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Many residents of Copenhagen and Helsingør come to Gothenburg just for the day to buy Swedish merchandise. You can, too, but you should shop at stores bearing the yellow-and-blue tax-free shopping sign. These stores are scattered throughout Gothenburg.

Major Shopping Districts

Nordstan (www.nordstan.se), with its 150 shops and stores, restaurants, hotels, patisseries, coffee shops, banks, travel agencies, and the post office, is the largest shopping mall in Scandinavia. We are dazzled at the array of high-quality merchandise on sale here, from exclusive clothing boutiques to outlets for the major confectionery chains to bookshops -- though you'll find pink plastic elephants and other junk as well. There's also a tourist information center. Most shops here are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 7pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm, and Sunday 11am to 5pm.

Kungsgatan/Fredsgatan is Sweden's longest pedestrian mall (3km/1 3/4 miles in length). The selection of shops is big and varied. Near these two streets you'll also find a number of smaller shopping centers, including Arkaden, Citypassagen, and Kompassen.

Another pedestrian venue, in this case one that's protected from inclement weather with an overhead roof, is the Victoria Passagen, which opens onto the Vallgatan, near the corner of the Södra Larmgatan. Inside, you'll find a cafe or two and a handful of shops devoted to handicrafts and "design" objects for the home, kitchen, and garden.

At Grönsakstorget/Kungstorget, little carts are put up daily with flowers, fruits, handicrafts, and jewelry, among other items. It's right in the city center, a throwback to the Middle Ages.

The often-mentioned Avenyn, with its many restaurants and cafes, also has a number of stores selling quality merchandise that has earned it an enviable reputation as the Champs Elysées of Sweden.

Kronhusbodarna, Kronhusgatan 1D (tel. 031/711-08-32; www.kronhusbodarna.nu), houses a number of small-scale and rather sleepy studios for glass blowers, watchmakers, potters, and coppersmiths, some of whom sell their goods to passersby. They can be visited, if the artisans happen to show up (call ahead to make arrangements). Take tram no. 1 or 7 to Brunnsparken.

The Haga District houses a cluster of small-scale boutiques, fruit and vegetable stands, art galleries, and antiques shops, most of them in the low-slung, wood-sided houses that were built as part of an expansion of Gothenburg during the early 1800s. Defined as Gothenburg's first suburb, it's set within a short distance of the Avenyn.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.