Vaasa museum, Stockholm.  It's easy to reach Stockholm by train or ferry..!

Vasa Museum, Stockholm:   Don't miss the fabulous Vasa museum.  The warship Vasa sank in Stockholm harbour in 1628 and was raised in 1956.

 

London to Stockholm by train from just €98...

It's easy to travel from London to Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö or anywhere in Sweden by train, a wonderful journey with a lot to see on the way, a civilised alternative to a soulless flight.  On this page you'll find an easy step-by-step guide to planning, booking & making a journey from the UK to Sweden by train or ferry, with timetables, fares and how to buy tickets.

Other useful information...

  Trains & ferries from Stockholm to other European cities

  Trains & ferries to Stockholm from other European cities

  How to buy Swedish train tickets at www.sj.se

  Hotels in Stockholm & Sweden

  Useful country information - dialling code, time zone, currency

  General information about European train travel

  Luggage on trains   Left luggage facilities at stations

  Send your luggage in advance

  Taking your bike   Taking your dog

  Travel insurance, EU Health cards & SIM cards

Interactive map:  London to Stockholm & Scandinavia by train & ferry...

...click on a route for train times & fares from London, and how to buy tickets.

Key - Finland via ferry from Germany Key - via Harwich-Hoek Key - via Eurostar Via the Harwich-Hoek ferry Train travel in Sweden Train travel in Norway Train travel in Finland Travemunde to Helsinki by ferry Helsinki-St Petersburg by train Ferries to Tallinn Stockholm-Riga by ferry Stockholm-Helsinki by ferry London-Norway via Hirtshals London to Oslo by train London-Sweden by train London-Copenhagen by train

Sponsored links...

 

Useful country information

Train operator in Sweden:

SJ, www.sj.se for train times & fares.  Book Swedish train tickets online at www.sj.se (no booking fee) or www.snalltaget.se (small fee).  If you can't get your credit card to work, call SJ telesales on +46 771 75 75 75 (there's a phone menu option for English) or buy online at www.acprail.com instead. Tickets are collected from the SJ ticket machines at all main stations.  Private operator Blå Tåget runs 1 Stockholm-Gothenburg train per day in competition with SJ: www.blataget.comAll-Europe online train timesEurostar times & fares.

   

Ferries UK to Sweden:

 

The DFDS Seaways Newcastle-Gothenburg ferry was withdrawn in 2006.

Railpasses:

 

Beginner's guide to European railpasses    Buy a rail pass online

Time zone:

GMT+1 (GMT+2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code:

 

+46

Currency:

£1 = approx 10 Krona.   Currency converter

Tourist information:

www.visitsweden.com   Hotel search   Guidebooks

Page last updated:

14 November 2014.  Train times valid 14 Dec 2014 to 13 June 2015.


London to Stockholm by Eurostar & daytime trains

  A Copenhagen to Hamburg EuroCity train on board the train ferry between Rodby & Puttgarten.
 

Train on a ferry!  This is a Hamburg to Copenhagen ICE-TD EuroCity train on board the Puttgarten to Rødby ferry.  This is one of the few remaining routes in Europe where trains go onto ferries, the other major route being mainland Italy to Sicily.  The Rødby-Puttgarten crossing takes about 50 minutes, and you must leave the train and go up into the ferry whilst it is at sea.  The ferry has bars, lounges restaurants & shops.  Naturally, you can leave your bags on the train...

London to Stockholm by train from €98!

It's easy to travel from London to Stockholm by daytime trains with a comfortable overnight hotel stop in Hamburg.  Travel London to Hamburg on day 1 from just €59, stay overnight, then travel from Hamburg to Stockholm on day 2 from as little as €39.  Take a bottle of wine and a good book, and enjoy a 2-day train ride across Europe on modern & comfortable trains with not an airport security queue in sight.  This is the cheapest option if you buy a German Railways London Spezial fare between London and Hamburg, and Sweden Spezial between Hamburg and Stockholm!  Note that the Cologne to Copenhagen sleeper train was discontinued from November 2014.

Option 1:  London to Stockholm with overnight stop in Hamburg...

This is the recommended option.  You leave London in the morning of day 1, spend a night in a comfortable hotel in Hamburg, and arrive in Stockholm in the evening on day 2.  Option 2 below takes longer as it involves two overnight stops not one, but it's worth considering as it can be more time-effective, depending on your needs.

