Gothenburg City Guide

Gothenburg is Sweden’s lively west coast gem and second largest city. With its blend of historic charm, modern innovation, and vibrant culture, the “most sustainable city in the world” located along the Göta älv river has something for everyone. From picturesque streets and world-class museums to a thriving food scene and an ambitious sports community, Gothenburg welcomes a holy trinity: explore, indulge, and boost your athletic performance.

To make the most of this Gothenburg city guide for endurance athletes, note a few patterns and features. Facilities are broken into categories according to their running, cycling or swimming focus, with a separate section highlighting quality gym facilities in Gothenburg. Finally, the Sleeping & Eating section towards the end of the guide provides an insight into good places for sleeping and fuelling during your time in Gothenburg. 

Orientation & Logistics

Gothenburg is located on Sweden’s southwest coast, between Copenhagen and Oslo, making it a strategic trading centre. Its position at the mouth of the Göta älv river, flowing into the Kattegat, an arm of the North Sea, has contributed to its growth. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the city offers a mild climate with moderate rainfall. The city is connected to international flight travel through Landvetter airport, only a twenty minute drive and regular shuttle bus from the centre. 

The city is divided into two parts by the Göta älv and therefore offers two different characters. To the south are the main public attractions and historic buildings, while to the north is are very modern and hip areas including the tallest tower in Sweden and Scandinavia – the Karlatornet. Both parts are worth a visit, but if you are only there for a few days, the old town is your spot to get a feel for the city. 

For the old town, get orientated using landmarks like Gustav Adolf’s Square and the Gothenburg Opera House. Nearby, the historic Haga district entices with its cobblestone streets and charming cafes, while the trendy Linné neighborhood boasts a lively arts scene and eclectic boutiques. To the north lies the industrial-chic district of Majorna, renowned for its bohemian atmosphere and thriving creative community. Across the river, the charming neighborhood of Eriksberg offers stunning waterfront views and a bustling marina. Further east, the district of Örgryte-Härlanda charms with its leafy parks and traditional Swedish architecture.

For a taste of Gothenburg’s maritime heritage, visit the iconic Fish Market (Feskekôrka) and stroll along the bustling harbor promenade. Explore the city’s cultural treasures at institutions like the Gothenburg Museum of Art and the Universeum science center, or immerse yourself in nature at the picturesque Slottsskogen park.

Getting around Gothenburg is a breeze, thanks to its efficient public transportation system, including trams, buses, and ferries. The city’s extensive network of bike paths makes cycling a popular and eco-friendly way to explore its scenic streets and green spaces.

In Gothenburg, the climate leans towards the Baltic type, characterised by chilly winters and mild summers. Positioned on Sweden’s southwest coast, the city borders the Kattegat strait separating it from Denmark, which moderates its climate due to ocean currents. Consequently, Gothenburg experiences milder temperatures compared to inland areas, albeit with higher rainfall. While not as temperate as Malmö in the far south, Gothenburg still encounters around 40 days per year with temperatures below -5 °C (23 °F) and 100 days below freezing.

During the summer months, Gothenburg typically experiences around 15 days with temperatures surpassing 25°C (77°F), although it’s rare to reach 30°C (86°F). Due to its latitude, the city enjoys the phenomenon of white nights from May 22nd to July 21st, where the sun sets but darkness never fully envelops the sky, even at midnight. The ideal time to explore Gothenburg is during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is at its mildest. However, be prepared for occasional rainy days and cooler temperatures at night.


No matter if you are into trail, road or prefer running on the track, Gothenburg offers the full spectrum. 

If you’re looking to throw on spikes, there are two main locations for a good track session. First, Slottskogsvallen Idrottscentrum not only offers a great 400m track (currently under renovation until 7th of july, 2024) but also features a 200m indoor facility for training during cold winter months. Opening hours are usually from 9am to 8pm but can vary depending on reserved spots so make sure to check the website before you head there. The price to access the track is around 150SEK/13EUR/11GBP and slightly more if you are also interested in using other facilities like the gym. 

