World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Sweden

Getting Around Sweden


Sweden’s vast size means that air is an easy and convenient option when travelling long distances, and the country’s 40-plus airports give you plenty of choice.

Airlines running domestic flights include SAS (, BRA ( and Norwegian (


Sweden has an extensive road network, with over 210,000km (130,000 miles) available for public use. In very rural areas, getting around by car is often the only option available, while in cities, intense rush hour traffic means that cars are usually better avoided. Apart from the Öresund and Svinesund bridges and the bridges across Sundsvallsfjärden and Motalaviken, Swedish roads are toll-free. Congestion taxes are due in Stockholm and in Gothenburg. 

Road signs usually follow European standards. It's worth watching out for elk, reindeer or deer signs in the country – these mean that a lot of the animals are around and that a collision is possible. The risk is particularly high early in the morning between 0500 and 1000 and at night, when visibility is poor.

Side of the road


Road Quality

The vast majority of Sweden’s roads are well maintained, although quality tends to be less impressive in very rural areas. Outside of city rush hours, traffic is usually minimal.

Road Classification

Roads are either europavägar (European motorways), riksvägar (national roads) or länsvägar (country roads).

Car Hire

All the main international agencies, such as Avis and Hertz, have offices in Sweden. Special weekend deals are usually available, but given Sweden’s long distances, options that include unlimited mileage are usually your best bet.


Available in all towns and at airports. Intercity taxis are also available. Taxi drivers should be tipped around 10%.


In Stockholm, Stockholm City Bike (tel: +46 77 444 2424, is the main source of tourist bikes. Try Styr & Ställ (tel: +46 31 227 227; in Gothenburg and Travelshop Europe (tel: +46 40 330 570; in Malmö. It’s also worth bearing nearby Copenhagen’s plethora of bike rental services in mind if you’re planning to take to two wheels in Malmö. Outside of the main cities, you can hire bikes from some campsites, hotels and hostels.


The main bus operator is Samtrafiken (tel: +46 771 757 575;, which operates both city and intercity services. Samtrafiken, along with Swebus Express (tel: +46 771 218 218;, also offers express intercity coach services – a cheaper, if longer, alternative to air.


The minimum age for car drivers is 18; for motorcyclists it is 17. Speed limits are 110/120kph (68mph / 74mph) on motorways depending on the road quality, 70kph (43mph) on other roads outside urban areas, and 50kph (31mph) in towns and cities. There are on-the-spot fines for traffic offences. The use of dipped headlights is compulsory in the daytime for cars and motorcycles and winter (studded) tyres must be used from the beginning of December until the end of March.

Crash helmets are compulsory for motorcyclists and seat belts must be worn at all times. Children under seven cannot travel in a car if it is not equipped with a special child restraint or a normal seat belt adapted for the child's use. Emergency warning triangles are obligatory.

Breakdown services

Assistancekåren (tel: 020 912 912, in Sweden only).


A national driving licence is sufficient, but it must include a photo or it will not be recognised. You must carry the car's log book and written permission if driving someone else's car. A Green Card is not required by Swedish authorities but it tops up the cover provided by a domestic policy. It is advisable to check the validity of insurance policies prior to departure.

Urban travel

Public transport is efficient, comprehensive and well-integrated. Stockholm has bus, trams, metro (T-banan) and local rail services ( Most tickets are loaded on the SL Access smart card, which can also be used on small ferries around the Stockholm islands. Västtrafik ( runs Gothenburg's buses and trams. Taxis are widely available; large taxi companies are cheaper than independents. Several of the main cities, particularly Stockholm, have boat excursions and services.


The excellent and extensive rail system is run by Swedish State Railways (SJ) (tel: +46 771 757 575;, Tagkompaniet (TKAB) (, Snälltaget (, MTR Express ( and Inlandsbanan ( The network is more concentrated in the south where services run between the main cities, but routes extend to the forested and sparsely populated north, which is a scenic and popular holiday destination. Night trains that connect the north and south are a popular choice for budget travellers and students, as seats are often inexpensive for the long journeys. Restaurant cars and sleepers are provided on many trains. Reservations are essential for most express services.

Rail Passes

InterRail One-Country Pass: offers travel for three, four, six or eight days in one month within Sweden. Travel is not allowed in the passenger's country of residence. Travellers under 28 years receive a reduction. Children under 12 get a discount when accompanied by an adult using an Adult Pass. Supplements are required for some high-speed services, seat reservations and couchettes. Available from (tel: +44 844 848 5848, in the UK;

Eurail Sweden Pass: offers travel for three, four, five or eight days in one month within Sweden. Available to non-EU nationals from Eurail (


Unlike Norway and Finland, there are few domestic ferry services in Sweden. The various archipelagos on the southeast coast are served by small ferries, the most comprehensive network being within the Stockholm archipelago, for which you can buy an island-hopping boat pass.

Discover the archipelago and take a ferry at the boat terminal Saltholmen to get to the southern islands or take a ferry at Lilla Varholmen to see the northern islands. 

The other major link is Destination Gotland (tel: +46 771 223 300; between the Baltic island of Gotland and the mainland at Nynäshamn and Oskarshamn. Both are very popular routes in summer; booking ahead is strongly recommended. There are frequent coastal sailings to all ports and on the hundreds of lakes throughout the country, especially in the north. For details contact local authorities.

Canal: The Göta Canal (tel: +46 141 202 050;, served by vintage steamer, connects Gothenburg and Stockholm.

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