Färjenäsparken in Gothenburg - projected vision of the park, Source: Gothenburg Visitor Center

Gothenburg earns Best Sustainable City Stay accolade from Lonely Planet

Gothenburg earns Best Sustainable City Stay accolade from Lonely Planet

The Swedish city keeps on shining in that aspect and can be considered a role model to follow

2021 is a big year for the Swedish city of Gothenburg because it will celebrate its 400th birthday. Travel advise website Lonely Planet also recently awarded the city the distinction of being Best Sustainable City Stay in its annual rankings. But we cannot say that this was just a nod of recognition prompted by the anniversary. The reality is that since 2016, Gothenburg has consistently topped the Global Destination Sustainability Index so its residents, businesses and institutions must be doing something right.

It is about time more people discovered this Swedish gem

It has not always been that way. Located on Sweden’s western coast, Gothenburg had long served as an entry point and a port city, with much of its initial identity built around that. Industrialization was heavily centred around the port area and there are still vestiges of that.

However, this is also a city that has shown the true value of transformation. Nowadays, warehouses have become restaurants and food halls, boiler rooms have turned into art galleries and slaughterhouses into wineries. Astounding statistics show that 95% of the local hotels are green certified and 97% of public transport runs on renewable energy sources.

Sustainability itself is the stand-out feature of the city and can serve as a draw for tourists who want to see and experience what life in an environmentally minded society can feel like and hopefully get some inspiration.

Take the Gothia Towers hotel, for example, where you can eat food that has been grown locally, and by 'locally' we mean right from the hotel’s rooftop garden and apiary. You can also enjoy a relaxing afternoon on its 20th-floor spa, whose installations are powered by the wind.

Speaking of locally grown food, did you know that there are public orchards where people can go and pick their own fruit? So, if you come in summer there is also that kind of freedom to experience.

Gothenburg is also the home of Scandinavia’s largest amusement park with more than 40 rides and attractions for all ages and a long history of its own, given the fact that in 2023 it will turn 100. But even there, sustainability is the name of the game with wind-produced electricity powering the rides, and Loke, a 42-metre spinning wheel actually producing its own electricity.

Social and environmental responsibility also extends to the private sector. Local clothing brands, such as Nudie Jeans and Thrive are committed to providing decent living wages to workers, using toxic-free materials and promoting the circular economy with their overall business models.

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