Gothenburg Day Trips
Adventure, nature, and history are just around the corner when you visit Gothenburg. A tour by boat to one of the little island in the archipelago will not only bring you closer to nature, but also to the very core of the local soul. Lovers of history will also find adorable and interesting sights just a short bus ride away, so make an excursion to explore the surroundings.
Christina Halls väg, 431 36 Mölndal, Sweden
Take the bus south to the neighboring town of Mölndal to visit Gunnebo Slott och Trädgårdar. This charming 18th-century castle and garden has been restored to its original style, both inside and out. Built in 1778 as a summer home for a wealthy Gothenburg family, it is now a living museum where everything from the greenhouse to the kitchen garden evokes that era. Don’t miss the café, where sandwiches and cakes are made using produce grown in the outside garden.
The old shipyard at the island of Brännö, 20 minutes by boat from Saltholmen, is a good summer hangout. The shipyard itself has been around since 1949, but in recent years has started arranging concerts and has opened a laid-back restaurant/bar for when the yard itself is emptied of boats during summer. Local bands play while summer visitors and year-round inhabitants gather to enjoy the music in the open-air setting. The Brännö Varv also has B&B facilities if you don’t feel like leaving. And there is a real chance you won’t!
Archipelago of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
The sea has always played a big part in the lives of the people of Gothenburg. When you want to relax from city life this is where you go. A tram ticket will take you all the way out into the southern archipelago to enjoy the harsh beauty of the gray granite cliffs. Pack your swim gear and a book and head to an island such as Vrångö, Brännö, Styrsö, or Vargö. Take a walk to find your own private cliff or bay and then dive into the sea. It might be cold, but the cliffs are perfect for warming up against with their smooth, round shapes and ability to keep the heat from the sun. For a Swede, the combination of sea, cliffs, and solitude is bliss. Hungry? Bring a picnic or visit a restaurant like Brännö Värdshus or Vrångö Värdshus.
Kungsportsplatsen, 411 10 Göteborg, Sweden
This is a classic guided tour and a good thing to do early in your visit since it will give you a nice overview of the city. The Paddan (“Toad”) boats drive along the canals while you listen to the story of Gothenburg‘s history. Beware! Some of the bridges you pass beneath are really, really low, so keep your head down.
475 42 Gothenburg, Sweden
The lighthouse of Vinga is located at the far western end of the archipelago, with nothing more than the North Sea in front. Join the guided tour that will tell you the history of the island and let you climb the lighthouse. Bring a picnic and stay the day, just to enjoy the scenery. Or rent one of the cottages if you feel like staying longer. The sunsets are breathtaking!
Stora Amundön, 436 58 Hovås, Sweden
Take the bus south to Stora Amundön, a nature reserve with meadows, horse paddocks, and paths that lead to bare cliffs and the sea. There you’ll find an underwater snorkeling path where you can explore the wildlife of the ocean. Just follow the trail to the 13 different stations. Remember to bring your own food and drink—and snorkeling equipment, of course.
Spinnmästarevägen 2, 437 34 Lindome, Sweden
Spinneriet Lindome, south of Gothenburg, is an enchanting destination for a weekend outing. The former spinning factory houses little shops and studios for artists, craftsmen, and designers, so this is heaven if you’re interested in interior decoration and design. Looking for something new for the baby’s room, textiles for your bedroom, or graphic art for your living room? You might find it here—and meet the designers behind the artwork at the same time. The shops are open to the public during weekends, mostly. If you are hungry, the restaurant Lilla Spinneriet serves excellent seasonal lunches.
Take the bus to Kungälv and walk up to Bohus Fortress (Bohus Fästning), which has guarded the northern entrance to Gothenburg at the Nordre River since 1308. During the summer lots of medieval-style activities take place, like sword fighting, archery, and “knight school” for children. Don’t go back to Gothenburg until you have taken a walk along Västra gatan, a charming street with old wooden houses. Maybe stop for fika, too.
In the early 20th century there was a Swedish health movement in which nutritious food, skinny-dipping, and abstinence from alcohol played an important role. Parts of that movement are still alive—reflected in the bathing houses around the coast where nudity is a must and the water never seems to be too cold for a swim. Saltholmen Kallbadhus is a beautiful building where men and women can enjoy the sun and the sea in separate sections. You pay the fee, find a spot for your blanket or sun bed on the pier, and get ready for a naked day outside. If you are too hot, you can always climb the ladder down into the sea and cool off. Of course you can do the same things—but with swimsuits—on the cliffs outside.