Football in Gothenburg, Sweden

Discover the excitement of football in Gothenburg, Sweden's second-largest city and a true football hub. In this guide, we'll take you through the city's rich football history and famous clubs that have shaped the Gothenburg football scene in this Scandinavian city.

History of football in Gothenburg

Football in Gothenburg dates back to the late 19th century when British expats introduced the sport to the city. The first football club, Örgryte IS, was founded in 1887. Since then, the city's football scene has flourished, giving rise to numerous clubs and a vibrant footballing culture. As the sport gained popularity, local clubs like IFK Göteborg and GAIS joined the fray in 1904 and 1894, respectively. These three clubs have become the backbone of Gothenburg's football scene, contributing to the city's rich football heritage and fostering intense rivalries that captivate both locals and visitors alike.

Gothenburg's thriving football culture extends beyond these clubs. The city is home to several smaller clubs and academies that nurture young talent and contribute to the development of Swedish football. Football enthusiasts visiting Gothenburg can also attend numerous amateur and semi-professional matches, offering an authentic taste of the city's passion for the beautiful game. With its dynamic football scene and historic rivalries, Gothenburg is the perfect destination for football lovers seeking to immerse themselves in the sport's rich traditions and local fervour.

Gothenburg's Top Football Clubs

Örgryte IS

As the oldest football club in Sweden, Örgryte IS prides itself on its rich heritage and devoted fan base. With 12 domestic league titles under its belt, the club has made a significant mark on Swedish football since its founding in 1887. Over the years, Örgryte IS has played a crucial role in the evolution of the sport within the country and has also helped develop numerous skilled players who have gone on to enjoy successful careers on both national and international stages. Although the team has faced some difficult times recently, including fluctuating between divisions, the unwavering support from their fans provides hope for a return to the club's former glory.

IFK Göteborg

IFK Göteborg is the city's most successful club, with numerous Swedish championships and two UEFA Cup titles. The club has a storied history and a devoted fan base, known as Änglarna (The Angels).

BK Häcken

Established in 1940, BK Häcken is yet another club in Gothenburg. While it may not have achieved the same level of success as IFK Göteborg or Örgryte IS historically, Häcken has seen a measure of domestic triumph in recent years.


GAIS, short for Göteborgs Atlet- och Idrottssällskap, is another club in Gothenburg, founded in 1894. While they have not achieved the same level of success as IFK Göteborg and Örgryte IS, GAIS has a passionate fan base and a storied history as well.

Football Stadiums in Gothenburg

Gamla Ullevi

Gamla Ullevi, inaugurated in 2009, is the home ground of IFK Göteborg, Örgryte IS, and GAIS. It's an intimate stadium with a capacity of around 18,000, providing a fantastic atmosphere on match-days.

Nya Ullevi

Nya Ullevi is Gothenburg's largest stadium, with a capacity of over 43,000. It's primarily used for international matches and major events, such as the Gothia Cup opening ceremony.

Bravida Arena

Bravida Arena, with a capacity of 6,500, is the home ground of BK Häcken. This modern stadium offers excellent facilities and an intimate atmosphere for fans.

Valhalla IP

Valhalla IP, located in central Gothenburg, is an intimate stadium with a 4,000-spectator capacity. It has hosted memorable football moments, including thrilling derbies and cup matches. Serving as the home ground for Örgryte IS and GAIS at different times, Valhalla IP has also accommodated other local clubs and sports events.

Gothenburg's football derbies

The football derbies in Gothenburg embody the city's passion for the sport and the enduring rivalries between its top clubs. The most intense historical rivalry is between Örgryte IS and IFK Göteborg, attracting large crowds and fueling fierce competition. However, matches between Örgryte IS and GAIS, as well as GAIS and IFK Göteborg, also showcase significant passion and excitement. These thrilling games offer football enthusiasts visiting Gothenburg a unique experience, providing a glimpse into the city's fervent football culture and the rivalries that have shaped it.


Visiting Gothenburg for a football match

Best time to visit Gothenburg for football

The Swedish football season typically runs from April to November, with the best time to visit being during the warmer months of May to September. This period offers pleasant weather, allowing you to explore the city and its surroundings.

Travel and accommodation

Gothenburg is well-connected by air, rail, and road, making it easily accessible for visitors. The city boasts a diverse array of accommodation choices, ranging from affordable hostels to luxurious hotels. To make the most of your football experience, consider booking a stay near the city centre or the stadium you plan to visit, ensuring seamless access to matchday excitement. As many of the major football teams' stadiums are located within the city centre, staying nearby will enable you to easily reach these venues and fully immerse yourself in Gothenburg's football atmosphere.

Tickets and matchday experience

Tickets for matches can be purchased through club websites, at stadium ticket offices, or via authorized resellers. Plan ahead to secure your seats, particularly for high-demand matches. On match days, soak in the pre-game atmosphere by visiting local pubs and joining fellow fans in their pre-match rituals.

Football events in Gothenburg

Gothia Cup:

The largest youth football tournament in the world. 
Gothia Cup is an annual youth football tournament held in Gothenburg, Sweden. Established in 1975, the Gothia Cup has grown to become the largest youth football tournament in the world. This prestigious event attracts over 1,700 teams from 80 countries, showcasing the talents of young players and fostering a spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship.

The event is spread across several venues in Gothenburg, with the opening ceremony taking place at the iconic Ullevi Stadium. If you're a football fan visiting Gothenburg during the Gothia Cup, don't miss the chance to experience this unique celebration of youth football and the vibrant atmosphere it brings to the city.

Discover Gothenburg's Non-Football Attractions

Whether you're an art lover, a nature enthusiast, or a foodie, you'll find plenty to explore in Sweden's second-largest city, Gothenburg.

Liseberg Amusement Park

Scandinavia's largest amusement park, Liseberg, boasts thrilling rides, games, and live entertainment for visitors of all ages. With roller coasters, gentle rides for young children, and a beautiful garden area, Liseberg guarantees a fun-filled day for the whole family.

Trädgårdsföreningen Botanical Garden

Gothenburg's impressive botanical garden, Trädgårdsföreningen, is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. The beautifully maintained garden features a stunning rose garden, a palm house, and seasonal flower displays, providing a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city.

Gothenburg Museum of Art

For art enthusiasts, the Gothenburg Museum of Art houses an extensive collection of Nordic and international works, including pieces by renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Picasso and van Gogh. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, offering an ever-changing artistic experience.

Universeum Science Centre

Universeum, Sweden's national science centre, is an excellent destination for families and curious minds alike. The interactive exhibits, indoor rainforest, and aquarium offer a fascinating and educational experience that engages visitors of all ages.

Gothenburg's Culinary Scene

Finally, food lovers will delight in Gothenburg's burgeoning culinary scene, with an abundance of restaurants, cafes, and food markets to choose from. The city is particularly famous for its seafood, which can be enjoyed at numerous establishments such as Feskekôrka and Sjömagasinet.

By taking the time to explore Gothenburg's non-football attractions, you'll discover a vibrant and culturally rich city with much to offer beyond the beautiful game.


Gothenburg, with its rich football history, passionate fans, and world-class youth tournament, is a must-visit destination for any football enthusiast. Whether you're attending a derby, exploring the city's stadiums, or simply immersing yourself in the local football culture, Gothenburg has something for everyone.