Enjoy a day on your bike in Sweden
You can go almost anywhere and stop wherever you want. The freedom to roam, a principle protected by the Swedish law, applies also to cycling.
With the sun in your face and the wind in your back, cycling is a great way to see a city or the Swedish countryside. If you haven’t brought your own bike to Sweden you can easily find a place to rent one. Ask the local tourist info or hotel for help.
In Malmö, biking is not only a summer thing – bike hire is available year-round.
If you have more time, rent a touring bike in Stockholm and cycle along Mälardalsleden to Västerås, Sweden's sixth largest city. Take a break in Sigtuna with its medieval churches, ruins, and rune stones from the Viking Age. Or catch your breath in the beautiful parks of Enköping.
Starting outside a city
There are plenty of bike paths in most urban areas, but for the best biking experience head out of the cities and on to the smaller roads. You don’t need to spend the day travelling to a starting point, though: some 10 - 20 km outside any city is a good place to start.
In Gothenburg and West Sweden you can buy a special ticket for your bike on some Västtrafik boats and trains (subject to availability). The same goes for the Malmö region where the Öresundståget train operates.
If you are starting in Stockholm, please note that bicycles are generally not allowed on the commuter trains. Off-peak there are exceptions though. Find out more about traveling with bikes on SL’s website.
You can even take your bike with you on a trip to the archipelago. Boat companies such as Waxholmbolaget operate daily year-round in the Stockholm archipelago. There is no extra fee if there is a place available for your bike. On many islands, like Utö, you can also rent a bike when you arrive.
For long distance travel in Sweden it is good to know that SJ only allows foldable bikes on their trains. The area of Bergslagen is an exception though, as trains have a space for two bikes on each departure.
Almost half of all Swedes use their bike for exercise during spring, summer and fall. Twenty per cent of Swedes take the bike to work or school every day, and 11 per cent of the population switch to studded tyres and keep it up during winter.
Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se
Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se
Bicycle in the woods
Photo: Helena Wahlman/imagebank.sweden.se
Sydostleden by bike in Skåne
Photo: Michael Tannus/skane.com
Photo: Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se
Cycling on the Swedish coast, in Båstad, Skåne
Photo: George Alfredsson
Midnight sun biking
Photo: Staffan Widstrand/imagebank.sweden.se
Biking in Gothenburg
Photo: Emelie Asplund/imagebank.sweden.se
Find a rural path to pedal
The great thing about biking is that you can go quite far in a day compared to e. g. hiking, and have a chance to see different types of nature. Explore the longer trails of Sweden and plan your holiday on two wheels.
If you enjoy being close to the sea, two great routes are Kattegattsleden on the west coast, and the southern part of Sydostleden that runs along the Baltic.
A great destination for inland cycling is Dalarna, with over 1300 km of trails – here you find anything from cross-country XC to downhill, leisure and road cycling.
Wherever you choose to go, make sure you have an extra sweater and rain wear, as the weather can change quickly. That is especially true in late April to beginning of May, and also in the autumn from September to October.
- Less is not more when it comes to touring bikes. If possible, try to get a high-end rental bike with more gear. Adjust the saddle and, if needed, the handle bars. Check the gears. Bike pumps are often available in cities on popular routes, but not in the countryside.
- Don’t forget to wear a biking helmet. Thin biking gloves are handy. And if it starts to rain you will be happy you brought a waterproof cycle bag along with rain wear.
- Depending on how rural you plan to go: Bring an extra inner tube and tools with you.
- And last but not least: Bring a map and/or GPS, and an extra battery for your cellphone just in case.