Bicycle Touring Experiences From Sweden

Villiage in Sweden

On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who travel to Sweden (you can share your experiences here).


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Copenhagen and Southern Sweden

Skane in southern Sweden and the West coast of Sweden from Malmo to Gothenburg boast dozens of fantastic bicycle trails and are relatively flat (although this often results in it being very windy). It is easy to take bicycles on regional Oresund trains (Öresundståg) in southern Sweden. These trains currently connect Copenhagen Central Station and Copenhagen Airport in Denmark with Malmo, Lund, Gothenburg, Kalmar, Vaxjo, Halmstad, Karlskrona and many other cities in southern Sweden. It is necessary to purchase a ticket for your bicycle (it is the same as a children's ticket). Each train comes in sets of three cars (sometimes two or three sets of three cars are connected). Bicycles are allowed in the middle car in these sets in a large open car at ground level designated for bicycles and baby carriages. Since last year, it is now required to buy a ticket BEFORE boarding Oresund trains, but you can buy tickets at special vending machines anytime before departure and the price never changes. You will need a four-digit pin code to use credit or debit cards, but you can also pay in cash at many machines. Tickets are valid for several hours after purchase and can be used on the next train if you miss the first one. For timetables and more information see http://www.oresundstag.se/en/Start/ The former national railway company SJ which still operates high speed trains between southern Sweden and Stockholm no longer allows bicycles on any of its trains (unless they are packed in bags or cases, in which case they are counted as luggage).

John H, May 04, 2014

Ferries in northern Europe

For far less than the cost of an air ticket, there are a whole lot of useful international automobile ferries on the seas north of Europe. These ferries carry an unlimited number of bicycles and normally charge 5 euros or less (or nothing) for the bike. Bikes never have to be disassembled, can be locked with a cable lock (u-bolt locks may be harder to find something suitable to lock to) and if you trust that no one is going to take your luggage, you don't even have to unpack. (I generally did trust, although I kept money, camera, papers, etc on my person rather than on the bike.)

I traveled ferry networks on the Baltic Sea, North Sea, and the Norwegian coast. In the North, I traveled from Tallinn, Estonia to Helsinki, Finland. Helsinki also had ferries to the other Scandinavian capitols. Then after cycling to western Finland, I grabbed a local ferry to the Aland Islands and picked up the international ferry to Stockholm, Sweden. After cycling to Oslo, Norway and cycling and taking trains through Norway, I took the Hurtigruten - the coastal steamer - from Trondheim to Bergen, Norway. In Bergen, I picked up the international overnight boat to northernmost Denmark. After riding southward through Denmark, I took a short ferry to miss the southernmost neck of Denmark and land in Rostock, Germany.

Almost all these ferries were large boats with staterooms available and multiple eating options. The Hurtigruten, which stops at just about every harbor in Norway is especially interesting. Besides carrying trucking freight and short term travelers, it also carries tourist on all-expense-paid cruises. The trip from Bergen to northern-most Norway takes 7 days and it sails at daily during much of the year. For cyclists, deck-class tickets are available and prices vary depending on where you board and disembark. The amazing scenery is available whether you are on the cruise option or not.

The other boats generally carry day or weekend travelers, many of which are traveling to destination with lower alcohol taxes. Trucks are also big users of the ferries. Almost all of the ferries listed above operate at least daily, at least during the summer. Ferry docks are normally a short cycle or a long walk from city centers.

Traveling by bicycle and ferry was very convenient and if you want to make a point-to-point trip in Northern Europe, you should check out ferry routes. Normally you can figure out where ferries travel from and to by looking on road maps and following the dashed lines leaving ports. For schedules and prices, check the web. One site that may be useful is www.ferrylines.com. It seems to have a lot of schedules. For bicycle travel, there is no reason to book ahead unless you want a stateroom. Otherwise, deck-class passengers never sell out on these ferries.

Craig Smilovitz, November 20, 2009

Air France charge for bikes in boxes

AF charge for bikes even if you don't have other bagage to check in. It cost me €40 to take the bike from Stockholm / Arlanda - Paris Charles de Gaulle - Geneva and €20 on the way home.

The bike was in a normal bike cardboard box and I had no other bagage to check in (24 kg). I should have taken a regular suit case with protection pads, clothes etc. and not left things at home since I had to pay for the bike regardles.

