The basics
Sweden: Destination Guides - Must read

Getting around Sweden

Need a ride? Lucky for you, Sweden has some of the nicest public transportation options.


As an international student in Sweden, you’ll find it easy to travel around the country using its clean and reliable transportation network. Efficient trains, buses, trams and ferries operate throughout the country and it is easy to source cheap tickets and student discount options.



By road

The easiest and safest route by road is buying a ticket for a bus. Each county in Sweden provides at least bus services, and often trains or trams. Tickets can be used on either and you can typically transfer freely from one to the other within a given amount of time. If you intend to stay in a particular region for a while, look up ticket options; you can usually buy weekly or monthly passes or get discounts.

In Stockholm, the Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL) is in charge of public transport. An SL Student Travelcard can be used by adult students (over 20 years of age) studying for at least 75 percent of full-time studies at university or other type of college eligible for Swedish student financial aid. The card covers travel for all SL transport options for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the County of Stockholm. The Student Travelcard is available for 30 or 90 days. There is also a travelcard for 30 days available for students travelling between Stockholm and Uppsala.

In Gothemburg, you can buy Regionen Runt 30 days at a discounted price if you are over 26 years old. And if you are studying at Chalmers University of Technology, there is a special card for you.



By air

Stockholm-Arlanda International Airport is the biggest airport in Scandinavia, with regular flights flying to more than 145 international destinations. Gothenburg International Airport connects to 30 destinations across Europe. Malmo-Sturup Airport serves both domestic and international flights.


SAS is the main domestic operator, serving Sweden's major airports, and connecting airports across the country. You can fly to Sweden’s inland airports from Arlanda, which is north of Stockholm. Other airports close to Stockholm are Bromma, Västerås and Skavsta-Nyköping.



By train

The underground known as the ‘T-bana’ or ‘metro’ is the easiest way to get around town in Stockhom. The city is divided into three zones, and zone tickets are good for several trips within the hour. Tickets can be purchased at SL Centers, underground platform barriers, newsagent kiosks or even via SMS.

90 day card costs 2300SEK, a year card costs 8300SEK, and a summer card (valid for May – August) is 2400 SEK.

Sweden has a rail network that spans the entire country and connects the major cities. It’s also possible to get a train to surrounding countries with relative ease. Trains are modern and the rail companies operate a reliable service.


The Swedish national railway is called Statens Järnvägar (SJ). Other train operators include Tågkompaniet, Inlandsbanan, BK Tåg, LINX and Connex. Visit Sweden has a useful table of travel distances by train.


Sweden has an extensive and reliable railway network, and trains are almost always faster than buses. Exceptions include local commuter trains in large urban and suburban areas, which make frequent stops.


  • Inlandsbanan - One of the great rail journeys in Scandinavia is this slow and scenic 1300km route from Kristinehamn to Gällivare. Several southern sections have to be travelled by bus, but the all-train route starts at Mora. It takes seven hours from Mora to Östersund (Skr494) and 15 hours from Östersund to Gällivare (Skr1149). A pass allows two weeks’ unlimited travel for Skr1795.


  • Sveriges Järnväg – This national network covering most main lines, especially in the southern part of the country.


  • Tågkompaniet - Operates excellent overnight trains from Göteborg and Stockholm north to Boden, Kiruna, Luleå and Narvik, and the lines north of Härnösand.




Ticket prices vary depending on the type of train, class, time of day, and how far in advance you buy the ticket. Full-price 2nd-class tickets for longer journeys cost about twice as much as equivalent bus trips, but there are various discounts available for advance or last-minute bookings. Students, pensioners and people aged under 26 years old can expect a discount. When buying in advance, you pay more for the flexibility to change your ticket.

All SJ ticket prices drop from late June to mid-August. Most SJ trains don’t allow bicycles to be taken onto trains (they have to be sent as freight), but some in southern Sweden do; check when you book your ticket.


Go further

The Sweden Rail Pass, Eurodomino tickets and international passes, such as Inter-Rail and Eurail, are accepted on SJ services and most regional trains.

The Eurail Scandinavia Pass entitles you to unlimited rail travel in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden; it is valid in 2nd class only and is available for four, five, six, eight or 10 days of travel within a two-month period (prices start at youth/adult US$276/368). The X2000 trains require all rail-pass holders to pay a supplement of Skr62. The pass also provides free travel on Scandlines’ Helsingør to Helsingborg route, and 20% to 50% discounts on some routes.

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About Author

Alyson Blech recently graduated with degrees in Public Relations and Media Studies, along with minors in Journalism and Art History from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. Alyson has lived in Iowa her entire life, but decided to cross the pond to gain internship experience in London, England. In her spare time she obsesses over dogs, pizza and zumba.