London ► Stockholm or Gothenburg

  • Spend the night in a hotel in Hamburg.  Starting with the cheapest, suggested hotels next to Hamburg Hauptbahnhof with good reviews include the Hotel Continental Novum, Hotel Furst Bismarck, Hotel Europaischer Hof, Hotel Atlantic Kempinski.  If you're on a budget, private rooms with en suite shower & toilet in the A&O Hotel near Hamburg Hauptbahnhof start at around £33 for one person or £49 for two people booked at www.hostelbookers.com.

  • Day 2, travel from Hamburg to Copenhagen by fast ICE-TD EuroCity train, leaving Hamburg Hauptbahnhof at 09:28 and arriving Copenhagen at 14:13.  The Hamburg-Copenhagen train is shunted onto a ferry for the crossing from Puttgarten in Germany to Rødby in Denmark, one of the few places in Europe where trains still go onto ferries.  An interesting experience in itself!  You need to leave the train and go upstairs onto the ferry during the crossing.

  • Day 2, for Stockholm:  Travel from Copenhagen to Stockholm by 125mph SJ 2000 high-speed tilting train, leaving Copenhagen at 14:36 and arriving Stockholm Central at 19:39.  You can check train times from Hamburg to Stockholm using www.bahn.de.  If the connection in Copenhagen seems a little tight, remember that with a Hamburg to Stockholm through ticket you will be re-booked on a later train to Stockholm at no extra charge if the Hamburg-Copenhagen train runs late, as explained here.  Trains from Copenhagen to Malmö & Stockholm cross the Öresund Fixed Link, a tunnel & double-decker road/rail bridge opened in 1999 linking Denmark with Sweden, a great experience as the train appears to 'fly' over the water.

  • Day 2, for Malmo & Gothenburg:  There are frequent Oresund Link trains from Copenhagen to Malmo and every hour from Copenhagen to Gothenburg, check times from Hamburg to Malmo or Hamburg to Gothenburg (Goteborg Central) at www.bahn.de.

Stockholm or Gothenburg ► London

How much does it cost?

  • London to Hamburg starts at just €59 each way with a London Spezial fare from Germany Railways (DB).  Like air fares, the price varies significantly from date to date and departure to departure, and prices rise as departure date approaches, so book early and pick your date carefully for the cheapest prices.

  • Hamburg to Stockholm can cost as little as €39 each way with a Sweden Spezial fare from German Railways (DB).  Again, the price varies enormously and rises as departure date approaches so book early for the best deals.

How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...

  • To buy tickets by phone, call International Rail on 0844 248 248 3, lines open 09:00-17:00 Monday-Friday.  Overseas callers call +44 844 2482483.  They charge a £10 booking fee for bookings under £100, £20 for £100-£300, £30 above £300. 

  • Alternatively, call Deutsche Bahn's UK office on 08718 80 80 66 (lines open 09:00-20:00 Mon-Fri, 09:00-13:00 Sat & Sun, no booking fee, 2% credit card charge, no charge for debit cards), or European Rail on 020 7619 1083 (lines open 08:30-18:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday, £35 booking fee per transaction).  Click here for a list of agencies and more info on how to book.

Have your train tickets, transfers & hotels professionally arranged...

  • If you want a complete custom-made trip with train travel, hotels & transfers all arranged for you hassle-free, try Railbookers.  Tell them what you want and they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels and arrange it all for you.  As you're  effectively then buying a tour package from them rather than travelling independently, they'll look after you if any disruption affects your journey.  They get positive reviews and look after their customers very well.

      UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

    US or Canada call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

    Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

      New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.

What's the journey like?

...London to Cologne by Eurostar & ICE Watch the video guide.

...Cologne to Hamburg by InterCity train.

German InterCity train   InterCity 2nd class   InterCity 1st class (6-seat compartment type)

Most Cologne-Hamburg trains are InterCity trains, a few are high-speed ICEs.  Virtual tour of InterCity train...

 

InterCity 2nd class.  You'll also find a few compartment coaches on InterCity trains, and a bistro or restaurant car...

 

InterCity 1st class, often available in both open-plan saloons like this and in compartments.

...Hamburg to Copenhagen by ICE.

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Frankfurt

ICE 2nd class.  All seats in both classes have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

ICE 1st class, with real leather seats.  Staff provide at-seat service of drinks & food.

