With the theme park season drawing to a close in many countries and people forced to stay home again, we thought we’d bring you a brand new article series. Expect regular updates from myself as we explore one of the most beautiful, cultural and historical regions of Europe: Scandinavia!
We’ll be taking you from Norway across to Finland, through Sweden and then down to Denmark. We’ll be providing you with detailed insights and top tips into the theme parks each of these countries has to offer. We will also be diving into which rollercoasters and attractions you aren’t going to want to miss out on. So grab a cup of coffee, a slice of cake and enjoy!
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Today our flight is landing at Gothenburg Airport in Sweden and we’re taking a coach ride from the airport to the central bus station in Gothenburg. After unpacking our bags in our AirBnb, it’s time to explore the city of Gothenburg. There’s lots to do in this beautiful Swedish city- A museum of art, botanical gardens, archipelagos to explore and a hippy city atmosphere with 19th century houses and cobblestone streets.
Photo Credit: (https://www.google.co.uk/maps)
The Gothenburg attraction we are specifically going to be looking at in more detail today is the beautiful city park known as Liseberg. This is pronounced “Lis-er-baray” in Swedish. It’s one of the most well known amusement parks in Europe and attracts around 3 million visitors annually. We’re going to be looking at five different things you can do in Liseberg, so that you’re well prepared for a visit when the park is able to reopen in the future. So let’s get started then with the first thing to do out of a wide range of activities on offer at this amusement park!
1. Live Music & Entertainment
Liseberg is well known in Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia for the vast range of entertainment it offers to guests who visit the park during the course of the year. Both Liseberg, and another competitor park in Sweden, Gröna Lund, are both very hot on entertainment, especially when it comes to the live music scene. If you’re looking to combine a day out at an amusement park with a gig in the evening, then look no further than Liseberg. The main entertainment venue at Liseberg is the Stora Scenen, which you can see in the photo below. This live music venue attracts thousands of visitors all year round and has hosted artists such as The Rolling Stones, Abba & Snoop Dogg. When we visited the park, a summer flower show was taking place. What’s even more exciting, is that the concerts and events are usually included in the park admission ticket- so they are at no extra cost to your day out in the park!
Another hot entertainment venue at Liseberg is the Polketten dance floor. Many of Sweden’s top bands have played modern and traditional Nordic dance music at this venue. However, popular dance courses are offered at regular intervals throughout the season free of charge, which normally specialise in the jive or the salsa. While we were at Liseberg, there was a dance course taking place, and whilst I didn’t join in myself, guests were actively encouraged to join in the class and it was really fun to watch people practising their dancing skills and technique.
If you’re not at all interested in live music or dancing but are looking for an alternative type of entertainment at Liseberg, then head to the Spökhotellet Gasten. Outside the creepiest hotel in town, you will find roaming actors who walk around the harbour themed area of the park and interact with guests. On the second floor of the factory building, guests are invited to have a tour of the Gasten Ghost Hotel, where there is no guarantee what or who you will meet as you explore the spider-infested premises. Furthermore, on the bottom floor of the factory building you will find the Spökbaren Gasten, which in English is known as the “Gasten Ghost Bar” and is said to offer a terrifyingly good menu.
Liseberg has even more entertainment venues on offer to park guests. There’s an entertainment venue known as the “Rondo” which has established itself as the best show venue in Gothenburg. Here, top Swedish performers showcase their acts to an audience who can enjoy food and drinks while they watch the show. There’s also the “Lisebergsteatern” located near to the park’s main entrance, and this is known for its top quality comedy and revue acts, as well as family performances. If you’re looking for a show for the whole family, including younger children to enjoy, then head to the “Kaninscenen” stage, where regular theatre performances take place throughout the day with the park’s mascots. Furthermore, the park mascots roam the surrounding area throughout the day so that guests can have a hug or a photo opportunity.
