Gay Gothenburg – a charming, harbor-side city in Sweden is quickly becoming the next ‘it’ destination on the tip of everyone tongue.
With mystical fjords, kaleidoscopic houses, copious museums, and creative gastronomy all served up alongside a heavy dose of Nordic design Gothenburg might just have it all…except for being the rainiest city in Europe that is.
Sure, Gay Gothenburg might be challenging to decern as queer folk here don’t feel the sequester themselves in ‘safe gay spaces,’ but LGBT travelers are instead rewarded with one of the most forward-looking and liberal cities in Scandinavia. And Gay Olso is also filled with beautiful Viking men (and women) who refreshingly, don’t really care about what you – or anyone else – does in the bedroom! What’s not to love?
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Sweden since 2009 – while PreP is available free of charge – and in this peaceful and open-minded Nordic harbor town, queer travelers will find small rainbow flags on almost every store, club and restaurant window. Inclusivity is often just a buzz-word, but we found in Gay Gothenburg sexuality was (generally speaking) a non-issue.
However, in this almost ‘post-gay’ society since everyone mingled together freely, it did make it hard to pinpoint defined queer spaces beyond the obvious gay bar – though we have a similar problem in Gay Oslo.
For an idea how ‘post-gay’ Sweden really just take a look at the Norwegian teen drama
Norwegians are famously shy and withdrawn, loving to brag about how withdrawn they are – but we have to disagree and found Norwegians in Gothenburg open, sincere and warm… despite their challenging weather. While in the long, beautiful summer days it is easy to meet gay locals in parks, outdoor cafes and just around town, in the bitterly cold winters you might want to turn to hookups to meet a friendly local.
Honestly, there is much specifically ‘gay’ about Gothenburg – and we loved it anyway! A refreshing destination with vibrant nightlife, intriguing architecture and a whole lot of nature at your doorstep!
Gay Gothenburg Guide: The Essential Guide To Gay Travel In Gothenburg Sweden 2019
In this article we will cover...
Gay Things To Do In Gothenburg
Obviously being gay does not define which attraction most of us will want to see in each city and most queer travelers will simply want to check out the top things to see in Gothenburg during the day!
Gothenburg is a very safe, tolerant and progressive city and gay travelers in Sweden do not need to take any extra precautions in terms of public displays of affection. Rest assured you will have no issues exploring this beautiful and diverse city – and even the essential list of things do with keep visitors entertained for at least a couple of days!
Gay-friendly and Gay Hotels in Gothenburg
As you would expect in such a progressive country, pretty much every hotel and hostel in Gothenburg can be considered gay-friendly – after all being a gay-friendly it not all about upscale luxury, but about providing friendly and open service and welcoming everyone with open arms!
Having said that, everyone likes to be surrounded by people with common interests, and as such there a few well-known hotels that are known hot spots for gay travelers to stay. There are currently no exclusively gay hotels in Gothenburg.
The best location in Gothenburg for gay travelers is in the compact city center which is close to all the top tourist sites and attractions of the Gothenburg gay scene – by day or by night.
The following gay-friendly hotels in Gothenburg are only the most popular with gay travelers, but there are hundreds of other hotels in Gothenburg
if you don’t find quite what you are looking for. Whether you want a fun and social hostel, a cheap room to crash after a night of partying or a designer boutique option to sip cocktails and surround yourself with fabulous
people – Gay Gothenburg as something for everyone!
- Avalon Hotel ☆☆☆☆ – Located right in the heart of Gothenburg is an oasis of inspiration with modern rooms, innovative architecture and feng shui design principles utilized where furnishing, light, scent and sound all combine to improve your stay. From the sixth floor and above the panoramic sky views are included in your room price and there is also a seasonal terrace with an overhanging glass swimming pool that is free to use for guests. The two gay bars in the city are less than 5 minutes walk away, breakfast is included and there a voguish restaurant and bar with outdoor seating onsite as well. Our preferred hotel for an extraordinary stay in Gay Gothenburg.
- Dorsia Hotel ☆☆☆☆☆ – A luxury hotel stuck in a magnificent time warp where every room is a surprise and every stay is guaranteed to be utterly exceptional Dreamy carpe diem beds suitable for kings and queens tempt you to sleep in, with bed cloths of mulberry silk and bed linen of handmade Egyptian cotton. Everything here is complete with the purpose to give you a new kind of exclusivity, and each of the 37 rooms on offer are all different. Equally beautiful, equally comfortable – but all plus kingdoms within themselves. There is also a baroque library with an antique piano, a glitzy lounge bar, and a romantic candlelit restaurant to complete the appeal.
