Our Brännö island day trip from Gothenburg was not only a highlight of our honeymoon, but the best day trip of any holiday we’ve ever been on (and that’s a lot). Despite Gothenburg as a city not feeling big or busy and also being very green, we still wanted a day trip out to somewhere more rural. So we picked the beautiful island of Brännö, in the southern part of the Gothenburg archipelago. On the island, cars are banned and there are only around 800 inhabitants (perfect for our favourite hobby of people-avoiding).
Brännö was recommended to us by the lady in the ticket office for the ferry. We were open to going to any of the archipelago islands, but Swedish people usually know best so we took her advice… And now we’ve been, I have to say that if you go to Gothenburg and don’t explore the archipelago, you’ve made a mistake. It’s a dream.
To get to Brännö, we took the delightfully pale blue number 11 tram from Gothenburg city centre to the ferry/boat terminal. It took about half an hour. Then we got on the ferry and ‘enjoyed’ the standard gale-force wind that comes free with any journey.
A place where no cars go
When we landed on Brännö, we were stunned by how beautiful and quiet it was.
The ferry across was full, but people seemed to quickly disperse and we were left to wander through the car-free little roads by ourselves, taking it all in. Completely alone. In the words of Arcade Fire, we’d found a place where no cars go. For two car-hating individuals, we couldn’t ask for more. Oh apart from amazing weather and being in our favourite country, Sweden. So we did alright!
We were very lucky with the weather. It was a lovely spring day in May with clear blue skies and a breeze.
The local shop and a cat: living the dream
As usual with our holidays, we ended up being ridiculously thirsty and miles from a shop to buy water. We eventually found the shop – it seemed to be the only one open on the island and was a hub of activity for residents.
Even better than being saved from near death from dehydration, we met a cat! Again, as usual with our holidays.
Where to eat on Brännö
After more wandering round residential areas ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the beautiful little houses and gardens, we were starving. We found two restaurants, but only one was be open, so that put a stop to any annoying indecision and frantic TripAdvisor-ing.
Even after extensive Google stalking, I can’t find the restaurant’s name but it was situated just past the shop and had a lovely sunny courtyard. It also served local beer, which is always a plus. We both had the incredibly cheap day menu (top tip for Swedish holidays: get the lunchtime deals). It was fresh mackerel and veg. Delicious.
A hidden harbour
We needed a rest after eating, so went and found this glorious little harbour to have a sit and watch the water. And the best thing? No other people around. Wait no, the best thing was that there were no cars around. But the solitude was nice too.
The Swedish countryside at its best
The whole island was full of fragrant blossoms and beautiful walks. And obviously, the classic Swedish red buildings.
The best day ever
No exaggeration. We will be raving about Brännö for years to come. The lack of cars was a real treat. We didn’t want to leave the island and go back to noisy reality. It also made for an amazing scene of commuter bicycles all waiting for their owners to get back from jobs on the mainland. As well as normal bicycles, motorised carts were very popular.
We then got the ferry and the beautiful old blue tram back to the centre. Chris was really happy about the tram, being a massive geek, and the driver gave him a thumbs up when he was taking the photo. Ha.
Brännö island day trip from Gothenburg: useful information
How to get there
We took the number 11 tram from Gothenburg city centre to the ferry/boat terminal. It took about half an hour. Then we got on the ferry and enjoyed the ride, as you do.
Where to stay
There is somewhere to stay on Brännö itself, but it was a day trip for us. As it was our honeymoon, we had splashed out and stayed in the exquisite IQ Suites apartments in Gothenburg.
How to get around
Cars are banned so it’s all on foot or bicycle: bliss.
When to go
May was a good time to go – sunny, warm weather and blossom on the trees. It might not be so enjoyable on a wet, grey day. But let’s not think about that.
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