5 hiking experiences in and around Gothenburg
Gothenburg is the perfect place to start your Nordic hiking adventure. Sweden’s second-largest city is located on the West Coast. It is surrounded by a stunning archipelago on the one side and a varied landscape with forests, lakes, ridges and beautiful countryside on the other.
All hiking trails near Gothenburg are easily accessed by public transportation from the Central station, are well-marked and offer a large selection of authentic places to stay and eat on the way.
Tip: use Västtrafik's travel planner for your journey.
Gothenburg has ranked as the world’s most sustainable destination (according to the Global Destination Sustainability Index) six times in a row. That’s because the city and its surroundings are outstanding when it comes to ecotourism and responsible travel.
Photographer: Göteborg Trailrun
Here are 5 hiking experiences in and around Gothenburg that outdoor enthusiasts shouldn’t miss:
1. Hike in the heart of the city
You don’t even have to leave the city for a Gothenburg hike. Wander around between old trees in the Slottsskogen, a park of 137 hectares right in the heart of the city, offering numerous walking and hiking trails. Take a relaxed stroll through the Trädgårdsföreningen (Garden Society), a garden with over 16,000 plant species from all over the world, ornamental gardens, ponds, and fountains.
Or enjoy a walk through the Gothenburg Botanical Garden, one of the largest in Europe. And with Delsjön and Änggårdsbergen Nature Reserve, there are two popular hiking destinations with beautiful natural scenery just a few kilometres from the centre. Here you can start your hike through lush forests, over rocky hills and beside crystal-clear lakes, straight from the tram or bus.
2. Discover wilderness close to the city
The legendary Bohusleden, a 350 kilometre trail for real nature-lovers, starts in Mölndal, just south of central Gothenburg, passes the outskirts of the city and stretches to Strömstad at the Norwegian border.
The southern parts of the path can be reached easily by train or bus from Gothenburg Central station. They are less demanding and offer plenty of accommodation and places to eat – making them suitable for less experienced walkers and easy day trips.
The Swedish Tourist Association has chosen the Bohusleden sections 2-6 as one of their Signature Trails, where you can, “despite the proximity to Sweden’s second-largest city, hike in silence through several nature reserves, past lakes rich in fish and through dense beech forests.”
3. Go on a coastal hike and hop from island to island
Would you like to walk along the coast and enjoy maritime nature on one of the many archipelago islands? In that case we recommend the Kuststigen (The Coastal Path), with 42 sections between Gothenburg and Oslo.
A wonderful hike close to Gothenburg includes three Kuststigen sections connecting the islands of Fotö, Hönö, Öckerö and Hälsö in Gothenburg’s northern archipelago. Just take the expressbus from central station to Lilla Varholmen and jump on a ferry to Hönö where the first section starts. Recommended stops include the fishing village Hönö Klåva, Ersdalen nature reserve and the headland of Hälsö with its fantastic views over Marstrand.
Coastal Path (Öckerö)
Another maritime outdoor destination where you can hike over rocky cliffs and beautiful beaches, is Styrsö in the southern Gothenburg archipelago, just a short trip away by tram and ferry.
4. Experience culture and history in beautiful nature
A unique hiking experience through the West Sweden cultural landscape starts only a stone’s throw from Gothenburg’s central station. The 77 km long hiking trail Gotaleden stretches from the tourist office at Kungsportsplatsen to the small town of Alingsås. You cross nature reserves and pass small villages with cosy places to have a coffee, eat local food and sleep comfortably.
Discover the industrial history of the region at the old textile factories at Jonsered, now home to a microbrewery, or the textile mill at Nääs Fabriker that has been turned into a hotel, spa and design gallery. The Gotaleden trail is bi-directional and you can easily reach the different stages from commuter train stations along the route.
5. Find yourself on a peaceful pilgrim hike
For centuries, faithful pilgrims wandered through Scandinavia to visit the grave of Saint Olaf in the Nidaros Cathedral of Trondheim. Follow their steps on the Göta Älv Pilgrim Path. It begins at the Masthugget Church in central Gothenburg and then follows the Göta Älv river over 77 kilometres to the small town of Vänersborg.
The trail offers varied scenery and many beautiful viewpoints, with places to eat and stay nearby. Not to mention historic landmarks in the form of mediaeval churches, museums, mills, stone bridges and even a Buddhist temple.
You can easily vary your hiking route and conveniently get to several suitable starting points by public transport. Other West Sweden pilgrim paths are located in Skaraborg, between Falköping and Varnhem, and in Dalsland, between Vänersborg and Åmål (connected with the Göta Älv pilgrim path). All three are just a 60-90 minute train ride away from Gothenburg city.
Do you want tips on comfortable accommodations near hiking trails?
Take a look at our best tips.