Getting there & away
Most airline websites list special offers, and there are good online ticket agencies that will compare prices for you (such as www.travelocity.co.uk and www.deckchair.com). However, dealing direct with a travel agent can furnish extra details, like which airlines have the best facilities for children, or which travel insurance is most suitable for you.
Departure tax is included in the ticket price.
Ferry connections between Sweden and its neighbours are frequent and straightforward. Most lines offer substantial discounts for seniors, students and children, and many rail-pass holders also get reduced fares. Most prices quoted in this section are for single journeys at peak times (weekend travel, overnight crossings, mid-June to mid-August); at other times, fares may be up to 30% lower.
This is the quickest route and has frequent ferries (crossing time around 20 minutes).
HH-Ferries (042-19 80 00; www.hhferries.se) 24-hour service. Pedestrian/car and nine passengers Skr22/265.
Scandlines (042-18 63 00; www.scandines.se) Similar service and prices.
Stena Line (031-704 00 00; www.stenaline.se) Three-hour crossing. Up to six ferries daily. Pedestrian/car and five passengers/bicycle Skr210/1195/155.
Stena Line (Express) Two-hour crossing. Up to three ferries daily. Pedestrian/car and five passengers/bicycle Skr278/1495/215.
Stena Line (031-704 00 00; www.stenaline.se) Four-hour crossing. Three or four daily. Pedestrian/car and five passengers/bicycle Skr210/1195/155.
BornholmsTrafikken (0411-55 87 00; www.born holmstrafikken.dk) Conventional (1½ hours) and fast (80 minutes) services, two to nine times daily. Pedestrian/car and five passengers/bicycle from Skr204/1192/21.
To/from Latvia, Riga Sea Line (08-5100 1500; www.rigasealine.lv) operates Stockholm-Riga night ferries. Scandlines(08-5206 02 90; www.scandlines.dk) operates Ventspils-Nynäshamn ferries around five times per week.
To/From Poland, Polferries (040-121700; www.polferries.se) and Unity Line (0411-556900; www.unityline.pl) have daily Ystad-Swinoujscie crossings. Polferries also runs Nynäshamn-Gdańsk. Stena Line (031-704 0000; www.stena line.se) sails Karlskrona-Gdynia.
Stockholm-Helsinki and Stockholm-Turku ferries run daily throughout the year via the Åland islands (exempt from the abolition of duty-free within the EU, making them a popular outing for Swedes). These ferries have minimum age limits; check before you travel.
Silja Line (08-22 21 40; www.silja.com) Around 15 hours. Car and up to five passengers/bicycle Skr700/95, ticket and cabin berth from Skr590.
Viking Line (08-452 40 00; www.vikingline.fi) Operates the same routes with slightly cheaper prices.
Silja Line(08-22 21 40; www.silja.com) Eleven hours. Car/bicycle Skr515/95, day/night ticket Skr215/330, cabin berth from Skr335. From September to early May, ferries also depart from Kapellskär (90km northeast of Stockholm) : connecting buses operated by Silja Line are included in the full-price fare.
Besides the Silja Line and Viking Line routes above, two companies offer foot passenger-only overnight cruises. Prices quoted are for return trips.
Birka Cruises (08-702 72 00; www.birkacruises.com) A 22 hour round-trip. One or two daily. Berth from Skr350. Prices include supper and breakfast.
Ånedin-Linjen (08-456 22 00; www.anedinlinjen.com in Swedish) Six hours, daily. Couchette Skr50, berth from Skr235.
Scandlines (042-18 61 00; www.scandlines.se) A 3¾ hour trip. Two to five times daily. Pedestrian/car and up to nine passengers/passenger with bicycle Skr125/965/185.
Scandlines (042-18 61 00; www.scandlines.se) Six hours (night crossing 7½ hours). Two or three daily. Pedestrian/car and up to nine passengers/passenger with bicycle Skr210/1285/225.
TT-Line (0410-562 00; www.ttline.com) Operates the same as Scandlines, with similar prices.
