Göteborg

Last updated: 29 10 2019

Göteborg is Sweden’s second largest city, and lies by the sea on the west coast. The river Göta Älv runs straight through the city, and you can reach the archipelago in less than one hour from the centre.

Facts about the municipality

Population numbers

573,852

Size by area

448 km²

Distance to larger towns

  • Malmö 270 km
  • Oslo 290 km
  • Köpenhamn 310 km
  • Stockholm 470 km

There are also plenty of centrally located parks and green spaces. Göteborg offers all the opportunities and range of a major city. At the same time, it has the charm and personality of a slightly smaller town, with shorter distances. Göteborg is well-known for big events within sports, entertainment and culture, such as the Hammarkulle carnival, a multi-cultural people's party, and Kulturkalaset, one of the largest cultural festivals in Scandinavia.

Housing

Göteborg offers all types of housing. Most rented flats are managed via Boplats Göteborg.

Language groups in the locality

More than one hundred languages are spoken in Göteborg. 23 per cent of all Göteborgers were born abroad. The most common countries of birth are Iraq and Iran, followed by Finland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Yugoslavia, Poland, Somalia, Turkey, China, Norway and many other countries.

Associations and organisations

There are many immigrant associations and organisations in Göteborg.

Girls playing football

There are many different types of associations in Gothenburg, photo by Klas Eriksson

What is available in the immediate area

Göteborg is divided up into ten district authorities. The district authorities are responsible for the municipal services to those who live in the district. The services include municipal nursery schools, comprehensive schools, elderly care and libraries.

Introduction for new Swedes

New arrivals in Sweden are given help to make it easier to get into Swedish society. Göteborg City can, for example, help you to meet new people and to learn more about the Swedish language, medical care and schools.

Refugee Guide Gothenburg

Flyktingguide Göteborg is a welcoming meeting place that since 2003 has been helping Swedes/Göteborgers and newly arrived immigrants/refugees to meet. Apart from arranging personal contacts, Flyktingguide Göteborg arranges group meetings and study circles based on common interests, such as films, singing, music, food, swimming and bicycling courses.

Two women meeting over coffee through the Refugee Guide project.

Gothenburgers and immigrants meet each other through the Refugee Guide project, photo by Peter Svenson.

Multilingual information offices

New arrivals in Sweden can receive help with information and advice in several languages. The information office can help to:

  • translate forms and other information
  • inform about how Swedish society works
  • find your way to various public authorities
  • find the right information
  • provide advice on various issues
Photo from an information office

Asha Adnan at the information office helps Abdikarim Mohamud Wade to fill in an application for residence permits for family members, photo by Maria Ottosson.

Citizens' office

At the citizens' offices, you can get information about various activities in your city district. You can also receive personal guidance on various social issues, nursery schools, schools, elderly care, association issues, consumer issues or housing issues

Alelyckan recycling park

In the recycling park Alelyckan, there are three different shops run by Återbruket, Stadsmissionen and Returhuset. Here you can buy second-hand furniture, clothes and much else at low prices.

Childcare

Preschool and family day nursery

There are several options for care of children aged between one and five years. Nursery schools are the most common, followed by family day nurseries (also known as childminders).

Compulsory schools and upper secondary schools

Compulsory school

Comprehensive school is obligatory for all children. This is known as the schooling obligation. More information about how comprehensive schools work can be found on Göteborg City's website. There is also practical information about term times and lunch menus, as well as contact details for all comprehensive schools in Göteborg.

Upper secondary school

If you are aged 16–20 years and have completed comprehensive school, you can apply to the upper secondary school. You can choose from 18 national programmes at upper secondary schools all over the Göteborg region.

 

Education opportunities

SFI (Swedish for Immigrants)

Swedish for Immigrants (SfI) is teaching in Swedish for those who do not have Swedish as a first language. When you study SfI, you also get basic information about Swedish society.

Civic orientation

Social orientation is teaching about Swedish society for those who are newly arrived in Sweden. Here you get information about your rights and obligations, Swedish democracy and how society is organised. There is also information on practical everyday life.

A civic orientation group gets together.

You can attend civic orientation courses in many different languages at the Civic Orientation Unit in Gothenburg, photo by Exhlale Shipoli.

Adult education, Komvux

At Komvux, you have the opportunity to complete your comprehensive or upper secondary education. You can get special authority to apply to a university or vocational further education. You can also complete vocational training. For more information about komvux, please see our website.

Särvux (special education for adults)

Särvux (special education for adults) is intended for those who have turned 20 years and have learning difficulties due to a learning disability or acquired brain damage.

Vocational education and training

Do you want to study for a trade? Then vocational education may be one way of reaching your goal. Adult education in Göteborg arranges short or long vocational courses.

Health and medical care

Medical care is in the first instance the responsibility of the Västra Götaland region. On Göteborg City's website, you can find contact details for hospitals, medical centres and child healthcare centres and other clinics in Göteborg. It also has information about issues relating to dental care, food and health.

Interpreter assistance

If you do not speak Swedish, you are entitled to help from an interpreter in your contacts with public authorities. This includes your child's nursery school or visits to the employment service.

Public transport

Public transport in Göteborg is operated by Västtrafik. Public transport includes trams, buses, commuter trains and ferries. More information about public transport can be found on Göteborg City's website.

Tram

Public transport in Gothenburg makes getting around the city easy and convenient, photo by Peter Svenson.

Work and entrepreneurship

The largest employer in Göteborg is the municipality, Göteborg City. As many as 49,000 Göteborgers are employed by Göteborg City and work within 100 different professions within city districts, technical departments or municipal companies.

Göteborg also has a strong industrial tradition and a large and varied business sector. We have the largest harbour in Scandinavia. Many large industrial companies are located in Göteborg, such as Volvo Cars, Volvo Trucks, SKF and Ericsson. Other large operations in the region are Mönlycke Healthcare, Astra Zeneca and Ericsson.

Göteborg is an event city, and the visitor industry is very important to the city. Around 16,000 persons work within the visitor industry.

Start you own business

There are many things to consider if you want to start your own business. There are also many people and organisations that can help you on your way. More information about how to get help to start a company can be found on Göteborg City's website.

Gothenburg’s Market Hall.

If you have an idea for starting a business, you can get help to set up your own company, photo by Peter Svenson.