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Things to Do in Sweden - page 3

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Southern Gothenburg Archipelago

With more than 20 small islands dotted along the Kattegat sea coast, the southern archipelago is a fashionable retreat for Gothenburg locals, as well as a popular choice for boat cruises and day trips. The car-free islands offer a change of pace to mainland life, with traditional fishing villages, scenic footpaths, and picturesque landscapes.

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Slottsskogen Park

Gothenburg’s famous Slottsskogen Park contains 137 acres of woodland, open spaces, jogging trails and penguins right in the heart of the city. That’s right, penguins. At 2:30pm every day, you can even see the birds being fed at the lake they share with a group of clapping seals.

Throughout Slottsskogen Park there are open paddocks where you can see Swedish animals like elk, deer, and Gotland ponies. This is a park that doubles as a zoo -- the oldest one in Sweden. There’s also a children’s petting zoo, open in summer, where kids can get to know the park piglets, rabbits, and kid goats. It’s also fun to see the Swedish heritage area with small cottages from different regions.

Once used as deer hunting grounds, Slottsskogen has been a protected park since 1874. Wander the forest trail in late summer, past native beech, maple, and oak trees, and look out for wild strawberries and blueberries -- the perfect trail mix -- right at your feet. Or just relax at one of the park’s three cafés.

Slottsskogen is also home to the Way Out West festival every August, when major acts like Röyksopp and Robyn come to town. You may also see the Göteborg Symphony Orchestra playing a free outdoor concert. Sweden’s Midsummer celebration is another popular time to visit Slottsskogen, when families and friends come to picnic under the midnight sun.

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Gothenburg Botanical Garden (Botaniska Tradgarden)

One of Europe’s leading botanical gardens, Gothenburg’s Botanic Garden (Botaniska Trädgård) was opened in 1923, in celebration of Gothenburg’s 300-year-anniversary. Spread over 430 acres, visit the botanic gardens and famous arboretum, and see 16,000 species of plant, from American insect eaters to Himalayan plants.

Botaniska Trädgård is also home to a rock garden which has been given 3 stars in the Michelin Green Guide, as well as a Rhododendron Valley, Japanese Glade, and Kitchen Garden. In the greenhouses you can see 4,000 different plants, including 1,500 kinds of orchid. As you explore, keep a look out for the rare Sophora Toromiro tree, indigenous to Easter Island.

Just across the road from Slottsskogen Park, scattered among the garden’s woodland there are plenty of lawns where you can relax and have a picnic. There’s also a restaurant, Botaniska Paviljongen, where you can enjoy lunch, and an art gallery and shop.

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Volvo Museum

Spread over 8,000 square meters on the Gothenburg island of Hisingen, the Volvo Museum takes you from the company’s beginnings in Gothenburg in 1927, to its status today as a world-renowned vehicle manufacturer. You’ll see over 100 vehicles from the Volvo range, from the very first ÖV 4 car, to trucks, marine engines, aircrafts and today’s concept vehicles.

Of interest to anyone who’s curious about cars, engineering, and technology, on a visit to the modern museum you’ll learn all about the history of one of Sweden’s most-loved brands, and you’ll even see founders Gabrielsson and Larson’s joint desk from the early years, as well as displays of Volvo Aero and Volvo Penta products.

Once you’ve seen both floors of the museum and had your fill of sitting in and learning about the gleaming cars and trucks, it’s popular to take a walk along the seashore just west of the museum. At the entrance to the Volvo Museum there’s a café, souvenir store with exclusive Volvo merchandise and children’s playground.

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Universeum

Universeum is a public science center and museum in Gothenburg, Sweden. Opened in 2001, it offers hands-on workshops in each of its six sections, including a technology lab and an rainforest exhibit, and houses one of Europe’s largest aquariums.

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Gothenburg Garden Society (Tradgardsforeningen)

Just off Gothenburg’s main shopping avenue, Trädgårdsföreningen was founded in 1842 by King Carl XIV Johan as a park and horticultural garden to be enjoyed by the people.

Run by The Garden Society of Gothenburg, Trädgårdsföreningen is one of the best-preserved 19th-century parks in Sweden. Visit the acclaimed rose garden, where over 4,000 roses bloom in summer. To sit and smell the flowers while enjoying a bite to eat and drink, head to cafe Rosenkaféet. In summer, the Rosarium also hosts lunchtime concerts and children’s theaters.

At the gardens, you can also walk along the banks of Gothia River on which Trädgårdsföreningen is set. To see the garden’s exotic plants, from the tropics to the Mediterranean, visit the palm house which was built in 1878 and inspired by London’s Crystal Palace. There’s also a children’s playground, and plenty of spots to sit down and relax on the manicured lawns -- no “Do not walk on the grass here” signs here!

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