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How to visit the Gothenburg archipelago by boat? We tell you all about it!

Goteborg Archipelago

A must-see during your stay in Gothenburg is its archipelago! You’re probably wondering which island to choose? How to get there? We had the same questions when preparing our stay.

So we carefully planned our boat trip around the archipelago, selecting the most easily accessible and interesting islands to visit.

To help you plan your stay, we’ve listed the different islands on a map and the various options for exploring the Gothenburg archipelago by boat and our opinion.

How to visit the Gothenburg archipelago by boat? [carte]

The Gothenburg archipelago extends over some twenty islands and islets. Now begins the puzzle of selecting which islands to visit. Just like our visit to theStockholm archipelago!

After much reading of blogs and travel guides, we understand that the archipelago is divided into two zones: the more accessible southern islands (Brännö, Asperö, Styrsö, Donsö and Vrångö) and the northern islands (Hönö, Vinga, Öckerö). There is no ferry from Goteborg to the island of Vinga.

We also noticed that all the islands look the same, rather like the villages on the Bohuslan coast that we explored on our road trip to Sweden. The landscapes are pretty much the same: rocky, forested islands.

Here are the islands we wanted to visit. We didn’t get to explore them all, but it helped us make our choice at the pier:

  • Styrsö: the main island of the archipelago, inhabited in the north and therefore more lively than the other islands, the south offers wilder landscapes of forests and rocky coasts.
  • Donso: an inhabited island (1,500 inhabitants) in the north and still wild in the south.
  • Brännö: once again, a flat, very natural island with forests and a rocky coastline.
  • Vrångö: the largest and most remote, accessible after a 1-hour ferry ride

There are several options for visiting the Gothenburg archipelago by boat, depending on how much time you want to devote to this activity. You can either choose a ferry that stops at a single island or one that offers multiple stops. If you’re in a hurry, you can opt for an organized cruise.

If you want to devote 1 day to the Goteborg archipelago, you can opt for a boat rental or take a ferry to the island of Vrango (l.We’ll explain it all below!).

Guided archipelago cruise

By boat

  • Favorite ❤️: to save time, you can opt for an all-organized cruise lasting 2.5 hours, from which you can enjoy beautiful views of Gothenburg and then sail around the southern islands.

Your guide will tell you all about the city of Gothenburg and its beautiful archipelago. It’s a great option if you want to devote just a few hours to this activity.

This is the quickest and easiest option, although depending on the season, it can be very busy. We advise you to arrive at least 30 minutes in advance so that you can choose your seat.

By ferry

Ferries to the islands depart from the Göteborg Saltholmens Brygga pier, a 30-minute streetcar ride from central Göteborg. Tickets cost around €3 and are valid for 90 minutes, and we boarded a ferry with the same ticket. We loaded our bikes onto the ferry!

Once in port, we recommend you pick up a guidebook with ferry timetables and plan your day. This requires a bit of planning, but for us the nearest ferry was to Donso Island, so we opted for this option!

We then took the 281 ferry to the port on the island of Donso. The weather was great, and it was a pleasant 30-minute ride (so very quick). As soon as we arrived, we could admire the pretty red fishermen’s houses, and yes, we’re still in Sweden! We went as far as the southern tip, then crossed the bridge to the island of Styrso – the southern part of the island is very wild. We climbed to the highest point of the island, Stora Rös, which offers a lovely view of the archipelago. Then we headed back to the village to catch the ferry back to Styrsö Bratten.

The colorful wooden houses are always beautifully decorated. We loved wandering around this natural, green and peaceful setting. Sweden is definitely a delight for nature lovers.

Don’t forget to check the boat’s return schedule to avoid getting stuck on the island. If this is the case, you can always ask a local to take you back to Gothenburg. Each inhabitant seems to have his or her own boat!

Private boat rental in Göteborg

The best thing to do is hire a private boat, so you can explore the archipelago at your own pace and enjoy a swim (if you’re not too chilly) in complete peace and quiet.

Don’t panic if you are new to sailing, you can rent a boat with or without a license and with or without a skipper. In short, you’re bound to find a formula to suit your needs.

To rent your boat, we recommend that you use the Samboat platform. It’s very simple, they have the most complete offer of boat rental and their website is very easy to use!

You enter your location“Goteborg“, then your dates, then you can filter by type of boat (motorboats, houseboats, small boats…), with or without a license, with or without a skipper: in short, you’re spoilt for choice.

Where to stay in Goteborg

Wondering where to stay in Gothenburg to make the most of your stay? To get the most out of your stay, we recommend you look for budget hotels in the city center, Haga or Heden districts.

Coup de coeur ♥

Coup de coeur ♥ : Hotel Flora quartier cente ville (the best neighborhood to sleep in, in our opinion): the hotel’s location is perfect for visiting the center of Goteborg on foot. Rooms are spacious and clean. It’s excellent value for money, with breakfast, where you’ll feel right at home.

With swimming pool

Avalon Hotel: ideally located in the heart of Goteborg city center. However, the rooms are very quiet and beautifully decorated. The rooftop swimming pool will welcome you after your visit to Goteborg!

Low cost € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € €

Cheap € : Linnéplatsens Hotell & Vandrarhem is a nicely decorated youth hostel, certainly the best value for money in Goteborg, located in the residential district of Olivedal (southwest of Goteborg). Cleanliness and tranquility are the order of the day, and access to the city center is easy, with the tramway at the foot of the hotel.

We wish you an excellent trip to Sweden, and of course we recommend that you visit its capital, Stockholm!

Feel free to leave us a quick note or 5 stars below, to tell us if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll get back to you with great pleasure.

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My name is Floriane, and I've been an adventurer and travel enthusiast since I was very young. More than anything, I love sharing our travel stories and tips with you. We love short getaways as well as long trips. This blog was born after our backpacking trip around the world. We also went on a family tour of Europe.
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