Friday, November 9, 2012

Trip Advisor "Lonely Planet" says Gothenburg Sweden is #2 on the Top Ten List

They're Kidding Right ??? 😆
photo credit by Wikipedia

The Central Train Station in Gothenburg

Most places in Scandinavia are NOT what I would consider the poster child of the old 1970s quote - "Europe on $10 a Day". And of all places Göteborg. In the central location of Göteborg, most of the older architecture as referenced in the above photo for the most part has gone extinct in favour of that New World Order look. In fact directly to the left of this shot which faces north is the popular central Shopping Mall called Nordstan. Not exactly my favourite place to hang out, but in cold rainy windy Göteborg it's where most residents get a life as opposed to being cooped up inside their homes. I don't get it, but Whatever! To me Nordstan always has that old 1960s/70s Parkway Plaza El Cajon California look about it.

Image -
Article from Gö as the Source:
Lonely Planet picks Gothenburg as one of the hottest and best value destinations for 2013. The guidebook giant recommends the characteristic neighbourhood Haga, the art place Röda Sten and the southern archipelago, among other things.
"There's good value in Sweden if you know where to look," claimed the travel guide Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2013 publication.
The guide listed Gothenburg in western Sweden as the best place in the world for those on a shoestring budget, behind only Brazil's Rio.
"This is extremely fun, almost surreal," said Camilla Nyhman, acting CEO of events company Göteborg och Co to the Göteborgs-Posten newspaper (GP)
 Lonely Planet praised the city's highlights that can be found behind the scenes.
The guide especially mentions neighbourhoods away from the city centre like Haga and a small town close to the city, Kvarnbyn, as well as cheap eats and art attractions like Röda Sten, plus picnic-friendly city views in Keillers Park.
"If that wasn't enough, ferries trundling round the beautiful, car-free southern archipelago are a tram ride from the city centre. In short, this is as much Scandinavia as you can get for your money."
The Swedish city came ahead of Namibia, Cambodia and Bolivia in the top five. Portland, Oregon in the US took home sixth place, with the rest of the list made up of Spain, Slovenia, Nepal and Georgia. 
Lonely Planet's Best Value Destinations

I'm still a bit shell shocked as to how or why Gothenborg Sweden would be second on that list for "Best Value Destinations" along side dirt poor countries like Cambodia, Namibia and Bolivia ????? Somebody pinch me. Gothenborg has better value than those Third World "next services 10 centuries ahead" countries ? Okay, I figured it out. On the Lonely Planet website there is a quote that reveals all.
"Thanks to West Sweden Tourism Board who sponsored our weekend break in Gothenburg" 
Wonder how much Kronor-$ they had to pay for second place ?  Well, I'm not exactly the one to promote the wonderful qualities of any city. I actually dislike most all cities. Even the home town in San Diego California where I come from. I just flat out hate crowds and traffic congestion that goes with living there. Must be why I excelled at creating urban landscape backyard escapes when I lived there before. Most of the photos of this place are a challenge to get. There is one coffee shop I like and I've been trying to get a photo of their normally beautifully tucked away in a hidden corner courtyard, but this blasted cold and and constant wet prevents this. The place is DaMatteo's Coffee House and well, here is what I got so far as an outside entrance shot.

image - Geotraveler's Niche

Gothenburg Files - coffee & bread tasting at da-Matteo

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da Matteo Café, Gothenburg
Believe it or not the day was far gloomier than it appears here in the photos when I last visited. I had to duck into the doorway of a business just across the street to keep from  getting soaked. Not much of an entrance but everyone seems to know where this place is. More on this place later. This da Matteo also has wonderful crusty sourdough bread and even multigrained. Okay, let's be fair, they do have some nice sunny warm days here in Sweden. So here is a photo below I found on Travel Pics of a bridge over one of the cities canals where the tourist boat tours are stationed. The area is Kungsportsplatsen. Mind you, it probably took a few months just for the perfect photo opp. I mean it really can be that long waiting for the perfect sunny day. - 😉

Hmmmm, I wonder what drought year this was taken ?

photo credit - Lonely Planet
Amazing what adjustments on a modern day technology Camera can do!

