Get Inspired: A Goths Guide to Gothenburg

Gothenburg, as its name may suggest, is vastly infested with activities for the darkly inclined. While as a goth, you may prefer to explore at night, there are plenty of places where you can seek refuge from direct sunlight in Sweden’s second city.

Gothenburg in winter

Begin your gothic getaway in the defunct, graffitied power station situated beside the giant Älvsborgsbron. Now known as Röda Sten, this is one of Sweden’s coolest art centres. Here you’ll find many of your own kind amongst it four gritty floors, along with a number of modern art exhibitions. Wear head-to-toe black and stand ominously in a corner, shocking unbeknown tourists who will only assume you’re part of some morbid, avant-garde installation.

The building also houses an indie-style cafe with summertime riverside seating (avoid), weekly live music (enjoy) and offbeat one-offs like punk bike races, boxing matches and stand-up comedy (definitely avoid – cracking a smile is not good for your image).

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was based in Sweden

Hungry after a day’s hard gothing about, why not head over to the Salrosen restaurant. Unfortunately, they do not serve fresh blood or bat’s heads, but they do serve up some mean vegetarian cuisine, which is pretty much second best. A 1970s survivor, this laid-back student haunt is a Haga institution (note the photos of passed-on regulars above the counter). Or if that’s not your bag, head along the leafy Vasagatan Boulevard, to Java Kaffebar, a café thick with dreadlocks, dyed hair and nipple rings.

Gothin’ about

Where else would you find a goth than in… a cemetery, of course. The Eastern cemetery in Gothenburg was designed by architect J. H. Strömberg and is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Scandinavia (n.b. we mean this in the way a dead bird is beautiful, not a glorious sunrise – that’s just sick). The huge hill on its west side hosts some magnificent mausoleums, perfect for doing some après-dinner Ouija boards.

Next hot foot it to Barbarella, which opened in 1991 as a store for fetish clothes and shoes. After frequent requests from customers and some appearances on MTV, Barbarella decided to stop selling clothes and became a full-time piercing studio. The studio is now located at Lilla Drottningatan in the city center of Gothenburg, offering our customers the largest and widest collection of piercing jewellery in the whole of Scandinavia. Get yourself sufficiently perforated with as much metal as you can fit in your face, then take your transformed image on a Gothed-up night out.

Home to Swedish death metal bands such as Nihilist and Carnage, Gothenburg offers an excellent after-dark scene for the goth crowd. The street Andra Långgatan has become a hub for the alternative and creative occupation of Gothenburg, with new bars, cafes and unusual shops popping-up all the time. Truckstop Alaska is an underground rock bar in the heart of the former industrial districts of Hisingen. Although you have to be a member to get in, the hassle of joining will only add to the feeling that you’ve stepped into some dark enclave of the occult, where all kinds of sordid affairs take place…

Enjoyed our goths guide to Gothenburg? Check out a posh girls guide to Paris.

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