Paddan boats have been cruising the canals of Göteborg for years, and are much of a concept. I have taken their tours many times, and still find it great fun! The best part is the fact that you travel at a level lower than the rest of the city, so giving you a new perspective on it.
The Paddan boats cruise the canals and the moat surrounding the city centre and also ventures out on the Göta River, conditions permitting. During the tour, the guides will tell you interesting and sometimes odd facts about the city, its history and its people. The guides speak Swedish, English and German.
With Göteborg Pass you can even get a free ride, but even so, the price is medium level.
The colourful Utkiken is probably Goteborg's best known landmark. The lipstsick shaped building was completed in 1989 and designed by Ralph Erskine and Heikki Särg.
At 86 metres it includes a cafe with panoramic views of the town and its harbour.
The Utkiken can be found in the Lilla Bommen area, which is the harbour for sightseeing boats in the centre of Goteborg. The nearest tram stop is "Lilla Bommen".
The tramways in Gothenborg include also the Älvsnabben. This is a boat line on the river. Take it to get a completely new perspective on the city. It connects during the week Rosenlund and Klippan, on the weekend it continues to Lilla Bommen. As a single ticket is valid for 1.5 hours just take it both ways. You can stand outside and enjoy the trip. Price: 20 Skr.
PS: It is the small boat on the pic, of course :)
Another classic thing in Göteborg is the boat Paddan. It goes through the canals of the city, and also a bit out on the big river in the harbour.
The first trip went as early as 1939, when the first boat took just 12 passengers.
Today's boats have seats for 80 persons instead, and guided tours in swedish, english, german and french if I don't remember wrong.
From the boat you'll see big parts of the historic center of Göteborg, but remember to watch out for the low bridges, where you'll have bow to not hit your head.
Don't worry, the guide will tell you when to bow, and when it's safe... ;) But sometimes it feels so close to the bridge that you will bow anyway.
Every trip takes around 50 minutes, and costs 95 SEK (10 euro) for adults, 60 SEK for children (6-12 years old) and 250 SEK for a family (2+2).
Great trip during a warm and sunny day I can assure you. Not so nice when it's raining, but the boat's captain will then give you some rain ponchos. :)
Update! I was visited by a fellow VT-er this week (august 2005) and I took her on a Paddan-tour. Would have been nice, if it hadn't been raining 40 minutes out of 50... And for the maker of the Paddan homepage I just have one advice: If you don't have any rain coats to give to your guests, maybe you shouldn't write it on the page...?
Just a thought, that's all... ;)
Was a nice trip though, at least we could laugh at it when we got dry again, 4 hours later...
The boat leaves from Kungsportsbron, that you will find more or less in the middle of Avenyn. There you'll also buy the ticket for the trip.
Remember that during sunny summerdays it might be quite full in the boats, so make sure to get there in time. Up to four boats leaves every hour, and they goes from 30 April to 2 October.
If you have a predilection for combining hypothermia with limbo dancing you’ll surely love a December Padden Boat ride to the Liseberg Park. The combined height of the water and low bridges led to the rather amusing request to get down on the floor to avoid impending decapitation. By the time you arrive you will also no doubt be familiar with the Swedish condition known as ‘Träsmack!’
This landmark in the City is impossible to miss :)
Big, in bold colours (red and white), chunky & sturdy structural shape & design.
It costs 30SEK per person to go to the top. The great thing about the views is that the little double-glazed windows can actually be opened to take unobstructed views.
By the way, the views are fabulous, taking in the various warehouses, buildings, harbour area, boats, etc.
The bright red and white skyscraper of the Skanskaskrapen (the Skanska Scraper) is the most well known building in Goteborg. It is 83m tall and has 23 floors. It is commonly referred to by people from Gothenburg as Legohuset (The Lego House) or Läppstiftet (The Lipstick). It was built in the late 80s and you can take the elevator to the highest floor, where there is a café called Götheborgs Utkiken (The Gothenburg Lookout) where one can view the city with panoranic views of the harbour and river.
At the quayside next to the Skanskaskrapen building at the Lilla Bommen complex is the Barken Viking ship. This tall masted clipper is a 100 year old Danish ship that sailed around the world trading. She is a 108m four-masted bark, in other words, all the masts have yard arms except the after-sail. Now its used as a hotel and restaurant.
In the shadow of the majestic Älvsborg Bridge lies historic Klippan with its former Anglican Church and wooden quarters. A nice place for a stroll on a sunny day when you can observe river traffic and especially if you have enough money to eat at the famous fish restaurant Sjömagasinet (where Bono dines when in town...).
Gatenhielmska is a quarter close to the Maritime Museum which was set up for seamen in the late 18th century and then expanded. Here, they should have a place to call home after serving on board. Today, the place is a peaceful haven full of wooden cottages in a lush environment.
Yes, it's quite a touristy thing to do, but come spring, the canal boats come out and you DO get to see what Göteborg is all about on a tour since they take you around the canals and into the harbour in the river, telling you the history of the city. It is also exiting to duck under all the very low bridges (in really high water, one bridge has to be avoided). As you get out into the harbour, one direction inevitably means some spray if you sit in the front half of the boats - despite a spray guard :)
Gustav Adolfs Torg is a centrally located large square which forms the political centre of Goteborg. The square includes the Old City Hall (1673), the New City Hall (1937) and the Stock Exchange (1849). Apart from that a statue of Gustav II Adolf who founded Goteborg is situated in the middle of the square. Gustav Adolfs Torg was formerly named Stora Torget.
Word of warning: If it looks like it might rain, be sure you have a raincoat! I went on the paddan with a fellow VTer and we got absolutely soaked. It was fine for about the first 5 minutes and last 5 minutes, but it was pouring for the 40 minutes in-between. Despite the rain I enjoyed the ride. We actually had to go a different way than they normally do, because the water levels in the canal had risen and we wouldn't have been able to make it under a bridge known as the 'cheese slicer'.
As it was, there was another bridge that we had to duck down for as we passed under it (the guide will let you know when to duck - you’ll see them move from their seat anyway). There was also a little section known as 'the tunnel of love' (first one I’ve ever been through), it is where they are constructing a new bridge or something (can't quite remember).
You then go out into the harbour and the guide points out the landmarks and tells you a little bit about each of them.
It was a good trip - probably better on a sunny day though :).
Adult: SEK 95
Children (age 6-12): SEK 60
Family (2 adults + 2 children): SEK 250
This used to be the entrance to one of Goteborg's canal. At night a boom was laid out to prevent entry - hence the name.
Today it is home of Goteborg sightseeing boats, a guest harbour, a café, the Goteborg Lookout and sailing barque Viking.
In every city that have canals and big waterfronts there is also some kind of boat tour to let you see the city from the perspective of it's waterways. Gothenburg is off course no exception.
Here you can take a tour with the Paddan boats. Padda meaning toad. 'nough said...
They are big flat open boats that take you through the canals and into the harbour. Open boat, open water, windy city. If you do the math you find that the answer is to dress warm or choose a warm day, otherwise it can get very cold.
This tour gets a very mixed reception from people who takes it. From a wast of time and money to a really great experience. But hey, it can't be too difficult to understand pretty much what will happen on a sightseeing tour. It's not an action-tour. If that's what you are after, look elsewere.