Gothenburg’s best ‘floatel’ is located right in the middle of the city, beside the guest harbour known as Lilla Bommen.
For local sailors, this is one of the city’s most prestigious places to drop anchor. The high costs mean that most people stay for just a night or two. But the huge sailboat at the far end of the quay – the Barken Viking – has been stuck here for decades.
It doesn’t have much choice. Since 1966, when the Älvborgs Bridge was built further downstream, the boat has been unable to reach the sea. Its tallest steel mast is at least 10 metres higher than the river-spanning bridge.
The big barque, which took its maiden voyage in 1907, has now been converted into a fun, themed hotel with conference facilities and a restaurant. Cross the gangplank and you’ll find snug midrange rooms lined up across two floors of cargo ship.
Our favourite rooms are the ones on the ground floor, where wood-panelled walls and framed pictures of the swirling sea add to the maritime vibe. Upstairs the accommodation is a lot roomier but apart from the porthole windows, which run along the whole length of the boat, there’s not much of a convincing maritime theme.
The prices aren’t too bad when you consider the location, just a few minutes’ walk to the Nordstan shopping centre and around 10 minutes to the main train station. In summertime, the harbour area just outside the hotel is packed with people watching the sailboats and eating lunch at the waterside café.
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Lilla Bommens Torg 10
+46 316 358 00
Updated: September 2014