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Landvetter airport to Gothenburg and back again

Europython this year is in Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden. One of my clients is AstraZeneca in Mölndal, just south of Göteborg and I've made the trip from the airport into town many times. I know I like to know what to expect when I first get to a place, especially after a long trip. I figured others might be the same so here's some detailed information about how to get from the airport into town and how to get around town.

When there, remember that nearly all Swedes speak very good English. In my many visits I've only met a handful of people who didn't.

Landvetter airport has only one terminal. All the gates are on one side of terminal and the shops on the other side. When you get off the plane, turn right and go down the main corridor. Follow it around the bend past border control, through the automatic doors, and down the escalator. For those who come through border control, after you do that, simply turn right and you'll see the doors.)

You are now in baggage claim. There are free baggage carts to the right of the base of the escalator. It will take about 5 minutes before your luggage comes. While you are waiting, there's a Forex booth here if you need to change money. If it's closed you can use the main window on the other side.

Once you have your baggage, EU citizens exit through the big doors on the left and non-EU citizens walk through the doors on the right. In theory this is where they can inspect your bags for illegal imports but I've never been stopped.

After that short corridor you enter the airport lobby. If you need local money, there is a cash machine a short ways to your right. If you called for a taxi to pick you up then they are likely waiting here with a sign. To get a taxi, continue through the outside doors in front of you. They are parked to the right. A taxi into town should cost about 320 kroner. Taxi Göteborg and Taxi Kurir are both reputable, but ask for the price beforehand. I've also used VIP Taxi but I think you need to call them first.

To take the bus instead, go through the outside doors and turn left. You'll take the Flygbuss to Göteborg. Cost is 70 kroner. As I recall, the bus takes major credit cards but I've only paid in cash. The bus does not take the coupon cards used by the rest of the city's transportation network. The bus has some brochures about the schedule and there may be some free city maps that you can pick up.

The first stop (about 20 minutes travel) is Korsvägn, one of the major nodes in the city's network. To buy a coupon card for the trams ("spårvagn" in Swedish) and busses, go into the Pressbyrån and ask for the "100 kroner card for the trams." I don't know if they take credit cards. There's a cash machine nearby. At Korsvägn you'll see a large building called "Svenska Mässan". To the left of it is a bank with an outside cash machine.

The Europython transit page has an excellent description of how to use the coupon system so I won't go into the full details. In short, find the yellow box with a bunch of numbers on the front. Stick your card in the slot at the top, arrow facing you and pointed down. When it takes your card, press "2". If it's been less than 90 minutes since you started the trip, press "BYTE" instead. If there isn't enough money on the card it will beep at you. You can stick in another card or pay the driver the remainder (printed on the bottom of the card).

To get from Korsvägn to your hotel depends on where you are staying. If you're at the student-operated housing near Chalmers then you'll need to get to Utlandagatan. You can find the route on-line or you use the published information at the stops. In this case, look at the route map for Utlandagatan. It's two stops away on Bus 51. Find the stop for Bus 51 (it's marked on a post) and make sure you're going the right way -- each stop has a posted time table including time to a given stop. If your stop isn't listed you're on the wrong side.

The Europython page says that the Nils Ericson Terminal (last stop for the Flygbuss) might be a better stop for some people. I've never been there and can't describe what's there.

As the Europython page points out, if you have the time, you can take Tram 11 all the way to Saltholmen, grab a ferry schedule, and take a ride on a ferry out to the islands of the southern archipealego, all on the same coupon. Just press "BYTE" when you get on the ferry.

Even if you stay in the city there are many things to do. There's a good science fiction book store, in the middle of the major shopping area near Nordstan mall (the bus and tram stop there is named Brunnsparken). There are many bars and clubs along the Avenue, as well as a great little tea shop ("Te Huset"), museums, including a ship museum, and much more. There's a decent salsa scene with events at Oceanen (Stigbergstorget 8) on Wednesday evenings (low-key, more like a social club), Stars & Bars (a bar on Järntorget) every other Saturday, and even on the boat RioRio (yes, a club on the lower deck of a permanently docked boat).

To get back to the airport by bus, get to one of the Flygbuss stops and go to the airport, international departures (the first stop at the airport is for an employee entrance; pretty much get out when everyone else gets out). Check in, go up to the second floor, present your tickets, go through security, and get to the right gate. A lot of people leave in the morning (7-9 am) and there may be a 15 minute queue to get through security.

Andrew Dalke is an independent consultant focusing on software development for computational chemistry and biology. Need contract programming, help, or training? Contact me

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