As well as the many national carriers that fly directly into Scandinavia's airports, there are several budget options. These routes change frequently and are best investigated online.
Airports & Airlines
The following are major hubs in Scandinavia:
- Stockholm Arlanda Airport (www.swedavia.com/arlanda) Sweden
- Helsinki Vantaa Airport (www.helsinki-vantaa.fi) Finland
- Copenhagen Kastrup Airport (www.cph.dk) Denmark
- Reykjavík Keflavík Airport (www.kefairport.is) Iceland
- Oslo Gardermoen Airport (www.osl.no) Norway
SAS (www.flysas.com) is the national carrier for Sweden, Norway and Denmark, Finnair (www.finnair.com) for Finland and Icelandair (www.icelandair.com) for Iceland. Other important regional airlines include Norwegian (www.norwegian.com).
Departure tax is included in the price of a ticket.
Without a rail pass, the cheapest overland transport from Europe to Scandinavia is the bus, though a cheap flight deal will often beat it on price. Eurolines (www.eurolines.com), a conglomeration of coach companies, is the biggest and best-established express-bus network, and connects Scandinavia with the rest of Europe. Advance ticket purchases are usually necessary and sometimes cheaper.
Car & Motorcycle
Driving to Scandinavia means driving into Denmark from Germany (and on to Sweden via the bridge-tunnel), going through Russia or taking a car ferry.
- Apart from trains into Finland from Russia, the rail route into Scandinavia goes from Germany into Denmark, then on to Sweden and then Norway via the Copenhagen–Malmö bridge-tunnel connection. Hamburg and Cologne are the main gateways in Germany for this route.
- See the exceptional Man in Seat 61 website (www.seat61.com) for details of all train routes.
- Contact Deutsche Bahn (www.bahn.com) for details of frequent special offers, reservations and tickets.
- For more information on international rail travel (including Eurostar services), check out www.voyages-sncf.com.
Services are year-round between major cities: book ahead in summer, at weekends and if travelling with a vehicle. Many boats are amazingly cheap if you travel deck class (without a cabin). Many ferry lines offer 50% discounts for holders of Eurail, Scanrail and InterRail passes. Some offer discounts for seniors, and for ISIC and youth-card holders; enquire when purchasing your ticket. There are usually discounts for families and small groups travelling together. Ferry companies have detailed timetables and fares on their websites. Fares vary according to season.
The following is a list of the main ferry companies operating to and around Scandinavia, with their websites and major routes. See websites for contact telephone numbers, times, durations and sample fares.
BornholmerFærgen (www.faergen.com) Denmark (Bornholm)–Sweden, Denmark (Bornholm)–Germany.
Color Line (www.colorline.com) Norway–Denmark, Norway–Germany, Norway–Sweden.
DFDS Seaways (www.dfdsseaways.com) Denmark–Norway, Sweden–Lithuania, Sweden–Estonia.
Eckerö Line (www.eckeroline.fi for Finland–Estonia; www.eckerolinjen.se for Finland–Sweden) Finland (Åland)–Sweden, Finland–Estonia.
Finnlines (www.finnlines.com) Germany–Sweden, Sweden–Finland, Germany–Finland.
Fjord Line (www.fjordline.com) Denmark–Norway, Norway–Sweden.
Linda Line (www.lindaline.fi) Finland–Estonia.
Polferries (www.polferries.pl) Sweden–Poland.
St Peter Line (www.stpeterline.com) Sweden–Russia, Finland–Russia, Estonia–Russia.
Scandlines (www.scandlines.com) Denmark–Germany.
Smyril Line (www.smyrilline.com) Denmark–Faroe Islands–Iceland.
Stena Line (www.stenaline.com) Denmark–Norway, Denmark–Sweden, Sweden–Germany, Sweden–Poland, Sweden–Latvia.
Syltfähre (www.syltfaehre.de) Denmark–Germany (Sylt).
Tallink/Silja Line (www.tallinksilja.com) Finland–Sweden, Finland–Estonia, Sweden–Estonia, Sweden–Latvia.
TT-Line (www.ttline.com) Sweden–Germany, Sweden–Poland, Denmark (Bornholm)–Poland.
Unity Line (www.unityline.eu) Sweden–Poland.
Viking Line (www.vikingline.com) Sweden–Finland, Finland–Estonia.
Wasaline (www.wasaline.com) Finland–Sweden.
There are numerous sailings between Tallinn, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland, operated by Eckerö Line, Linda Line (fast boats), Tallink/Silja Line and Viking Line. Tallink/Silja also sails from Tallinn to Stockholm via Mariehamn, and DFDS Seaways runs from Paldiski (Estonia) to Kappelskär (Sweden).
Stena Line runs from Nynäshamn, Sweden to Ventspils, Latvia. Tallink/Silja does a Stockholm to Riga run.
DFDS operates between Karlshamn (Sweden) and Klaipėda (Lithuania).
- Denmark BornholmerFærgen runs between the island of Bornholm and Sassnitz, in eastern Germany. Scandlines runs from Rødby to Puttgarten, and between Gedser and Rostock. There's also a service from Havneby, at the southern tip of the Danish island of Rømø, to List on the German island of Sylt; this is run by Syltfähre.
- Finland Finnlines runs from Helsinki to Travemünde.
- Norway Color Line runs daily from Oslo to Kiel.
- Sweden Stena Line runs Trelleborg to Rostock, Trelleborg to Sassnitz and Gothenburg to Kiel. TT-Line runs Trelleborg to Travemünde and Trelleborg to Rostock. Finnlines runs Malmö to Travemünde.
- Denmark TT Line runs between the island of Bornholm and Świnoujście.
- Sweden Polferries runs Ystad to Świnoujście, as does Unity Line, while TT-Line runs Trelleborg to Świnoujście. Polferries also links Nynäshamn with Gdańsk. Stena Line runs between Karlskrona and Gdynia.
St Peter Line runs from St Petersburg, Russia to Helsinki, Finland; Tallinn, Estonia; and Stockholm, Sweden.