- Upper House ☆☆☆☆ – A paradise for the senses encompassing a five-star hotel, a Michelin-star restaurant and a spa that brings a whole new meaning to well-being. You enter a world of relaxed Scandinavian luxury, where every detail has been carefully designed with the customer experience as its focal point. Opt for a stay in beautifully restful rooms or stylish suites with all possible comforts. Come along to the restaurant and be part of a gastronomic experience where subtle flavors are born and shaped. Or retreat to their heavenly spa and let yourself be seduced by the feeling of enriched wellness and simply taking it easy. At the spa, you’ll also have access to the protruding champagne pool you can see from the street, Gothenburg’s highest hammam, saunas, an experience shower, and a relaxation suite, where you can take in the incredible views.
- Hotel Royal ☆☆☆ – Located in central Gothenburg you will find Hotel Royal – a historical, family-owned hotel that has been serving guests since 1852, making Hotel Royal the oldest hotel in Gothenburg. One of the best reviewed accommodation options in the city in the city with unique interiors and rooms that will leave an impression, without the hefty price tag. Whatever your needs – a charming room for a romantic weekend, a calm place to sleep during your business trip, or simply a clean hotel in the city center – Hotel Royal will assure you a comfortable stay.
- Scandic Rubinen ☆☆☆ – A cosmopolitan hotel with stream-lined design, great-value rooms and a central location with all of Gothenburg right at your fingertips. There is a free breakfast served in a hip, ground-floor restaurant – or in the evening you can try the rooftop bar with a terrace, work out in the gym or enjoy the on-site sauna.
- Linnéplatsens Hotell & Vandrarhem ☆☆ – Affordable and modern accommodation in a little off-the-beaten-track location but with easy public transport connections. The simple yet comfortable rooms in Scandinavian style are a hit with travelers, but we recommend them most for their high-end dorm rooms – perfect if you are looking to save money on your trip. Meet other travelers in the dorm, over the daily breakfast buffet or in the guest kitchen – and plan your adventures in Gay Gothenburg with new friends!
Gay Nightlife in Gothenburg
While there is no doubt Gothenburg is a gay-friendly destination, the Gothenburg LGBT scene is hard to find since most queer people no longer feel the need to segregate themselves in gay bars. If you want to experience the gay nightlife, you can head to the only gay club in Gothenburg, Gretas, which is always busy on the weekend or the straight-friendly bar, Bee.
Otherwise, lesbians and gay men mix freely with straight people in bars and clubs across the city. Being such a tolerant society, you are unlikely to experience any issues with displays of affection in public in Sweden and will be welcomed in most clubs and bars. Gothenburg is widely acknowledged as being the nightlife capital of Sweden, thanks largely to its considerable student population who congregate in the many cocktail lounges, lounges, pubs and late night clubs that dot the city.
There are no defined nightlife areas in Gothenburg – but the Inom Vallgraven shopping district hosts the only two permanent gay nightlife spots and most of the larger clubs dot the main boulevard Avenyn. Most bars close around midnight or 2 am with nightclubs usually close around 3 am. Credit cards are widely accepted, but cash is not – and some bars and clubs have a minimum of 22 or 25 years old age policy
Casual is usually the dress code here, but those Viking’s are so effortlessly chic this might require a bit more effort from us foreigners. Alcohol is not cheap here so house parties are very popular in Gothenburg. If you get the opportunity to ask around on the gay apps for happening events or check out the Facebook pages of the two on-going gay party series here.
For now though, here are our favorite gay-popular / gay bars in Gothenburg!
Gay Bars And Parties In Gothenburg
- Wish You Were Queer – A pop-up dance party series for the alternative queer crowd, especially younger students. Wish You Were Queer is held every 2-3 months at different locations around Gay Gothenburg with queer takeovers, summer dances, Pride festivities and other various themes each time. Always plenty of fun, epic DJs and multiple dance floors to enjoy – check their Facebook page for more information and to see if your travel date align.
- Greta’s – The only real gay bar and club in Gothenburg, smack bang in the center of the city. We told you Sweden was progressive. Greta’s is straight-friendly and welcomed everyone during the weekend with fabulous DJ’s, two dance floors, and occasional drag acts. House music, queer anthems, throwback, and Swedish Schlager…You will find them all here!
- Bee Bar – Another straight-friendly bar and restaurant just around the corner from Greta’s. Perfect for a casual dinner, people watching from their newly completed outdoor terrace or cocktails to start your night off. The kitchen is open every day from 11:30 til 22:00, but the bar stays open till 3 am on the weekends.
