The Eastern side of the Göta canal with children
Taking the family on a road trip along the Göta Canal in Östergötland can be the best adventure of the year. There is plenty to discover for both young and old. See the boats being lifted and lowered by the water in the locks, challenge each other to mini golf or pet the canal sheep. Don't forget to stop often, to rest your legs and have ice cream or some other tasty treat!
Start the day by climbing the mountain Ramunderberget and enjoying the view of Söderköping and the canal. A great experience for both children and adults! Once you have made your way down again, it may be time for an ice cream. How lucky then that the ice cream restaurant Smultronstället is located right next to the lock. If the queue is long, as it sometimes can be, you can let the children play in the nearby playground, with locking boats as the backdrop. You will also have time for a walk through the picturesque town centre. Did you know that parts of Astrid Lindgren's Madicken films were filmed here?
Make sure to visit Norrköping on your adventure along the Göta Canal. Here you will see many of the hallmarks of Sweden's ninth largest city. In addition to football and yellow trams, a wide range of family-friendly attractions, sights, amusements and fun activities await. A visit to the old industrial landscape at Motala Ström, which flows straight through the city, is a must.
After enjoying the city life for a while, you can head further west. Stop by the Brådtom lock café for a coffee and greet the farm's cats, rabbits and friendly free-range chickens. (Did you stay longer than expected in Söderköping? Do you find Brådtom a friendly place? Then you can also stay overnight here, surrounded by idyllic Swedish summer scenes.
Next destination – The Berg locks – another place where you can round off the day. Play a round of mini golf or take a dip at the child-friendly beach of Lake Roxen. Look in awe at the large lock gates of the Lock Gate Exhibition . Or watch the last boats entering the night harbour from the terrace of the canal pub Delimo, while enjoying a great burger. We recommend staying overnight at the Bergs slussar hostel/cottages .
If you wish to take a trip into Linköping city, we suggest that you take the boat M/S Stockholm from Berg to Linköping and back! If you travel by car, you can take the opportunity to visit the Air Force Museum, an award-winning museum of technology and cultural history, suitable for the whole family.
The next day you will hopefully wake up rested, and make your way to Malfors, just a couple of minutes away. Here you can visit the newly built activity park ,suitable for children of all ages. Have a coffee at Malfors Café and then visit the Cloetta candy factory outlet in Ljungsbro before you continue. It is guaranteed to be one of the favourite stops on the trip!
Enjoy a good lunch at the historic Göta hotel, which you will find right next to the canal. After lunch, the children will probably want to help raise the lock for the boats that pass right below the terrace. The lock in Borensberg is one of two locks that are still opened manually. Have a coffee at Kaffeteriet or watch fudge being made at Börslycke gård . If you have the time, you can walk or drive to the Glasbruket Café and hostel , where some of the canal sheep have their pasture. They usually don't mind being petted! At Glasbruket there is also canoe rental for those who feel like paddling.
You finally continue to Motala where you stroll in the harbor in the warm summer evening. Have a good dinner at one of the restaurants and let the children play on the lakeside-inspired playground by Lake Vättern. Here you can ride a swan as well as a pike!
The final destination is Motala, where you can stroll down by the harbour in the warm summer evening. Have a good dinner at one of the restaurants and let the children play in the large lakeside town-inspired playground by Lake Vättern. Here you can ride a swan as well as a pike! Next to the city park is the Vättern Aquarium, with its 15 aquariums showcasing both Lake Vättern fish and tropical fish from Africa, Asia and South America. Down by the harbour you will also find Sweden's largest Motor Museum . Here is a large and exciting collection of vehicles and other technology in settings true to the eras in which they were made. It is a museum out of the ordinary that is often appreciated by the whole family!
Another must for all children visiting Motala is Café Mallboden , which offers some of Sweden's tastiest waffles with exciting toppings of both raspberry boat jellies and chocolate oatmeal balls. Here, in the old Motala workshop district, you will also find pens with canal sheep, and even though they do not want to be fed, they don't mind being petted.
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