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Find around Bohuslän

Cities and Towns in Bohuslän


is the largest city in Bohuslän with 50 000 inhabitants. The city dates from ancient times, with the oldest preserved letters of privilege being from 1498. However, due to two large fires, the buildings date only back to the late 19th century, for example the Town hall and the church.

Uddevalla, with an active harbour, is one of the most important industrial cities on the westcoast. For decades the shipyard was Uddevalla´s main trademark with some 3 000 employees but since it went out of business in 1986, different concepts have been tried,one being a Volvo car factory, to restore the industrial live in the harbour.

The Bohuslän Museum is located downtown, just next to Bäveån (the Bäve stream). Enter free of charge and discover the history of the province through the many life-size displays. There is an art exhibition as well, displaying the works of well-known artists.

There are daily boat trips heading for the coast and for different islands. Please check with the tourist office, located on the opposite side of Bäveån, seen from the Museum.

Just south of the city, you will find Gustafsberg, which is Sweden's oldest seaside health resort, dating back back to the 18th century. The rich and famous of the era gathered here to enjoy salty baths as well as clay and kelp baths. The wooden bathtubs are still around and so is "Villa Carolina", an empire style summer mansion, with 18th century interiors.


Kungälv is located in the south of the province, just where the Göta Älv (river) has an tributary into Nordre Älv. The community has 35 000 inhabitants but about 50% of them work elsewhere, mainly in Göteborg.

According to the Icelandic traditions, the predecessor Kongahälla existed already in the 900´s but the findings only date back to the 1100´s so far. Located 5 km further downstream, Kongahälla flourished as one of Norway's major cities during the middle ages. The city was moved a couple of times after fires and battles between Danes, Norwegians and Swedes. It was established at its present location in 1613. Thanks to the peace in 1658, when it became Swedish, it has remained there since.

Make sure to visit the Bohus fortress from 1308, which has survived the wars. The church and Västra gatan with its 18th century houses are well worth a visit. Maybe you will fall for the temptation of the factory outlet "Bräckboden" at Göteborgs Kexfabrik, with all its tasty biscuits.

Coastal villages and towns

Bohuslän of today is very much a product of what happened during the 19th century. Those were the days of the great herring period when the population of the province doubled. People were drawn to the coast and new fishing villages appeared/were built. The many stone cutters exported granite all over the world from the water-front quarries.

This was the era of the kelp- and clay-baths. The nobles arrived to the fishing villages which were becoming famous as seaside health resorts. The looks of the province's coastal villages changed. Big villas with verandas and fancy carpentry replaced the tiny red houses, while a new tradition was created when the resort guests arrived by passenger steam-ships. The locals saw strange things such as tennis-courts appearing in the midst of the fishing-nets and herring - all to keep the guests happy during their stay. All in all,the "infrastructure" and good-will of this period has paved the way for the tourism of today.

The closest you can get to experiencing this period, without climbing into the time-machine, is to visit any of the picturesque coastal villages. The past is very much part of what is happening today - many of the restaurants and dance establishments are in the old spa houses. The history of yesterday mixes with the pleasures of today and become your memories of tomorrow. Stroll the narrow cobble-stoned lanes, made by the stone-cutters and have a swim in the same salty sea that King Oscar II enjoyed some 200 years ago.

The villages have got more of a summer-night pulse than the tranquil islands but are also easily grasped in one day - therefore the villages themselves are listed as sights. These are a few examples.


Grundsund, located 35 km west of Uddevalla, is a small fishing village on the edge of the Skaftö island (connected with the mainland by a bridge). Grundsund flourished in the late 19th century when the deep sea fishing for mackerel was very lucrative. The fishermen bought old English fishing boats and worked together with hired men. The wooden name-plates of long gone boats can still be seen on every other cottage. Grundsund, still specialising in deep sea fishing, has kept the fishing village characteristics and is not as summer-guest influated as it's neighbour village Fiskebäckskil. While you are here,have nice lunch, try the nearby golf-course or ask someone for a ride to the giant pots on the island Testholmen.


