Two Weeks: Exploring Western Sweden and Skåne with Volvo’s Car + Vacation programOne way to see Sweden is to buy a plane ticket, rent a car and explore the countryside.
Another way is to buy a new Volvo through the company’s Overseas Delivery Program and save up to 8% off the US MSRP. Volvo throws in two complimentary roundtrip tickets to Europe with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), one free hotel night in Gothenburg Sweden (where you will pick up your vehicle), and a fifteen day European Car Insurance coverage (including Swedish temporary registration). Then they pay for the shipping, handle all clearance for customs and even pay for inland transportation of the vehicle to your home.
Here are a few important details to note when preparing for your trip.
This modern airport is easy to navigate. Wifi is available for members who signup for a CPH Advantage ahead of time.
It is common to enter a pin code, especially in Scandinavia when paying with a credit card. A debit card with pin is one form of payment that will work with this system. Or if you want to use a credit card but avoid using a pin (or perhaps your card does not have a pin) – you can have the merchant run it without using the pin – there are often slots on their little machine – one you slide through which require a pin, and another slot where you actually stick the card in which can be run without needing to enter a pin code.
Most places were able to do this for us – in the country some of the gas stations had trouble figuring it out even though visually it looked like they were using the same machine as everyone else.
The easiest way to use Internet abroad is to signup for a “data roaming” package before you travel to Sweden. Do not just show up and start using your smartphone to send and receive emails or browse websites. Most carriers charge at least $20 dollars per megabyte. Granted, we use more megabytes when traveling than most people – but even browsing the web and sending and receiving emails can add up quickly.
The days are very long in late spring and summer – at 10am the sun may still be shining depending on where you are in the country and the time of year. Many hotels have not perfected the art of a dark sleep and the shades on the windows often let in substantial light. If this bothers you, I recommend you bring an eye patch for sleeping.
Here is the itinerary and description of our trip (for reference, taken during early June).
Copenhagen’s airport is an excellent International connecting hub for a trip to Sweden. Scandanvian airlines (SAS) services four airports within the USA: San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC and New York. From Copenhagen’s airport it is just a 30 minute flight to Gothenburg – where you will start your trip. A driver for Volvo will meet you at the airport with your name on a sign and whisk you away to the main part of Gothenburg – about a 20 minute drive.
Radisson Blu Riverside
This modern hotel and spa opened in the early part of 2013 across from the city center and the Gothia River. Surrounded by ample open space this is a good place to stay for those seeking a little more quiet compared to the city center (about a 10-12 minute ride on the bus). It is merely a several minute walk to the closest bus stop. This part of the city is the old shipyard area – today it has become a center for research, innovation and education. The Lindholmen Science Park is located next door.
The customer service here is impressive. Wifi (as it should be) is included throughout the hotel. Oh and with most visitors staying in hotels for less then a few days – it is always difficult to have enough time to do laundry. The hotel offers a 3-hour Express Laundry service. If available, at no extra charge – a late checkout service is also offered.
The perfect respite for jet lag is after you have checked into your hotel room – make a beeline for the top floor and the BodyLab spa and sauna. Both indoor and outdoor hot tubs are available. A small bar serves up cocktails. Oh and there is a nice view of the river and the city from the rooftop terrace.
Dinner – with jetlag, perhaps the easiest and most convenient place to grab dinner is downstairs at the Cuckoo’s Nest restaurant, located on the first floor. www.cuckoosnest.se/en
Breakfast here is not your ordinary light buffet that is so common at hotels. The Raddisson Riverside obviously takes this meal seriously – a wide variety of Swedish foods (both hot and cold dishes) are available as well as cereals, freshly baked breads and fresh fruit. But, if you have to eat and run, you can do so by picking up a takeaway breakfast.
Before you start exploring Gothenburg, be sure to pick up a Goteborg City Card – an already “stamped” passport if you will, that allows you free entrance to attractions, museums, sightseeing options, public transport and free public parking. Physical cards are sold at Gothenburg Tourist Information Centres and selected Pressbyrån kiosks and hotels. You can have it mailed to your address or pick it up at one of the Tourist Info centers in town. More info and to purchase here: www.goteborg.com/en/Do/Gothenburg-City-Card
Gothenburg has a diversity of boutique shops – especially along the riverfront near the city center and along the streets near the Nordstan Shopping Center. This mall has over 200 shops; it is often a buzz of activity both inside and outside.
The city’s Botanical Garden is one of the largest in all of Europe. There are over 16,000 species of plants growing here! Orchids in Sweden – yes, the greenhouses contain the largest collection of tropical orchids in the country.
Stay: Radisson Blu Riverside
This corner side hip restaurant is located about 20-25 minutes by public transportation from the Radisson Blu Riverside. Nice bar with outdoor seating. Good appetizers, salads and traditional Swedish cuisine. Visit: www.smaka.se