Re-opened in 2014 after a massive refurbishment, Gothenburg’s superb city library (Stadsbiblioteket) is seldom visited by tourists. You don’t have to be a member to get in, however, and there are a few useful facilities spread across its five sprawling floors.
There aren’t as many books on the shelves here as you might imagine – this is a 21st-Century library that seems to be looking forward as well as back.
So there are computer games and audiobooks, but also big orange armchairs that you can crash out in and read a traditional newspaper or magazine. Lots of English-language titles are available to borrow. This is an especially handy place to hang out if you’re waiting for the airport bus, which stops just down the road.
Unfortunately you need to be registered with the library (and therefore have a Swedish social security number) if you want to use its computers and printers. Otherwise, you’re free to go in and sit at one of the workstations, which have power outlets for laptops and phones, or browse through some of the books. Floor two has loads of travel books about Sweden.
Also inside the library are two separate cafés, one on the first floor and one in the basement. Both of these serve organic tea and coffee, plus a good selection of snacks like halloumi salads and sourdough sandwiches filled with hummus and roasted peppers. Afternoon tea, which comes with freshly made scones, is served from 3pm–6pm.
Buses 18 and 52 stop close to the library on Götaplatsen. Otherwise take tram 3, 7 or 10 to Valand, a short walk away on Kungsportsavenyen.
+46 313 683 300
Mon–Fri 9am–9pm, Sat & Sun 10am–6pm
Last updated: September 2014