Gothenburg After the Sun Goes Down
Despite vast green spaces and top-notch cultural offerings, Gothenburg is often overshadowed by Stockholm. This suits savvy revelers just fine since Sweden’s continental “second city” exudes a unique, pulsating energy once the sun goes down. In fact, due to its multitude of venue options and music festivals, many well-traveled Swedes will attest to Gothenburg’s supremacy as the town to experience the very best in terms of bars, clubs and the latest musical trends.
Nightlife in Gothenburg can be enjoyed — to varying degrees — any night of the week. The elegant Vasastan district is an excellent option for this sort of undertaking. Notable standouts include the British pub-inspired Lilla (Little) London, (pictured, right) the aptly named Rockbaren (Rock Bar) — which routinely hosts live local bands for hardcore rock fans — and Parken (The Park), which features standup comedy and a rambunctious after-work clientele.
Gothenburg is home to one of the largest universities in Sweden (nearly 25,000 students) and the students' influence is clear throughout the city. Many bars and club cater exclusively to the 18 to 25 year-old set. Not surprisingly, during the warm summer months, Gothenburg comes alive with many “youth-inspired” activities and outdoor concerts. Perhaps the best known example is Trädgår'n (pictured, below), a stunning garden lounge venue that transforms itself into one of the city’s best indoor concert arena/clubs.Another atypical option is Styrbord Babord, a traditional boat turned playground club for a mixed, laidback crowd.
As after work parties are becoming increasingly popular in Sweden, Gothenburg now features atmospheric lounge areas in its hotels. The Avalon Hotel bar offers colorful, plush surroundings and tasty mojitos overlooking the bustling Kungsportsplatsen. The Clarion Post, by contrast, offers richly subdued furnishings mixed in with ultra-modern touches and lounge DJ sets.
However, the undisputed center of activity is in and around the exceptionally long Kungsportsavenyn Avenue (Avenyn for short). Here, party goers line up to enter Gothenburg’s most select clubs. Door policies are often strict after midnight, so be on your best behavior when you turn up.
Entrance sorted, Avenyn offers varied club selections for all ages. Jazz lovers will flock to Nefertiti, the city’s premiere Jazz Club with a twist – after midnight it transforms into a lively dance club playing everything from house to soul, hip- hop and reggae. Sophisticated thirtysomethings head over to the stylish Glow nightclub, while the glamorous fashionistas opt for the more exclusive spots including the intimate Peacock and the ultra-lavish Push. Only the truly confident attempt to enter Park Lane (pictured, top) – the trendiest, most famous celebrity (Mick Jagger and the Swedish royals are amongst its glitzy alumni) hotspot in the city.
With great clubs, fabulous bars and a bustling nightlife scene... Maybe being number two isn't so bad after all.