travellers in 2015
years of rail travel experience
The Nordic Kingdom of Sweden is a land of incredible contrast ranging from the dense pine and birch forests to freezing glaciers and untouched polar plains. Nature and Sweden are inseparable, yet it is also one of the most modern, avant-garde and open-minded country in Europe. Travelling by train in Scandinavia’s largest country is really simple, thus making your trip a comfortable adventure.
Arrive in Stockholm, visit the Royal Castle and wander around the Old Town. Then take a train to Gothenburg, in the south-west of Sweden. Stroll along the markets, enter Masthugget romantic church and have a walk around neo-classical Götaplatsen Square. Head south to Malmo where contemporary architecture may surprise you.
If you come to see the northern lights, hop on a train to Riksgrãnsen. Sweden is world-famous for its huge wilderness. Wow in front of the limestone formations on the island of Fårö or stroll along the sandy beaches of the southern Skåne Province. Do not miss the archipelagos of Stockholm or Gothenburg.
Take home some Swedish glass if you go to Småland but be careful, it is very fragile. If you like minimalist interior designs, board on a train for Stockholm’s shops. If you are staying in northern Sweden, buy some bracelets crafted by the Sami people.
Eat & Drink
In Norrland try some reindeer casserole (renskav), savour smoked eel in Skåne (south). Taste the gravlax (raw salmon) if you are on the west coast. Try as well the typical pytt I panna (cubed potatoes and beef). Sweet tooth will love the raggmunk (potato pancake) with lingonberry jam.
If you come by train, you will experience the Öresundsbron Bridge that overlooks the Baltic sea and links Copenhagen in Denmark to Malmö in Sweden.
Abisko will offer you the biggest light shows in the world! Indeed not only you will be delighted by the Northern Lights but also by the sunset and sunrise – minutes apart each other! Apart from the heavenly wonders on the show, there is the Abisko National Park which offers guided tours as well as a restaurant and a pub.
Going to Björkliden in winter means you are going downhill skiing. These vast heavenly ski slopes are actually within walking distance from the station, and you can easily rent all necessary equipment. Björkliden is Europe’s last true wilderness where you can enjoy dogsledding and snowmobile. There are several hotels, log cabins and local restaurants to accomodate you.
As for Riksgränsen, some say it is out of this world! It is after all the world’s northernmost ski resort, 200 km above the Arctic Circle where the mountains of Sweden, Norway and Finland meet. In summer, go right up and ski under the midnight sun! After an epic ski session, hang up your skis and enjoy a glass of glögg in the outdoor hot tubs at the world’s northernmost spa.
It’s is no easy task to say of Sweden is more appealing in winter or in summer. One thing is certain though – whatever the season, Sweden remains a fantastic country to visit all year round.
Our tip: Experience a night’s sleep in the world renowned Icehotel near Kiruna. Don’t forget to ask for your special certificate acknowledging that you have travelled onboard the Arctic Circle train.
Rail Pass benefits in Sweden
A Eurail Pass valid in Sweden is also valid on:
- The direct SJ trains to and from Copenhagen (Denmark) - Copenhagen Airport.
- The direct border crossing train from Gøteborg/Stockholm - Oslo (Norway).
- Discounted fares. The private railway companies Arlanda Express, Arriva, Inlandsbanan, JLT, Norrtåg, Skånetrafiken, Tågkompaniet, Värmlandstrafik, Västtrafik, and Öresund.
- Free access to the SJ lounges located in Stockholm and Göteborg for 1st class passholders.
- 20% to 40% discount on ferry crossings from Helsinki –Stockholm (via Mariehamn), Turku – Stockholm (via Mariehamn/Langnas), Riga (Latvia)-Stockholm and Stockholm – Tallinn operated by Tallink Silja Oy Discounts are available on cabin category C-A. Port taxes paid locally and are extra. Finland +358(0)600 174 552; Sweden +46(0)822 2140
- 20% discount is offered on the offical fares on the ferry crossing from Malmö-Travemünde operated by Finnlines. Port tax and meals are an additional cost and are paid locally.
- Special fare from Nynäshamn-Visby and Oskarshamn-Visby operated by Destination Gotland.
- Special fare on ferry crossings from Turku/Helsinksi – Stockholm operated by Vikings Line.
- Free bus transportation from Kemi/Tornio – Haparanda (Sweden) operated by Veljekset Salmela.
- Free bus transportation from Haparanda – Luleå in Länstrafiken in Norrboten on county busses.
- 50% discount. Sveriges Järnvägsmuseum (Railway Museum) in Gävle and Ängelholm.
- 30% discount. Smalsparet Railway Museum only during the summer (July-August).