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 DFDS Esbjerg ferry 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-Copenhagen by DFDS ferry 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The DFDS Seaways Newcastle-Gothenburg ferry was withdrawn in 2006.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:

2 July 2014.  Train times valid 15 June to 13 December 2014.


London to Stockholm by Eurostar & sleeper train

London to Stockholm in 24 hours without flying.  No airports, no flights...

This is the fastest option, with daily departures.  Leave London in the afternoon and arrive in central Stockholm late afternoon the next day.

London ► Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö

  • Day 1:  Travel from London to Brussels by Eurostar, leaving London St Pancras daily except Saturdays at 15:04, arriving Brussels Midi at 18:05.  On Saturdays, depart London at 12:58 arriving Brussels Midi at 16:08.  Advice on connections in Brussels.

  • Day 1:  Travel from Brussels to Cologne by ICE high-speed train leaving Brussels Midi at 18:25 and arriving Cologne at 20:15.  On Saturdays you can also take the earlier 17:28 Thalys train arriving Cologne at 19:15.  You've time for dinner in Cologne.

  • Day 1:  Travel overnight from Cologne to Copenhagen on the City Night Line sleeper train Borealis, leaving Cologne daily at 22:28 and arriving next morning in Copenhagen main station at 10:07.  This train has a sleeping-car (1, 2 & 3 bed compartments, economy with washbasin or deluxe with private shower & toilet), couchettes (4-berth & 6-berth) & seats.  More pictures & information about City Night Line sleeper trainsAdvance information from December 2014:  It now looks almost certain that the City Night Line will cease serving Copenhagen as from the timetable change in mid-December.  If you plan to travel after that date, you'll need to use one of the other options on this page.

  • Day 2:  For Stockholm, travel from Copenhagen to Stockholm by SJ 2000 high-speed tilting train, leaving Copenhagen main station at 11:16 Mondays-Fridays arriving Stockholm Central at 16:39, or at 12:29 on Saturdays & Sundays arriving in Stockholm Central at 17:39.  Soon after leaving Copenhagen, the train crosses the Öresund Fixed Link, opened in 1999 to connect Denmark with Sweden.  It's part tunnel, part double-decker road/rail bridge, and on the long bridge section your train seems to 'fly' across the sea to Sweden...

  • Day 2:  For Gothenburg, travel from Copenhagen to Gothenburg by Öresund link train, leaving Copenhagen at 10:32 and arriving in Gothenburg at 14:20.  These trains usually run every hour, no reservation necessary, by all means catch a later one if you like.

Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö ► London

Take Eurostar to Brussels, then a German ICE high-speed train to Cologne...

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

ICE3 2nd class.  ICEs are perhaps the most comfortable trains in Europe...

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Seats in both classes have power sockets.

An ICE to Cologne waiting to leave Brussels Midi.  More ICE info.

Introducing the City Night Line sleeper train Borealis from Cologne to Copenhagen...

The Cologne to Copenhagen overnight train is one of the German Railway's excellent City Night Line sleeper trains with a choice of sleepers, couchettes & seats.  The modern Comfortline sleeping-car offers proper beds in 1, 2 or 3-berth deluxe compartments with shower & toilet, or 1, 2 or 3-berth economy compartments with washbasin.  All sleepers have power-points for laptop computers, hotel-style cardkey locks, and there is a shower at the end of the corridor.  The air-conditioned couchette car offers simple flat padded berths with a rug & pillow in shared 4 & 6-berth compartments.  There are also ordinary seats in 6-seater compartments, but you should always book a couchette.  A bistro car is attached between Hamburg and Copenhagen in both directions.  The train actually starts its journey in Amsterdam.  More pictures & information about this City Night Line train

Dinner in Cologne before you board?  For a traditional German meal in Cologne before boarding your sleeper, try the Brauhaus Sion (www.brauhaus-sion.de), 5 minutes walk from Cologne hauptbahnhof, or the Malzmuehle restaurant (www.muehlenkoelsch.de), 10-15 minutes walk from Cologne Hauptbahnhof, or there's a restaurant inside the Hauptbahnhof itself at the Schweinske, www.schweinske.deFeedback is always appreciated!

