One look at the abundance of canals and gabled houses in Gothenburg, and it's clear that the Dutch founded this robust city on the Gota River. That was in 1621, close to the time that mighty Elsfborg Fortress was built at the harbor's mouth. Touring the citadel is fascinating, as are the 17th century Crown House. Maritiman ship museum, and Gothenburg Art Museum with masterpieces from Edvard Munch to Picasso. Gothenburg is one of Sweden's greenest cities, compliments of parks such as Slottsskogen. For a vibrant atmosphere, walk along Kungsportavenyn, Gottenburg's main street, which is a hive of cafes, boutiques and plazas.

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