Slottskogsvallen Track

An alternative is in the neighbouring municipality called Mölndal. Even though it might take you a bit to get there (6.6km from Korsvägen), it is open all day and there is no fee to pay for entering. The track is sometimes used by the neighbouring high school but as long as you are not showing up in a big group, there is no problem for you completing your workout simultaneously.

If you are looking for a spot to do a little shake out, a 5k loop in the park Slottsskogen, next to the track is your spot. It is easily accessible wherever you stay in the centre and offers a quiet and picturesque atmosphere to escape the bustling city life. Just take the tram to Linneplatsen or jog up the street Linnegatan from Järntorget. The park even offers a free outdoor zoo for you to witness penguins, seals and other nordic creatures while you’re jogging by. 

The park also offers a hill in the center which is a great place to do some hill repeats in case you are looking for a spot to get the heart rate going while building some strength. The road is called Säldammsbacken and leads you past the earlier mentioned outdoor zoo.

Finding a totally flat route in Gothenburg is very tricky, but there is one good cycle path, heading south from Linneplatsen, which is the perfect path to do a longer tempo or just a casual run without any elevation gain. If you follow it long enough, you will be rewarded by a view across the sea with the famous red huts along the water.

If you are looking for something central but more adventurous, head to the tram station “Botaniska” and enjoy the beautiful trails within the natural reserves of Änggårdsbergen. There you will find numerous trails within the beautiful pine forest, passing lakes and exploring wildlife. Make sure to take a break on the Promenaden Ljungheden and enjoy a beautiful view over the city. The loops around the natural reserve can range from 12 to 16 km depending on which trail you choose, but no worries, there are several maps located along the trails so you won’t get lost.

The best spot to do a long run is without a doubt in Skatås. Even though it is located a bit outside of the center (3 km from Korsvägen or 4-5km from Central station), it is worth a visit. There you also have the possibility to choose between loops, one with electric light measuring 2.5km, 5km and 8 km, and the terrain trails taking you around the lake delsjön measure 10 and 18 km respectively. The beautiful scenery will take your breath away, as well as the rolling hills so be prepared.

Running in Skatos

If you prefer a route with less elevation or trails, running along the route of the famous Göteborgsvarvet half marathon is a gem. It not only takes you through the whole city and allows you to do some extra sightseeing but also leads you across the river into the modern and hip new parts of the city. Crossing the two bridges might still be an effort due to the wind but the view will make up for all the struggle. Additionally there is a long stretch along the river which offers new impressions and also plenty of cute cafes in case you want to take a break and refuel.

If you are eager to join a group workout session, make sure to join all the clubs on Saturday 10:30am in Skatas. This day, all the ambitious runners (sometimes even national champions) show up and do a session together. The exact location varies so make sure to reach out to one of the clubs beforehand to get more information about the spot and the workout. One of the biggest clubs in Gothenburg is Örgryte IS, and they will gladly give you the information.


Cyclists really are spoiled in Gothenburg. All the streets feature bike lanes and even routes that take you further out of the city, usually offer marks on the road or a separate bike path next to it. Most of the longer routes include lots of hills but there is also the option to ride along the coast where it is totally flat.  When it comes to safety, there won’t be any issues, as long as you comply with common traffic rules. Car drivers are very respectful to cyclists and drive accordingly. 

So if you prefer an easy spin, starting from Linneplatsen you can take the bike path called “Annedalsmotet” towards the south. You will pass the park slottskogen and after approximately 10km you will get the first glimpse of the sea. If you continue all the way down, you will reach Copenhagen. No joke! It would just take a while (300km). 

If you are up for challenging the hills, there are plenty of beautiful routes heading inland. One of the classics is a loop starting in Kalltorp towards Jonsered, then through the beautiful forest of Herkeshulk towards Landvetter and then past Landvettersjön (lake) back to the city centre. Depending on where you start in the city, the loop is 35-40 km long with 470-500 m of Elevation gain. Just make sure to look out for potholes on the descent after Jonsered. 

