Sweden’s reputation for reliable and efficient public transport networks is well-deserved. Despite the vast distances involved and the remote nature of much of Sweden, its web of well-organised public transport links offers regular connections to even the furthest reaches of the country. Where it is necessary to take a combination of train and bus to reach your destination, bus timetables are often thoughtfully coordinated with train arrival and departure times.
As well as being a convenient, comfortable and environmentally-friendly option, travelling by train and bus in Sweden offers a wonderful opportunity to see the landscape of this beautiful country and can really add to your enjoyment of your trip.
How to check train timetables and purchase tickets for public transport in Sweden
On the website of Swedish national rail operator SJ, you can check connections and book your tickets online. You can check times and purchase tickets for the complete route, including any sections where it is necessary to travel by bus.
To see timetables and to book your tickets, go to www.sj.se. Click “In English” in the top right corner. Type in your start point and your destination. If you have difficulties, you can also call them on +46 (0) 771-75 75 75. Wait for the message to say ”For information in English, press…”
Many Swedish place names will use the Swedish characters å, ä and ö. If you do not have these characters on your keyboard, you can replace them with the English characters a and o. The system will usually make a guess as to the place name you require and ask you to confirm your choice. If you have difficulties, you can also copy and paste these characters from the sentence above. If travelling to or from Gothenburg, you should also bear in mind that the Swedish name for Gothenburg is Göteborg. In all place names, “C” signifies the central station (e.g. Stockholm C = Stockholm Central).
It is much cheaper to buy your tickets in advance. You should note that the most affordable tickets are only released 90 days before travel. If you are checking connections many months in advance, timetable information for your chosen dates may not be published yet. In this case, use sample earlier dates to get an idea of likely connections. For group bookings, SJ offers special group rates for groups of 10 or more persons – for a quotation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One important point when purchasing your tickets online: the English version of the SJ website is still under development (in fact this bug has already been present for some time – we have discussed the matter with SJ but no changes have been made as of the time of writing). When you come to the booking page, the form will ask for your telephone number. This field is not yet set up properly to accept overseas numbers. Instead, use the following number as a “dummy”: 0870 12345678. This number is not important to your booking and will not be used for contact purposes.
Taking a night train in Sweden
If travelling to one of our guided hiking tours in Lapland or our dog sledding holidays in Jämtland, taking a night train is often the most convenient option. Sweden’s long distance rail routes take you through some of the most remote and beautiful parts of the country, and a journey by night train is a real experience, delivering you to your destination refreshed and ready to begin your holiday adventure! There are a choice of sleeping arrangements to suit all tastes and budgets, from couchettes to private en-suite compartments.
Buying the most affordable train tickets in Sweden
As mentioned above, the most affordable tickets are released 90 days before travel, and it is usually possible to get very good prices for your chosen route. If you are willing to wait until less than 48 hours before travel, it is now also possible to bid on SJ train tickets, meaning that you could travel for as little as 1 kr! For details of the bidding system, please see http://www.sj.se/sj/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=224&a=51518&l=en
Local bus services in Sweden
There is also an efficient network of local bus connections. For local services it is usually not possible to purchase your tickets in advance. You should buy your tickets on board. Operators for local bus routes in Sweden will depend on the area in which you are travelling. We are happy to advise on suitable travel connections to any of our holidays in Sweden.
Booking trains from between Norway or Denmark and Sweden
If the majority of your journey is in Sweden, the SJ website will probably show connections and allow you to purchase your tickets (if travelling to/from Copenhagen in Denmark, remember that the Swedish for Copenhagen is “Köpenhamn”). If not, you may find connections listed at www.bokatag.se.
Swedish public transport allows you to reach even the most remote parts of this lovely country quickly, safely and affordably. It is possible to reach all the outdoor holidays in Sweden offered by Nature Travels by public transport, and the great majority of our clients travel to and from our experiences by public transport.
Advice on travel to/from your destination is given in the “Getting There” section of the Full Details file for each of our experiences. Simply click on the “Full Details” link on each experience page. You can also book flight buses from Swedish airports into the city for onward train connections through us at ww.naturetravels.co.uk/add-ons-flygbussarna.htm. We are happy to advise our clients on any aspect of travelling to one of our wildlife, outdoor and adventure holidays in Sweden. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
The Nature Travels Team