The Hamburg-Copenhagen ICE on board the Puttgarden-Rødby ferry.  More info on ICE.

...Copenhagen to Stockholm by SJ2000.

125 mph tilting 'X2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station   2nd class seats on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm   The self-service buffet on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

An SJ2000 train at Copenhagen, about to leave for Stockholm...

 

2nd class seating on the SJ2000.  All seats have power sockets...

 

Self-service buffet carMore information about SJ2000

Traveller's reports...

Traveller Ian Dow reports on a ride on a Hamburg-Copenhagen EuroCity train, which goes onto a train ferry from Puttgarden to Rødby.  "The ferry had already been loaded with cars and lorries, and the train was loaded last.  On our journey, the train stops at Puttgarden station and then moves on to the ferry terminal, it then slows but runs straight to the ferry, moving on board at fairly slow speed. It then stopped about half a metre from the front (in the front First class the Guard had held the door to the driver’s can open and we could see through). The train then edged slowly forward.  At the front of the ferry on the bulkhead doors is an auto-coupler and the train couples on to this to ensure it does not move during the journey. The train engines then stop, the doors open and you can get off, as there is a sort of platform step on the ferry. Once the train is docked, the ferry doors closed and we departed immediately.  The trip on the ferry is just 45 minutes, and you get off to use the ferry facilities, you can also inspect the train arrangements. The EuroCity train is designed to fit and when I was on it, there was less than a half metre at the back of the train between it and the ferry doors. The track runs through the centre of the ferry, with cars and lorries on either side. You had better make sure that you are back on board the train in time at the end of the ferry trip, as it does not hang about!  The ferry takes a little longer than a normal car ferry to line up at the destination, but once it has, the doors open, the track is locked in place, and the train engines start, and we are off, pretty fast.  We made a brief stop at the Rødby station, then continued to Copenhagen."

Option 2:  London to Stockholm with overnight stops in Brussels & Copenhagen...

This option takes longer than option 1 above as it involves two overnight stops not one.  However, it can be more time-effective, because you leave London in the evening after a full working day, and arrive in Stockholm at lunchtime on day 3, effectively taking only 1½ days out of your schedule ather than 2.  Indeed, on the westbound journey you can have a full working day in Stockholm before hopping on an early evening train to Copenhagen, spend just one whole working day travelling (a chill-out day with your feet up, or getting some work dome on the train) and arrive in London on a morning Eurostar in time for the start of the following working day.

London ► Stockholm or Gothenburg

  • Day 1, travel from London to Brussels on any Eurostar you like, up until the last evening one at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Saturdays, 20:04 on Sundays.  Journey time just 2 hours.

  • Stay overnight in Brussels.  For a decent inexpensive hotel close to Brussels Midi station, go for the dependable Ibis Brussels Midi just across the road.

  • Day 2, travel from Brussels to Copenhagen in a single day, leaving Brussels Midi at 06:25 by ICE, changing onto an InterCity train at Cologne (arrive 08:15, depart 09:09 and onto another ICE at Hamburg (arrive 13:13, depart 13:28) and arriving Copenhagen at 18:13.  It's an early start from Brussels, but you can have breakfast on board the ICE train to Cologne.

    The train from Hamburg to Copenhagen is a comfortable German ICE train which goes onto a ferry for the 50-minute crossing from Puttgarten in Germany to Rødby in Denmark, an interesting experience in itself!  You have to leave the train and go upstairs into the ferry accommodation decks whilst the ferry is at sea, although you can leave your luggage on the train.

  • Stay overnight in Copenhagen.  Hotels in Copenhagen near the station with good reviews include the Nimb Hotel (5-star luxe), Radisson Blu Royal Hotel (5-star), Axel Guldsmeden (4-star), Andersen Bou]tique Hotel, First Hotel Mayfair (3-star), Hotel Ansgar (3-star), City Hotel Nebo (2-star).

  • Day 3, if you're going to Stockholm, travel from Copenhagen to Stockholm by 125mph SJ 2000 high-speed tilting train, using any departure you like.  The first train usually leaves Copenhagen at 08:36 arriving Stockholm Central at 13:39 but times vary so check for your date at www.sj.se

  • Day 3, if you going to Gothenburg, trains link Copenhagen with Gothenburg every hour.  The first train leaves around 06:32 arriving 10:20, but by all means take a later one.

