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Train travel
Photo: Melker Dahlstrand/imagebank.sweden.se

Travel tips

Sweden by rail

Sweden by rail takes you to the far-flung corners of our country, all the way from the temperate south to the wilds of the Arctic Circle.

Travel by rail around Sweden, face glued to the window, on some of Europe’s most spectacular rail journeys. You can do it on a first class ticket, or on a second-class ticket on most trains. But there is nothing second-class about the scenery though – on most routes the natural surroundings are off-the-scale seeworthy: how about speeding across the Arctic tundra under the midnight sun, or stopping off for nature walks and berry-picking on the Inlandsbana service? Couchettes in second-class are available on many routes, for instance legendary bucket-list favourite the Stockholm-Kiruna-Narvik (Norway) line.

All aboard

The main rail transport hubs in Sweden are in capital city Stockholm, west coast Gothenburg and Malmö in the south. There are daily X2 high-speed services between all three and a high-speed train service between Stockholm and Stockholm-Arlanda Airport. So as soon as you step off the plane you could be embarking on a fabulous rail journey around Sweden.

The X 2000 high-speed tilting train travels at up to 200 km/hour (125 mph) on all major routes and offers the highest standards of comfort, with radio and music channel outlets with all seats. In full-fare business class you will be served a meal at your seat, and in second class you have access to a bistro car, where hot and cold meals are available. 

The Swedish rail network is operated by a few major train operators; SJ, Tågkompaniet, Snälltåget and Inlandsbanan. For a rail map of Sweden and a natty function that lets you put in the number of hours you want to travel for and how far the train will take you go here.  

Epic journeys and destinations

Depart Arctic Circle town Gällivare in the north, to Kristinehamn in the south, on the 1,288 km or 800 mile-long Inlandsbana; one of Scandinavia’s great rail journeys. There are various package deals available on the service, including a six-day epic nature adventure in Swedish Lapland, via the town of Mora that hosts the legendary Vasa Ski Race. Another of the packages on offer is a four-day ‘Bushcraft and Survivor course’. Which may come in handy in the wilds of northern Sweden if you miss the last train! Go here for details.

One of Europe’s great rail journeys is from Stockholm to Narvik in Norway. You embark in uber-cool capital Stockholm and disembark inside the Arctic circle in Narvik, having travelled the Iron Ore line between Luleå in Sweden and Narvik in Norway. In between times you enjoy the comfort, views and eats, as well as meets and greets with fellow explorers. What’s to see and do? - the Northern Lights (winter-time) at Abisko National Park, the Esrange Space Center, Björkliden and Riskgränsen ski resorts, as well as a stay in the unique ICEHOTEL.

Snälltåget (translates as the ‘Nice Train’) is a service that runs year-round between Malmö and Stockholm and in the winter months there is an overnight train service between Malmö and the ski resorts of Åre and Vemdalen, 900km away in northern Sweden. Offers first and second-class tickets, photo ops, stop-offs for forest foraging and ‘The Pub’ restaurant carriage – what’s not to like? 

And don’t forget - the most sustainable way of seeing Sweden is by train.