Gothenburg may not offer the grandeur of Stockholm, but what this seafaring city lacks in pomp it compensates for in charm, from its many parks and gardens — there are 274 square meters of green space for every citizen — to its queer-friendly vibe: For West Pride, the city is decorated annually with 1,000 rainbow flags that flap and flutter high over churches, schools, and government buildings.
It’s also a dining mecca, with its Michelin-starred seafood restaurant Sjömagasinet, housed in a 1775 wooden structure on the waterfront, and Norda Bar & Grill in the Clarion Hotel, a major supporter of 2018 EuroPride, which takes place this summer in Stockholm and Gothenburg over two separate weeks (July 27-August 5 in Stockholm, and August 14-19 in Gothenburg). There’s plenty to keep you occupied in this cheery northern metropolis, but you’d be denying yourself one of life’s great pleasures if you didn’t use it as nature intended: as a stepping stone for a trip up Sweden’s bewitching West Coast.
First though, do as the natives do, and make time for a fortifying fika in Gothenburg. There’s no shortage of choices to enjoy a strong coffee and pastry, but on a sunny morning, sitting in the courtyard outside Da Matteo (Magasinsgatan 17) is heaven. The strong, ethically-sourced coffee pairs equisitely with the caramom buns baked on the premises. At weekends, a spread (shown above) of breads, jellies, and cheese is laid out for customers to craft their own feast. Sated and caffeinated, you are ready to start your west coast adventure.