Gothenburg is one of the richest hubs of art, culture, history and science in Scandinavia. With its historic architecture, embrace of artistic individuality and wealth of street art, walking the historic streets of Sweden’s second-largest city can feel like you’re strolling through a living gallery.
Gothenburg’s many museums are prime examples of the city’s longstanding love of art and history. Within their halls you’ll find ancient artifacts and modern masterpieces. Prehistoric creatures and futuristic science. You’ll even meet a monkey or two. These are the best museum experiences for all ages in Gothenburg – including special displays celebrating the city’s 400th anniversary in 2023.
In summer 2023, art and history are taking centre stage as Gothenburg celebrates its 400th anniversary. Special exhibits commemorating the city’s history will be on display throughout the city’s museums, galleries, public spaces and venues. Among the highlights are Museum of Gothenburg “400 Years of History” and “The Thing About Gothenburg,” an examination of the most beloved (and most hated) objects at the museum; “A Genius Mind,” which focuses on street-art icon Banksy at Eriksbergshallen; and much more.
Many exhibits will be on display through the end of 2023. A full calendar of events is available here.
Housed in the former home of the Swedish East India Company, the Göteborgs Stadsmuseum (Museum of Gothenburg) is instantly recognisable along the city’s canals. The museum is dedicated to chronicling the evolution of life in Sweden, from prehistoric times through modern. From fashion to music and from ancient Viking adventures to industrial innovations, it’s a place where art and history coexist.
With the iconic Poseidon fountain welcoming visitors to its cavernous halls, Göteborgs Konstmuseum (Gothenburg Museum of Art) is the centrepiece of the city’s arts district. The museum displays works by world-famous masters such as Picasso, van Gough and Rembrandt, plus renowned Swedish artists and others. Its wealth of paintings, sculptures, tapestries and more have earned it praise as one of the best collections of art in Northern Europe. Whether you spend an hour or a day, it’s a must-see for any art lover.
Conveniently located on a hill above Slottsskogen park, Göteborgs Naturhistoriska Museum (Natural History Museum) features a wide array of preserved animals from across 3.8 million years of planetary evolution. Here you’ll find fossilised dinosaur skeletons along with creatures big and small from the oceans, savannas and mountains of the world. It’s also home to one of Gothenburg’s most famous residents: A 16-meter, stuffed whale calf.
Science comes alive at Universeum. Visitors can brave rope bridges to explore a multi-floor indoor rainforest complete with monkeys and toucans, or visit an astounding aquarium where sharks swim through transparent tanks overhead. The hands-on museum also features interactive displays dedicated to space exploration, health and more. It’s an experience so fun that you might forget you’ve spent a whole day learning: part zoo, part lab, part playground and all amazing.
Volvo is ingrained in Gothenburg’s identity, and the legendary automaker’s museum is a must for car aficionados and novices alike. More than 100 trace the history of Volvo – including cars, busses, trucks, and more – and focus on the company’s various environmental and safety innovations. The museum will soon move to an ultramodern new facility near Liseberg, so now is the perfect time to experience the original Volvo Museum before it, too, becomes part of the company’s history.
The Maritiman museum offers a unique, interactive way to explore its impact the sea and maritime culture have on the city – and the city’s impact on the water. In this “living museum” on the city’s iconic waterfront, you can explore the interior of a submarine, climb onboard a destroyer and more – all while learning about the history of life at sea in Scandinavia. All aboard for fun, education and a unique way to bring history to life.
Gothenburg is a global community, and Världskulturmuseerna (Museum of World Culture) offers a way to explore and celebrate the contributions and traditions of people from around the world. Located in a gorgeous modern facility near Liseberg, the museum often supplements its exhibitions with festivals, music, food and more, offering a unique way to immerse yourself into cultures while learning about their impacts and influences on the region.