Motala is situated on the eastern shores of Lake Vättern by the river Motala Stream (Motala ström) and Göta kanal.
Recent archeological excavations show that there was a Stone Age settlement by Motala ström several thousand years ago. During the 13th century, the Motala Church was built on the north side of the river, probably on a heathen ceremonial and religious site. Although a long-time settlement, Motala didn’t obtain its town rights until the late 19th century.
The Motala Works (Motala Verkstad) was founded in the early 19th century and was Sweden’s first mechanical industry. During a period of 22 years, Göta Canal was dug from the Baltic Sea to the North Sea. Motala is situated in the geographical middle of the canal and soon became the site of the canal company’s head office.
During the 1920s, Motala became important in the progress of the Swedish radio network. The largest broadcasting station was in Motala. All transmissions started with the announcement “Stockholm-Motala”, which soon became a well-known saying among Swedes.
In Motala the Göta Canal starts, connecting lake Vättern with the East Coast. Along the Canal lies Bergs slussar, where there are a large number of old locks that are worth a visit.
- Skavsta Airport – Used by Ryanair. Lies some 140 km north-east of Motala. A shuttle bus (90 min) overland link between Linköping and Skavsta airport.
- Linköping Airport – 40 km east from Motala. Flights almost only to Stockholm, Amsterdam, Riga and Copenhagen. There are no shuttles between the airport and Linköping central station and you need to take a taxi from the airport.
- Norrköping Airport – Flights almost only to Helsinki, Visby, Munich and Copenhagen. Lies 90 km east of Motala.
The Motala train station is linked with Mjölby in the South and Hallsberg in the North. From Hallsberg, you reach Stockholm and Gothenburg. From Mjölby, you reach Malmö/Copenhagen.
Buses leave from the Bussterminalen (Bus terminal) close to the Main Square.
- Swebus Express, ☎+46-771-218218. Motala is on one line of the wide network of Swebus Express services.
- The local bus company is called Östgötatrafiken . They also run the buses and trains in the rest of Östergötland and is the cheapest way to get to Motala.
It’s not possible to pay cash for a ticket on the bus. You can get ticket in Quickomats and some stores. It’s also possible to buy an SMS-ticket, information how to do that can be found at . The ticket is valid for a limited time so you can use the same ticket for more than 1 trip.
You can also buy a bus card. It is a magnetic strip card and you can load money in it. The advantage is that each trip fare is cheaper than the normal fare. You’ll find more info about tickets and fares at