Stockholm or Gothenburg ► London

  • Day 1, if you're coming from Stockholm, travel from Stockholm to Copenhagen by SJ 2000 high-speed tilting train, using any departure you like.  The last train usually leaves Copenhagen around 17:21 arriving Copenhagen at 22:24, but times vary so check for your date at www.sj.se.

  • Day 1, if you coming from Gothenburg, travel from Gothenburg to Copenhagen using any train you like, they run every hour with the last train leaving around 19:40 arriving in Copenhagen at 23:28.

  • Stay overnight in Copenhagen.  Hotels in Copenhagen near the station with good reviews include the Nimb Hotel (5-star luxe), Radisson Blu Royal Hotel (5-star), Axel Guldsmeden (4-star), Andersen Bou]tique Hotel, First Hotel Mayfair (3-star), Hotel Ansgar (3-star), City Hotel Nebo (2-star).

  • Day 2, travel from Copenhagen to Brussels in a single day, leaving Copenhagen at 09:43, changing at Hamburg (arrive 14:16, depart 14:46) and Cologne (arrive 18:50, depart 19:43) and arriving Brussels Midi at 21:35.  You can check train times for your date of travel using www.bahn.de (English button top right).

  • Stay overnight in Brussels.  For a decent inexpensive hotel close to Brussels Midi station, go for the dependable Ibis Brussels Midi just across the road.

  • Day 3, take any morning Eurostar you like from Brussels Midi to London.  The first train is usually at 06:56 on Mondays, arriving London 07:59, at 07:56 Tuesdays-Saturdays arriving London 08:57 or at 08:52 on Sundays arriving London 09:57.

What's the journey like?

The trains are the same as those used in option 1, see the photos above.

How much does it cost?

  • London to Brussels by Eurostar starts at £39 one-way or £69 return in standard class, from €107 one-way or €189 return in first class.

  • Brussels to Copenhagen starts at €19+€39 = €58 (£46) each way in 2nd class, or from €29+€69 = €98 each way in 1st class.

  • Copenhagen to Stockholm starts at 195 SEK, around £17.

  • Fares work like air fares, rising as departure date approaches.  So book as early as the 92-day booking period allows and shop around for the cheapest date & departure.

 How to buy tickets online...

  • Booking usually opens 92 days before departure.  You book in stages, so do a dry run on each stage before booking for real.

  • Step 1, book from London to Brussels at www.eurostar.com.  If you're making a return journey, book London-Brussels & back as a round trip.

  • Step 2, go to the German Railways website www.bahn.de.  I recommend booking a round trip from Brussels to Copenhagen as two one-ways. 

    (a)  First check overall times one-way from Brussels to Copenhagen using this special link and check the times against those shown above for the overall journey.  You won't see fares at this stage as this is the German Railways website and neither end of the journey is in Germany, so you must split the booking to check fares and buy tickets as follows.

    (b)  Now book a ticket from Brussels to Aachen looking for the 06:25 ICE departure.  It's best practice to split the booking at Aachen on the way to Cologne, rather than at Cologne where you change trains, because in the unlikely event there's a delay and you miss the connection in Cologne, you're then travelling on an Aachen-Copenhagen through ticket and are legally entitled to later onward travel at no charge, and even a hotel if necessary, as explained here.

    (c)  Then buy a ticket from Aachen to Copenhagen leaving Aachen on the same train.  The journey planner needs to be tweaked a bit to get it to offer a departure from Aachen on the same Brussels-Cologne ICE rather than on one of the regular Aachen-Cologne 'RE' regional train, so use this special link which I've set up for you with a 40 minute stopover in Cologne which should achieve this.  You're looking for an 07:40 departure from Aachen on ICE11, that's the ICE from Brussels.

    Clever tip:  Rather than buy a London-Brussels Eurostar ticket from eurostar.com for day 1 and a separate Brussels-Aachen ticket from bahn.de for day 2, you can often save money by using this special link to buy a London to Aachen ticket from €59 from bahn.de with an overnight stop in Brussels programmed in.  Adjust departure time and stopover period to get the trains you want.

  • Step 3, if you're making a return trip, now use using this special link to check overall times on your specific date from Copenhagen to Brussels, and make a note of the times you want.

    (a)  Then use this special link to book a ticket from Copenhagen to Puttgarden on the 09:43 departure from Copenhagen, which is ICE36. 

