How to See the Best of Sweden by Train

The flygskam trend of short-haul travel to Sweden was driving the boom in train travel before the pandemic. It’s now that travel restrictions across Scandinavia have been lifted, so it’s time to experience the joy of Sweden’s railways.

Even though domestic travel is declining in popularity, Sweden still boasts many small regional airports. Although flying around Sweden can save you time, it is often more expensive.

The train is a great option if you don’t want to rush and you are looking for a way to see Sweden, especially between cities.

Intercity lines

The high-speed rails linking Sweden’s major cities Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmo multiplely per day are the centerpiece of the country’s 9,324-mile-long railway network.

It takes just three hours to travel between Stockholm and Gothenburg. This is about an hour faster than driving, and often quicker than flying, when you consider the travel time from and to the airport as well as the waiting time at the gate.

There are many other tourist attractions, beyond the main intercity lines. These are the top attractions, from the sunny southern to the Arctic northern.

Stockholm and eastern Sweden

Most travelers start in the capital, but you don’t need to stop there. There are direct connections to Stockholm from Oslo in Norway and Copenhagen in Denmark.

Stockholm is the starting point for Sweden’s most popular rail routes. This includes the Southern Main Line from Malmo via Linkoping or Norrkoping. You can also take day trips on the rails, including the historic university city Uppsala and its impressive 13-century cathedral.

Malmo, southern Sweden

The Oresund Line, which crosses the famous Oresund bridge, makes it easy to travel from Malmo to Copenhagen. The distance between the two cities is only 40 minutes by train.

Tourists in southern Sweden can also take Malmo-Helsingborg or Malmo-Ystad to explore the south coast. This is a must-see for fans of Wallander , the fictional Swedish detective.

Gothenburg, western Sweden

The Gothenburg region is well-served by rail, with a direct connection to Oslo, Norway. The region’s most notable routes include the one to Stromstad, the border town. This popular summer destination has direct ferry connections to Kosterhavet (Sweden’s first marine park).

The Kinnekulle Line was also voted the best train route in Sweden by passengers of the government-owned operator SJ. Views of the flattop Kinnekulle mountain, and lake Vanern can be seen from the Lidkoping-Mariestad stretch.

From central Sweden to the Arctic

Take a trip on the 800-mile-long Inlandsbanan to see Sweden as it really is. It runs through the heart and connects Kristinehamn, central Sweden, with Gallivare, north, and beyond the Arctic circle.

Individual seats can be reserved for single journeys as with any other train. However, the service also offers summer packages that are geared towards tourists. An $860 6-day trip includes five nights in hotels, admission to many attractions and an onboard host.

But the journey doesn’t end there. A stunning route leads from Kiruna to Narvik, on the Norwegian coast. The landscape includes mountains and the huge Tornetrask Lake before you descend to the Ofotfjord.

Book tickets at least one week in advance if you want to get the best deal on travel. The prices for on-the-day tickets are higher than in Norway train travel. sj.se has the fares and timetables.

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