TT-Line (0410-562 00; www.ttline.com) Seven hours. Two to five daily. Pedestrian/car and up to five passengers/passenger with bicycle Skr240/1700/280. Berths are compulsory on night crossings and cost from Skr215 per person.
StenaLine (031-704 00 00; www.stenaline.se) Fourteen hour. One crossing nightly. Pedestrian/car and up to five passengers Skr790/2190. Berths are compulsory, and cost from Skr190 per person.
There's a daily overnight DFDS Seaways (031-65 06 80; www.dfdsseaways.com) ferry between Copenhagen and Oslo, via Helsingborg. Passenger fares between Helsingborg and Oslo (14 hours) cost Skr1048, and cars Skr450. DFDS also sails from Göteborg to Kristiansand (Norway), three days a week (from seven hours); contact them for prices.
A Color Line (0526-620 00; www.colorline.com) ferry between Strömstad (Sweden) and Sandefjord (Norway) sails two to six times daily (2½ hours) year-round. Tickets cost Skr180 (rail passes get 50% discount); bicycles cost Skr40 and cars Skr195.
DFDS Seaways(www.dfdsseaways.com) Göteborg (031-65 06 50); UK (08705-33 30 00) There are two crossings per week between Göteborg and Newcastle via Kristiansand (Norway). The trip takes 25 hours. Fares start from £33 per person including economy berth; cars cost £75 and bicycles are free.
Customs and immigration posts on border crossings between Sweden and Denmark, Finland or Norway are usually deserted, so passports are rarely checked. There are many minor roads between Sweden and Norway that don't have any border formalities at all.
Apart from Eurolines, Säfflebussen buses regularly connect the same cities, although they're more expensive (eg Skr510 from Stockholm to Copenhagen). Swebus Express has five buses daily from Copenhagen to Göteborg (Skr225, four hours).
You can drive from Copenhagen to Malmö across the Öresund bridge on the E20 motorway. Tolls are paid at Lernacken, on the Swedish side, in either Danish (single/return crossing per car Dkr235/470) or Swedish (Skr285/570) currency, or by credit or debit card.
From Copenhagen, it's necessary to change in Malmö for Stockholm trains. Six or seven services operate directly between Copenhagen and Göteborg (Skr373, four hours). Trains every hour or two connect Copenhagen, Kristianstad and Karlskrona. X2000 high-speed trains are more expensive.
There are direct overnight trains running every day between Berlin and Malmö via the Trelleborg-Sassnitz ferry. The journey takes nine hours and a couchette/bed costs €88/125 (approximately Skr820/1170). See www.berlin-night-express.com for details.
Frequent bus services run from Haparanda to Tornio (Skr10, 10 minutes) and on to Kemi (Skr45, 45 minutes). buses link Boden and Luleå with Haparanda, and Tornio/Kemi with Oulu (Finland). Tapanis Buss (0922-129 55; www.tapanis.se in Swedish) runs express coaches from Stockholm to Tornio via Haparanda twice a week (Skr480, 15 hours).
Länstrafiken i Norrbotten (020 47 00 47; www.ltnbd.se) operates buses as far as Karesuando, from where it's only a few minutes' walk across the bridge to Kaaresuvanto (Finland). There are also regular regional services from Haparanda to Övertorneå (some continue to Pello, Pajala and Kiruna) - you can walk across the border at Övertorneå or Pello and pick up a Finnish bus to Muonio, with onward connections from there to Kaaresuvanto and Tromsø (Norway).
Säfflebussen runs from Stockholm to Oslo (Skr380, 7½ hours, fives times daily) via Karlstad, and from Göteborg to Oslo (Skr220, four hours, seven daily). Swebus Express has the same routes with similar prices.
In the north, buses run once-daily from Umeå to Mo i Rana (eight hours) and from Skellefteå to Bodø (nine hours, daily except Saturday) are run by Länstrafiken i Västerbotten (0771-10 01 10; www.lanstrafikeniac.se) and Länstrafiken i Norrbotten (0771-10 01 10; www.ltnbd.se), respectively.