2. Rollercoasters & Thrill Rides
If you’re a thrill-seeker, then Liseberg is for you. If you’re looking for a more gentle selection of attractions on offer, then Liseberg has attractions which can cater for the whole family. What I personally love about Liseberg is the landscaping of the park. The park has so many different layers and levels to it, which can be navigated by walking up steep slopes or staircases or alternatively by riding escalators between the different levels. This provides for wonderful photo opportunities and magnificent views across the beautiful setting of the amusement park in the hills. Liseberg has many rollercoasters, thrill rides and water rides for guests to enjoy. In the photo below, you can see the B&M dive coaster Valkyria, the Intamin wooden coaster Balder, the Schwarzkopf family coaster Lisebergbanen and the park’s log flume; Flume Ride.
Here’s another photo which emphasises all the different levels and layers of attractions that Liseberg has due to the wonderful landscaping of the park. The photo below is taken from the harbour area of the park, which is beautifully themed and has the atmosphere of a quaint fishing village. When looking into the hills in the background you can see some of Liseberg’s most famous attractions, including the S&S Skyswing, Uppswinget and a couple other of Liseberg’s most iconic attractions which we will get onto talking about in a minute.
We can’t talk about the main rollercoasters and thrill rides in Liseberg and miss out the most iconic and well-known rollercoaster in the park. This is a Mack Megacoaster known as Helix and is know one of the most popular and renowned rollercoasters in Europe. I personally found it slightly underwhelming compared to the hype and expectations I had of this rollercoaster. Nevertheless, it was a very enjoyable coaster with amazing landscaping- with the track work soaring up above the pathways and diving down hills and through rock work. Helix is probably one of the longest thrill rollercoasters in Europe, with the track length at 4530.8ft (1381.0m) and the trains gliding through a total of 7 inversions as well as other elements. Helix certainly is an awesome piece of engineering which deserves a lot of praise, but I personally didn’t think it lived up to the hype of one of the best rollercoasters in Europe.
A pretty recent addition for the park is an Intamin Gyroswing known as Loke. These are becoming increasingly popular additions for theme parks all over the world and I can see why. As Loke was one of the newest attractions at the time of visiting the park, and with it being a busy summer’s day, we had to wait quite a while to experience this huge swinging pendulum ride. However, I have to say it was worth the wait. These attractions are so disorientating and you won’t know which was is up and which way is down while you are swinging and spinning at dizzying heights. Loke also has a beautiful location by a nearby stream as well as intricate detailing and theming. It is one of the many thrill rides in the park, with other notable ones being Mechanica and Jukebox.
One of my favourite shots I took on our trip to Liseberg is displayed below. It’s another of those photos which just has such drama to it due to the landscaping and different levels of the park. At the bottom you can see the dark green track of Helix tangled in between the foliage surrounding the track. Up above, you can see one of Liseberg’s most famous attractions. This is a drop tower which is known as Atmosfear. This terrifying drop tower takes riders up to staggering heights of 479.0ft (146.0m) above sea level and reaches exhilarating speeds of 68.4 mph (110.0km/h) on the drop from the top of the tower. It is one of the most thrilling and terrifying attractions in Liseberg and probably one of the most thrilling drop towers in Europe.
Liseberg as a park doesn’t have a consistent theme, although the landscaping of the park itself is really beautiful. Individual rides and attractions have their own theme to them, and there are a couple of themed areas around the park, which are very charming, although I thought that a few areas of the park lacked atmosphere. One of the more family-based attractions that I quite like the styling of is the Zamperla Mega Disko known as Hanghai. This has been given an Asian style and theme and I love the way the red and gold colour of the track blends in with the foliage and plantings below. We didn’t actually ride this attraction but thought that it was very enjoyable to watch it spinning riders back and forth, up and down the track.
Below is another of my favourite photos at Liseberg, which is taken from one of the highest points in the park, near to the boarding station of Helix and Atmosfear. In the photo below you can see the snaking track of Helix, manoeuvring its way down the hillside. Down below you can see the park lit up with various spotlights, with the main concert stage located to the left and one of the park’s themed areas located to the right. In the background you can see the beautiful city of Gothenburg as well as hills which meet the rich blue colour of the sky. The landscaping of Liseberg is part of what makes the park so special and there are lots of different locations throughout the park which provide stunning views across the city of Gothenburg which make for amazing photo opportunities.
3. Food/Culinary Offerings
Moving on from discussing the wide range of rides and attractions Liseberg has to offer, and which of these are the most noteworthy, Liseberg also prides itself on the vast range of food and drink offerings it has for guests. I hadn’t had any specific locations for sitting down to eat recommended to me, so we were really exploring as we go. For one of our meals we sat down at “Tyrolen”, which is known as Liseberg’s Austrian Gem as it is essentially a beer garden which provides a range of food and drink which come from the Tyrol region of Austria. I don’t remember the food being anything particularly memorable there, but it was definitely tasty. We have to say though, we think Liseberg does better on its sweet treats rather than sit down meals, and as with the rest of Scandinavia, the ice cream offering does not disappoint. The ice cream offered in the park is both delicious and reasonably priced. As you can see in the photo below, we may have gone slightly overboard!
Sticking on the theme of snacks and sweet treats, as we believe this is really what Liseberg manages to excel at, another of the key food places to check out in the park is the Systrarna Olsons Våffelbageri. This is located in the Storgatan area of the park and if you follow the aromatic smells you will be taken to the bakery where they make fresh waffles with cream and jam in these awesome waffle-makers. Absolutely delicious!
A lot of the sit down restaurants in the park offer guests sea food, which isn’t surprising that the park is located in Sweden. However, they do have lots of different culinary options including Italian, Mexican and Austrian food as well as more classic options such as burgers and pittas. A really good tip is that Liseberg has lots of water fountains across the park, which are free of charge for guests to use and provide either still or sparkling water- so bring a water bottle to fill up! Liseberg is also riddled with various different shops and stalls, lots of which offer lots of different sweets and chocolates to choose from.
4. Games & Tombolas
Sticking slightly for now on the theme of sweets and chocolate, although moving onto our next thing to do in Liseberg; games and tombolas. Tombolas/Roulette wheels are a big part of Swedish culture and are one of the most popular things to do in Swedish amusement parks. A lot of guests simply book tickets for a day out at Liseberg, or similarly Gröna Lund in Stockholm to play the tombola wheels and try and take home a prize. While walking around Liseberg you will see people walking around with giant Marabou bars, or other types of chocolate or sweets in giant boxes such as Kex biscuits or Dumle sweets. An example of one of the roulette wheels is displayed below. You pay a certain amount of Swedish Krona, pick a number, and if it lands on you, you win one of the giant prizes. It’s pure chance!
Liseberg doesn’t just offer the chance to win chocolate or sweets at one of its many games stalls. At the tombola you can see in the photo below, you can win many different household items, such as crockery, teddy bears or decorations and lighting for use at home. The principle is the same again. Here you pay 10 Krona for one set of numbers, which you pick yourself and when they spin the wheel, if it lands on you, you can help yourself to any of the items on offer. I know that these games seem really impossible, but you’d honestly be shocked with the sheer number of people who are walking throughout the park carrying prizes.
Here’s another look at some of the household items you could win at one of the tombolas. Kettles, pepper grinders, crockery, lamps and some other truly random household decorations. We love the concept of these roulette wheels at Liseberg and had a go on various different ones ourselves. Unfortunately we didn’t win anything though.
As you probably realise by now, Liseberg is very hot on its game stalls which are located all around the park. As you can probably see as well, these are very popular with guests and these game stalls are really a true part of the Swedish amusement park culture, so we highly recommend getting involved on your visit to Liseberg. In the photo below you can see the game stall BalderRacet, which is themed to and situated next to the wooden rollercoaster in the park “Balder”. This amusement park game is akin to the classic British funfair game the “Donkey Derby”, although here it is specifically themed to the wooden rollercoaster which towers beside the game stall. Players sit side by side at this game and have to roll balls up a slope into holes which will then move their coaster car along the racing track. Whoever makes it to the other side first wins a prize. A prize for winning one time was a badge certifying your win, and multiple wins could get you one of the soft toys which you can see hanging down from the roof of the stall.
5. Gardens & Nature
Hopefully you can see by now that Liseberg has loads on offer to do, so even those who aren’t interested in rides and rollercoasters can have an entertaining day out exploring all the park has to offer. We had free entry for one day into Liseberg by using our Phantasialand annual passes, and paid for a second day. I would definitely recommend 1.5-2 days in the park, especially if it’s busy, as there’s a lot to see and do. Immediately upon entry you are greeted with a whole host of greenery, and there’s lots of different garden areas of Liseberg to explore with beautiful flowers and foliage, as well as different statues and cooling waterfall effects which you can sit next to on a hot summer’s day.
On the way into the main entrance of the park to the right there’s a small pond surrounded by rocks and pebbles which has a little waterfall flowing down into the pond. This sets up a calming and relaxing feeling and atmosphere for the rest of your day out, which immediately means and stresses and worries come off your mind. A lot of the areas of Liseberg, especially the gardens have an atmosphere of relaxation and tranquility, and there’s not a lot of blaring music around the park (apart from at the concert arenas) which makes you feel very relaxed and takes away any sense of rush you were feeling about your day at the park.
We only discovered the main areas of the gardens at Liseberg on the second day of our visit to the park, and I’m really glad that we walked around them as I saw a different side to the amusement park. On the first day we visited, I only really saw the busy and bustling atmosphere of the park, with long queues and crowded streets. However, exploring the gardens on our second day at the park really provided a relaxing and calming atmosphere which made me enjoy the park a lot more than I had on the first day. If you go up these steps, either the set on the left or on the right, you will be taken to the main gardens area, where you will explore dense foliage and discover various different water elements, beautiful flowers and topiaries.
Liseberg has also welcomed many famous faces over the years. Around the gardens you will see plaques with hand prints from various different celebrities who have explored the gardens at Liseberg and the rest of the park, or potentially even performed on one of the concert stages. As you can see below, Tom Jones is one of the famous figures who has visited and performed at the park over the years, and his handprints are engraved into the plaque below. He’s actually booked to play again at Liseberg in August 2021, so the park are excited for his return.
There’s a few different gardens to explore at Liseberg, including “Emily’s garden”, where you will find roses and dahlias, as well as a playground for the kids. There’s also the “Forbidden Garden” and also the Liseberg Lustgård. You can see the entrance archway to the pleasure garden below, where you will be invited to explore gardens full of foliage, topiaries, sculptures and waterfall effects. A walk from the bottom of this garden up to the top, climbing the steep hillside will bring you to the Lisebergshjulet, which is the park’s ferris wheel which gives stunning views over the entire city of Gothenburg.
So that concludes our five different activities you can do in Liseberg. We hope this inspires you to visit Liseberg if you haven’t before, as it’s one of the most interesting parks in Europe with the amount of different activities on offer. I didn’t really appreciate Liseberg until the second day of my trip. On the first, I thought the park was overcrowded and lacked a charming atmosphere. But on the second day of my trip I discovered a more likeable atmosphere as I explored more what the park has to offer outside of the main rollercoasters and thrill rides. The park has a very diverse selection of attractions too, including some awesome coasters and thrill rides which aren’t to be missed.
Thanks for reading this article! Join us next time as we take the train from Gothenburg to the capital city of Sweden, Stockholm! We’ll be giving you more of an insight into what there’s to do in the capital of Sweden as well as visiting Gröna Lund- one of the most quirky amusement parks out there!