- Club QUEER – Taking place since 2001, there is a gay night at the Park Lane nightclub on the last Friday of every month. Expect famous -in-Sweden drag queens, muscle boys, flamboyant costumes and plenty of members of the LGBT community coming together for one magnificent night. Club Queer is a Gothenburg institution but does close over the summer months so check their Facebook for upcoming themes and dates. Absolutely not to be missed!
Gay-Friendly Hotspots In Gothenburg
- Yaki-Da – A club with many faces and guises, depending on when you visit, there is a wonderful outdoor terrace, two dance floors, organic bistro, and coffee bar. The vibe very much depends on the hour you visit, but you’ll always be well taken care of. With a late-night kitchen, DJs play an eclectic mix of music from all corners of the globe, live performances, and funky design spaces, Yaki-Da is a must-visit.
- Steampunk Bar – The Nordic region’s first pub and restaurant with a steampunk theme. Expect plenty of chic design with gears, copper and peculiar steam power contraptions, along with friendly staff and memorable drinks. With an extensive selection of steaming gin-based cocktails and beer from all corners of the world, Steampunk Bar is truly something quite extra, and open to everyone.
- Upper House Dining – High up in Gothia Towers’ central tower (on the 25th floor of Tower 2), you’ll find this sophisticated lounge and dining destination. Here you can browse a well-stocked wine cellar at your leisure or enjoy a glass of fine champagne or wine with delicious canapés while gazing at the best views in the city. Part of the Upper House Hotel complex.
- Dorsia – Opulance, you own everything! The bright, bold and utterly Instagrammable lobby lounge bar of this luxury hotel is an absolute treasure – even if it is just for one drink. Enjoy innovative cocktails, refined surrounding and plush velvet with friends or a potential lover. Even better? Book a room here so you can live the total fantasy.
- Nefertiti -A legendary jazz club in the heart of Gothenburg that also houses a vibrant nightclub. On stage, jazz and traditional music are mainly found, but hip-hop, R&B, soul, blues and electronic music can also make appearances. In total, Nefertiti’s program contains approximately 200 concerts per year so chances are there is something on while you are visiting.
- Lounge(s) – A nightclub that will take you to different places and absolutely leaves you entertained A fun, cool exiting and vibrating building with different environments and rooms adapted to different wants and needs. Lounge(s) stands for diversity and wants nothing else than to have a wonderful mixture of people, music, and surroundings. With four distinct ‘lounge’ concept, Let the local DJ’s of taking you on a dance ride you´ll never forget.
Sadly for those looking for a quick and dirty Viking fix, there is currently no gay sauna in Gothenburg. After our visit we also don’t think any Gothenburg gay saunas will be opening up soon, there just isn’t the demand.
Everyone in Gay Gothenburg seems content to meet gay men via hook up apps or in the gay bars – but if you’re desperate, the only gay sauna in Sweden is found in Stockholm, though you could also try Oslo, Copenhagen or Helsinki. Though for those who are into real-life encounters rather than chatting online, there are a few kinky cruise space options that might be of interest to you.
- SLM Gothenburg – Scandinavian Leather Men Göteborg is a non-political and non-profit association of men who have sex with men and are interested in leather, BDSM and fetishes. The association is run on voluntary basis by its members and consists of clubs in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Estonia. Events are listed on their website and to enter the club you need to be dressed according to the announced dress code(s). They are very particular about this – and more information is available on their website. The club is located in Majorna area with a dance floor, darkroom, jacuzzi, showers, glory hole, etc.
- Wandas – A prime example of how tolerant and open-minded Sweden is. This adult entertainment club better know for female stip shows, has a gay cruising space aswell. After all, hedonism is for everyone, right?Open 7 days a week from midday until the early hours of the morning, there is cinema area with cruising area and dark rooms and on the weekend night, there is some music and dancing with a bar. They also have video booths available for all-day adult entertainment.
- Vuxenkul – One of the few store chains in Sweden selling erotica and sex toys, with two Gothenburg locations… They offer by far the largest assortment of sex toys, lubricants, condoms, and clothing in Gothenburg and have a specific gay section. If you are in need of supplies, this is the place to go and there is also a mixed cruising space here popular with both gay and straight guys. Alternatively try Nyhavn Erotica, which has a wide selection of adult videos and private viewing rooms.
Gay sauna or not, in any sexual encounter, please take adequate precautions. No matter what your intentions are in while traveling, you should bring your own condoms and lube to play it safe. Take home a hot guy or a hot memory, not an STD.
Besides, you never know what other fun surprises your trip might have in store for you...