The Best Time to Visit Gothenburg

The Best Time to Visit Gothenburg

Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, boasts a wide range of attractions, laidback vibes and beautiful natural spaces. The best time to visit Gothenburg is generally between May and September, when the weather is more conducive to exploring the walkable centre and stunning surroundings. Summer is particularly easy to love. The days are (really) long, temperatures can rise to 30 degrees Celsius and the warm sea beckons. May is usually mild and temperate, September offers changing colours, while crisp autumn and winter days are perfect for enjoying the cosy and relaxed atmosphere.


Average Temperatures

The heat from the Gulf Stream means the temperature in Gothenburg rarely drops below -2°C in February, rising to an average 21°C in July. In spring, the sunny and bright days gradually increase, with a daytime average in March of around 5°C, climbing to 16°C by May. On sunny days between June and August, temperatures can hit 30°C in the air and 24°C in the water. Autumn brings rain, fog and cooler temperatures, with the daytime average dropping from 16°C in September to 6°C in November. Winters tend to be cold, wet and windy, with daytime averages between 1°C and 4°C.


Spring – Best Time for Admiring the Buildings and Blossoms

In spring, the light slowly returns and locals embrace every opportunity to enjoy the warmer weather. We recommend starting your spring trip in the Haga district, a quaint and romantic area with lots of boutique shops, restaurants and cosy cafes. This charming quarter is one of the oldest in Gothenburg and the main pedestrian street, Haga Nygata, has well-preserved wooden houses. Skansen Kronan, a fortress built in 1687, offers stunning views of the city, which are best enjoyed with a coffee in hand. The official opening date for al fresco drinking and dining is the 1st April, so expect to see café terraces and beer gardens popping up all around town. On fine days, join the (often blanket-wrapped) locals soaking up the first spring sunbeams over fika. May is a lovely month, ideal for exploring the city’s natural spaces. Head to Gothenburg’s largest park, Slottsskogen, for its numerous cafes, playgrounds, petting zoo and beautiful greenery. Among the best places to enjoy the spring flowers are the Botanical Gardens, Bohus Fastning, Kungsparken and the Garden Society. For cherry blossom, wander over to Seminarieparken in the south of the city.


Summer – Best Time for Enjoying the Coast and Country

The Swedish summer is characterised by seemingly endless days. This is the perfect time of the year for staying out late to enjoy al fresco dining, music festivals and outdoor events. A seasonal highlight is Midsommar (Midsummer), which falls around the 20th June to mark the summer solstice. It’s celebrated with maypole dancing, dinner and drinking - Slottsskogen traditionally stages one of the biggest public events. For those in need of somewhere calm to recover, a day trip to the archipelago offers picturesque islands, sea swimming, beaches and boat rides. It’s easily accessed, with ferries from Lilla Varholmen to Hönö and Björkö. The southern islands are closer to the city, and ideal for walking and swimming. They’re also car-free, so consider picking up a pair of hiking boots or renting a bike to explore the coastal paths and fishing villages, where you can sample the famous west coast seafood. Commonly held in August, quintessentially Swedish crayfish parties involve savouring the tasty catch in good company. Gothenburg is also surrounded by incredible nature reserves, including Delsjon, Anggardsbergen and Vattlfjall, which offer fishing, swimming, kayaking and hiking trails.


Autumn – Best Time for Culture

In autumn, the yellow-red leaves paint a pretty picture, and the air is lovely and crisp. While there is a chance of heavy rain, there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy as well. Göteborg Book Fair, Scandinavia’s largest literary event, takes place every September, and autumn is peak season for exhibitions in the many galleries and museums. Soak up some culture in the Gothenburg Museum of Art, then head over to the National History Museum to learn more about Sweden’s storied past. Gothenburg’s famous shellfish is even tastier in autumn. Those keen to catch their own dinner can join a lobster safari, or simply crack into the ‘black gold’ over a delicious dinner on dry land. The sweet-toothed may prefer to mark Cinnamon Bun Day on the 4th October, another Swedish food fest. In late October, the amusement park Liseberg celebrates Halloween with spooky experiences throughout the autumn break.


Winter – Best Time for Keeping Cosy

Winter can be a great time to visit Gothenburg, with fewer crowds and cosy Christmas traditions. Ideal activities range from a walk in Slottsskogen (followed by fika, of course) to ice skating. The Christmas markets are wonderful places to tuck into traditional sweet treats (gingerbread and glögg perhaps?), shop for decorations and get into the festive spirit. Liseberg is the biggest, while Tjoloholms Slott market offers a more traditional take. Wrap up and make your way to the canal to listen to the choir singing on the Paddan, or to the concert house to hear the Gothenburg Symphony Choir’s Christmas performance. The Palm House in the Garden Society is a welcome oasis, especially if you’re lucky enough to see the snow falling outside while you wander through the lush greenery. For a winter warmer, consider diving into a Swedish spa. Gothenburg plays host to several stylish complexes offering soothing saunas, pools and outdoor hot tubs, which are open come rain or shine, and even snow.