The main roads between Sweden and Norway are the E6 from Göteborg to Oslo, the E18 from Stockholm to Oslo, the E14 from Sundsvall to Trondheim, the E12 from Umeå to Mo i Rana, and the E10 from Kiruna to Bjerkvik. Many secondary roads also cross the border.
Trains run daily between Stockholm and Oslo (Skr642, six hours), and there's a night train from Stockholm to Narvik (Skr500 not including couchette, from 20 hours). You can also travel from Helsingborg to Oslo (Skr590, seven hours), via Göteborg. X2000 high-speed trains are more expensive.
Services across Swedish borders are operated by the following:
Eurolines (08-762 5960; www.eurolines.com)
The main airport is Stockholm Arlanda, which links Sweden with major European and North American cities. Göteborg Landvetter is Sweden's second biggest international airport. Stockholm Skavsta (actually 100km south of Stockholm, near Nyköping) and Göteborg City both act as airports for the budget airline Ryanair.
Göteborg Landvetter (code GOT; 031-94 10 00; www.lfv.se)
Göteborg City (code GSE; 031-92 60 60; www.goteborgcityairport.se)
Stockholm Arlanda(code ARN; 08-797 60 00; www.lfv.se)
Stockholm Skavsta (code NYO; 0155-28 04 00; www.skavsta-air.se)
Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) is the regional carrier with a good safety record.
Most of the usual airlines fly into Sweden including the following:
British Airways (airline code BA; 0200-770098; www.britishairways.com; hub Heathrow Airport, London)
Airlines such as British Airways, Lufthansa, Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas Airways and Singapore Airlines can get you heading in the right direction, but you'll have to change planes at least once in Singapore, Bangkok, Paris or London. The following are major agencies for cheap fares:
SAS offers numerous direct services between Stockholm and European capitals (including Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Dublin, Geneva, Helsinki, Moscow, Oslo, Paris and Prague); many are routed via Copenhagen or Frankfurt. It also has routes from Göteborg to Copenhagen and Frankfurt.
Finnair has direct flights from Helsinki (which Swedes call Helsingfors) to Stockholm (around 15 daily) and Göteborg (up to four daily). Blue1 has regular daily flights from Stockholm to Helsinki, Oulu, Tampere, Turku (known as Åbo in Swedish) and Vaasa, and from Göteborg to Helsinki.
London is Europe's major centre for discount fares. Budget airline Ryanair flies from London Stansted to Stockholm Skavsta, Göteborg City and Malmö Sturup; Glasgow Prestwick to Stockholm Skavsta and Göteborg City; London Luton to Västerås; and Shannon to Stockholm Skavsta.
Between London (Heathrow) and Stockholm Arlanda, several commercial airlines have regular daily flights, including SAS, British Airways and Finnair. Prices start at around UK£120.
SAS also flies daily between London (Heathrow) and Göteborg.
City Airline has two flights weekly from Göteborg (Landvetter) to Birmingham and Manchester.
The following are some recommended travel agencies and online ticket sites:
Flightbookers (0870 814 0000; www.ebookers.com)
STA Travel (0870 160 0599; www.statravel.co.uk)
Thanks to the large ethnic Swedish population in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin, you may find small local agencies in those areas specialising in travel to Scandinavia and offering good-value charter flights.
Icelandair flies from Baltimore-Washington, Boston, New York, Minneapolis and Orlando via Reykjavík to many European destinations, including Stockholm. Twice per week between mid-May and mid-October, you can also fly from/to San Francisco.
If you're planning on flying within Scandinavia, SAS offers a Visit Scandinavia/Europe Air Pass to its transatlantic passengers. SAS's North American hub is New York City's Newark Airport, with direct daily flights to/from Stockholm.
Discount travel agents are known as consolidators in the USA; track them down through the Yellow Pages or the major daily newspapers. The following are travel agencies recommended for online bookings: