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Local Information

Sweden and Gothenburg

IFLA 2010 - Let's meet in Gothenburg

IFLA 2010 - Let's meet in Gothenburg

Gothenburg is Sweden's second largest city with 600,000 inhabitants. It is located on the west coast of Sweden and ever since it was founded in 1621 the city has been characterised by trade, shipping and international contacts.

Modern-day Gothenburg with its stone-built buildings, wide boulevards and parks is a friendly and clean city with an open and hospitable atmosphere. The general population speaks English, so visitors can rely on being understood in most situations.

In Gothenburg everything is "just around the corner", and a wide variety of hotels, restaurants, cultural attractions, parks and shopping can be found within walking distance of the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre. Gothenburg is also known for its closeness to the sea and distinctive coastline with its many islands and fishing villages. For more information on Gothenburg, please visit the official visitors guide to the City of Gothenburg.


There are two international airports within 20 minutes of the city centre, Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport (GOT) and Gothenburg City Airport (GSE). Combined the airports are served by around 50 airlines with many daily direct flights from most major European cities. International flights generally connect at major hubs such as Paris, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt or Copenhagen for flights to Gothenburg.

The Airport Bus leaves regularly from each airport and takes approximately 20 minutes to the city centre. The Airport Bus stops just outside the Conference Center at "Korsvägen". Price per person: SEK 80 (Û7) one way and SEK 150 (Û13) for return ticket.

Banks and Exchange Offices

Banks are usually open Monday through Friday from 10.00 hrs to 15.00 hrs although on some days banks may stay open until 18.00 hrs. All banks are closed on weekends and on public holidays. Banks at airports, ports and main railway stations are generally open longer.

Exchange offices usually have longer opening hours. Exchange services are available from Forex Bank and X-Change , both of which have offices located at the Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport, the Central Station as well as throughout the Kungsportsavenyn or "the Avenue." 

All major credit cards are accepted in Sweden. Cash dispensers are marked "Bankomat" or "Minuten" and are available at the airports and all over the city including the venue for the IFLA Congress.


In August, the average daytime temperature is around 19°C (66°F). The average highs are 21°C (70°F) and lows are 14°C (57°F).  The sun rises at 04:30hrs and sets approximately at 20.00 hrs. The average rainfall in the area in August is 80 mm.


The official Swedish currency is the Swedish Krona (SEK) which is divided into 100 öre. Bank notes are available in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Krona, and coins in denominations of 50 öre and 1, 5, 10 Krona.

Exchange rates as at December 2009 for the Krona are about ten Krona to a Euro or seven Krona to a Dollar as per December 2009. This is a guide only and rates may be different in August 2010.

Culture & Entertainment

Should the schedule allow there is much to discover in Gothenburg, before, during or after the Congress.

Next to Korsvägen, across the street from the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre is the Universeum Science Discovery Centre, with everything from sharks and rain forests to exciting experiments. The neighbouring building is the Museum of World Culture hosting exhibitions reflecting the concept of world culture in its five different galleries.

Only a 5 minute walk from Korsvägen is Götaplatsen and the southern end of the main boulevard Avenyn where the city's culture centre is concentrated.

For more information, please visit the official visitors guide to the City of Gothenburg.


Electrical current in Sweden is 220 V/50 Hz. round; Europeanstyle two-pin plugs are used. Appliances designed to operate on 110/120 Volts need a voltage converter and a plug adapter. International adaptors can be found in the major electric shops as well as airports.

Emergency Numbers

General emergencies, Ambulance, Fire and Police: dial 112

Food and Drink

Gothenburg is known for its fine, locally produced ingredients and top-notch restaurant life. The quality of food served in restaurants across the city is very high. The main culinary attraction in Gothenburg is the local seafood; prawns, lobster and a wide selection of fish, ranked amongst the finest in the world.

Several restaurants and catering stands available in the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre, and only a few minutes away are numerous restaurants in different categories and price ranges, cafes, pubs and bars.

Breakfast, international buffet style, is generally included in the accommodation.

Tap water in Sweden is fresh, free and safe to drink.

Health and Medicare

No vaccinations are required to enter Sweden. Citizens from North America and other countries from outside the EU/EEA countries must pay for any medical treatment in Sweden. Delegates are advised to ensure coverage by own health insurance and bring necessary documents on the trip. Citizens from within EU/EEA countries and some other countries with which Sweden has a special agreement are entitled to the same medical services as the Swedes.

If needed, delegates can visit any public hospital. In-patient care is free, but delegates are required to pay part of the cost of any outpatient care. There is a fixed, non-refundable daily charge.


Prescriptions are dispensed at pharmacies ("Apotek"), which are generally open during normal shopping hours. Delegates pay the full cost of any prescription drugs.

Delegates on medication should make sure to have an adequate supply before leaving for Sweden.


Participants are advised to arrange adequate travel and medical insurance, as the Congress Organisers cannot cover persons against cancellation of bookings, medical treatment or theft of belongings.


Swedish is the national language. Most Swedes speak fluent English and many young Swedes speak an additional language. Many restaurants have menus in both Swedish and English.

Shopping and Swedish design

Gothenburg is a lively city for shopping where delegates can find just about anything within an easy walk of the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre.

Located in the heart of the city is everything from fashionable boutiques and department stores, to picturesque markets selling crafts, souvenirs and antiques. The city offers an exciting mixture of modern warehouses and specialist shops, pedestrian areas, galleries and arcades.

For all permanent non-EU residents there is a VAT refund available on all purchases made in Sweden.

Opening Hours

Most shops normally are open between 10.00 hrs and 18.00 hrs, and weekends until 14.00 hrs. Food stores, department stores and shopping centres are usually open longer. Many grocery stores are open until 21.00hrs or 22.00 hrs. For example next to the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre, there is ICA Focus that is open between 07.00 hrs and 23.00 hrs.


Sweden is smoke free in all public buildings as well as in restaurants, bars, cafés and shops.  Designated smoking areas are located outside.

Tax Free

Delegates residing outside the European Union (EU) are entitled to a tax refund on purchases made in Sweden. As in most European countries, Value Added Tax is included in the sales price on the tag. When leaving the EU, the Tax Free Shopping by Global Refund offers cash return on purchased goods to persons qualifying. The minimum purchase is SEK 200 (Û20) and the refund amounts to 17.5% on the purchase.

Taxes and Tipping

VAT is always included in the price presented to the customers/guests in shops, hotels, restaurants etc.

Tipping is normally included in the bills in restaurants, taxis and hotels and is generally at guests' discretion. Tipping at restaurants is not mandatory, but 5-10% is customary if good service is received.


Recommended taxis are:

  • Taxi Gothenburg: Tel. +46 31 65 00 00
  • Taxi Kurir: Tel. +46 31 771 86 00
  • VIP Taxi: Tel. +46 31 27 86 00

Telephone and Postal Services

Mobile phone coverage is almost 100% in the Gothenburg area.

When calling Sweden from abroad please dial +46 followed by the area code (omitting the initial zero) and the number required.

When calling abroad from Sweden: dial 00 plus the country code

Post offices are nowadays a service integrated in various shops; grocery stores, kiosks, gas stations etc. The opening hours therefore differ according to the specific store. Look for the blue postal sign. Letters and postcards of up to 20 grams cost SEK 5.50 (Û0.55) within Sweden and SEK 11 (Û1) internationally. There are two different types of mailboxes. The blue box is for local deliveries only, and the yellow box is for national and international deliveries.

Time Zone

Sweden is in the Central European Time. The difference between Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT) and the time in Gothenburg is +1.

Last update: 20 May 2010