credit - Swedish Wiki

Stora Saluhallen (Market Hall)
Okay let's be serious. Here's a place I do like but it's hardly a bargain but use to be fun to visit. Saluhallen. This place is an old time Food Market that has an old world open air atmosphere about it. I said it "use to be fun" because this past year they have been remodeling it and every time any Swedish Government Authority wants to remodel something, they want it to have that modern generic plain ridiculous futuristic "New World Secular Order" look. They remove and trash any old world ornamentation which gives the place it's warmth and character. In fact a friend of mine and I were walking past this place a couple of weeks ago and noticed they had replaced these very kool looking ornate Victorian looking sliding automatic doors with these sterile generic aluminum framed  glass doors. Seriously ? Take a look below at what the inside always looked like.

Cheese Butter & Breads

image - Pinterest

Image - Pinterest

Fruit & Vegetable Produce

Butcher Shop Section
Maybe another time I'll post some shots of the remold of this place. I admit, coming from a climate where almost every day is a picture perfect day climate-wise, it's tough to stay in an environment which forces you to live indoors most of your life. So I am challenged to often adjust my attitude and find places like Saluhallen which make me forget the outside weather condition and the Genericness of Scandinavian. Nordstan doesn't and hasn't ever qualified. I don't mind paying a little extra for character, atmosphere & Charm. And despite what the Trip Advisor Lonely Planet said, Gothenburg is not an ideal place for inexpesive budget. Sales tax is 25% , 18% on groceries, no free parking anywhere and generally the economic structure makes it more expensive because so many things have to be imported. There are places to have a good time here, but you need to do your homework.

Saluhallen Reconstruction
I'm so nervous the so-called improvements may have wrecked the warmth and coziness of the atmosphere. Knowing the track record of how most improvements go here, it's a scary possibility.
Stay Tuned!


  1. New World Order architectural style...true, though probably spelled more like "New World Ørder"!

    I take it that Ikea is New World Ørder-approved furniture, perhaps uber-furniture?

    Your points make sense, and I would say Sweden looks like a nice place to visit, armed with some cash, and an umbrella.

  2. Yeah i seriously can't figure out the motivation for such decor and architectural styling. I was shocked it got number two on that list of cheapy places beating out Namibia, Bolivia and Cambodia ?

    Seriously ? Isn't it amazing what a little bribe like wining and dining can do ?


    1. Abq, when we had a past mayor, marketed a number of things city, sustainable city, fit city, etc. Most folks saw through that, though not some here who keep wishing this place will improve. I cannot imagine anything in Scandinavia being affordable.

    2. Norway is the worst. My first year here in 2006 we went to Oslo Norway. Insanely expensive and cold and rainy. Didn't really enjoy that part of my stay there. One We stayed in a Hotel on the outskirts of the city and decided one evening to go to city center and have a meal at a Cafe. Everywhere we went along their restaurant row the prices listed out from of the restaurant revealed it would have cost all four of us about a $100 a piece.

      Finally we found a Burger King. That cost us about $25 a piece.

      As far as Eco Green I'm all for it, but i don't think it needs to cost an arm and a leg to acquire it. I also don't want something aesthetically unappealing. Part of my enjoyment in life is with my dwelling or habitat is warm cozy eye appealing surroundings. I don't want to live in a City of Domes like Tucson's Biosphere-2.


  3. Great post, I found it very interesting to read your thoughts about this subject. And it was definitely surprising to find out about Gothenburg being #2 on that list. Though it is a charming city, (like most of Sweden) prices are rather high of course.

    I enjoyed the photos here too by the way. :-)

    1. Thanks, I was blown away when I first read about this. Seriously, how is Göteborg far cheaper than third world countries like Cambodia, Namibia or Bolivia ? Seriously ?

      There are some charming places to see if they don't ruin them. I still don't get modern Scandinavian design and architecture.


  4. I agree. When i first got the news, i was totally blown away also.
    Now i m living here. I don't get the beauty of it...
    Rainy and expensive, the city is divided by tram tracks and wires.. I don't get the LP idea

    Stockholm is so much better

  5. Yes the weather is a major annoyance for me as well. Where I come from we live much of our lives outdoors. Here I often feel like a prisoner to an interior environment for no other reason than to keep dry and warm. Life for many in Gothenburg is Nordstan, which reminds me of an old dinosaur of 1960s cold war architecture.


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