Most budget-friendly travel to Sweden?

Old Jan 28th, 2011, 09:24 AM
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Most budget-friendly travel to Sweden?

A good friend from college is getting married in Sweden Jul 9. I have no idea where to start planning. 12 yrs ago I used this site to plan a trip to London/Paris, so I've found my way back...

My travel routes are somewhat flexible. I'm going to go with my sister, who is flying from Phoenix, AZ. For planning purposes, I'm going to assume she's going to fly to DC to meet me. I'd like to get to Sweden the week before the wedding (leaving from the Washington, DC area) starting Jul 1 or 2, and plan on leaving after the wedding about 7/11. I'm considering the following options:

A. Flying into Stockholm and using the rails to visit Sweden
B. Flying into Goteborg (where the wedding will occur) and using the rails to tour some of Norway and Sweden
C. Flying into another European city (ie, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, or Amsterdam) and then taking the rail into Sweden.

It looks like a flight right now from Washington DC to Stockholm is around $1000 US (without tax) - not sure if I am too early or too late to book. I'd like to do this cost effectively, but not sure what is the best way. Obviously taking the train will take me longer to get to a destination, but would it save me significant money to even travel this way?

Thank you!
Bridget =)
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Old Jan 28th, 2011, 09:58 AM
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The train to Stockholm from any place outside Scandinavia will be a major trek and not cheap. Even if you get a fare that's $200 less to another city - what would you actualy save after buying a train ticket?

There is never any guarantee with air fare - but July is high season and I would be surprised at getting a fare of less than $800 or so to anyplace in continental europe.
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Old Jan 28th, 2011, 10:31 AM
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Bridget: SAS typically offers sale fares at this time of the year, which are around $1000-$1150 (tax included) from Dulles to Stockholm. They never got much lower last year than the price in late January/early February. If you buy air travel from the US to Scandinavia on SAS, you can buy vouchers which are fairly cheap that would allow you to fly within Scandinavia (usually for about $50 - $75 each leg, unless you're going way up north) and some that cost a bit more if you want to fly to other destinations in Europe. The catch is that you have to purchase these when you buy your travel to Europe, but you can then change dates of travel, depending on seat availability. They don't seem to advertise this plan on their web site, but they will certainly tell you about it if it's still in force. This offer (and the fact that we love Stockholm) has resulted in our rather frequent use of a flight to Scandinavia as the start of a European trip. It might help you with some travel within Scandinavia if you want to save some time over the train. BTW, have you decided where you'll be going in Sweden. Stockholm can easily occupy you for three or four days, and with a few days in Goteborg around a wedding, you might do well to concentrate on just one other region (e.g., Dalarna, Kalmar, Gotland)
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Old Jan 28th, 2011, 11:21 AM
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You need to be more specific about "cost-effective" because Sweden is notoriously NOT. Even if your travel costs are not bad, the lodging and food costs will be much higher than you are accustomed to seeing.

As for taking a train into Sweden after flying elsewhere, there is no close place to do this from other than Copenhagen, which has a rail connection to Malmo and points beyond. Germany is too far because you'd have to travel all the way through Denmark anyway. Rail connections Oslo would take about 6 hours to reach Stockholm (see and longer to reach points south like Goteborg.
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Old Jan 28th, 2011, 01:12 PM
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There was a time when I would say hold out, but honestly, $1,000 during summer is pretty decent.

As for flying into a different airport and taking the train... Well, it is 3 hours to either Stockholm or Copenhagen. There is nothing really past Stockholm, and the next semi-large airport from Copenhagen is Hamburg, which is something like 4 hours by train. Simply too far, IMO.

I'd decide whether you want to explore Stockholm and Northern Sweden, or Denmark and Southern Sweden and, depending upon the answer, fly into one or the other and make your way from there. Alternatively, you could just fly into Gothenberg (GOT), via most of the major European hubs, and branch out from there.
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Old Feb 1st, 2011, 06:42 PM
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I am also looking at airfare to Stockholm. I think Icelandair is the less expensive. I am flying out of NYC. There are very cheap buses that go between the two cities. Hope this helps.
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Old Feb 27th, 2011, 03:55 PM
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If you have found a fare from the US to Sweden in the summer for $1000 including taxes you need to book it now.It is uncommon to find such cheap fares in the middle of the summer. Stockholm is a beautiful city, some history, castles, more for tourists.Gothenburg is a nice city, not touristy, and would be a nice place to live, but not very many tourist sites. The trains in Sweden are very expensive and the rail ticket between Gothenburg and Stockholm is probably $200+
If the wedding is in Gothenburg,in July there are buses that go north to some historic sites, and the eastern archipelago is lovely, lots of day ferries to little islands. If you decide to fly on SAS you will connect in Copenhagen, you can have a 24 hour layover without increasing your fare. That you give you one night in CPH and you could do a bus tour of the city. As Midnight Sun, SAS has "visit Scandinavian" fares which will give you discount fares between cities in Sweden, Norway, Denmark. They used to offer "visit Europe" fares as well between CPH and various European cities. But you have to call SAS and specifically ask for these fares, and you must buy them before you leave the US.
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