Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden after Stockholm and one of the largest in Scandinavia. It has almost 600 thousand inhabitants.There are many foreigners who have moved to Gothenburg and are currently living here. Gothemburg is not only a very clean and tidy city, but it is also located in the middle of vast forests and nature reserves. This makes the city extremely habitable and pollution is low.
It is a very typical Swedish city, full of old buildings. It’s a shame that in some areas the buildings demolished in the 60s have been replaced by modern and ugly buildings. It is very green, especially in the southern part of the city, but there are small parks everywhere.
Living in Gothenburg
Gothenburg has all the advantages of a metropolis, but at the same time it is not too big, so that it is possible to reach the city center in half an hour by streetcar or bus from any point. In short, it is big enough to feel like a city, but small enough to be very welcoming. The city’s location is strategic, as it is equidistant from the three Scandinavian capitals. The city has an international airport on the outskirts of the city, from which there are flights to the main European and non-European cities.
Public transportation is quite good, but because of heavy traffic it is sometimes faster to walk than to take the streetcar. In Gothenburg it is really impossible to go by car. Another option would be to use a bicycle. The city is built on a series of hills, so cycling can be a bit tiring, but there are many bike lanes, so it is easy to get everywhere.
It is a very open city and people are generally friendly. Northerners are usually quiet and reserved. Gothenburg is an exception in this case. It is not uncommon to sit next to middle-aged or elderly people on public transportation and strike up a conversation. People in Gothenburg are generally quite relaxed and the pace is much slower than in Stockholm. Also, the city is very multicultural and many people from other European and non-European countries live here. Currently, almost a quarter of Gothenburg’s residents were born outside of Sweden.
The biggest problem you will face after arriving in the city is finding a place to live. Unfortunately, the supply of houses is not very large, and given the strong demand, prices are high. Finding a permanent home can easily take months.
As for security, residents are most concerned about the alarming rise in crime in recent years. But, although drug use and theft are on the rise, we still lag far behind many other european cities.
As for the climate, due to the location, contrary to what one might think, extreme temperatures are not reached at any time of the year. Winter temperatures average around 0 °C, while summer temperatures are around 12 °C. The flip side of the coin is that the city is the wettest in all of Sweden and is famous for it. With an average of more than 180 rainy or snowy days a year and the many cloudy days when it does not rain, there are very few days when the sun shines in the sky.
Working in Gothenburg
In terms of jobs, Gothenburg has a solid economy and an unemployment rate that is among the lowest in Sweden.
The city’s economy is mainly based on trade and shipping. Other pillars include construction, the automotive industry (Volvo), the technology industry (Ericsson), the financial sector and tourism. The city hosts many music and sports events and festivals each year, attracting thousands of visitors.
It is possible to get hired in Gothenburg even if you do not know Swedish. The local job market is even open to English-speaking immigrants. But in any case, recruiters prefer Swedish-speaking applicants. Also, many companies prefer to hire Swedish employees rather than immigrants.
Living in Gothenburg pros and cons
Living in Gothenburg, pros
- Generally a safe city
- Good public transportation.
- Calm, relaxed, friendly and kind people
- Good social services
Living in Gothenburg, cons
- Weather almost always windy and rainy
Living in Gothenburg, conclusion
Gothenburg is an interesting place. It’s a small city that could also be a metropolis. It’s a crossroads between Sweden, Denmark and Norway. It’s an industrial city, but it’s in transition to something else. It’s an interesting mix of old and new, fast and slow, Nordic with a bit of Southern Europe.It always rains, or almost always, but if you put up with the weather, it’s a good place to live.
If you are interested in moving to other Swedish cities, read the article: How to move to Sweden
If you are interested in working in Sweden, read the article: Working in Sweden