‘Pride Month‘ may have drawn to a close, and with that so has Gothenburg’s fabulous, annual Pride festival, WestPride. In the lead up to the celebration, people wondered how the city was going to top 2018’s closing ceremony of Europride in Sweden, hosted in the city – but Gothenburg didn’t disappoint.
This year’s celebration continued the city’s longstanding and fun-filled tradition of pride, pomp and partying and the whole city – residents, visitors and business alike, took part.
It seems that for Gothenburg, West Pride’s existence has a major role in the city’s social climate, according to a recent SOM Institute study. A significant proportion – some 60% – of the city’s residents, both LGBT+ and straight agree that WestPride contributes positively to the social environment.
This year, it is reported that over 25% of the city’s heterosexual residents took to the streets to support the parade and cultural festivals.
It just goes to show that Pride in Gothenburg is not just one for the LGBT+ community, but an uplifting demonstration of Pride for everyone. And this isn’t just for that one week in June, but all year round.
In fact, while the world has been celebrating 50 years since the Stonewall riots in NYC, in Sweden they’re understatedly heralding 75 years of gay liberation.
Homosexuality was decriminalized back in 1944. Plus this year also marks 10 years of equal marriage in Sweden.
Needless to say, this all makes Gothenburg a fantastic place to visit for LGBT+ travellers – perhaps for a romantic citybreak or even for an extended holiday that combines the very best of its urban chic and rugged nature (the delights of the West Sweden archipelago can be accessed in less that 30 minutes from the city centre).
In any case, here are 5 other reasons that makes Gothenburg a proud city, to inspire your next getaway.
1. Enchanting hotels
Gothenburg is proud of its wide range of LGBT+ welcoming places to stay – everything from cool design, to luxury, to great value, to eco-conscious. Try the imposing Clarion Hotel Post set in the city’s old post office; or the luxurious boutique Hotel Pigalle a surefire hit for fashionistas; or the city’s oldest and most historic, Hotel Royal for a taste of the city’s past. You’ll find that all these hotels fly the rainbow flag during West Pride, but also throughout the year.
2. Star-studded cuisine
Gothenburg is also proud of its amazing restaurants – from the best-in-class Michelin starred (they have 6 Michelin awarded restaurants, astounding for a city this size), but also experimental concept eateries, trendy bars with a culinary edge and a rolling armada of food trucks. Better come hungry! Whether you’re a foodie or trying to woo someone on an impressive destination date, Gothenburg has an endless choice of places to suit any vibe.
3. Brimming with culture
The city is immensely proud of its cultural offering, putting on an astounding array of choice and punching way above its weight for its size.
From full-on festivals, to independent cinemas, to more specialist subjects like architecture and music from the Indian subcontinent, there’s never a dull moment in Gothenburg’s cultural calendar.
4. Shop til you drop
It is often said that hipster culture was founded in Gothenburg. Whether that’s true or not, a stroll or shopping trip down Magasinsgatan or the youthful Haga district will make you ask the same question.
Throughout the city, there are plenty of places to spend some kronor on chic designer clothing, vintage-modern furnishings or music even (vinyl collectors take note). And if you grow weary (is that even possible), a cup of some of the finest coffee (add a cinnamon bun for a truly Swedish ‘fika’) is never too far away.
5. Go gay
LGBT+ travellers to the city will not be short of things to do. Gothenburg may not have an LGBT+ village or neighbourhood, but LGBT+ life and scenes are integrated across the city.
It’s no small wonder that Gothenburg has been named and nominated as among Europe’s top LGBT+ destinations and for those with a penchant for partying, there are plenty of queer clubs, bars and events across the city. Sweden’s non-profit LGBT+ rights organisation RFSL has even named it the best place to be gay in Sweden.
Images: courtesy of Studiografen/Gothenburg & Co