Goteborg's city centre which is limited by the river Gota and various canals is best explored on foot. Most of the main sights can be found in this area. Apart from that the banks and bridges of the canals invite for lovely walks. Many streets in the city centre of Goteborg are pedestrianised.
Probably the best option to get into town from Goteborg City Airport is by airport coach (Flygbussarna). The trip to the Nils Ericsson Termin in the city centre takes 30 minutes.
The coaches leave just in front of the airport terminal building about 50 minutes after the arrival of a flight. The coaches leave Nils Ericson Terminal in the city centre approximately 2 h 20 min before the departure of a flight. The fare is 50 SEK (2006), which has to be paid directly to the driver. Payment by credit card is possible.
There is also a bus stop of the local public buses in walking distance to the airport. It is called Kongahallavagen, but a change of buses on the way to the city centre is necessary.
Sometimes it is easier, and more fun, to take the ferry to your destinations. It will take you to any number of stops all along the harbour.
And if you want to go out into the archipelago then you really must take the ferry, because well... there is water in between and as a rule, trams don't do well in the water.
You pay either in cash or with a cheaper 100 SEK card. The card can be bought at most "Pressbyr?n" shops.
The ferrys leave Lilla Bommen regularly and there are timetables at all stops and you can also get timetables beforehand in any "Tidpunkten" location.
Goteborg has two airports: The international airport Landvetter and the much smaller City Airport. I flew with the German budget airline Germanwings to Goteborg's City Airport.
It is is located about 15 km north of the city centre. In 2006 this airport was only served by three airlines: Ryanair, Germanwings and Wizzair.
The public transportation in Goteborg consists of blue trams and buses. Tickets can be bought from the driver or from several shops all around the town.
A single ticket costs 20 SEK and is valid for a period of 90 minutes. If you plan to travel a few times on public transportation, then the 24 h ticket for 50 SEK can be useful.
Just make sure to always validate your ticket when boarding a vehicle. Ticket controls are carried out quite often.
You can go around in Göteborg both on the buses or on the tram with the same kind of ticket. There are different types of tickets to chose from:
- one way tickets bought from the driver on the bus
- saver card
- periode card
- round the region for 24 hours
DFDSs ferries goes to England (Newcastle) and Norway (Kristiansand). You can make a "mini-cruise", going with a boat to Norway and back with the returning boat. You will have time for some entertainment and duty-free shopping on the boat.
The easiest way of getting around Gothenburg, apart from walking of course, is to hop on a tram. They will take you anyware you want to go, as long as you want to go to where the tram goes. :-)
There is a large number of different lines, with their own number and color.
It you don't know what tram to take then look at the maps at the tramstops. Or just ask the guy/gal next to you.
Still confused? Look up a "Tidpunkten" office. They handle all questions regarding the trams.
You can pay in cash in special machines inside the trams, but they only take coins and they are expensive if you plan to use the trams alot.
It is cheaper to buy a 100 SEK card if you plan to move around abit. Theese cards also works on busses and the ferrys.
They can be bought at most "Pressbyrån" shops, and they are all over town so you can't miss them.
Take the ferry from Saltholmen to the Sodra Skargarden [or Southern Archipelago]. Its run by Vasttraffik who also run the trams and just costs the same as a tram ticket. If you get there via tram then its just a continuation of that same journey. At least thats how it worked with my 100-card - I just had to restamp it as though I was changing lines.
The ferries stop at a number of different islands so you could visit one or several or even stay on the boat and just enjoy the views from the ferry!
Take the #11 tram to Saltholmen
If arriving by train you will come into the Central Station right in the centre of town and the main bus terminal, Nils Ericsson Terminal, adjoins it. The bus terminal has buses serving both of the cities airports - City Airport [the small airport served by Ryanair, closer to the city centre] and Landvetter.
The bus & train stations also have TidPunkten booths where you can buy tickets for all the local transport including trams and get information.
Västtrafik takes care of the transportation by tram, bus and ferry in Gothenburg (and neighboring cities within Västra Götalands county).
Depending on how much you're using public transportation, there's several tickets that you can use. The one I use the most is called Maxirabatt 100. It costs 100 SEK and allows free travels in bus, tram and ferry within the counties listed here for 90 minutes if traveling within 1 zone, or 180 minutes if traveling within 2 zones. A big plus is that several people can use the same card at the same time, only by punching it once per person.
Edit Aug 09: so I got this Maxirabatt card in Feb 09 and didn't use it completely. I took it with me the last time I was there and it was still working, so I guess there's no time limits for it as of yet, as long as you still have enough money to cover the fare.
Goteburg is well served by the city's tram system and its really easy to use!
If you are just here for a couple of days the best idea is to get a 100-card - 100 SEK - which gives you 7 journeys. Each journey within Goteburg is 2 credits and lasts for 90 minutes. When you get on the tram put your card in the top of the green machine [all carriages have them] and press "2". If you change to another line [or an Archipelago ferry] within the 90 minutes then restamp your card but this time press "Byte".
If you don't have a 100-card you can buy single tickets from the tram driver at the front [20 SEK I believe].
Just don't be a muppet like me and jump on the tram going the wrong way! I'm normally good with that stuff but didn't think when I saw the right # tram and just jumped on!
There are three different kinds of trains to travel on in Sweden – the X 2000, Inter City and night trains. An X 2000 between Stockholm and Göteborg will cost about SEK 1100 and take just over 3 hours. An Inter City train can take between 5 and 6 hours and costs between SEK 440 and SEK 490 (depending on time). All trains have a bistro carriage or a service trolley. There is plenty of room to store any luggage you are carrying on the train.
I traveled on an Inter City train between Stockholm and Göteborg – I had a rail pass valid in Finland, Sweden and Norway (available only to people living outside Europe – for people living in Europe I think there are Inter-Rail passes that you can buy in your own country) and therefore did not have to pay for a ticket, but like everyone else if I wanted to reserve a seat I would have had to pay an extra fee.
You can buy tickets online from the website (which you can have sent to your home or pick them up from a ticket machine at the station) or at ticket machines or the ticket office at the station.
There is something special about approaching from the sea to Scandinavia's biggest harbour. Local ferry company (gone international) Stena Line has sailings from Frederikshavn in Denmark (3 hrs 15 crossing) and Kiel in Germany (overnight fun) and SeaCat sails from Frederikshavn with their catamaran ferry. Sadly, Scandinavian Seaways to Newcastle via a duty free stop in Kristiansand in Norway stopped running in early November 2006, ending a more than 100 year-old tradition of sailings between Gothenburg and England.
If you come by ferry you also have the fun of watching the giant ships sail under the Älvsborg Bridge. The big ferries only just manage to go under the bridge, much to the amusement of passengers on upper deck watching the funnels (see second pic).
For travel within Sweden trains are most convenient. They run often, and offer fast and comfortable transport between city centres. Swedish X2000 tilting trains operate at top speeds of 200 km/h.
Travel times to Göteborg are:
from Stockholm: 3hrs 15min (X2000 trains)
from Malmö: 2hrs 30min (X2000 trains)
from Copenhagen: 3hrs 30 min (X2000 trains)
from Oslo: 4 hrs
Within Sweden trains are operated by Swedish railways, and between Oslo, Göteborg and Copenhagen by joint Swedish-Norwegian company named Linx.