The same route can also be extended if you keep on cycling straight instead of up the hill into the forest in Jonsered. Instead you can make your way towards Lerum and then head south back to Landvetter and complete the route towards the city centre. This would add an additional 30 km and roughly double the elevation gain. 

If you’re into gravel or mountain biking in Gothenburg, Skatas is your spot. The trails which are recommended to try out running are also perfect to experience by bike. Additionally, there are several smaller trails weaving through the forest and invite any outdoor person to explore. 

Gothenburg is a paradise for mountain bikers, and if you don’t have your own mountain bike with you, you can rent one from the MTB Store. The shop is located on Övre Husargatan, just a stone’s throw from Änggårdsbergen, a popular area for trail cyclists.

For other bike rentals, check out Cykelfiket in Heden. There, you can have your bike fixed, be served coffee and rent a bike for up to a week. There are three different types to choose from, and all bikes cost 300 kr per day. Specialized Concept Store on Odinsplatsen also rents out gravel bikes.

If you are looking to hop into a group rides, Gothenburg has a lot to offer. If gravel is your thing, the Specialized Concept Store organise a social ride every Monday starting a 6pm at their store. Another great address if your into road biking is Cykelfiket near Strömmensberg. These offer a group ride on Fridays at 4:30pm where you can enjoy 40 km of easy riding with the locals. 


Even though Gothenburg does not offer a lot of different locations, to swim at, the ones present won’t disappoint. The most central is Valhallabadet right next to Scandinavium. It is one of Scandinavia’s largest indoor baths with just over half a million visitors annually and offers a 50m and 25m pools, gym, sauna, Roman bath, etc. The opening hours range from 6:30am or 7am until 7pm during weekdays, and 7am or 11am till 3pm on the weekends. Just make sure to check the website before you head there to see if there is a competition going on. Sometimes they have to close the pools on the weekend.

Valhallabadet 50m pool [Photo: Got Event]

The other bath to visit is Åbybadet in Möndal. It also offers a 50m and 25m pool, a family bath and a hot bath. It is a bit further away from the centre but a good alternative. The opening hours are also extended on the weekend in case you are motivated for a late afternoon plunge. 

If you are brave enough and are looking for some free water swimming, Delsjön is the place to go. Located in the beautiful forest of Skatas, it features not only stunning scenery but also clear water. Just make sure to bring your wetsuit. Even in summer, the water is still cold. 


Outside of the many hotels in Gothenburg that have fitness facilities, your best bet for a private gym is Nordic Wellness. They have locations all across the city and offer a wide range of services including fitness facilities and group classes. Another good alternative is SATS where a day pass is 200 kr. They also have 4 locations right in the city centre. All the SATS locations typically have free weights, stationary bikes, and oftentimes will have options for instructor-led classes. A bonus, the gym in Heden is directly connected to Valhallabadet so you are free to go for a plunge or spend some time in the sauna after your session. 

For a truly free option, there are several simple outdoor gyms with a few machines in Heden (very central), Finnsmossen, Askimbadet, or Skatås.

Sleeping & Eating

Nearby dining options include the unmissable burger offering at, The Barn with the first coffee gateway being Da Matteo who also roast in town. The breakfast at Hotel Riverton is well worth dropping in for, even if you’re not a guest (more on the hotel below).

deluxe_room_Hotel Riverton Gothenburg
Bedroom at Hotel Riverton

Hotel Riverton is one of Gothenburg’s design hotels, reflecting boutique elements with a central location 11 minutes from Gothenburg Central Station and Nils Ericson Terminal, departure/arrival point for Flygbussarna from the Göteborg Landvetter Airport.

The hotel has been family-owned and operated since 1991, and has recently undergone a major renovation to include modern amenities with refined finishes. Despite the building accommodating 210 rooms and a full-service restaurant and rooftop bar, Hotel Riverton maintains an intimate feel and westerly gaze over the mouth of the Göta älv (river).

Thank you to Lemi Wutz for contributing this city guide