Gothenburg: a city of festivals and events

Sweden’s second largest city has a reputation for being an all-year festival destination and this summer you’ll find a full calendar of events.

Gothenburg, on the West Coast of Sweden, has long been known for its world class seafood and fish restaurants and the picturesque group of islands found along its stunning coastline. Visitors to the port city of Gothenburg will find a full range of cultural activities and events including fishing, exploring the canals and cobbled streets of historical area of Haga and relaxing in the parks.

Every year the city hosts a full calendar of festivals and events, covering all types of interests, including film, music, science, culture and sport. The summer months are especially busy and if you’re interested in seeing what’s on offer here are some suggestions that might take your fancy over the coming summer months.

  • Music lovers will like the club festival WWDIS (What We Do Is Secret) summer fest taking place on 9and 10July. The biggest music festival of the summer, Way Out West, is on from 8-10 August. This festival is an exciting mix of outdoor concerts in parks and smaller gigs in club venues and this year the line-up features Azelia Banks, Angel Haze and Kendrick Lamar.

The annual Metaltown festival takes place in July and celebrates its 10th anniversary by extending from two to three days and is headlined by Slipknot and Motorhead.


By Rob Sinclair under CC BY-SA 2.0


  • The Gothenburg Culture Festival is the highlight of the festival season and takes place over six days in August. During these days the streets are alive with a party atmosphere and are transformed into a busy and colourful venue for carnivals, parades, art, music and street theatre. It’s the biggest festival in the calendar and attracts nearly 700,000 visitors.

If you’re interested in staying in hotels in Gothenburg during this time it’s a good idea to book up early.

  • If you’re a sports fan you might enjoy the Gothia Cup, also known as the World Youth Cup. Young footballers aged between 11 and 19 get the chance to take part in a week of tournaments (including a spectacular opening and closing ceremony) and there are over 400 matches to spectate.

The event attracts thousands of visitors every year from all over the world who flock here to watch teams participate.

  • Every year the Gothenburg Book Fair grows in popularity and this September the theme is ‘Romania and Romanian Literature’. Guest speakers include prize-winning authors from all genres including crime fiction and children’s literature. The festival hosts a large number of exhibitions, author readings and books signings.  The festival runs from the 26-29 September, so make some room in your diary now.

Even if festivals aren’t your thing, you’ll find plenty of other things to do in Gothenburg and the surrounding area. A short train and ferry ride away are several dozen islands off the coastline housing pretty fishing villages and harbours. In the city you’ll find stunning Art Nouveau architecture, a lively café culture, art galleries and museums.

Will you be enjoying an open air concert in Sweden’s festival city this summer?

By Gareth Anderson

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