Göteborg - selfguided tour

Outside the central station a rainy night in October 2005.
A centrally located position to start from...

You don't have to start at the central station/ Drottningtorget. This circular sightseeing tour can be entered by any location along the way. There is a bunch of hotels in this area, beside the railway station, and also a terminal for regional and long distance buses. It is the final stop for the airport bus, and one of the most natural entry points to Göteborg.

If a map is desired for this suggested self guided tour, click below. For clarity it is mainly the mentioned routes that is shown, but many more exist. Tram lines have their actual colours, but for buses it is only a way to tell one line from the other in this case. Selected stops are stated, mostly with names.

Map of the selfguided tour [left]
Map of the selfguided tour [new window]

GS M21 240.
This is the site for Olskroken station, now since long defunct. There is other local tram lines catering for that area, outside this picture to the right.

-Of course you can't control yourself, due to the strong urge to ride with the trams. I can't remember the word perfect quotation, but a 1990:s LRTA global list of tram systems, goes something like this: "Göteborg is the city that invented modern light rail, and is having a well operated system that is a role model for others". Now get an instant taste of it by boarding an eastbound number 7 or 11 train.

M21 337 at line 4.
The interlaced tracks of a narrow bridge is seen to the left. Gamlestadstorget.

Already by the next station (some 5 minutes riding time), comes a significant junction with crossing movements of no less than six lines from four directions. One has a combined headway of 5 minutes, two of them sport 3 minutes intervalles (of which one have a short section of interlaced single track!), while the direction you came from have trains every 135:th second on average. This will offer some photo-ops. 7 and 11 deviates from 4 and 9, that shared the tracks so far, and 6 merges with your path. This place is also where a precursor to the present Göteborg came about. Only a commemorative stone lasts by Gamlestadstorget (Old town square).

M21 225-239 in 1996.
Just south of Säveån. Four tracks runs alongside, but the outermost (behind the photographer) is reserved for the national railways.

The next station is named after the industry housed on the right side of the track: SKF (Swedish bearring factory). Volvo was originally a subsidiary to SKF, in order to get a market for the first product, and an urge to make an enterely Swedish car. -In the hill on your left is some visible gates leading to an abondoned underground spare plant, in case of a nuclear attack. Now it houses activities for mostly youngsters.

M28 738, and M29 811 by Kviberg.
This view is now blocked, as apartment buildings are replacing the football field. The point where I was standing, is the original terminus. This lasted for some 50 years.

In the continous direction of the next stop is the former army base, that was the reason for this trame line in the first place. When the army unit moved out of downtown in the late 1800:s, it was considerad a nuisance, and maybe a real danger, that the soldiers needed to walk all that way to the city, in case of a threatening war, or other emergency.

Kvibergshusen and Kviberg cemetery.

However in the 50:s new ground was broken for housing further up the hills between the valleys, where Göta river (north) and Säveån (east) flows. The track make a curve into this realm, and skirts the backside of the impressive development pictured above. These two slab houses are catered for by Beväringsgatan station. On the other side lies Swedens biggest cemetary, at 260 acres. It even has sections for German and British soldiers, that perished in the World wars.

M31 367 leaving, Beväringsgatan.
M31 367 has just left Beväringsgatan, on a northbound number 6 service.

The 1950:s district Kortedala is divided into seven "neighborhood" units. This definitely breakes up any trace of monotony. The planning appears at times almost organic, as bedrock and full grown trees are left intact, at sometimes just an arms lenght from high rises. Forget the notion "housing project" before entering this agreeable area.

GS M31 332 in Kortedala in 2004.
Organic track layout in Kortedala.

Kortedala is in itself worth a detour. Though to make it quick you can take a look at the museum apartment (when open) at Adventsvägen 1, by Allhelgonakyrkan (all hallows church) station. I participated in the meeting when the creation of this museum was decided in 1994, but have not since been active.

M28 744-728-702 in Kortedala.
This special train had one car coupled the other way, to make it easier to reverse on the tracks on the upper level, all the way through the turning circle beyond this picture. A unique arrangement in summer -92, when the line was just partly closed. The location is Between Allhelgonakyrkan and Januarigatan.