    (b)  Then use use this special link to buy another ticket from Puttgarden to Brussels, looking for the option which leaves Puttgarden at around 12:42 on ICE36.  Again, you have to split the booking somewhere in Germany in order to see fares and buy tickets using the German Railways website, and a split at the first stop in Germany, Puttgarden, is best practice as a Puttgarden to Brussels through ticket then covers you in the unlikely event of a delay and missed connection at both Hamburg and Cologne. 

  • Step 4, book from Copenhagen to Stockholm or Copenhagen to Gothenburg and back at the Swedish railways website www.sj.se .  And the job's a good 'un!  If you have any problems getting sj.se to accept your credit cards try agency site www.acprail.com or competing site www.snalltaget.se.  Acprail.com certainly should accept your card as it's designed for overseas visitors.  As a last resort, book by phone calling SJ telesales on +46 771 75 75 75, there's a phone menu option for English. 

    Although tickets on the SJ2000 trains to Stockholm have airline-style variable prices and require prior reservation, tickets for the hourly Öresund trains between Copenhagen & Gothenburg don't need to be pre-booked, as the price is fixed and no reservations are necessary or even possible, you can just buy a ticket t the station when you reach Copenhagen and hop on the next train.

How to buy tickets by phone...

  • To buy tickets by phone, call International Rail on 0844 248 248 3, lines open 09:00-17:00 Monday-Friday.  Overseas callers call +44 844 2482483.  They charge a £10 booking fee for bookings under £100, £20 for £100-£300, £30 above £300.  In many cases tickets can be emailed to you as e-tickets, so there's no postage fee or delay.

  • Alternatively, call Deutsche Bahn's UK office on 08718 80 80 66  (lines open 09:00-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday & Sunday, no booking fee, 2% credit card charge, no charge for debit cards) or www.europeanrail.com on 020 7619 1083 (lines open 08:30-17:30 Mon-Fri, 09:00-13:00 Sat, £35 booking fee).  Click here for a list of agencies and other useful information on how to book.

Custom-made travel & hotel arrangements...

  • If you want a tailor-made trip with train travel, hotels & transfers all arranged for you, contact Railbookers.  Tell them what you want and they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels and sort it all out.  They get positive reviews and look after their customers very well.

      UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

    US or Canada call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

    Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

      New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.


London to Stockholm by ferry via Hoek van Holland

  Boarding the Stena Line ferry from Harwich to Hoek van Holland for Amsterdam

London to the Netherlands by Dutch Flyer train & ferry...  Take a train from London's Liverpool Street station directly to the ferry terminal at Harwich.  You walk off the train, into the terminal, get your boarding card & cabin key at the Stena Line check-in desk and walk straight onto the overnight ferry to Hoek van Holland.  The superferry Stena Hollandica is the largest ferry of its kind in the world.  See the Netherlands page and see the video...

  Standard inside cabin on the ferry

Cosy cabins:  The overnight Harwich-Hoek ferry is a floating hotel.  All passengers travel in a cosy private cabin with en suite shower & toilet and satellite TV.  This is the cheapest 2-berth cabin...

  Captain's suite deluxe cabin on the Stena Line ferry 'Stena Hollandica'

... and this is a Captain's Class cabin with double bed & complimentary bubbly in the minibar.

  Copenhagen to Hamburg ICE train on board the Rodby-Puttgarten train ferry

Next day, travel from Hoek van Holland to Hamburg by train and stay there overnight.  Next morning, travel from Hamburg to Copenhagen by ICE train.  This ICE goes onto a train ferry (above) between Puttgarten & Rodby, an interesting experience.  You must leave the train whilst it is on the ferry...

  An X2000 train to Stockholm

This is the SJ 2000 train to Stockholm, boarding in Copenhagen...

The Dutch Flyer, a useful alternative to Eurostar...

It takes a bit longer than the Eurostar option shown above, but with inexpensive fares, daily departures, quality private cabins with shower, toilet, free WiFi & satellite TV, the integrated Dutch Flyer train-ferry-train service between London and Hoek van Holland makes a useful alternative to Eurostar.  It's shown in orange on the route map above.  The Dutch Flyer is a good option if you need to travel at short notice when Eurostar is expensive, if you live in East Anglia, or if you want to avoid the Channel Tunnel due to an incident or because you are claustrophobic.  Indeed, you may simply prefer this relaxing journey to the faster Eurostar option, cruising overnight to Holland on the overnight Stena Line superferry in an en suite cabin (see the Dutch Flyer video), then on to Sweden by daytime trains with a comfortable overnight hotel in Hamburg plus an evening at leisure to explore that city.

