Wednesday, February 23, 2011

DcastEye's Guide to Cheap Travelling in Sweden

This morning I got the idea of making a small travelling guide for Sweden, or more exact how to cheapest get around Sweden. Just to remind you, even thou Sweden doesn't have a great landmass the land does stretch quite a bit. It took me 18 hours on the night train to get a bit more than halfway. These are the ways of travelling that I feel is less expensive, so there is more ways of getting around.
On the X2000 train in southern Sweden in late spring. 

So if you want to cover a large distance my bet is that you ether take the train or a long distance bus. In Sweden most of the trains that cover more than one region goes under SJ (Statens Järnvägar = State Railway), but on their website you can buy tickets for most part of the country. If you want to buy a really cheap ticket and go by the train, try to catch one of the tickets that get listed 90 days before you travel. I know this is very long before, but it can be as cheap as 10 Euro, and you can travel all over the country (as long as the trip and the transfers are on the same one-way ticket). You can of cause buy the return ticket at the same time or wait for the 90 days before.

Simply said the prices on the SJ-trains are like this: At the release of the tickets 90 days before travelling it is cheapest = 10 Euro. The price rises as the days goes and as people buy more tickets. That is if the train you want to ride is popular it is more expensive. Note that from 2010, you have to give identification on the train so have your ID's ready when it is time to show the tickets. The tickets are also personal and you have to give your name when booking/buying.

If you are instead taking a long distance bus the price system is the same as the SJ-trains. There are many different companies as Swebus, Bus4You, GoByBus and many more. They usually have free networks were you can access internet for free and is great if you are travelling between larger cites. On the downside they do take longer than the train and don't stop at so many places. But the tickets are usually cheaper if you don't want to wait so long before travelling.

Then there are the local public transport. These have as many companies as regions in Sweden. If you just are going to be travelling within a region this is the way. They don't costs as much and you can usually stop at most part of the region, even thou there may be transfers. Most of the cities have local buses, trams or/and subways that drives within the city and if will be much cheaper than taking a taxi.

Note that if you have a licence you could always rent a car and ride that to different places. It also gives you more freedom in choosing were you want to go. On the downside our petrol is not on the cheap side. To fill a average car cost around 52 Euro, and note that the petrol usually costs more on the summer.

  • Train: faster than the bus. Cheap if you buy in time and has many connections so you can easy get around Sweden. They even got connections to the continent through Denmark. 
  • Long distance buses: takes longer than the train, but cheaper if you want to travel within the month. Usually have free networks on the buses, with free access internet. Don't stop at so many places.
  • Local public transport: Travelling within the region. Prices and where you buy the ticket varies depending on the region, but is cheaper than taking the taxi. Covers buses, trains, trams and subways. 
  • Rent a car: More freedom but much more expensive. Can be good if you travel together or if the public transport don't reach your destination. 
At the night train, guest starring CarpeDentum. 

One more thing to know. Most of those that live in Sweden know English, it is just some of the oldest and the youngest that doesn't know it. We start learning English in school when we are around 10 and we don't dub our television (well the children's shows). So don't be afraid to ask anyone.

Would you like me to write more about Sweden, 
and what in that case?

Översättning: Ska du åka tåg och vet om det i god tid, köp biljetterna 90 dagar i förväg. Då släpper SJ ett begränsat antal biljetter för 99 kr. Billigare kan det inte bli att åka tåg.
Om du tycker att tågbiljetterna blir för dyra så se om det går långdistansbussar, de brukar vara billigare om du väljer att åka på en vardag. Ex: Swebus, Bus4U..
Är det nära så kolla upp lokaltrafiken. Kollektivtrafik är mycket billigare än att ta en taxi, även om du kanske får ett par blickar om du åker i cosplay. 

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