Opening Hours

When is the Göta Canal open?
The Göta Canal is open in May to September. Read more here!

Do I need to book in advance to travel the Göta Canal?
Peak season: No.
Pre-order season: Yes. You must book your canal journey at least 5 days before your departure date. Read more here!

When do the locks open and close?
During the peak season, they locks open at 9 AM and close at 6 PM.
During the pre-order season, you and other boats travel with a set itinerary with special opening hours.

How long does it take?
During the height of the peak season, from late June to the beginning of August, you should count on 6–7 days for the entire Göta Canal, Mem–Sjötorp. If you continue on through Sweden to Gothenburg and the west coast, count on about 3 more days for Lake Vänern and the Trollhätte Canal. During the pre-order season, you and other boats travel with a set itinerary, 5 or 3 days.

Bridge opening hours

At what times do bridges open?
Most bridges open continuously according to boat traffic on the canal.
Road bridges with special opening hours:
Töreboda and Karlsborg.
Open every whole and half hour during the canal’s peak season, except noon, 1 PM and 4 PM on weekdays. The last bridge opening is at 6 PM.
The E22 bridge in Söderköping
Opens every whole and half hour during the peak season. On Fridays and Sundays the bridge only opens at whole hours between 3 and 6 PM.
This also applies on the Thursday before Midsummer. The last bridge opening is at 6 PM.

Why isn’t the bridge opening?
Most bridges are remote-controlled and the lock keeper must be able to see you on camera. In some cases we are not allowed to open the bridge because of emergency vehicles. It is important to position yourself right at the bridge to show that you want to pass.

If you are at a lay-by or quay, the lock keeper will assume you’re in no hurry with the bridge opening.

Why do I have to wait such a long time at the bridge?
If several remote-controlled bridges are controlled from the same place, there may be a certain wait. For safety reasons, the lock keeper can only open one bridge at a time.

Why do I have to wait at a railway bridge?
Rail traffic has priority. The lock keeper must phone the Swedish Transport Administration to switch on power for the bridge opening every time. This means that boats must wait until there is a suitable gap between trains for a bridge opening.

Note: Be prepared to pass through the open bridge quickly!

Maximum boat dimensions
How big can my boat be to travel the Göta Canal?
The maximum boat dimensions are: Length 30 m, width 7 m, depth 2.82 m, height 22 m.

Note: The length of the boat includes its bathing platform, bowsprit, dinghy and anything else that may add to the overall length.