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, was rediscovered in 1956 & raised in 1961.

 

London to Stockholm by train...

It's easy to travel from London to Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö or anywhere in Sweden by train, a wonderful journey with lots to see on the way, a civilised alternative to a soulless flight.  On this page you'll find a 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.  Incidentally, there are now no ferries between the UK and Sweden or anywhere else in Scandinavia.

Other useful information...

  Trains from Stockholm to other European cities

  Trains to Stockholm from other European cities

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

  Hotels in Stockholm & Sweden

  Useful country information - dial code, currency, etc

  General information about European train travel

  Luggage on trains   Left luggage facilities at stations

  Taking your bike   Taking your dog

  Travel insurance, EU Health card, Curve card, VPN

Interactive map:  UK to Scandinavia...

...click on a route for train times, fares & tickets from London.

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

Useful country information

Train operator in Sweden:

SJ, www.sj.se for train times & fares.  Book Swedish train tickets online at either Omio.com (formerly GoEuro.com, small booking fee, happily accepts overseas credit cards, you can pay in Swedish Kr, £, € or $) or www.sj.se (in Swedish Krona, no fee, may struggle with some foreign credit cards).  Private operator MTRX also runs Stockholm-Gothenburg in competition with SJ, see mtrx.travelAll-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The DFDS Seaways Newcastle-Gothenburg ferry was withdrawn in 2006.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 12 Krona.   Currency converter

Tourist information:

www.visitsweden.com   Hotel search   Guidebooks

Page last updated:

19 March 2020. Train times valid 15 Dec 2019 to 12 Dec 2020.


London to Stockholm via Eurostar

London to Stockholm by train!

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, stay overnight, then travel from Hamburg to Stockholm on day 2.  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.  Note that the Cologne to Copenhagen sleeper train was discontinued in 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, stay overnight 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

Stockholm or Gothenburg ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets, easiest way...

How to buy tickets online, slightly cheaper way...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Using an InterRail pass - cheapest for a round trip at short notice...

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

What's the journey like?

(1)  London to Brussels by Eurostar.  More information.

e300 power car   Eurostar e300 1st class seats

A Eurostar e300 about to leave St Pancras...

 

Standard Premier/Business Premier seats. Larger photo.

(2)  Brussels to Cologne by ICE3.  More information.

High-speed ICE3 train at Frankfurt   ICE2 train, 2nd class

ICE3 from Brussels to Frankfurt, seen at Frankfurt...

 

ICE3 2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class with leather seats.  Larger photo.

 

Lunch in an ICE3 bistro car...

(3)  Cologne to Hamburg by InterCity train.  More information

Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Most Cologne-Hamburg trains are InterCity trains like this one, a few are high-speed ICEs.  There's usually a bistro car serving food & drink.  Virtual tour of InterCity train...

1st class comparment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train   2nd class seats on a Berlin to Amsterdam train

1st class seats in traditional 6-seater compartments.  Some cars are open-plan.

 

2nd class seating is usually in open-plan saloons like this, although there are also cars with 2nd class 6-seat compartments.

(4)  Hamburg to Copenhagen by Intercity train More information

Hamburg-Copenhagen trains are operated by Danish IC3 trains like this, shown in the timetable as EC for EuroCity See more photos, tips & information about the Hamburg to Copenhagen journey.

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...   1st class seats on a Danish IC3 train

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...

 

1st class seats on an IC3 train...

2nd class seats on a Danish IC3 train   IC3 train to Copenhagen at Hamburg

2nd class seats on an IC3 train...

 

Boarding an IC3 train to Copenhagen in Hamburg.

(5)  Copenhagen to Stockholm by X2000More information

125 mph tilting 'SJ2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station SJ2000 2nd class seats

A Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train boarding at Copenhagen main station...

 

2nd class seats on an X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm.

SJ2000 train   SJ2000 buffet car seating area   SJ2000 self-service buffet car.

X2000 bistro car...

 

X2000 bistro car seating area...

 

Bistro self-service...

Winter scenery from a Copenhagen-Stockholm train

Winter scenery from a train between Copenhagen & Stockholm. Courtesy of Radoslav Sharapanov

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.  But 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 rather 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.  If you like, you can use a sleeper train between Copenhagen & Stockholm instead of the overnight hotel stop.  This means you can travel London to Stockholm in a night, a day and a night, the most time-effective option of all.

