Gothenburg – essential information

The official Gothenburg site:

Gothenburg is located in beautiful West Sweden, have a look:


  • Passport or EU national identity card for identification.
  • Powerplug adapter for 220-240 V AC 50Hz (European Schuko plug).
  • European Health Service card, if you are an EU/EES citizen.

Banking matters

Bank hours

Banks are generally open Mon-Fri 10:00-15:00. Additional opening hours apply in the afternoon at least once a week. All banks are closed on public holidays.

Cash withdrawals

Use your Visa, MasterCard, Maestro or Cirrus card at any ATM (“bankomat” or “uttagsmaskin”).

Credit cards

Major credit and debit cards are widely accepted in shops, restaurants, hotels and taxis. Restrictions may apply to American Express and Diners.


The monetary unit is the Swedish Krona (SEK). Bank notes are printed in values of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 kronor; and coins in values of 1, 5 and 10 kronor. Sweden has yet to ratify the Euro treaty. There is no limit on the amount of Swedish and foreign currency taken into Sweden. For current exchange rates click here.

Foreign exchange facilities

A number of exchange offices (Forex and X-change) are located in central Gothenburg and at the airports. Ask your hotel reception for the closest office and opening hours.

Travellers’ cheques

Travellers’ cheques are generally accepted as payment throughout Sweden. Change will be given in Swedish kronor. Please note that a nominal fee is charged when using the cheques as payment.

City card

A city card offers unlimited travels on public transport as well as discounts at restaurants, shops, tourist attractions and sightseeing tours. 24 or 48-hour cards are available at hotels, kiosks and the tourist office.


Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Gothenburg has a milder climate than most other northern regions. The four seasons have its perks and affects nature, daylight and temperature. On average, the warmest month is July and the coolest is February. From late February the days become longer and brighter; during mid-summer the sun hardly sets at all. Click here for a weather forecast.



  • Country code: +46
  • Gothenburg area code: 031
  • There is excellent wireless GSM and 3G/UMTS coverage in Sweden. Americans will need a tri-band phone.
  • Pay phones require either a prepaid phone card or a credit/debit card, or Swedish or Euro coins. Phone cards are available at most newsagents and grocery stores.


Sweden is the world’s second most Internet connected country. As an alternative to Wi-Fi, prepaid USB 3G modems can be bought quite cheaply in many shops.

Eating out

A large amount of restaurants are located in the city centre. Be it first-class, gourmet, trendy or traditional. Cuisine from all over the world is offered at reasonable prices. You’ll also find the usual fast-food outlets and pizzerias. There are plenty of cafés and cafeterias for lighter snack.

The popular hot-dog stands serve the Gothenburg specialty “halv special”, a hot-dog in a bun and mashed potatoes. Top it with “västkustsallad”, a mayonnaise based seafood mix.

Breakfast, international buffet style, is generally included in the accommodation. The Dish of the day, “Dagens rätt”, is available in most restaurants at lunchtime, which is served from about 11:00 to 14:00.

For more information please visit


Call 112 in case of fire, medical or criminal emergency.

No area code is needed, regardless of what phone you’re using. The number works on any mobile phone, with or without a SIM card, even if it’s locked.


The electrical current in Sweden is 220 V/50 Hz. Round European-style two-pin plugs are used.

Health care and insurance


If you are in urgent need of dental care, call the Emergency Dental Care.
Tel: +46 (0)31-80 78 00.
Mon-Fri 08:00-20:00, Sat-Sun 08:00-16:00


Ensure coverage by your own health insurance and bring necessary documents on the trip. Citizens from within EU/EEA countries and some other countries, with which Sweden has a special agreement, are entitled to the same medical services as the Swedes. Citizens from North America and other countries from outside the EU/EEA countries must pay in full for the medical treatment.

If you’re a European citizen a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 27 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Same conditions, and costs, apply as for people insured in that country. Apply for an EHIC at the European Commission.

Medical treatment

The Medical Information Service (Sjukvårdsrådgivningen), tel +46 1177, is a 24-hour provider of free healthcare information and consulting.

For medical treatment, visit the nearest health centre (vårdcentral). The emergency ward (akutmottagning) is located at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Bring your passport and your European Health Insurance Card.

Drop-in or book an appointment:

Specialistkliniken Heden, Engelbrektsgatan 59
Mon-Thu 08:00 – 17:00
Tel: +46 (0)31-20 82 20

Jourcentral Gamlestadstorget, Gamlestadsvägen 4 B:15
Mon-Fri 17:00-22:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-22:00
Tel: +46 (0)31-345 07 53


There are several different pharmacies (apotek) in Gothenburg and you find one on almost every street. Opening hours are the same as shops. Apoteket Hjärtat, located in the shopping centre Nordstan, is open until 22:00.

Many supermarkets carry non-prescription supplies such as band aid, antiseptics and painkillers.


No vaccinations are required to enter Sweden.


Swedish is the national language, but most people speak English.

