Island Hopping through Gothenburg's Archipelago
Situated on the west coast of Sweden, Gothenburg - the country's second largest city - is known for its dutch-like canals, lively commercial districts, fika (coffee break) stops, and more. Not to mention, Gothenburg has a number of amazing parks and gardens that can each easily take up an afternoon. On almost every must do in Gothenburg list however, isn't one of the city's features, but rather is a day trip and ferry ride south of the city to the charming and seclusive archipalegos. On my visit, I only had about 12 hours in the city on my way to Oslo, and knew that I had to use my time to hop around the archipalegos.
To get to the ferry stop, there are multiple buses (I took #111) that go from Gothenburg (Göteburg) Central Station to Göteburg Saltholmens Brygga (brygga = dock) in about 25 to 30 minutes. Boats depart about every hour to the bigger islands Asperö, Brännö, Köpstadsö, Styrsö, Donsö, and Vrångö, and during peak seasons will increase their frequency. I recommend using Google Transit (links directions to Bränno) to time your trip so you can minimize your wait. I chose to stop at Bränno, because it had a beach, cafés, restaurants and great hiking/walking opportunities.
After about a half an hour ferry ride, I got off at the Bränno-Husvik stop on the southern side of the island. The ferry ride was seriously half of the fun because you get to pull up to each of the island's docks and get to peak at the cottages that line the rocky coasts. I didn't have a plan really other than to wander around and check out the island. My first goal was to get to the highest point of the island and see the view from there, which to be honest, didn't offer much more than the ferry boat ride did. After I wandered over to the Bränno Inn, located in the center of the island, for a coffee.. a proper Swedish fika.
Before coming to Sweden, I thought that the Swedish were just really over caffeinated. I mean, to dedicate an entire part of their day (like a siesta in Spain) to coffee must mean that it was a huge part of their culture. But what I learned is that this coffee "break" places more of an emphasis on the break part than the favored beverage. When I get my coffee at work, I typically just mindlessly drink it at my desk while engrossed in the next thing. For the Swedish, a true fika is a time to slow down, relax, and take some time for yourself during the hectic day.
Like I couldn't leave Sweden without taking a proper fika, I also couldn't leave without trying a kanelbulle, which is literally translated to cinnamon bun, so I got one to accompany my coffee. These pastries originated from Sweden, and while I probably didn't get it from the most renown source in Sweden, I'm glad it's something I can at least say that I tried. Plus: you really can't go wrong with a cinnamon roll.
After my break, I continued wandering around, diverting back to the beach (signs for Bad) at Ramsdal for a little bit. I eventually ended up at the northern ferry stop, Rödsten, and rode back to Gothenburg.
Would love to hear about the other islands, since I didn't get a chance to explore these! Comment below!