The sea, trade and industrial history of the city is evident in the cultural life of Gothenburg. The greatest attraction in the city is the amusement park Liseberg (see Points of interest). Another fact related to the industrial heritage of the city is that many of the cultural institutions, as well as hospitals and the university, were created thanks to donations from rich merchants and industrialists, for example the Röhsska Museum.
The Universeum is a public science centre that opened in 2001, the largest of such a kind in Scandinavia. It is divided into six sections, each containing experiment workshops and a collection of reptiles, fish and insects. The Universeum occasionally gives Swedish secondary school students a chance to debate with Nobel prize-winners and professors.
There are many free theatre ensembles in the city, besides institutions like Gothenburg City Theatre, Backa Theatre (youth theatre), and Folkteatern. On 29 December 2004, the Museum of World Culture was opened in Gothenburg, located near Korsvägen.
The Gothenburg Film Festival, held each year, is the largest film festival in Scandinavia. Similarly, the Gothenburg Book Fair, held every year in September, is the largest such event in Scandinavia.
The International Science Festival in Gothenburg is an annual festival since April 1997 in central Gothenburg with thought provoking science activities for the public. The festival is visited by about 100,000 people each year. This makes it the largest popular science event in Sweden and one of the largest popular science events in Europe.
Citing the Financial Crisis the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has announced that Gothenburg will host the 2010 World Library and Information Congress, previously to be held in Brisbane, Australia