The third tunnel (all along this alignment are numbered 49-53) bring the line to Bergsjön. This area is slightly more brutalistic, and newer than Kortedala. Still we can trace this idea, that every different street should have a personal identity. As a mailman in this district in the early 1990:s, i savoured every minute of my job. Bergsjön is especially magnificent in early summer, by a lukewarm quiet night.

M21 261-267.
Teleskopgatan in Bergsjön, summer 1996.

While most street names in Kortedala are inspired from the calendar, Bergsjön got the names from space. The second to the last stop, Rymdtorget (space square), is where you get off, and walk towards the dimunitive mall. The last stop would also require a short walk, out to the main thorougfare. It is up to you where you connect with bus 58, one of the longest in town (90 minutes all way).

GS MAN 568.
Brand new MAN articulated bus in hilly Bergsjön, July 2004.

A possible alternative tour opens up in the guise of route 514 (any of these two stops too, but closer in the case of the tram terminus). This bus will require a day pass with a higher tariff class, Göteborg +, as opposed to plainly Göteborg. If using the cards cash deposit, enter the + button on the machine, before showing the card. Anyway, 15 minutes further down the line you can transfer at Partille.

Linjebuss 2527.
Linjebuss 2527 is just leaving the not yet rebuilt Partille terminal in April 2004.

Take bus 510, 512, 513, 515, or just stay put in 514. Make sure to check the direction of the other buses, though you will not get lost in case you get on the wrong one (the same tariff applies) - it only takes longer. Enter the shorter tour again by either Svingeln or Korsvägen (by 513 the other way - as that is a beltline).

Linjebuss 2163.
This fortification by Svingeln, lies at the wrong side of the track, and would necessitate a long detour.

Back to 58, if you chosed that option from Bergsjön. Leave the bus after it leaves the freeway E20. The bus stop is Svingeln. One of the car barns is located nearby, and also the heritage fleet in another building, both a little bit east, next to the E6 freeway. When done with that (or not), transfer to tram 6, or 8 too if you want to make a stopover along the way - they are running parallel for a while.

M31 class number 316.
Only tram 316, 362 and 363 has this arrangement of the headlights.

After the next stop, the newest part of the rail system is encountered (2002). The plan for this area was made in the mid 1860:s, that is a few years before the trams, but still Skånegatan was made wide enough to carry dual tracks between the roadways. It only lay dormant for many years. Many is an understatement.

Korsvägen (crossroads) has developed to an increasingly important transport hub in recent years.

Ullevi stadium is passed, Bergakungen cineplex, Scandinavium icehockey arena, Svenska mässan exhibitions and fairs, Universéum science center (Scandinavias biggest), the museum of world culture, and not the least, Liseberg amusement park, offering 35 attractions. Korsvägen is closest to the latter four. Parts of the university (totalling 41.000 students) is also scattered in the vicinity.

Universéum science center by night.

A tunnel is connecting this area with the higher ground by Chalmers institute of technology (9000 students). Soon after, Sahlgrenska hospital (17.000 employed) is encountered. In between those is a spur leading south for two more stations; route 10. It could be worhtwhile to go astray a little bit, as the yellow brick water tower holds a café. This is often crowded, but the generous opening hours of 11-21 all days, should give the opportunity at some time. The view from the terrace is free, no matter if the tables are all occupied.

From the top of Guldheden water tower.
A fine view opens up from the water tower in Guldheden.

As soon as you have seen it all from above, you may venture down to Sahlgrenska by foot, as an option. From there, or the fork where you left for line 10, take tram 6 for about 5 minutes more. Järntorget is the transfer point for bus 60, and a lot more. The stop before will also do, but it is a little harder to find the desired bus on a parallel side street for each direction. 60 is as close to San Francisco as it gets in Göteborg - cool!

GS 719.
In this picture from 1996, the route was called 85. This is right after Prinsgatan stop. The pointed shadow is from the church that gave name to the next stop in line.