Postal services

Post offices are a service integrated in various shops; grocery stores, kiosks, gas stations etc. Opening hours are generally the same as the specific store. Look for the blue postal sign with the yellow bugle.

Stamps can also be bought at most newsagents. Use the yellow post box.


Most shops are open between 10:00 and 18:00 and on weekends until 14:00. Department stores are open until 19:00 or longer on weekdays. Most are also open on Sundays between noon and 16:00.

VAT is always included on the price tag.

Tax free

All permanent non-EU residents are entitled to a VAT refund available on all purchases made in Sweden. Tax Free Shopping by Global Blue is a simple system that puts cash in your hand when you leave the EU. You get refunds of up to 19% on your purchases. The minimum purchase is SEK 200.

For more information visit Tax free shopping in Sweden.

Smoking policy

A smoking ban applies to public indoor spaces such as restaurants, cafés, nightclubs and pubs.

Tap water

Tap water in Sweden is of great quality. There is no real reason for buying bottled water.


UTC+1 hour. Daylight Saving Time is used from the last Sunday of March to last Sunday of October.

Dates are usually written in the following order: year, month, day, e.g. 1 April 2013 is written 2013-04-01 or just 130401.


A service charge is automatically included in all Swedish hotel and restaurant bills. Tipping for special services is not expected and is simply a matter of personal taste. Tipping at restaurants is not mandatory, but a small gratuity (5-10 %) is customary for evening meals if good service is received. Porters and cloakroom attendants often charge fixed fees. Taxi drivers should be given a few extra kronor.

Travel in Gothenburg

By foot or bike

You can easily explore Gothenburg by foot as almost everything is found within walking distance. There are also almost 1,000 city rental bikes are available at 70 stations around town from March to November.


Sweden, like most other European countries, has right-hand traffic. Bring your driving licence whenever you drive. The speed limit signs are in km/h. Seatbelts are compulsory, even in the back seat, and headlights must always be on. The legal alcohol limit in Sweden is stringent, and alcohol should be avoided completely when driving.

Most petrol stations are self-service, open seven days a week, and some are open 24 hours.

Car rental services are available with Avis, Budget, Hertz and Europcar.

Public transport

A bus or tram stop will most likely be on the hotel and venue doorstep. Take the tram or get on a ferry to see Gothenburg and its archipelago. The same ticket applies for trams, buses and ferries. For best price, buy a short term travel card or a city card.

Västtrafik To Go – mobile ticket for trams, ferries and buses

Buy your ticket with your VISA card with the app Västtrafik To Go. The ticket i valid for 90 minutes and costs 28SEK.

Download Västtrafik to Go on Google Play.
Download Västtrafik To Go on App Store.

Reseplaneraren (Travel Planner)

With the app Reseplaneraren you can easily look up routes, departures and schedules for trams, buses, boats and trains right in your phone. The app is free to download and available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone in both English and Swedish (it automatically adapts to your phone language settings).

For more information on public transport please visit or Västtrafik.


Taxis can be hailed in the streets. Prices vary from company to company. Ask for a fixed price when travelling to or from the airport, but should be around 400-500SEK.

Taxi Göteborg     tel +46 (0)31-65 00 00
Taxi Kurir            tel +46 (0)31-27 27 27
Mini Taxi             tel +46 (0)31-14 01 40

Travel to Gothenburg

Gothenburg is located on the west coast of Sweden. Direct connections by air are available from around 50 destinations. Together with trains and an excellent road and ferry network a fast journey is ensured. Travel by air from southern Europe takes less than three hours. London and Paris are only 1.5 hours away. Two airports are located within 25 minutes reach of the city centre.

Shuttle services

Frequent shuttle services from City Airport (GSE) or Landvetter Airport (GOT) take you to the city within 25 minutes of disembarkment.

Tickets can be pre-ordered over the internet. You can also buy tickets at Cityterminalen, the airport, at resellers or on board with a charge card. A ticket machine can also be found at some bus stops.

Customs and border formalities

Participants are advised to make their own arrangements with respect to entering Sweden. If you do need a visa to visit Sweden, please apply a minimum of three months prior to your trip. For further information on entry requirements and visas, please visit the Swedish Migration Board. For a letter of invitation, please contact your organiser.

Customs regulations: Please see information at Customs Administration of Sweden (Tullverket).

Tourist information

Theatre, concerts, exhibitions and annual festivals make the city buzz all year around. Crosscheck your schedule with the event calendar when planning your trip. The official tourist website is

The two Gothenburg Tourist Centres are located on Kungsportsplatsen and in the shopping centre Nordstan. Here you can buy the City Card, souvenirs, books, maps and tickets for excursions. The Tourist Centres have details of what’s happening in Gothenburg during your visit and offer expert advice on various events.

You can also book a sightseeing tour with one of the qualified City guides. If you prefer to go on your own you’ll find downloadable maps for a citywalk by foot and a citywalk by tram. You can also download the official tourist guide.

Contact:        Tourist Information Contact Centre
Tel +46 (0)31-368 42 00
Fax +46 (0)31-368 42 38