of World Culture Gothenburg is free of charge. It also hosts events such as film screenings, festivals, workshops, and live music, some of which are free while others require an admission fee of 60 kr.

    Adress: Södra Vägen 54, 412 54 Gothenburg, Sweden

    Öppet: Tuesdays from midday to 5pm, Wednesdays from midday to 8pm, Thursday-Friday from midday to 5pm, Saturday-Sunday from 11am to 5pm (closed on Mondays)

    Telefonnummer: +46 (0)10-456 12 00

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    foto av JRodSilva (CC BY-SA 4.0) redigerad

    9

    Delsjön Lake

    Enjoy picnics and recreational games on the lakefront

    Delsjön, part of the Delsjöområdet nature reserve, consists of 2 natural lakes just outside of central Gothenburg. The Stora Delsjön Lake has a 7.5-km trail around it, while Lilla Delsjön has a 3-km-long circuit, both of which are popular among joggers. Families often gather for picnics at the expansive lakefront of Stora Delsjön. The best time to visit Delsjön is in the summertime, when the waters are warm enough for swimming and, if you’re an adrenaline junkie, cliff diving.

    Adress: Delsjön, 412 76 Gothenburg, Sweden

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    foto av Pasi Mämmelä (CC BY-SA 2.0) redigerad

    10

    Masthugg Church

    Enjoy panoramic views of Gothenburg from the clifftop

    Masthuggskyrkan (Masthugg Church) offers expansive views of Gothenburg from its hilltop location near the city centre. Built in 1914, its striking Nordic architecture (complete with a 60-metre-tall tower) makes it one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks. It’s also an active church, serving the local congregation with religious services and wedding ceremonies all year round. Masthuggskyrkan is within a 10-minute walk of the Maritime Museum & Aquarium of Gothenburg.

    Adress: Storebackegatan 15, 413 18 Gothenburg, Sweden

    Telefonnummer: +46 (0)31-731 92 50

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    foto av Blondinrikard Fröberg (CC BY 2.0) redigerad

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