Sleeping-car room - Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train   4-berth couchette compartment on Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train   6-berth couchette compartment on Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train  

A sleeping-car as used on the Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most civilised option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

 

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes:  The budget option, far more comfortable than a seat for just a few euros more...

 

A modern Comfortline sleeping-car on the Cologne-Copenhagen City Night Line sleeper train Borealis.

More pictures & information about City Night Line

... and the 125mph SJ 2000 (formerly X 2000) trains from Copenhagen to Stockholm.

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...

A 125 mph SJ 2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station....

 

2nd class seating on the SJ 2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the SJ 2000 to Stockholm.

More information about SJ 2000 trains

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Cologne

 by Eurostar + ICE...

 Fares for Eurostar+ICE start at €59 (£49) each way.

 Fares for Eurostar+Thalys start at £56 one-way or £103 return

 Fares vary like air fares, so book in advance to get the cheapest prices.

 Child, youth, senior Eurostar fares

  

 2. Cologne to Stockholm

 or Gothenburg by sleeper

 train + SJ 2000, per person...

In a

seat

In a couchette

Economy sleeper

Deluxe sleeper

6-berth

4-berth

3-berth

2-berth

1-berth

2-berth

1-berth

 Savings fare one-way from:

€63 (£52)

€79 (£66)

€89 (£74)

€104 (£87)

€124 (£103)

€164 (£137)

€144 (£120)

€184 (£153)

 Savings fare return from:

€126 (£104)

€158 (£132)

€178 (£148)

€208 (£174)

€248 (£206)

€328 (£274)

€288 (£240)

€368 (£306)

 Child under 15*

€4

€20

€30

£71

€65

€105

€65

€105

 Child under 6 without berth:

Child under 6 sharing a berth travels free

The fares shown above cover both the City Night Line sleeper & the SJ 2000 train from Cologne to Stockholm.  Deluxe sleeper fares include 1st class travel on the SJ 2000.  On the sleeper train, berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed.  The other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.  For sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette & so on.

* Children under 15 travel free if accompanied by a fare-paying adult, but must pay the berth supplement shown here.

Savings fare = advance-purchase fare, price varies, limited availability, no refunds, no changes to travel plans.

How to buy tickets online...

Anyone from any country can buy tickets this way, at the cheapest prices direct from the operators.  Booking opens 120 days (and at times, up to 180 days) ahead for Eurostar, 92 days ahead for other trains, but I strongly recommend waiting and buying all tickets together, doing a dry run on all sites to check times, prices and availability before booking for real.  Hotel accommodation can be booked before booking your trains risk-free if you use a site such as www.booking.com with free cancellation.

  • Step 1, book the trains from London to Cologne & back.

    First, check prices from London to Cologne at the German Railways website using the special links I'm about to give you, just enter your departure date, obviously remembering that on the inward journey, departure from Cologne will be the day after departure from Stockholm.  You simply print out your own ticket.  I recommend booking a round trip as two one-ways, as it's easier to see where the availability is.  I also recommend registering when this is offered, so you can log in at any time and check or re-print tickets:

    Buy a ticket from London to Cologne leaving London at 12:58 on Saturdays or leaving London at 15:04 Mondays-Fridays & Sundays.

    Buy a ticket from Cologne to London leaving Cologne at 07:43 Monday-Saturday or leaving Cologne at 07:43 on Sundays.

    Now compare these prices with the Belgian Railways international website www.b-europe.com.  This can sell London to Cologne tickets using Eurostar+ICE or Eurostar+Thalys, with print-at-home tickets.  It may or may not be cheaper than bahn.de, just buy from whichever site has the cheaper fare.

    Alternatively, you can book London to Cologne in two stages direct with the relevant operators.  This is more work, but it allows you to pick an exact seat on Eurostar and buy a through ticket to Brussels from 130 UK towns & cities outside London.  First, book from London or another UK station to Brussels and back at www.eurostar.com.  You print your own ticket.  Towards the end of the process, look for the link allowing you to book a specific seat.  Tips on choosing the best Eurostar seats.  Then book the ICE train from Brussels to Cologne and back at www.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket.  I strongly recommend registering, so you can log in and re-print or change bookings at any time.  The best connections for this particular journey are by ICE, as shown in the train times above, but if you want to stop off in Brussels or Cologne so want to book one of the Thalys trains between Brussels & Cologne instead, you can do this at www.thalys.com, also with self-print tickets.