It is no problem to travel with foldable/kevlar MTB tires in the carry on bagage but pedals raised some concern at CDG (but one of the security staff was a cyclist so he let it go with out questions, no problem checkin in at ARN). On the way home I packed the pedals in the bike box. This was in late August 2006.

Tobbe Arnesson, September 03, 2006

Auckland-LA-Vancouver-Stockholm with British Airways

I brought my bike with me when I shifted from Auckland, NZ, to Stockholm, Sweden in August 2005.
I bought my ticket with BA but flew Qantas from Auckland to LA, Alaska Airlines from LA to Vancouver (where I had a two week stop-over) and then BA Vancouver to Stockholm via Heathrow.

I was worried I would end up paying overweight. I had the piece-system (2 x 32 kg, max height + width + depth of each piece 158 cm) and as anyone can figure out a bike does not fit those dimensions.
When questioned BA gave lots of different answers including ‘they don’t usually measure’ but when cornered they said that the correct procedure at check-in would be to count a too big box as two pieces. (www.britishairways.com/travel/bagsport/public/en_se)
On the other hand it is the airline that you check in with that decides, in my case in Auckland that was Qantas. Qantas provides bike-boxes (cardboard) which are 140*30*80 cm (way over the size-limit) and they say one bike counts as one piece. (www.qantas.com.au/info/flying/beforeYouTravel/sportingEquipment)

I decided it was worth a try and packed my bike in a card-board box (free/cheap from bike shop). Front wheel, handlebar, pedals and derailer came off. I wrapped sensitive parts in bubble wrap and filled the empty space with clothes that I wanted to bring. I put tape on all corners and sides and secured the box with more tape and two straps around it. My bike is 13 kg, the box when packed was 30 kg.

Apart from a randomised hand-search of my entire luggage, check-in in Auckland (Qantas) was hassle-free. At LAX I had to pick up my luggage, take it through customs and trolley it myself to my connecting flight in another terminal.
After my stopover in Vancouver I checked in with BA and they didn’t even bother weighing the box.
In LA and Vancouver the bike came on a special oversize luggage band.

On some of the other postings it seems to me people have been trying to hide the fact that they are bringing a bike. I don’t see why. My bike-box obviously contained a bike (it said KONA all over it) and I was more a tension-braker in cues than a problem in any way. It even made it possible for me to bring more stuff, since the volume in the bike-box is about twice that of a maximum suitcase.

The bike-box has done its service and is now retired. The bike survived well, no scratches or dents, and apart from the lousy information from BA prior to my flight I am very happy.

Good luck with your travels!

Anna Rossander, September 06, 2005

Sweden

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Inter-city trains can just be boarded with a bike. Look for the carriages with a large bike sign on the doors. You stay with the bike for the journey. You pay extra for a bike. You can buy tickets on the train.

Regional trains: Mostly you can just board with a bike. There is a new type of train on some routes which doesn't make it clear that they can carry bikes but look for the small sign on the carriage which indicates wheelchair access where the carriage will have a sort of revolving lift. You should be able to get your bike on the lift and park it in the carriage. I think it's probably best to check with the guard that it's ok but I certainly didn't have any difficulty. Again you can buy your ticket on the train and the bike will cost extra.

Richard Thorpe, July 24, 2004

Swedish Trains

In July of 2003, Sweden began a new policy banning bikes from being taken on 99% of their trains.

Not sure if the law is still in effect as it was very unpopular.

dana berg, March 31, 2004

Stockholm, Sweden

Transport from Arlanda(Stockholm )airport is best achieved by taking the train Arlanda Express to the Central station. The train takes 20 minutes and you are allowed to bring your bike if the pedals are removed and the handlebar is turned along the top tube.

Local train from Märsta is less expensive, but you are not allowed to bring your bike during rush hours (7-9:00, 16-18:00 Mon-Fri).

There is a bike road from the airport to Märsta but it is not well marked up. You are not allowed to get off with your bike at the Central station when traveling with the local train, but have to get off at Karlberg or some other station. With Arlanda express you are allowed to exit at the Central station with your bike, as the platform is right at the street.

