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The Gothenburg Town Hall
The Gothenburg Town Hall was built in the 17th century, but a functionalist addition (to the right) was added by architect Gunnar Asplund in 1936.
Photo credit: Krister Engström

Top 5 design and architecture must-sees in Gothenburg

Gothenburg is a creative city with great design shops, art galleries and interesting architecture. Here is a list of some design and architecture must-sees on your visit to Gothenburg.

Röhsska Museum
The Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg.
Photo: Hendrik Zeitler

Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg

Design surrounds us all and influences our daily lives. Gothenburg’s Röhsska Museum highlights people and perspectives focusing on the many varied concepts of design, craft and society in general.

Opened in 1916, the Röhsska Museum has been recognized as Sweden’s foremost museum for design and applied arts, where everyday objects are made more pleasing to the eye through decoration and design. From Asian ceramics dating back to 2500 B.C. to the present day, the permanent collection features over 50,000 objects. Visitors will experience the creative expressions, styles, fashion and artistic concepts of design in its many forms.

In addition, the museum regularly presents temporary exhibitions from distinguished Swedish and international artists and designers that showcase both experimental as well as established design.

The Gothenburg Town Hall
The Gothenburg Town Hall was built in the 17th century, but a functionalist addition (to the right) was added by architect Gunnar Asplund in 1936.
Photo: Krister Engström

The Gothenburg Town Hall

The Town Hall of Gothenburg is both a historical and modern building. The original house was built in the 17th century but eventually became too small, leading to a functionalist extension by Gunnar Asplund in 1936.

In 1912 Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund presented a suggestion for how to extend the Town Hall, and his functionalist addition was completed 24 years later. Asplund has received a lot of praise, both in Sweden and internationally, for the way he blended the old and new parts of the building. He did not only focus on the architectural design but put a lot of effort into the interior too. Much of the furniture was specially designed for the halls, offices and communal areas of the building. A lot of the furniture still remains, whereas some have been replaced with new items inspired by Asplund’s original design, creating a modern yet timeless look.

Poseidon by Carl Milles at Götaplatsen, Gothenburg
The Poseidon statue designed by Carl Milles, located at Götaplatsen in Gothenburg.
Photo: Steampipe Production Studio AB/ Göteborg & Co

Götaplatsen

Götaplatsen was established for the World Expo in 1923 when Gothenburg celebrated its 300th anniversary and has been one of the city’s most well-known places since then. The square is not only home to the famous Poseidon statue designed by Carl Milles, but also the Gothenburg Museum of Art, City Theatre and Concert Hall. This means that you’ll have plenty of more things to explore once you reach Götaplatsen. 

The three buildings surrounding the square were all built in the 20th century and have their own characteristics. The Gothenburg Museum of art, designed by Sigfrid Ericson, is perhaps the most famous of the three thanks to the majestic steps leading up to the building and its monumental pillars. The view from the museum is truly something special – with Poseidon in the foreground and Avenyn stretching out in the background it has become an icon for the city.  

The Sauna in Frihamnen, Gothenburg
The public sauna in Frihamnen, Gothenburg, is made of recycled materials. Its changing rooms was made from 12,000 recycled bottles.
Photo: Peter Kvarnström/Göteborg & Co

The Sauna in Frihamnen

Cool down in the pool or heat up in The Sauna in Frihamnen, Gothenburg, as you witness how the former industrial port is transformed into one of the hippest areas on the west coast.

In the midst of the old containers and cranes of Frihamnen at Hisingen, across the city centre at the opposite bank of river Göta älv, a whole new area is emerging. It already features a public swimming pool and one of Sweden's most spectacular saunas. The sauna, created by German architect collective Raumlabor Berlin, is in large parts constructed from recycled material. The sauna’s rusty steel exterior is created completely from recycled material and the changing room walls were created using 12,000 recycled glass bottles. 

Design shop
Design haven Artilleriet is located on Magasinsgatan in Gothenburg and offers an eclectic range of products from all around the world. There are many design shops in Sweden, selling both Swedish and international design items.
Photo: Anna Hållams/imagebank.sweden.se

Artilleriet Interior Design

With a wide array of furniture, lighting, textiles, rugs and skin care Artilleriet will definitely keep you busy. Various exhibitions are continuously built up in the shop to inspire the customers. Many of the items have been picked out during travels around the world, meaning that they carry a story and a thought. Artilleriet works with well-known brands that have been acknowledged for their high-quality products, but finds it equally important to offer products by lesser-known new suppliers with plenty of potential.

While you’re there, don’t miss the chance to renew your kitchen items too. The Kitchen is located next to Artilleriet and offers handcrafted kitchen products, utensils and gorgeous everyday objects that can be passed on for generations.