London ► Gothenburg & Stockholm

  • Day 1, evening:  Travel from London to Hoek van Holland overnight by Dutch Flyer train & ferry.  You leave London's Liverpool Street station at 19:32 by train to Harwich International, reaching Harwich just before 9pm.  At Harwich, the station is right next to the ferry terminal and you simply walk off the train into the terminal, through a simple security and passport check, check in at the Stena Line desk to get your boarding card & cabin key, then walk straight onto the Stena Line ferry to Hoek van Holland.  All passengers travel in cosy private cabins with en suite toilet & shower, satellite TV & free WiFi.  Deluxe Comfort class & Captains class cabins with complimentary minibar are also available.  You can have a late dinner in the restaurant and settle into your cabin.  The ferry sails at 23:15 and arrives at Hoek van Holland at 07:45 Dutch time next morning.  At Hoek, the station is right next to the ferry terminal.  See the Netherlands page for full details of the Dutch Flyer service.  Dutch Flyer tickets are valid not just from London but from any National Express East Anglia railway station, for example, Cambridge, Norwich or Chelmsford, to any station in the Netherlands.

  • Day 2, travel from Hoek van Holland to Hamburg.  For example, at www.bahn.de you'll find journeys leaving Hoek at 09:56, changing at Rotterdam, Amersfoort and Osnabruck to arrive Hamburg 16:12.  You can buy one ticket for the whole journey at www.bahn.de.  As your Dutch Flyer ticket is valid to any Dutch station, you could catch the first available train from Hoek after the ferry arrives and have a coffee in Rotterdam or Amersfoort before travelling onwards to Hamburg.

  • Spend the night in a hotel in Hamburg.  In ascending order of cost, hotels next to Hamburg Hauptbahnhof with good reviews include the Hotel Continental Novum, Hotel Furst Bismarck, Hotel Europaischer Hof, Hotel Atlantic Kempinski.

  • Day 3, travel from Hamburg to Stockholm using the 09:28 Hamburg-Copenhagen ICE train then the 14:36 Copenhagen to Stockholm SJ 2000, arriving Stockholm at 19:39.  You can buy one ticket for this whole journey at www.bahn.de.  Note that the Hamburg to Copenhagen ICE train is loaded into the hold of a train ferry between Puttgarten & Rødby, one of the few places left in Europe where trains still go onto ships.  You must leave the train and go upstairs into the ferry's passenger accommodation or open decks while it is on board the ship.  To find Hamburg-Gothenburg trains, simply use www.bahn.de.

Stockholm & Gothenburg ► London

  • Day 1, travel from Stockholm to Hamburg.  You'll find various options, but I recommend the 08:13 (on some dates 08:21) Stockholm to Copenhagen SJ 2000 arriving Copenhagen at 13:22. Have lunch in Copenhagen, then take the 15:43 ICE train from Copenhagen to Hamburg arriving 20:16.  You can buy one ticket for this journey at www.bahn.de.  Note that the Copenhagen to Hamburg ICE train is loaded into the hold of a train ferry between Rødby & Puttgarten, one of the few places left in Europe where trains still go onto ships.  You must leave the train and go upstairs into the ferry's passenger accommodation or open decks while it is on board the ship.  To find Gothenburg-Hamburg trains, simply use www.bahn.de.

  • Spend the night in a hotel in Hamburg.  In ascending order of cost, hotels next to Hamburg Hauptbahnhof with good reviews include the Hotel Continental Novum, Hotel Furst Bismarck, Hotel Europaischer Hof, Hotel Atlantic Kempinski.

  • Day 2, travel from Hamburg to Hoek van Holland.  You can book the whole journey at www.bahn.de, for example an 11:46 departure from Hamburg will get you to Hoek van Holland at 18:01 with easy changes at Osnabrück, Amersfoort & Rotterdam.  Don't risk any tight connections with the ferry - as your Dutch Flyer ticket is valid from any Dutch station, you could take the 11:46 from Hamburg and have dinner in Rotterdam, catching a later train to Hoek van Holland, as long as you arrive at least 45 minutes before the ferry sails.

