Autumn walk in Vastastan.

How to experience the best of Sweden’s west

A country steeped in history that harks back to the Viking Age, Sweden is a must-see for everyone looking for that next great adventure. The western part of Sweden, where the west coast is referred to as the “Best Coast” by the locals, is no exception. With stunning archipelagos and a picturesque countryside, combined with delicious Swedish cuisine, the west of Sweden is truly a golden gateway to Scandinavia.

 

Travel by ferry from Fredrikshavn or Kiel to Gothenburg or Gretna to Halmstad and enter a country filled to the brim with sweeping vistas and adventures for young and old. Below, we’ve listed just a few of the places that makes this part of the country so special. However, don’t be afraid to step off the beaten path and make the venture entirely your own.

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Gothenburg
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Whether you arrive here or in Halmstad, Gothenburg is a must for anyone visiting Sweden’s west coast. The second largest city in Sweden, it’s home to Scandinavia’s largest amusement park Liseberg, as well as numerous Michelin-starred restaurants. Take a stroll through the cobblestone streets of Haga district, have a fika, a typical Swedish dish consisting of coffee and pastries, or sit by the harbour and watch the ships roll in. 

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City of Gothenburg street architecture view, Vastra Gotaland County of Sweden
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Bohus Coast
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Heading north from Göteborg, you’ll find the area of the Bohus coast. Known for its natural beauties, the entire coastline is filled with places where Swedes gather to soak in the sun, take a swim in the Kattegat or just enjoy the outdoors. Make sure to stop by Hunnebostrand, a quaint town situated on the edge of the waters that perfectly encapsulate what’s so special about Swedens west coast.

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Hunnebostrand, Sweden
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Falkenberg & Varberg
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Travelling south from Göteborg, or north from Halmstad? Welcome to the wonderful seaside towns of Falkenberg and Varberg. Here you’ll find both sandy beaches and city centres where you can shop, eat and drink to your hearts content. A bonus tip is to head down to Båstad, just south of Halmstad. There you’ll find a long stretch of pristine beach perfect for any sunny day activities.

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Jämtland
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Dubbed “The Republic of Jämtland” by the locals, Jämtland is a place where you step back in time. Originally an autonomous region in the 12th century, the inhabitants proudly (and jokingly) hold on to that local history. Here, you can find runes and carvings dating back from the Viking age and beyond at Glösa and Frösö. Even though Jämtland is home to wildlife such as moose, deer and even bears, hiking and berry picking are still very encouraged activities. 

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Beautiful landscape of river and mountains ,Sweden
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Sälen
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If you’re a fan of skiing, you’re in luck. Sweden is home to some fantastic mountains that makes skiing a pure joyous experience and draws in over 2 million skiers every year. A big number of there go north to Sälen, and with good reason. In the winter times, these mountains are perfect for both experienced skiers and for those who’ve never seen a ski before. In the summer times, the surrounding areas make for some beautiful hiking and fishing areas. 

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Hundfjället in Sälen, Sweden
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Vänern & Vättern
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If you fancy going inland, take a trip to the lakes Vänern and Vättern. Situated right next to each other, they’re the largest lakes in Sweden and indeed the European Union. If you’re up for it, there are places where you can rent a canoe or kayak to take out on the lakes, as well as paddleboards and other forms of water-based fun for the whole family. If relaxing is more your style, pack a picnic and enjoy the pine-covered vistas of the largest lakes in Sweden. 

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Schloss Läckö in Västergötland auf der Insel Kallandsö im Vänern gehört zu den Barockschlössern Schwedens.
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Distance GBG - Jämtland

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Distance from Göteborg to Jämtland
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A longer drive of 822km, the drive would take about 10 hours from Göteborg to Glösa. Don’t forget, the road trip is yours to plan! If you’re feeling up for it, we really recommend driving up to Jämtland. 

Distance GBG - Vänern

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Distance from Göteborg to Vänern
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If you’re driving from Göteborg to Vänern, expect the trip to take around 90 minutes to the closest point of Vänern, or three hours to the furthest point. For Vättern, the trip would take two hours or 3 ½ hours respectively. 

Total distance of the west coast

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Total distance of Swedens western coast
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Fancy staying by the coast for the holiday? No worries, the 140km long coastline will certainly be a vacation filled to the brim with wonderful activities and sights.

Try local cuisine

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Try some local cuisine
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Sweden’s big cities might have Michelin-starred restaurants and fine dining, but don’t be afraid to try the local foods as well! You’d be surprised often the local food scene can be made into superb dishes.

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