I spent a long weekend on the Gothenburg archipelago, and this is where I stayed, how I got around, and what I did. I found there were few articles that answered everything in one place, so consider this your English guide to the Gothenburg archipelago.
How to get to the Gothenburg archipelago
Getting there is actually quite easy! Do yourself a favour and download the Västtrafik app. You can buy public transport passes and easily plan your trip using the app. The archipelago is considered in Zon A. First, figure out where you’ll get the tram from in the city, and then figure out which island you want to go to (recommendations below). Then, you can plan your travel. You’ll get the tram from the city centre to Saltholmen, and then walk just a few metres to the ferry port. Your app will tell you which platform your ferry is leaving from, and at what time.
Keep an eye on when the boat is leaving from Saltholmen, and only buy your ticket when it’s within 1.5 hours so that you don’t have to buy a second pass. Your Västtraffik ticket gets you on the trams and the boats in one go, so actually quite affordable to get there! But, some ferries only go once or twice a day, so definitely plan ahead.
Where to go for just one day
If you’re short on time but you still want to see the archipelago, fear not! The ferries to and from Brännö run very regularly (every half hour or every hour), and only take 15 minutes from Saltholmen. That means you can get from the city centre to the archipelago in under an hour if you plan ahead!
Brännö has a population of around 800 year round inhabitants. There’s a cafe, and a number of nature walks. You can take a walk up to a lookout that gives a great view of the archipelago, and looks back on Gothenburg. To find the lookout follow the signs to the nature reserve and turn right at the street before the turn up to the nature reserve. Follow the road until you find a path, and then keep climbing until you’re at the Old Pilot Lookout. You’ll see a little red house on top of a rock when you get there!
Getting to Galterö from Brännö
You can also walk to the neighbouring island of Galterö by following the nature reserve signs. Once you reach the path, just stay on it until you reach a little bridge. Once you’ve crossed, you’re on Galterö! Galterö is entirely a nature reserve, so wander at your leisure and enjoy the stunning views. I ran into a little troop of sheep while I was there, but only one other group of humans!
Where to stay on the archipelago?
I stayed for a weekend in an Airbnb on Asperö, the closest island to Gothenburg. The Airbnb was in a cabin on a family’s land and their home was very near. This was a nice place for me to be able to easily get back to the city as the ferries on this route run often, or go further into the archipelago. In the future, I think I would stick to the Asperö/Brännö islands for this reason. Larger islands like Styrsö and Brännö also have Bed and Breakfasts if you prefer that kind of accommodation, but I found it very useful to have access to my own kitchen while staying there as there are few restaurants.
What’s the best time of year to visit the Gothenburg archipelago?
The archipelago really comes to life in summer. The communities are booming and there’s a lot of events and activities. You can go swimming and kayaking and enjoy all that the archipelago has to offer best at this time. That being said, it’s also very enjoyable in the spring and fall, but you would likely stick more to hiking and nature walks at this time. In the winter the weather can be quite cold, so if you’re not used to this kind of weather it’s best to avoid.
And that is your guide to the archipelago! Any questions? Please leave them below and I will try to answer. You may also be interested in…