Fiskebäckskil is an old and genuine shipping community with narrow sidestreets and houses decorated with fancy carpentry work. In the middle of the 19th century the inhabitants gave up fishing and became freight-skippers instead. They built themselves big and fine houses and were thus prepared when the seaside resort era started at the turn of the century. Fiskebäckskil became elegant and fashionable and still host many summer inhabitants from our capital. The artist Carl Wilhelmsson originated from here and his studio is preserved and inhabited by his relatives. Reproductions of his paintings can be seen at the Gullmarsstrand Hotel on the waterfront. The food is good and the bar upstairs makes you feel like you are on a ship's bridge at night-time. Stroll the town's narrow lines for an hour or two, enjoy the picturesque car-free surroundings and a meal at "Captain Sture", a restaurant with oldfashioned fishing interiors nearby the church (built 1772). For an extensive night-life, take the 10 minute ferryboat to Lysekil.


Situated on the outhermost tip of the peninsula - with the Gullmar fjord to the east and the ocean to the west - there is always water in sight. Once a fishing village, Lysekil is now a town that gives emphasis to the industry and tourism. The 10 000 inhabitants of the community grow to about 30 000 when all the summertime regulars have arrived. If you want to explore all the aspects of Bohuslän and stay put in one place, this is not a bad spot.

The summer offers a carneval, a jazz festival and outdoors concerts with renowned performers. The many restaurants and dancing places are closing late and then you move outdoors. Enjoy the many shops and swimming spots, deep sea fishing, sailing, horse-riding, scuba diving or stroll the lanes of Gamlestan (Old Town), the original Lysekil of the 18th century. Visit the Maritime House and the provincial museum Vikarvet. Then continue along the water until you reach the Stångehuvud nature reserve. Bring your bathers and enjoy the fantastic view of the archipelago. This area was saved from the stone cutting industy and now there are bothanic walks to show the uniqe fauna.

As Lysekil is located in the middle of province, you will find that all excursion items of Bohuslän are reached within the hour. Fiskebäckskil is only 10 minutes away by ferry-boat. There are daily boats leaving for the Gullholmen and Käringön islands and northbound along the coast to Smögen. Other boats pass through the narrow Malö straits on their way to Uddevalla. Travelling by car there are many golf courses within reach and the Tanum rock carvings are only 40 minutes away.


Photo: Lars Olofsson
Smögen is still very much a fisherman's village, with the skills and seamanship intact as well as the old houses with narrow lanes between them. This is a good spot to glimpse the past, while indulging all what Bohuslän of today offers - including the nightlife. The keyword is the Jetty, which is the province's most popular tourist attraction. Visitors from all over the world come to walk the kilometre-long jetty that is crowded with boutiques, pubs, cafés, restaurants and, of course, yachts. The nightlife choices are extensive, both with pubs, discos and high quality restaurants but you will find that the jetty is just as crowded. With the long, warm summer nights, most people stay outdoors and the biggest parties are often held onboard the yachts. Pub evenings with troubadours are part of the scene - you can be sure that all the locals sing along.

The Fish and Prawn Auction is a must. Smögen is world renowned for the prawns that are landed here and then distributed all over.the country. At the restaurant "Magasinet", the warm smoked prawns is a specialty. Please make an early booking. The same goes for accomodation, where renting a private room is a good solution.

For swimming & suntanning the Hållö island and nature reserve is recommended. The ferry leaves from Smögen and from Kungshamn, the fishing village on the mainland side of the bridge. Check with the tourist office for details. If you feel like leaving the jetty, visit Hasselösund underneath the bridge on the Smögen side or try Nordens Ark, a park for endangered species situated 15 km northeast of Smögen.


Ingrid Bergman used to spend her summers in this former fishing village which is now buzzing with yachts, galleries, boutiques and restaurants - all in a relaxed mode, though.

The view from the 76m high Vetteberget is fantastic, with the whole archipelago and the village at your feet. To get up there, walk up the slope behind the Ingrid Bergman bust and climb the stairs to Kungsklyftan (the King's gorge). It was named after king Oscar II's visit. The original name was the Raven gorge. It became wellknown when it was used in the Ronja-movie. At the gorge's far end it is easy to climb up on the mountain - hold on to your hat! The Badhotellet balcony is perfect for enjoying the sunset with a drink in your hand and the place to dance is Badis, with an out-door veranda.


More than 80% of all Swedish oysters are brought into Grebbestad and the perfect place to try them. Before your meal, have a stroll along the jetty or a swim in the sea. Just north of the town you will find Tjurpannan, a nature reserve at the sea. It is magnificent on a stormy day but feared by yachtsmen. A day excursion to Grebbestad is easily combined with a visit to the nearby rock carvings and their museum at Tanum. Please check with the tourist office for details.

Other districts and municipalities with homepages of their own:

Strömstad (Hotels in Strömstad)
Stenungsund (Hotels in Stenungsund)

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