The islands in the northern archipelago
The ten populated northern islands are accessible by car, bus and bike on highway 155 towards Hisingen/Öckerö and the Lilla Varholmen ferry terminal. There is also a ferry from Saltholmen in the city centre to Hönö Klåva on certain weekends and Sundays.
Bus Röd Express (Red Express) from the central station stops at the ferry terminal Lilla Varholmen. From there you take the ferry to the islands. With bus no 1 and 2 from Hönö terminal (Hönö Färjeläge) you reach the islands Öckerö, Hälsö, Hönö and Fotö.
You can also get directly to the island by bus 290 from Järntorget. The bus makes several stops on Hönö, Öckerö and Hälsö.
On Björkö you can get around by bus no. 294.
Plan your trip with Västtrafik’s Travel Planner.
Ferries from Lilla Varholmen
From the Lilla Varholmen ferry terminal there are two car ferries, both free of charge.
The ferry from Lilla Varholmen to Hönö (stop: Hönö Färjeläge) takes 12 minutes and from Hönö you reach the three islands Fotö, Öckerö and Hälsö, which are all connected by bridges. The northern islands Rörö, Hyppeln and Källö-Knippla are served by ferry from the northern ferry terminal (Burö färjeläge) at the tip of Hälsö.
The ferry from Lilla Varholmen to Björkö island (stop: Grönevik färjeläge) takes 6 minutes. From Björkö island (stop: Framnäs färjeläge) there are passenger ferries to the car free islands Kalvsund and Grötö.
Ferry from Stenpiren to Hönö Klåva
You can take the ferry from Stenpiren on Sundays in April and May; and between June 24–August 14 it will run Tuesdays–Sundays. Click here and head to Västsverige.com for more information.
Biking on the northern islands
If you want to bicycle on the islands, there are nice bicycle paths all the way from the centre of Gothenburg to Lilla Varholmen. You can then bring your bike on the toll-free road ferry. If you want to rent a bicycle on site, you find Paolos Cykel on Hönö. Be sure to reserve your bike in advance.
The islands in the southern archipelago
The car free islands in the southern archipelago are easily reached with Styrsöbolaget’s boats from Stenpiren Travel Centre or Saltholmen boat terminal.
Styrsöbolaget manage all boat traffic to the southern islands and they are available all year round. The boats managed by Styrsöblaget are part of the regular public transport system, so the tickets used on trams and buses are also valid on these boats. For more information about tickets and how to get them, see Västtrafik. A great tip for visitors is to check out their day tickets.
Please note that bikes are allowed only if there is enough room on board.
By ferry from Stenpiren in the city
The ferries to the southern archipelago now depart from Stenpiren Travel Centre in the city all year round. Instead of taking the tram to Saltholmen to catch the ferry, you can enjoy the trip all the way from the city on top deck of the ferry – a perfect way to enjoy and experience Gothenburg as seen from the water. The entire route Stenpiren–Styrsö–Donsö–Vrångö takes about 1 hour and 35 minutes. Please note that the ferry departs twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
By ferry from Saltholmen
From central Gothenburg you can go to Saltholmen by:
- Tram 11 (and 9 during the summer) – takes about 35 minutes
- Bus 114 (Ö-snabben) – takes about 25 minutes
Visit Västtrafik’s Travel Planner for more details.
And from Saltholmen you continue on out to the islands by boat:
- 281 (Saltholmen–Vrångö)
- 282 (Saltholmen–Brännö Husvik)
- 283 (Saltholmen–Brännö Rödsten)
See Styrsöbolaget’s time tables for more details.
Generally the boats depart once every hour to the bigger islands (Asperö, Brännö, Köpstadsö, Styrsö, Donsö and Vrångö). During peak season the boats departure a bit more often and there are also boats to the smaller islands Knarrholmen and Stora Fotö.
All the islands in the south archipelago are car-free and the best choice is to go to Saltholmen by bus or tram.
If you go by car, there are three options for parking: Talattagatan and Vikebacken in Långedrag, and during the summer Hinsholmsviken as well. At Saltholmen there is only parking for persons with disabilities. From Långedrag and Hinsholmen you can easily take the tram the last few stops to Saltholmen. You can use the same ticket for the tram and the ferry.
Also, have a look at the app Parkering Göteborg (Parking in Gothenburg) to see if there are any available parking spots. There are also real-time information signs in place, letting you know how many available spots there are.
Biking on the southern islands
The rental bikes Styr & Ställ is a great way of getting to Saltholmen while avoiding the crowds on public transport. There is a summer stop at Saltholmen from June 1. If you want to bring a bike on board, please note that bikes are allowed only if there is enough room.
Swedish ’fika’ on the ferry
The ferries Silvertärnan, Vesta and Ylva have cafés on board. So why not grab a Swedish ‘fika’ on the way out to the southern archipelago. The Silvertärnan, Vesta and Ylva ferries traffic the routes 281, 282 and 283. In the time table you can see when the café is open.
The on board cafés serve hot and cold beverages, sandwiches, buns and cookies, as well as ice cream and candy. They’re open 7 days a week from early morning to late afternoon/evening and accept Swish, and cards.
Vinga in the outer archipelago
In Gothenburg’s outer archipelago you’ll find the island Vinga with its wellknown lighthouse and scenic nature. The island is well worth a daytrip but is not part of the regular public transport system. Instead you can get here with for example Hönö Tourist & Fishing, Kastor Boat Trips or Marine Events, all of which depart from Hönö in the northern archipelago, or with Strömma, whose summer tours to Vinga depart from Lilla Bommen in the city centre.
Visit the public transport company Västtrafik’s website
Read more about how to plan your trip out to the islands here. You can buy your ticket from a Västtrafik retailer or via Västtrafik’s ToGo app. The app allows you to pay for tickets using VISA or Mastercard. You can also look up departures times.