Uplifting all your favorite possessions and travelling to a new country is something exciting; it will change your life, but it’s impossible to predict how or in what direction. You’ll mix challenge with adventure, but if you’re well-prepared for the move, the fun will totally outweigh the logistical and bureaucratic obstacles.
Our committed team at Housing Anywhere has taken steps to virtually guarantee an easy start to your life abroad by creating this guide for you. It covers big tasks - like sorting out your health insurance and finding housing in Gothenburg - to advice on places to go and things to see around the city.
Use the guide to familiarize yourself with Gothenburg and Swedish culture before you go out, and, other than the language, you’ll blend right in! If you can effortlessly navigate the public transport system without even speaking Swedish, you’ll be off to a great start.
Enjoy every minute of your time in Gothenburg!
Gothenburg was officially founded some 400 years ago, in place of Nya Lödöse, which was the settlement occupying this Swedish land beforehand. Once a seaside town which dabbled in industry, it is now an innovative and modern Swedish city, though you remember its seafaring roots in the delicious seafood cuisine served all over the city.
In fact, Gothenburg is home to Scandinavia's largest fish market down at the harbour, and you should definitely check that out while you’re here! It is quite a technological part of Sweden, home to Volvo (where it was founded in the 1920s) as well as the Chalmers Technical University.
Home to over 500,000 people in the urban area alone, Gothenburg is bigger than you might expect. It’s a stunning coastal city and the people are exceptionally friendly (a common factor among Swedes) so you’re bound to have a great time there!
The official language is of course Swedish, though a vast number of the population are fluent (or at least competent) in English as well. It is one of those countries where learning the local language is actually quite difficult, as the response invariably comes back to you in English. Not in a rude way, but just because it makes things simpler. You should still try to learn, and ask people to talk to you in Swedish where possible.
There are proper seasons in Gothenburg, with crisp and cold winters leading to warm, sunny summers. As a coastal city it also rains a fair amount, but you get used to carrying a jacket with you and learn to forget about it.
Temperatures will drop below freezing over the winter, but only by 4-5oC at its lowest. It’s not like Northern Sweden where the temperature is dropping 20-30oC below freezing! Locals will tell you the water becomes "swimmable" in summer, but that’s a matter of opinion - it’s still way too cold for me!
There are various public holidays around Sweden, both national and regional. Some days - like the hugely celebrated Sweden National Day on June 6th - are eagerly anticipated all year, while others are just good excuses from a day off work. Check the table below for all the national holidays during your time in Sweden.
Gothenburg is known as "Little London" as a result of the many philanthropic, wealthy Brits who made their fortune in trade with the city and who eventually donated much back.
With over 500,000 inhabitants in the city, it is the second-largest in Sweden.
The mythical, poetic story of Beowulf is said to be from the Gothenburg area.
Gothenburg is twinned with 14 other cities around the world, including some from Europe, Somalia and South Africa.
You can travel to Gothenburg by ferry from the UK, Denmark and Germany.
Gothenburg’s Old Town (Haga) still features wooden houses and 19th century stores and cafes!