Marcus Femling, July 17, 2003

Bikes on Swedish trains

About Swedish trains in general:

If the Swedish roads are too long for you (mile after mile of spruce can sometimes be too much) a train ride might be a good idea. You can send your bike as Express Cargo (Expressgods). Items less than 15 kg costs 270 SEK (27 USD).

It's a good idea to strip off the bags which are OK as luggage on the train which the bike is not. The bike is supposed to arrive with the fastest possible connection but enquire to be on the safe side.

I don't know much about handling but a cardboard could be a good idea if you don't want to leave it all to the Expressgod ;-). SJ Express knows all about it.

There is a link to all stations (not working for the moment) http://www.expressgods.sj.se/stationer/index.html

Tomas Nilsson
http://www.grenslandet.com
http://www.cyclingnews.com
ET Reportage
c/o Textra, Box 2
SE-671 21 Arvika Sweden
Tel: +46-570-711640, +46-73-042 87 04 Fax +46-570-742339

Tomas Nilsson , November 15, 2000

Stockholm, Sweden

The Arlanda Express took bikes in July -2000. Three times. We called the main office to make sure it was legal. The fourth and final trip was almost a failure because the engineer objected!!! A lady came in with a baby carriage that took MUCH more room than a bike - no one objected!!!

Best, Steve G.

Steve Gordon , November 05, 2000

Stockholm, Sweden

Found on: eurobike@topica.com

There are three ways to go from Arlanda Airport to Stockholm City. First there is the Arlanda Express train, that takes you to the city in 20 minutes. I do not think they take bikes. Then you have the airport buses, that take about 40 minutes. They do not take bikes. But you can also take the ordinary commuter train from Märsta. To Märsta there is a bus service, but I don´t think they take bikes. But you can easily ride to Märsta, it is about 5 km. And the commuter train takes bikes, except during rush hours (15-19). Then there is the problem that you must not leave the train with a bike at Stockholm C. But I guess no one will put you on the train again if you just say you did not know. If you do not want to do that you can leave the train at Karlberg (the station before Stockholm C) or at Stockholm S, depending on what your destination in Stockholm is.

If you want to know more about cycling in Stockholm, please let me know. I could also get you in contact with some biking people in Stockholm. Myself, I have moved out from Stockholm some years ago and now I live 400 kms north of our capital.

Welcome to Sweden!

Björn Abelsson, Transportation Engineer Scandiaconsult Sweden
Box 454 S-851 06 SUNDSVALL Sweden
Telephone: +46 60 663632
Fax: +46 60 614984
Mobile: +46 70 3193884

BJÖRN ABELSSON, October 18, 2000

Copenhagen, Denmark (Kastrup)

As of year 2000, there's a subway train right in front of the terminal. This lets you take bikes right to the main train station in Copenhagen which is situated right in the city center. (Across from Tivoli).


You may also take the same train (opposite direction) to Malmo in Sweden.


Tickets are bought in the terminal-building, right before you take the stairs/lift down to the platform.


I prefer to ride the 6 miles/10km to the city center. You'll find bike paths all the way to the city center. Wheel your bike out in front of the airport building. Ride the road to the right. You'll soon see a dual-way bike path on the other side. Cross the road, and ride eastwards. After a few hundred meters you cross the highway, and you should cross back to the right hand side of the road.


This route takes you up the east coast of the small island (Amager) which the airport is situated on. Usually there's very little traffic on this road. After some miles you arrive at a T-intersection, where you should (obviously) turn left. Another mile, and you turn right at a large traffic light - and from here you can see the spires of the churches and buildings in downtown Copenhagen.

Ernst Poulsen, August 01, 2000

Delta Airlines

Delta has unilaterally decided that trans-atlantic and trans pacific flights will not accept bikes as one piece of luggage the way other airlines do. Sept. of 99 it was $75 to fly my bike to Dublin from Memphis, TN.


I'm off to Sweden this year on SAS. They still take the bike as one piece of luggage. Best, Steve Gordon

Steve Gordon , February 10, 2000

Stockholm, Sweden

I flew out of Arlanda in late August of '95. It is a bit tricky to go from Stockholm to Arlanda, but after a while, you just follow the signs to get to the airport. It is located in an isolated area of the countryside. There is a Radisson-SAS hotel right beside it.

Daniel Rondeau, August 03, 1996

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