  • Day 2, evening:  Travel from Hoek van Holland to London overnight by Dutch Flyer train & ferry service.  At Hoek van Holland, the ferry terminal is right next to the station.  Walk onto the ferry and sail overnight in a snug private cabin to Harwich.  The ferry sails at 22:30 Mondays-Fridays or 21:30 Saturdays & Sundays and arrives at Harwich International at 06:30 next morning, UK time.  Take a train on to London next morning (day 3) arriving 08:48-08:59.  See the Netherlands page for full details.

How much does it cost?

  • London to any Dutch station by Dutch Flyer starts at £45 per person one-way, plus the cost of a cabin.  Cabins start at £30 for a single berth cabin or £43 for a 2-berth (per cabin, not per person), and are compulsory on the night sailing.  The fare covers the train from London to Harwich, the ferry, and onward Dutch trains from Hoek van Holland Haven to any station in the Netherlands, see the Netherlands page for full details of fares and cabin types and costs.

  • Hoek van Holland to Hamburg starts at just €39 each way with a German Railways spezial ticket.

  • Hamburg to Stockholm or Gothenburg also starts at just €39 each way with a German Railways spezial ticket.

How to buy tickets online...

  • Step 1, buy a Dutch Flyer train & ferry ticket from London to Any Dutch Station online at www.dutchflyer.co.uk.  You can select any type of cabin, and add an excellent 3-course dinner in the a la carte restaurant plus a buffet breakfast if you like.  For one-way journeys starting in the Netherlands, see the advice on the Netherlands page.

  • Step 2, buy a ticket from Hoek van Holland to Hamburg at the German railways website bahn.de using this link:

    Buy ticket from Hoek van Holland to Hamburg - for a return journey simply add a return leg.

  • Step 3, buy a ticket from Hamburg to Stockholm or Gothenburg at the German railways website bahn.de using these links:

    Buy ticket from Hamburg to Stockholm - outward leg.

    Buy ticket from Stockholm to Hamburg - return leg, with added short stopover in Copenhagen so you get 1 change of train not 2 or 3.

    Buy ticket from Hamburg to Gothenburg - for a return journey simply add a return leg.

  • I recommend registering on bahn.de when prompted, so you can log in and re-print your tickets at any time from any PC.

  • Alternatively, you can book by phone, first booking the Dutch Flyer with Stena Line on 08445 762 762 (lines open 08:30-20:00 Mondays-Fridays, 09:00-18:00 Saturdays, 09:00-17:00 Sundays), then booking the trains with DB's UK office on 08718 80 80 66, lines open 09:00-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 weekends.


Other destinations in Sweden

London to Malmö

Malmö is just opposite Copenhagen across the Öresund, and linked to Copenhagen by frequent local train running across the Öresund Link across the sea from Denmark to Sweden, opened in 1999.  The link is part tunnel, part double-decker road/rail bridge, and on the long bridge section your train seems to 'fly' across the sea to Sweden.... 

Seats on an Oresund link train to Malmo & Gothenburg   An Oresund link train from Copenhagen to Gothenburg at Malmo

An Öresund Link Train (Öresundtåg) from Copenhagen to Malmö & Gothenburg, seen at Malmö Central station.  The train crosses from Denmark to Sweden on the 1999-built Öresund Link tunnel & road/rail bridge...

London to Northern Sweden & Narvik...

First travel to Gothenburg or Stockholm as shown above.  Overnight sleeper trains run from Stockholm and Gothenburg to Northern Sweden, including Boden, Luleå, Kiruna and Narvik in Norway.  These trains are run by www.sj.se, who took over from previous franchisee www.connex.se in 2008.  The trains have 1 & 2 berth sleepers, some with private toilet and shower, 6-berth couchettes, ordinary seats, bar and even cinema.  Daytime trains from Gothenburg and Stockholm to most cities in Sweden are also run by national train operator SJ, see www.sj.se for times and fares.  If you have any problems booking with SJ.se, try agency site www.acprail.com instead.

The Stockholm to Lulea sleeper train about to leave Stockholm Central   2-bed sleeper on the Stockholm to Lulea train

A sleeper train to Luleå waits to leave Stockholm Central...  Photo courtesy of Railbookers.com.

 

A 2-berth sleeper with private shower & toilet, in daytime mode.  Photo courtesy of Railbookers.com.

Sleeper on the train to Narvik   Narvik station   Sunset from the Narvik to Stockholm train

2-bed sleeper on the Stockholm to Narvik train.  Ayan Ghosh.

