Slottsskogens Vandrarhem is the greatest youth hostel I've ever been to. It's pretty much central to Gothenburg, and it's immaculately clean - from the huge, friendly communal kitchen to the airy, wood-furnished bedrooms. The staff are an absolute pleasure (and handily all speak perfect English), there's free internet and free bike hire, perfect for exploring the city and its glorious coastline. Although we didn't try it, there was a spectacular looking traditional Swedish breakfast on offer for a few Kronor. The atmosphere inside was brilliant too - we went as two girls just visiting for fun, and we met Erasmus students waiting for term to start, people backpacking across the world, and most days and nights we ended up doing stuff with them too. Honestly, I can't recommend it enough. It's also really near the Haga district of the city, the traditional old beautiful town with gorgeous cafes, and it's across the road from a frequent main tram line.
Whatever you do, remember that Sweden operates a state-run alcohol retail outlet - Systembolaget. This has very precise opening times so make sure you know them, otherwise you will be very frustrated. The good news is that booze bought at the Systembolaget is far cheaper than at bars. There is also a fantastic choice of wine.
Systembolagets are in most towns and have a very distinctive logo.
Lovely youth hostel near the coast on the island of Orust. Good accommodation, shared or family rooms (largest about 5 people) in old buildings, or hytter in the garden. Summer restaurant.
Walk down the garden to the sea, or into the village nearby to buy fresh fish, crab or lobster. Alternatively cross the road into the coastal woodland.
There are excellent public transport links to local towns (Ellos, Mollusund and Henan), and ferries to the islands of Gulholmen and Karingdon for swimming, sunbathing, walking and people watching or eating fresh Dublin Bay prawns.
Accessible from Goteborg by public tranport (bus stop 50m). If you arrive late (by car), they will leave your key to collect in the porch. It may be worth getting YHA/HI membership as the supplement for non-members is 45 SEK (£3.50) per night.
It is beautiful and easy to get to. You reach car-free islands on cheap public transport, getting a nice boat trip into the bargain. Bathing waters are very clean and often very shallow and calm due to virtually no tides, waves or currents, making them ideal for families with babies and toddlers. Water temperatures often reach 21C in July.
The northern archipelago can be reached by car ferry from Hjuvik and Hisingen. For the southern archipelago take the ferry from Saltholmen. With the Gothenburg Pass it is free, or without one it costs the same as a tram ride.
Incredibly good value transport card from the Tidpunkten: 100 SEK for trains, trams, buses and ferries throughout Goteborg and Bohuslan. Buys a number of kupong (currently 18). Insert the card in the machine on board and press the required number of kupong (minimum 2). Permits onward travel in the next hour, longer for areas outside Goteborg City. Long journeys (3 hours or more) are 8-10 kupong (£4-5), even on the express coaches.
Combined prices for multi-mode journeys are a lot cheaper than paying for individual elements; generally the extra cost of local onward travel from a ferry by bus is one kupong.
Use it to wander round the coastal islands. If you are there for the weekend, one ticket can be used for several people including travel on the much cheaper bus from/to the airport if you are using Ryanair; the bus stop is at the end of the Airport road about 300 metres from the departure lounge.
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