  • Step 2, now book the trains from Cologne to Stockholm & back.

    German Railways have Spezial fares from German cities to Stockholm.  So first try booking from Cologne (Köln Hbf) to Stockholm all in one go at www.bahn.de, looking for the evening CNL sleeper connecting with the X2 (= SJ 2000) to Stockholm.  I recommend booking a round trip as two one-way trips.  When booking from Cologne to Stockholm, you won't see any cheap Cologne-Stockholm fares via the City Night Line to Copenhagen and the direct Copenhagen-Stockholm train unless you enter Copenhagen in the 'via' box and '01:30' in the stopover box, but don't worry, I've set these links up with all the necessary parameters, just enter your departure dates and look for the trains I've described above in the search results.  You pay online and print out your own ticket on your own PC printer.  I recommend registering so you can log in and re-print tickets at any time.

    Buy an outward ticket from Cologne to Stockholm

    Buy an inward ticket from Stockholm to Cologne

    DB have a relatively small allocation of spezial tickets to Stockholm.  So if you don't see any cheap fares from Cologne to Stockholm when you book all in one go, split the journey like this:

    First, go to the German Railways website, www.bahn.de and book a sleeper or couchette on the City Night Line sleeper train from Cologne (Köln Hbf) to Copenhagen and back, looking for the cheap 'Savings' fares on the direct CNL train with 0 changes.  You pay online and print out your own ticket in .PDF format on your own PC printer.  Easy!   I strongly recommend registering when it asks you before completing the purchase, so you can easily retrieve any bookings.

    Now book the Copenhagen-Stockholm train online direct with Swedish Railways at www.sj.se (see my advice on using it here).  If you can't get the SJ site to work for any reason, try www.acprail.com or www.snalltaget.se instead (though they add a small fee) or simply call SJ telesales on +46 771 75 75 75 (there's a phone menu option for English).  The price you'll pay using www.sj.se or SJ telesales is the actual Swedish Railways price, which varies like budget airline fares.  The cheap deals start 90 days before departure.  If you book several months in advance you can find really cheap fares available, rising to higher levels closer to departure.  You simply print out your own ticket or collect your tickets from the silver-grey Swedish Railways (SJ) ticket machines which are installed at Copenhagen main station, on the left as you walk in the main entrance.  SJ.se sometimes has problems with non-Scandinavian credit cards, if you have any payment problems you can also book this train at www.acprail.com.

  • If you're going to Gothenburg rather than Stockholm, book from Cologne to Copenhagen using www.bahn.de, looking for the direct CNL train with 0 changes.  Then buy a Copenhagen to Gothenburg ticket either at the station in Copenhagen (as the price is fixed and no seat reservation is necessary) or buy it online at www.sj.se or www.snalltaget.se or (if you have any payment problems) agency site www.acprail.com.

  • Starting your journey from a UK town or city outside London?  You can buy a special add-on ticket to connect with Eurostar from almost any station in Britain, with better terms and conditions than buying a regular domestic UK train ticket to London, see the advice here.

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.

Tailor-made train 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.

  In the UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

US & 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.

Watch the video:  Stockholm to London by train...

This remarkable video by Rob Godden will take you from Stockholm to London by train in 60 seconds, by SJ 2000 from Stockholm to Copenhagen, City Night Line sleeper train to Cologne with breakfast, ICE to Brussels and Eurostar home...  It's not the only one - try this London to Stockholm by train video too!


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...

 

First class real leather seats on the Hamburg-Copenhagen ICE-TD train.  There's a bistro car serving drinks, snacks and meals...

 

Second class seats on the Hamburg-Copenhagen ICE-TD train.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

London to Stockholm by train from €98!

It's not as time-effective as the City Night Line sleeper, but you may prefer daytime trains with an overnight hotel.  Travel London to Hamburg on day 1 from just €59, stay overnight in Hamburg, 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.  And best of all, this is the cheapest option, if you manage to find a German Railways London Spezial fare between London and Hamburg, and Sweden Spezial between Hamburg and Stockholm!

London ► Stockholm or Gothenburg by day trains

  • 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.