Walk along the same street as the bus terminate, and veer right or left (in that case, along the street on the back of the building, and then around the corner). The park on the right is best for a longer stay, as there is benches (probably occupied). This is among the best urban views in the world, if you ask me. Kowloon or Brooklyn promenade is among the few contestants. Okej, this is after all my hometown.

I can sit for an hour looking at this. Even as one of my old schools is visible (the brick building at the right extremety).

Another option is to get off by the third to the last stop, Fjällskolan. It is not obvious how to walk, but it is not far from Masthuggskyrkan. The rocks around is offering a more northerly vista towards the harbour and Hisingen.

Kampanilen (the observation is occasionally open) by the museum of shipping. It is seen from a terrace by Masthuggskyrkan.

You can the make a shortcut from here, by walking down to tram 11 by Fjällgatan. If so, continue to Kungsten, and we will come back to that option a little later. until then, the transfer at Järntorget again, is what will be regarded. Take a westbound 3 or 9 to Klippan. South of the freeway there is a "cultural reservation", a little treasure by the river. Not much is left, as the area is continuosly cleared ever more, in spite of its "protection". Take the opportunity before it is too late.

M29 801, and M31 302.
This is right outside on of the car barns. Klippan in Majorna.

Röda sten art exhibition is not big, but please take a look once you are here. It is situated right under the high bridge. You can also continue to walk for a while along the river front. If you venture far enough, bus 198 (peak hours only) can take you back to Kungssten from another direction. This line is privately financed, a rather unique arrangent, but ordinary tickets apply.

Röda sten art exhibition.
This funny organ was operated by vacuum cleaners, somewhat randomly started by visitors breaking rays of light in the hall. This exhibition was in 2006.

Crossing the river. Either from Kungsten (the short cut option with tram 11), by bus 20 or 99. The latter is a little hard to find underneath an overpass on the other side of the multilane freeway. As soon as you have seen a few buses pass, you will know where you should have gone at once...From Klippan/ Majorna car barn, (that was the other suggestion), only bus 20 is available (direction Eketrägatan). Unless you take the ferry, that is - in effect another shortcut. But this is also met further down the line.

GS double articulated bus 803.
Double articulated bus 803 leaving Lindholmen in the new tree lined boulevard with the same name.

If you took 99, just get off somewhere by Eriksberg, where you can walk around in the new district built on a former shipyard. If you came by Ferry it is just one stop. By bus 20, a change is necessary by the last stop. This is however exciting, as service 16 is sometimes operated by Swedens only double articulated buses. You can also stay on route 16 further from Eriksberg, to Sannegården former docks, or Lindholmen. This is where You will get to know Slottsberget, a cliff with small wooden houses clinging along.

The name of the jetty next to Slottsberget is Sannegården.

Slottsberget is situated by the east side of Sannegården, while Sörhallsberget stands sentry on the west side. Slottsberget was considered for complete demolishion in the 1960:s. There already was a cut in the rock then, forming a drydock. This is now reused as a marina.

Lindholmen shipyard.
The old drydock at Lindholmen shipyard in 2002

After Lindholmen, the ferry goes crossriver to Järntorget. A shortworking only calls at these two places. While the long ferry is refered to as Älvsnabben (fast along the river), this is Älvsnabbare (even faster along the river). Be careful with the minor linguistic difference!

Älvsnabben 3.
A marvellous September day in 2003, with wonderful light conditions for photography.

You will not get lost, etiher by the ferry or bus 16. Both are meandering along the old shipyards and docks, and finally brings you back downtown. The ferry calls by the river, by that candy cane coloured office building (architect Ralph Erskine). Bus 16 have its first stop by landfall after the long bridge. This is next to Nils Ericsson bus terminal, an integral part of the central station. If going somewhere here, it can be noted that the track numbers continue in the numbered bus stalls!

Göteborgshjulet .
Göteborgshjulet ferris wheel above Götaleden tunnel. Tickets for the wheel is purchased in the exhibition building decorated with the river and port siluett.

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