Are you planning to visit Marstrand, one of the gems on the west coast of Sweden, this summer? Would you like tips for good places to eat? For the café with the best buns? For the must-see attractions and must-do activities? And for good places to stay for a longer visit? We’ve created this complete guide to Marstrand, with a list of attractions, cafés and restaurants for you to visit, and activities for you to enjoy! At the end of this post, you’ll find a map showing you the exact location of our tips!
Marstrand has a lot to offer, and there’s sure to be something for everyone to see and do here. Here’s our selection of things to see and do for history lovers, adventurous spirits and keen shoppers.
You can’t come to Marstrand and not visit the island’s most impressive landmark, Carlsten Fortress. The fortress is located at the top of the island and has protected the idyllic wooden town below for the last 300 years. Carlsten Fortress has an incredibly exciting history, so we recommend that you join a guided tour, and then stroll around to savour the atmosphere at your own pace.
Walk around Marstrand
Experience Marstrand’s beautiful scenery and stunning sea views. Take a walk and discover the island for yourself. There’s a five kilometre path around the island that takes about one hour to walk. You pass Skallens Fyr, where the two seas of Skagerak and Kattegatt meet. During the walk, you can easily stop for a dip in the sea or a walk through Smuggelrännan.
Hire a sea kayak
Are you a thrill seeker? Go exploring on your own in a sea kayak. A kayak can take you to unique places that are otherwise inaccessible. Exploring the islands around Marstrand is great fun – there are numerous bays, islets and beaches to visit. You can hire kayaks for one or two days, one evening or a week. Why not take a tent to camp overnight on one of the islands?
Shopping in Marstrand
During the summer, the quay at Marstrand is bustling with life, and there are small shops and stalls everywhere selling everything you can think of – clothes and shoes, art, interior design and souvenirs. If you love shopping, you’ve come to the right place! You’ll find big-name clothing and design brands, such as Lexington, By Marlene Birger, Sebago, Klong, Himla, Hay, and many others.
There’s a wide choice of restaurants and cafés in Marstrand. The west coast of Sweden is a paradise for seafood lovers and many of the restaurants reflect this on their menus. Our tips vary from simple to luxurious – choose the one that tempts you the most!
Marstrands Wärdshus is an authentic seafood and barbecue restaurant located on the quay. From its outdoor terrace, you have a front-row seat to watch the sea and sailboats. Why not treat yourself to a seafood platter, or freshly grilled fish or meat? You’ll also find many classic dishes on the menu, such as steak tartare, shrimp open sandwiches and seafood chowder.
Johan’s Krog is a French bistro with a sprinkle of west coast magic. Here you can enjoy lovingly prepared and delicious food made from locally sourced ingredients. The menu includes dishes with oysters, duck liver, turbot, entrecôte, halibut, creme brûlée and brown butter ice cream. In other words, there’s something to suit all tastes!
Arvidsons Kiosk och Fisk
Want to eat something on the go that’s quick to prepare? Then visit Arvidson’s Kiosk och Fisk, located in the middle of the quay on Marstrand. We recommend trying their popular and famous “Fish and chips” or “Skagenklämma” prawn wrap. They also sell hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks, ice cream and sweets.
There’s a wide choice of freshly baked buns, biscuits, bread and pastries to tempt you at classic and popular Bergs Konditori on Marstrand. Buy bread and pastries for your picnic or enjoy your coffee and cake on the bakery’s outdoor terrace, with its lovely sea views. If you could travel back in time, you might see famous faces such as Anders Zorn, Selma Lagerlöf and Essia’s Tegnér sipping their coffee at Bergs Konditori.
If you feel that just one day on Marstrand isn’t enough, we recommend booking accommodation for one or more nights on the island. Hotel or Bed & Breakfast – which of our tips is right for you?
Grand Hotel Marstrand – 4 stars
The Grand Hotel Marstrand dates back to 1892 and is situated next to Paradisparken, with the best harbour views. Book a room here for charming, high-quality accommodation in a spectacular archipelago setting, with stylishly decorated rooms and wonderful sea views. In the hotel’s Grand Tenan restaurant, you can enjoy popular classics, such as Beef Tenderloin Africana and Garlic Gratinated Langoustine.
Soldatens Bed & Breakfast
Live like a soldier at Carlsten Fortress! Wouldn't it be exciting to stay in a fortress? At Soldatens Bed & Breakfast, you can book accommodation in everything from single-bed rooms to eight-bed rooms in the Donjon or the Commander’s House. The price includes sheets, towels, end-of-stay cleaning and free access to the fortress site.
Villa Maritime Marstrand
Choose Villa Maritime Marstrand if quayside accommodation in a single room, double room or apartment is what you want. With sea views and a central location on the quay, Villa Maritime Marstrand is a popular place to stay. Guests have access to a heated pool, sauna, billiards, table tennis and gym. Restaurant Storm offers first-class food. Seafood is the “blue thread” on its menu!
Take your car, the bus, your own boat or an archipelago boat – there are plenty of options for getting to Marstrand. If you come by road, the final part of your journey will be on the Marstrand ferry!
Take an archipelago boat
Would you like to see as much as possible of Gothenburg’s beautiful archipelago? In that case, book a seat aboard the M/S Göteborg archipelago boat, which takes you from Lilla Bommen in Gothenburg to Marstrand.
You can book a single ticket and get off at Marstrand. You must then find your own way back to Gothenburg. Or you can book a guided all-day cruise, which includes a pastries buffet, four-course dinner and a guided walk on the archipelago islands of Källö-Knippla and Marstrand. The stop at Marstrand is about one hour and you can choose whether to explore the island on your own or join the guided walk.
Tip – Pre-book your boat ticket to Marstrand for a guaranteed place on board.
Guest harbour – take your own boat
If you arrive on Marstrand by boat, you can moor at the guest harbour. The harbour office is open daily during the summer. The jetties are located on the south-eastern part of the island and have 275 guest berths, 94 of which are bookable.
Take your car to Marstrand
If you have your own car, the journey from Gothenburg to Marstrand takes no more than 40 minutes. Before you take the Marstrand ferry over to the island, park your car in one of the visitor parking spaces on Koön. A parking voucher can be purchased from one of the machines or in a parking app, see more information on site.
Take a Västtrafik bus to Marstrand
Västtrafik operates an express bus service that takes about 55 minutes from Gothenburg to Marstrand. Get on at the Nils Ericsson terminal in Gothenburg and get off at Marstrand ferry crossing, where you board the ferry for the final stage of your journey to the island.