London ► Stockholm or Gothenburg

Stockholm or Gothenburg ► London

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?

 How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Custom-made travel & hotel arrangements...

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London to Stockholm via Hoek

Rail & Sail, a useful alternative to Eurostar...

It takes a bit longer than the Eurostar option shown above, but with inexpensive fares even at short notice, daily departures, quality private cabins with shower, toilet & satellite TV, the integrated Rail & Sail train-ferry-train service between London & Amsterdam is a useful alternative to Eurostar.  It's shown in orange on the route map above.  Rail & Sail is a good option if you need to travel at short notice when all the cheap Eurostar fares have sold out, if you live in East Anglia, or want to avoid the Channel Tunnel for some reason.  Indeed, you may simply prefer this relaxing journey, cruising overnight to Holland on the Stena Line superferry in an en suite cabin (see the video), then on to Sweden by daytime trains with a comfortable overnight hotel in Hamburg and an evening at leisure to explore.

London ► Gothenburg & Stockholm

Stockholm & Gothenburg ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets online...

What's the journey like?

A train takes you 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 Britannica is the largest ferry of its kind in the world.  The journey from London to Holland is explained in detail on the Stena Line Rail & Sail page See the video...

 

Captain's Class cabin on the Harwich-Hoek ferry with double bed, complimentary minibar with sparkling wine, tea & coffee making facilities, hairdryer.  Larger photo.

 

Boarding the Stena Britannica at Harwich.  She's a floating hotel to Hoek van Holland, with easy rail connections on either side of the Channel.  Restaurants, bars, shop, kennels, cinema...

 

Dinner before bed?  Metropolitan à la carte restaurant.

 

Standard outside cabin, 1 or 2 berth.  Larger photo.  360º photo.

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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 to Northern Sweden, including Boden, Luleå, Kiruna and Narvik in Norway.  These trains are run by www.sj.se.  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.  You can also book at Omio.com (formerly GoEuro.com, small booking fee, happily accepts overseas credit cards, you can pay in Swedish Kr, £, € and $) but this only books seats or couchettes, not private sleepers.

The Stockholm to Lulea sleeper train about to leave Stockholm Central   Narvik station

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

 

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

Sleeper train to Malmo at Stockholm   1 or 2-bed sleeper   The en suite toilet & shower

1st class sleeper with en suite shower & toilet, shown in day mode (above left) and night mode set up as a single with upper berth folded against the wall (above centre).  Courtesy of Discoverbyrail.com.  Click the images for larger photos...

Scenery from the Stockholm to Narvik train

Scenery from the train between Stockholm & Narvik...  Photo courtesy of Discoverbyrail.com.

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Stockholm Central Station

  Stockholm Central Station

Arrive right in the heart of Stockholm...

 

 

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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 one of the 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 or show it on your smartphone.

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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!

Click the images to buy at Amazon.co.uk

Lonely Planet Sweden - buy online at Amazon.co.uk   Rough Guide to Sweden - buy online at Amazon   Click to buy - Lonely Planet Scandinavia

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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 set up a private venture and resumed publication of the famous 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-A-Travellers-Railway-Map_9789077899090.htm or (in the Netherlands) for €13 + €5.50 postage from www.treinreiswinkel.nl.

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Hotels in Stockholm & Sweden

My favourite hotel search site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at www.booking.com.

Tripadvisor hotel reviews...

www.tripadvisor.com is the place to find independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels.

Backpacker hostels: www.hostelworld.com...

www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in Paris and most other European cities at rock-bottom prices.

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Travel insurance & health card

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel without proper travel insurance from a reliable insurer with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover loss of cash & belongings (up to a limit), and trip cancellation.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year - I have an annual policy myself.  However, don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, 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, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

        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 ww.nhs.uk.  It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though.

 

Curve card

Get a free Curve card to save on exchange rates & foreign transaction fees...

Banks often give you a poor exchange rate, then charge you a currency conversion fee on top.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month as I write this.  The balance goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.  And you can get a Curve card for free.

How it works:  1. Download the app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to most European addresses including the UK.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, just like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance onto whichever of your debit or credit cards you choose.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself and it's great - I get some commission if you sign up to Curve, but I only recommend such things when I've read up on reviews and tried it myself.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card. Use code MAN61 to get £5 cashback after signing up and using your Curve card the first time.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing when you travel.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use them myself.

 


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