Today there are parts of the canal utilized for transporting cargo. Mainly the canal is a great tourist attraction. It is used as a recreational site as cruise ships use the waterway and other similar activities are done in the canal. There are different lengths of cruises that are offered along the canal. From May to August, it is usual to view traditional white boats float through the canal. One of these boats is known as Juno and known as one of the oldest floating through the canal, as it was built in 1874.
The Göta Canal is also known as the Blue Band of Sweden. It consists of 58 locks. Lock-keepers have the job of opening and closing the locks. The locks enable boats to make the transit through a waterway that has a difference of 92 meters. The actual length of this canal is 190km;it is still a spectacle for people to watch the opening of the lock gates.
As a boat enters a lock, this is a small space of waterway which is closed off by strong barrier gates;there is a raising or lowering of the waterway to allow a smooth and straight navigation to the next part of the waterway.
Along the canal route, in Motala, the Motala Verkstad Company opened a factory. This factory was opened with the intention to build or modify equipment needed for the canal. However this company would become known as one of the oldest engineering companies in Sweden. This is the company that built the 118 meters tall tower of Uppsala Cathedral. There is Göta Hotel, built in 1894, which provides accommodation and food to passers-by.
Two museums are dedicated to the canal, namely the Göta Canal Exhibition in Motala (which showcases the canal’s history) and the Sjötorp canal museum (which displays aspects of canal traffic).