Gothenburg is the second-largest city in Sweden and the fifth-largest in the Nordic countries. Situated by Kattegat, on the west coast of Sweden, the city has a population of approximately 550,000 in the urban area and about 1 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area.
Gothenburg was founded as a heavily fortified, primarily Dutch, trading colony, by royal charter in 1621 by King Gustavus Adolphus. In addition to the generous privileges (e.g. tax relaxation) given to his Dutch allies from the then-ongoing Thirty Years' War, the king also attracted significant numbers of his German and Scottish allies to populate his only town on the western coast. At a key strategic location at the mouth of the Göta älv, where Scandinavia's largest drainage basin enters the sea, the Port of Gothenburg is now the largest port in the Nordic countries.
Gothenburg is home to many students, as the city includes the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. Volvo was founded in Gothenburg in 1927. The original, parent Volvo Group and the now separate Volvo Car Corporation are still headquartered on the island of Hisingen in the city. Other key companies are SKF and Astra Zeneca.
Gothenburg is served by Göteborg Landvetter Airport 30 km (18.64 mi) southeast of the city center. The smaller Göteborg City Airport, 15 km (9.32 mi) from the city center, was closed to regular airline traffic in 2015.
The city hosts some of the largest annual events in Scandinavia. The Gothenburg Film Festival, held in January since 1979, is the leading Scandinavian film festival with over 155,000 visitors each year. In summer, a wide variety of music festivals are held in the city, such as Way Out West and Metaltown.
Gothenburg is located on the west coast, in southwestern Sweden, about halfway between the capitals Copenhagen, Denmark, and Oslo, Norway. The location at the mouth of the Göta älv, which feeds into Kattegatt, an arm of the North Sea, has helped the city grow in significance as a trading city. The archipelago of Gothenburg consists of rough, barren rocks and cliffs, which also is typical for the coast of Bohuslän. Due to the Gulf Stream, the city has a mild climate and moderately heavy precipitation. It is the second-largest city in Sweden after capital Stockholm.
The Gothenburg Metropolitan Area (Stor-Göteborg) has 982,360 inhabitants and extends to the municipalities of Ale, Alingsås, Göteborg, Härryda, Kungälv, Lerum, Lilla Edet, Mölndal, Partille, Stenungsund, Tjörn, Öckerö in Västra Götaland County, and Kungsbacka in Halland County.
Angered, a suburb outside Gothenburg, consists of Hjällbo, Eriksbo, Rannebergen, Hammarkullen, Gårdsten, and Lövgärdet. It is a Million Programme part of Gothenburg, like Rosengård in Malmö and Botkyrka in Stockholm. Angered had about 50,000 inhabitants in 2015. It lies north of Gothenburg and is isolated from the rest of the city. Bergsjön is another Million Programme suburb north of Gothenburg, it has 14,000 inhabitants. Biskopsgården is the biggest multicultural suburb on the island of Hisingen, which is a part of Gothenburg but separated from the city by the river.
Many of the cultural institutions, as well as hospitals and the university, were created by donations from rich merchants and industrialists, for example the Röhsska Museum. On 29 December 2004, the Museum of World Culture opened near Korsvägen. Museums include the Gothenburg Museum of Art, and several museums of sea and navigation history, natural history, the sciences, and East India. Aeroseum, close to the Göteborg City Airport, is an aircraft museum in a former military underground air force base. The Volvo museum has exhibits of the history of Volvo and the development from 1927 until today. Products shown include cars, trucks, marine engines, and buses.
Universeum is a public science centre that opened in 2001, the largest of its kind in Scandinavia. It is divided into six sections, each containing experimental workshops and a collection of reptiles, fish, and insects. Universeum occasionally host debates between Swedish secondary-school students and Nobel Prize laureates or other scholars.
The most noted attraction is the amusement park Liseberg, located in the central part of the city. It is the largest amusement park in Scandinavia by number of rides, and was chosen as one of the top ten amusement parks in the world (2005) by Forbes. It is the most popular attraction in Sweden by number of visitors per year (more than 3 million).
There are a number of independent theatre ensembles in the city, besides institutions such as Gothenburg City Theatre, Backa Theatre (youth theatre), and Folkteatern.
The main boulevard is called Kungsportsavenyn (commonly known as Avenyn, "The Avenue"). It is about 1 km (0.62 mi) long and starts at Götaplatsen — which is the location of the Gothenburg Museum of Art, the city's theatre, and the city library, as well as the concert hall— and stretches all the way to Kungsportsplatsen in the old city centre of Gothenburg, crossing a canal and a small park. The Avenyn was created in the 1860s and 1870s as a result of an international architecture contest, and is the product of a period of extensive town planning and remodelling. Avenyn has Gothenburg's highest concentration of pubs and clubs. Sweden's largest shopping centre, Nordstan, is located in central Gothenburg.
Gothenburg's Haga district is known for its picturesque wooden houses and its cafés serving the well-known Haga bulle – a large cinnamon roll similar to the kanelbulle.
Five Gothenburg restaurants have a star in the 2008 Michelin Guide: 28 +, Basement, Fond, Kock & Vin, Fiskekrogen, and Sjömagasinet. The city has a number of star chefs – over the past decade, seven of the Swedish Chef of the Year awards have been won by people from Gothenburg.
The Gustavus Adolphus pastry, eaten every 6 November in Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus Day, is especially connected to, and appreciated in, Gothenburg because the city was founded by King Gustavus Adolphus.
One of Gothenburg's most popular natural tourist attractions is the Southern Gothenburg Archipelago, which is a set of several islands that can be reached by ferry boats mainly operating from Saltholmen. Within the archipelago are the Älvsborg fortress, Vinga and Styrsö islands.
Due to Gothenburg's advantageous location in the centre of Scandinavia, trade and shipping have always played a major role in the city's economic history, and they continue to do so. Gothenburg port has come to be the largest harbour in Scandinavia.
Apart from trade, the second pillar of Gothenburg has traditionally been manufacturing and industry, which significantly contributes to the city's wealth. Major companies operating plants in the area include SKF, Volvo, and Ericsson. Volvo Cars is the largest employer in Gothenburg, not including jobs in supply companies. The blue-collar industries which have dominated the city for long are still important factors in the city's economy, but they are being gradually replaced by high-tech industries.
Banking and finance are also important, as well as the event and tourist industry.
Gothenburg is the terminus of the Valdemar-Göteborg gas pipeline, which brings natural gas from the North Sea fields to Sweden, through Denmark.
Historically, Gothenburg was home base from the 18th century of the Swedish East India Company. From its founding until the late 1970s, the city was a world leader in shipbuilding, with such shipyards as Eriksbergs Mekaniska Verkstad, Götaverken, Arendalsvarvet, and Lindholmens varv. Gothenburg is classified as a global city by GaWC, with a ranking of Gamma. The city has been ranked as the 12th-most inventive city in the world by Forbes.