  • Day 2, travel from Hamburg to Copenhagen by fast ICE-TD EuroCity train, leaving Hamburg Hauptbahnhof at 09:28 and arriving Copenhagen at 14:14.  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 14:29 and arriving Stockholm Central at 19:39.  You can check train times from Hamburg to Stockholm using www.bahn.de.  The connection in Copenhagen is tight, but 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.  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.

  • 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 by day trains

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...


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 options 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 options, 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 14:29 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 08:21 Stockholm to Copenhagen SJ 2000 arriving Copenhagen at 13:23. Have lunch in Copenhagen, then take the 15:42 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.


London to Stockholm by ferry via Esbjerg

  DFDS Seaways ferry to Denmark, m/v 'Dana Sirena'

End of an era:  DFDS Seaways ferry Sirena Seaways links Harwich with Esbjerg until September 2014...  Photo courtesy of DFDS Seaways.

This is a very comfortable way to go, although not the fastest.  There are cabins, restaurants, bars and cinema on board the DFDS Seaways cruise ferry from Harwich in Essex to Esbjerg, then a train ride across Denmark to Copenhagen for the sleeper to Stockholm.  There used to be a direct ferry from the UK to Gothenburg in Sweden, but this was withdrawn in October 2006.

Last call for the ferry to Denmark...

DFDS has just announced that after 140 years of operation, the Harwich-Esbjerg ferry is to be axed from the end of the summer season on 29 September.  That leaves no passenger ferries to Norway or Sweden or Denmark.

London ► Stockholm

Stockholm ► London

Introducing DFDS Seaways Sirena Seaways from Harwich to Esbjerg...

The Sirena Seaways is a modern and well-run ship, built in 2002.  All passengers travel in cabins, and all cabins have a private shower & toilet.  Facilities on board include the 7 Seas buffet restaurant, the Blue Riband à la carte restaurant, Café Lighthouse (with WiFi access for laptops), Columbus Lounge, and shop. The ship is child-friendly, with children's play area, child restraints for cabin berths available from reception, and highchairs available in all restaurants and lounges.  Cabins come in three classes:

Crossing to Denmark aboard DFDS Seaways m/v 'Dana Sirena'   Commodore Deluxe cabin on the 'Dana Sirena'   Sirena class cabin on the 'Dana Sirena' to Denmark

Crossing the North Sea with DFDS Seaways aboard the Sirena Seaways is one of the most civilised & relaxing ways to reach Denmark...

 

Commodore class cabin with double bed, TV, shower & toilet.  Yes, that's an ice bucket on the table with a half bottle of sparkling wine....

 

Sirena class cabin with TV, shower, toilet & minibar.

On board the Danish InterCity train from Esbjerg to Copenhagen...

InterCity train for Copenhagen about to leave Esbjerg...   Inside the InterCity train from Esbjerg to Copenhagen...   Danish InterCity train for Copenhagen at Esbjerg...

A Danish InterCity train.

 

2nd class seats on board the InterCity train...

 

Arrived at Copenhagen!

On board the SJ 2000 daytime trains from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

125 mph tilting 'X2000' from Gothenburg to Stockholm   2nd class seats on the X2000 from Gothenburg to Stockholm   Boarding the X2000 from Gothenburg to Stockholm...

A 125 mph SJ 2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station....

 

2nd class seating on the SJ 2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the SJ 2000.

More information about SJ 2000 trains

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...



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

Stockholm Central Station.

Photo courtesy of Railbookers.com.

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.

 

 

 

 

 


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 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.  Click to see sample.  Buy online for €13 + €5.50 postage worldwide at www.treinreiswinkel.nl/railway_map_of_europe.

 


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.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


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 mobile data and phone calls...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, and if you're not careful you can return home to find a huge bill.  Consider buying a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone from www.Go-Sim.com, which can slash costs by up to 85%.  Go-Sim cuts call costs in 175 countries worldwide, and you can receive incoming calls and texts for free in 75 countries.  It's pay-as-you-go, so no nasty bills when you get home.  It also allows cheap data access for laptops & PDAs.  A Go-Sim account and any credit on it doesn't expire if it's not used between trips, unlike some others, so a Go-Sim phone number becomes your 'global phone number' for life.

 


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