 

Narvik station, inside the Arctic Circle.  Although it's in Norway, the railway to Narvik runs from Sweden.  Photo courtesy of Ayan Ghosh.

 

Sunset from the sleeper train from Narvik to Stockholm...  Photo courtesy of Ayan Ghosh.


Stockholm Central Station

  Stockholm Central Station

Arrive right in the heart of Stockholm...

Trains arrive at Stockholm Central station, a Stockholm landmark right in the heart of the city, an easy stroll to the old town and most of the sights.

The station has left luggage lockers, ticket office and all the usual facilities.

The station was opened in 1871, and the tracks once occupied the space where the spacious concourse is today.  The platforms were moved to the west during rebuilding in 1925.

Map of Stockholm showing Central Station, ferry terminals, city hall and Vasa Museum.

Pictured right, Stockholm Central Station.

Photo courtesy of Railbookers.com.

 

 

 


How to use www.sj.se

  Screenshot of the Swedish Railways (SJ) website
 

Right:  If you choose to pick up your tickets at Copenhagen station, look for the two SJ ticket machines on the left as you walk in the main entrance, next to the ticket office. 

They have touch screens and an English-language facility.  Enter your booking reference and out come the tickets.

Similar machines are installed at Oslo Central, Stockholm Central and at all main Swedish stations.

One of two SJ ticket machines at Copenhagen main station

How to buy Swedish train tickets at www.sj.se...

The best way to buy your train tickets within Sweden, or (in either direction) between Copenhagen & Stockholm, Copenhagen & Gothenburg, Copenhagen & Oslo or Stockholm & Oslo, is online at the official Swedish Railways website, www.sj.se.  It's far cheaper than buying through a UK agency, and there are no booking fees or postage to pay.  You can simply print out your own ticket.


Guidebooks...

Definitely take a good guidebook.  For independent travel, I think this means either the Lonely Planet or the Rough Guide.  Both guidebooks provide an excellent level of practical information and historical background.  You won't regret buying one!  My own book, an essential handbook for train travel to Europe based on this website called "The Man in Seat 61", is due to be published in June 2008, and Amazon will let you pre-order now.

Click the images to buy at Amazon.co.uk

Lonely Planet Sweden - buy online at Amazon.co.ukRough Guide to Sweden - buy online at AmazonClick to buy - Lonely Planet ScandinaviaThe Man in Seat 61 book - click to buy online

 


The European Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team have set up a private venture and published the first edition of a reborn European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online with worldwide shipping at either www.stanfords.co.uk or www.europeanrailtimetable.euMore information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

A Traveller's Railway Map of Europe covers the whole of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  On the back are detailed maps of Switzerland, Benelux & Germany, plus city plans showing stations in major cities.  Scenic & high-speed routes highlighted.  Buy it online for £14.50 + postage worldwide (UK addresses £2.80) at www.stanfords.co.uk/Continents/Europe/Maps--Atlases/Europe-A-Travellers-Railway-Map_9789077899090.htm or (in the Netherlands) for €13 + €5.50 postage from www.treinreiswinkel.nl.


Find hotels in Stockholm, Gothenburg & Sweden

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Tripadvisor hotel reviews...

Backpacker hostels: www.hostelbookers.com...

Homestays: www.homestay.com...


Send your luggage in advance

Ride the trains without heavy luggage... 

Send your suitcase ahead by Luggage Mule from around £30 each way.


Travel insurance & health card...

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Get travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel without insurance from a reliable travel insurer with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover loss of cash (up to a limit) & belongings, and cancellation. An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year (I have an annual policy myself).  Don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, though, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, Seat61 gets a little commission if you buy through these links, and feedback from using insurance for rail & ferry travel is always welcome.

In the UK, use www.confused.com to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get an EU health card, it's free...

If you're a UK citizen travelling in Europe, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, which entitles you to free or reduced rate health care if you become ill or get injured in many European countries, under a reciprocal arrangement with the NHS.  This replaced the old E111 forms as from January 2006.  The EHIC card is available from www.ehic.org.uk.  It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though.

Get a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low/no ATM fees

Taking out an extra credit card costs nothing, but if you keep it in a different part of your luggage you won't be left stranded if your wallet gets stolen.  In addition, some credit cards are better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including all of the EU, the USA, Australia & South Africa.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy £20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.

 


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