Global travel. On local public transportation.

Gothenburg: Riverside outing

August 9, 2011 Markus Seppälä

Gothenburg: Riverside outing

The Göta Älv river runs through Gothenburg and provides some varied walks and a splendid, almost free, ferry ride along its banks.

Discover Gothenburg’s newer side by ferry

Göteborgsoperan, the opera house

The Älvsnabben ferry is a scenic commuter ferry and part of the public transportation system, which means you’ll only need a valid bus/tram ticket to board. The ferry runs down the Göta Älv river and connects the city center at Lilla Bommen on the south shore to three quays on Hissingen along the north shore before terminating at Klippan on the south side. The old harbor and industrial area on the north shore is the site of Gothenburg’s most spectacular urban development, while still retaining and reinventing its industrial roots. This is particularly true for its architecture, as brick industrial buildings have been turned into theaters, schools, and hotels.

Lindholmen, Gothenburg, SE

The Lindholmen peer, as seen from the ferry.

As you embark the ferry at Lilla Bommen, note two of Gothenburg’s landmarks, a mix of the old and the new: Nearest is the largest sailing ship ever built in Scandinavia, Barken Viking, which today houses a hotel and restaurant. Behind her is the equally iconic red-and-white Skanskaskrapan office tower, referred to by the locals as Läppstiftet, “The Lipstick”.

As you depart the quay, you can’t miss the Opera House on your left which forms the focal point of the marina. After the first stop at Rosenlund the ferry crosses the river for three stops on the north shore. First is Lindholmen, which houses a shared campus of the city’s two universities, a number of high schools, and office and residential buildings. Most of this development is brand new and occupies space used until 1976 by the shipyards.

Eriksberg crane, Gothenburg, SE

The Eriksberg crane.

After the next stop, Slottsberget, a tree-covered hill with several historic residential buildings, you reach Eriksberg, another former shipbuilding-related industrial area turned residential. A wooden boardwalk runs along the riverbank and provides views of the Stena Line ferries to Denmark and Germany, still-developing high-end housing blocks, and the orange Eriksberg gantry crane. On a nice day, this is the perfect place for a spot of coffee. From Eriksberg you can either hop on the bus back into town, or continue on the ferry to Klippan on the other side of the river.

Klippan, more than a red rock

Brick industrial building at Klippan in Gothenburg, SEKlippan is a cultural and recreational area along the southern Göta Älv riverfront, in the district of Majorna. If you’re not taking the ferry as described above, grab a tram to the Vagnhallen Majorna station and walk three minutes to the north. The first thing you’ll see is the highly regarded seafood restaurant Sjömagasinet, which until the ownership changed in 2010 sported a Michelin star. As you walk further south-west along the riverbank, you’ll reach the old porter (stout) brewery, which now houses the Novotel Goteborg Hotel. Have a peek inside, and even up the stairs to the restaurant, and you’ll see that the owners have done a good job of preserving the old industrial style.

The red rock Röda Sten at Klippan, Gothenburg, SE

Three of Gothenburg's landmarks: the red rock, the Älvsborg bridge and the Eriksberg crane.

Further along the bike/foot path, near the southern pylon of the Älvsborgsbron suspension bridge, is an area called Röda Sten. It’s named after a rock near the waterfront painted, for reasons not finally settled, bright red. Next door is the Röda Sten cultural center, which houses exhibitions and a restaurant. Don’t miss the legal graffiti on the back side of the building. Try climbing up the hill for a better look of Hissingen on the other side of the river.

A European magpie made out of concrete at Klippan, Gothenburg, SEIf you continue further down the path, you’ll pass by a couple of small sandy beaches, most likely almost get run over by cyclists, and reach another two restaurants at Nya Varvet, namely Nya Varvet Studios and Ruckman’s. If you’re lucky, you might catch a wedding party enjoying hte marina and the open green spaces.

To head back for the city center, you can try to catch a bus at the Örlogsvägen‎ stop, but make sure to check if busses are running. The closest tram is Kungssten, a short walk south-southeast from here.

Gothenburg public transportation trip planner

You can reach all of the attractions in this article by public transportation. Use Västtrafik’s trip planner via their desktop site, mobile site or app.

, , , Bus, Canon PowerShot G12, Europe, Ferry, Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini pro, Tram

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