Whether peeking into the engine rooms and crew’s quarters of a North Sea freighter, learning how to navigate a submarine or sipping coffee on the deck of a 1960’s passenger ferry, there are few better ways to discover Sweden’s rich maritime history than with a visit to Gothenburg’s Maritiman. Much more than just a museum, the Maritiman ranks as the world's largest floating maritime museum, comprising around 20 vessels, which are moored along the Gota River waterfront and linked together by a series of walkways.
The museum’s star attraction is the huge naval destroyer Smålan, measuring in at 121 meters long, but other notable vessels include the Sölve, the museum’s oldest ship, which dates back to 1875; the 69 meter long submarine Nordkaparen; and the 1915 lightship, Fladen. Highlights of a tour include visiting Småland’s secret cryptograph room, getting a glimpse of life at sea in the medical rooms, cabins and kitchens, and stepping onboard everything from fireboats and U-boats to local fishing boats. The best part is that visitors are allowed to freely roam the ships, so you can climb the ladders and ramps, check out the views from the top deck or lose yourself in the labyrinth of cargo rooms, while enjoying the interactive exhibitions.
The Maritiman museum is located in Gothenburg Harbour, just west of Gothenburg Opera House and Lilla Bommen, and can be reached on foot from Gothenburg city center. The museum is open daily from May to September from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. It is also open on weekends from October through April 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Adult admission costs SEK 100.