The Gothenburg Pass is touted as one of the best ways for tourists to save cash when visiting Sweden’s second-biggest city. According to the official website, it could save you more than 700 SEK ($80) when visiting the city’s most popular sights.
But is it really worth buying? Or would you be better off saving your cash, and paying for attractions and transport separately?
How the Gothenburg Pass works
The idea is that you buy the Gothenburg Pass (or Gothenburg City Pass, as it’s sometimes called) to cover part or all of your stay in the city.
You pay for the pass upfront and you’ll then get free access to loads of attractions around the city. You’ll also get a one-day pass for the city’s hop-on, hop-off tour buses, which is useful if you want to get a feel for a few different neighbourhoods.
For an extra fee you can also add a travel card that gives you free, unlimited access to the city’s public transport network, which includes boats, buses and trams, opening up the possibility of trips to the beautiful archipelago just west of the city. You’ll also get a guidebook full of handy maps and info on the attractions you can visit for free with the pass.
There are four different types of Gothenburg Pass, lasting one day, two days, three days and five days respectively.
The time is actually measured in hours, rather than days (so for example, if you buy a two-day Gothenburg Pass, you’ll get a full 48 hours to use it). The time starts running out when the pass is first used – either when making a journey with public transport, or when visiting a gallery or museum.
Once your card is activated, you’ll get free one-time admission to more than a dozen attractions in Gothenburg, including:
The natural history museum
Liseberg theme park
The city museum
The art museum
Röda Sten art gallery
You also get free admission to the Volvo Museum, and you can take the famous Paddan boat tour without paying a single krona extra. This is a fun boat tour that takes you out into the harbour and under some extremely low bridges (you’ll need to duck down to get beneath some of them!).
How much does the Gothenburg Pass cost?
At the time of writing, the prices for the Gothenburg Pass are as follows:
|Adults (aged 16+)||1 day||2 days||3 days||5 days|
|Gothenburg Pass with unlimited travel||440||735||885||1375|
|Kids (aged 6–15; must be with paying adult)|
|Gothenburg Pass with unlimited travel||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
Prices in Swedish kronor (SEK). The travel pass add-on is not available with kids’ passes (when accompanied by a paying adult, up to three people age 20 or below can travel free in Gothenburg).
Every Gothenburg Pass is valid for a full 12 months from the time of purchase, so it’s worth buying now even if you’re planning to visit later in the year.
Where to buy the Gothenburg Pass
You can buy the Gothenburg Pass online and then either pick it up from the tourist office when you arrive, or have it sent to your house (you’ll need to pay extra for postage and allow up to 10 days for international deliveries). A much better alternative is to have a digital version sent straight to your phone – just bear in mind that you’ll need to have enough battery to last you a whole day in Gothenburg!
If you decide to pick a physical pass up in Gothenburg, you’ll need to head to the tourist information office at Kungsportsplatsen 2, or the smaller kiosk within the Nordstan shopping mall, just across from the train station.
Is the card worth buying?
If you’re in Gothenburg for the first time and want to see a few of the big attractions, you could save a lot by buying the Gothenburg Pass.
The Universeum science centre, for example, costs 250 SEK per adult during summer. Even if you just went there, had a walk around the Liseberg theme park, and then used the hop-on, hop-off bus a couple of times, you would end up saving money. And that’s before you consider visiting a couple of the smaller attractions, visiting the Gothenburg Archipelago, or taking the Paddan boat tour.
We’d recommend getting the travel pass add-on, too. It will save you a lot of hassle when it comes to buying tickets (you can just get on and off whenever it suits you) and you won’t have to worry about taking taxis, which can be extremely expensive.
Note that although the Gothenburg Pass covers admission to Liseberg, it doesn’t include access to any of the rides – you’ll still need to pay extra for those.
The bottom line
Unless you’re sticking to completely free attractions, buying the Gothenburg Pass could save you a lot of cash. If you’re in doubt, try to work out what you want to see and then estimate how much you’ll end up spending on admission fees and public transport.
Gothenburg Pass discount codes
You may be able to track down a discount code for the Gothenburg Pass online, but so far we haven’t had much luck for 2018 or 2019. We’ll post codes here when we find them!
I am senior citizen, handicapped and can’t climb stairs without rails. I want to do all the water and bus tours.
Will the 2 for 1 bus to the airport work if it is just me. Will I get the round trip for 1/2 price with the City Card?
Where is the cheapest hotel that has an elevator or handicapped accessible with ensuite bathroom that is closest to the Nils Ericksson terminal I need to take a bus/ferry to Fiskebackskil
I’m not sure you’ll be able to go on the Paddan boat tour as you need to be able to climb down 12 steps to board the boat. They may be able to help you though (their site is here). Also, you might have to travel as a couple to get the 2-for-1 bus fare.
There’s a modern hotel within the main train station, right next to Nils Ericsson Terminalen (First Hotel G). That should be able to accommodate you but please check ahead with them first!