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5 days - All Sweden vs Sweden+Norway

Bonn, Germany
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5 days - All Sweden vs Sweden+Norway

Hi, I am still struggling to plan properly. I also have to change and have only 5 days of holiday available and also the Interrail is also valid only for those 5 days... in any case I have only today to decide.

I have to decide between an All-Sweden itinerary (including Copenhagen), vs Sweden+Norway.

The main reason I want to go to Norway are the fjords and the Bergenbanen train, which is said to be the most beautiful and scenic train ride in the world. But I dont want to end up too stressed by not being able to enjoy any of the outdoor stuff.

Note I will be staying at my friends' place in Helsingborg.

Option 1: All Sweden

Day 1 - arrive at Copenhagen, brief city tour, sleep in Helsingborg

Day 2 - brief visit of Helsingborg and Goteborg, sleep in Helsingborg

Day 3 - visit Malmo, then train to Stockholm, night tour, sleep in Stockholm

Day 4 - continue visiting Stockholm, e.g. archipelago, then train to Kalmar or Ystad, see Ales Stones, maybe sleep somewhere there or go to friend in Helsingborg

Day 5 - return to UK via Germany

Option 2: Sweden + Norway

Day 1 - Skip Copenhagen, visit Malmo, Helsingborg, sleep in Helsingborg

Day 2 - Train to Oslo, then train to Bergen (I really wanted to do that train...)

Day 3 - Visit Bergen, take night train back to Oslo, then on to Stockholm

Day 4 - Visit Stockholm, archipelago, etc., then train to Malmo, sleep in Helsingborg

Day 5 - return to Uk via Germany

Any suggestions, criticism, alternatives, etc. hugely appreciated. As I said, I need to decide today or I will most likely cancel :-(

Stockholm, Sweden
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1. Re: 5 days - All Sweden vs Sweden+Norway

Squeezing in Denmark, Sweden and Norway into 5 days means that much time and money goes wasted on transfer. Stockholm alone is worth two or three days.

Bonn, Germany
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2. Re: 5 days - All Sweden vs Sweden+Norway

With regards to money and transfer, it is a fixed price £250 for all train travel in all European countries for 5 days (few top ups for high speed train, but not significant).

Stockholm, Sweden
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3. Re: 5 days - All Sweden vs Sweden+Norway

I would go with the second option. Sweden + Norway. It might be a bit tight, but the nature between Oslo and Bergen is stunning.

Trondheim, Norway
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4. Re: 5 days - All Sweden vs Sweden+Norway

Hanna R: As long distance trains in Norway start at 249 NOK (£26) and in Sweden (to/from Stockholm and Malmo/Copenhagen/Oslo) at 195 SEK (£19) - any sort of pass will be of poor value if you plane a little ahead.

Maybe this might work also:

Day 1. Arrive Copenhagen take overnight ferry to Oslo.

Day 2. Daytrain to Bergen (see also Norway in A Nutshell - fjordtours.com). Fly to Stockholm (finnair.com / norwegian.com / flysas.com)

Day 3-4. Experience Stockholm. Take night train to Malmo.

Day 5. See Malmo and/or Copenhagen and return home.

Stockholm, Sweden
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5. Re: 5 days - All Sweden vs Sweden+Norway

I agree, flying from Bergen to Stockholm is a good option if you don't buy the Interrail card. I flew Stockholm - Bergen and back earlier this year, and I think it was quite cheap with Norwegian.

Bonn, Germany
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6. Re: 5 days - All Sweden vs Sweden+Norway

Thank you very much - it sounds really good but I didn't mention that I don't fly (I can't fly). That's the main reason I am going to travel by train.

Note that I will be starting this trip like tomorrow or day after, so that's why for me main advantage of the Interrail pass would be degree of flexibility. e.g. if I wanted to travel tomorrow (Eurostar London-Bruxelles, ICE Bruxelles-Cologne, Night train to Copenhagen via Hamburg), I would have to pay much more for those specific trains. I am almost sure that alone the trains for travel in Belgium-Germany will be already expensive, if I booked in this moment.

So the Interrail pass would give me some savings, at least for the first stages of the trip.

Please correct me if I'm wrong?

Trondheim, Norway
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7. Re: 5 days - All Sweden vs Sweden+Norway

A pass will offer flexibility, but you can also on short notice get cheap train tickets in Scandinavia. For tomorrow I found tickets Oslo-Bergen for 299 NOK, and Malmo-Stockholm for 195 SEK (booking must be done online).

Since you're the one who's travelling and know when and where you'd have to do the math. Note that many trains have mandatory seat reservations (added cost for pass holders) and that the Eurostar isn't covered by Interrail passes (you do get a discount on the full fare though).

Another way to get to Scandinavia (with less backtracking) is ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg.

Train to Hirtshals.

Ferry to Bergen.

Train to Oslo.

Train to Stockholm.

Train to Malmo/Gothenburg/Helsingborg/Copenhagen

And back from there. (or the other way around).

Bonn, Germany
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8. Re: 5 days - All Sweden vs Sweden+Norway

Wow, indeed that is ridiculously low compared to UK train prices!

Ferry is extremely expensive (into the £x00) as you need to book the cabin as well.

So, here's a very quick math, based on what I find on rail websites...

Bruxelles-Cologne-Bruxelles return ca €90

Cologne-Copenhagen-Cologne return night train ca €230

Copenhagen-Helsingborg... SJ website not working, but will assume ca €20 from what I have read

Helsingborg-Goteborg... SJ not working... how annoying

Goteborg-Oslo... ok I give up on the website.

But I can estimate:

Excluding the Eurostar, just the passage from Bruxelles to Copenhagen will be €320 return or £270. The rest of Sweden/Norway would be at least £50 more, so let's say around £320.

Excluding the Eurostar, £250 for Interrail.

From what I read, reservations don't exceed £10 per trip in Sweden and Norway, including Goteborg-Oslo.

Copenhagen-Helsingborg, Helsingborg-Goteborg, Goteborg-Oslo, Oslo-Bergen, Bergen-Oslo, Oslo-Stockholm, Stockholm-Copenhagen... 7*£10 = £70.

OK, not much different maybe. But still, I think the most important/expensive part is traveling in Belgium and Germany, where in my experience prices can vary a lot. Having some flexibility with that is quite important.

Ouch, this holiday sounds a bit stressful... guys, truly appreciate all your help. But somehow the Interrail souds like more peace of mind. I will buy the Interrail tomorrow morning at their London office (they said I can) and take the Eurostar in the afternoon itself. Please let me know if you think this is a big mistake and I really really really can get much cheaper prices e.g. by just buying at each station I travel to.

In the worst case, I will just do Copenhagen and Stockholm with my friend in between.

Would appreciate once again a more definitive opinion/confirmation on what you think is more valuable at this last-minute stage.

Edited: 03 September 2013, 00:34
Bonn, Germany
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9. Re: 5 days - All Sweden vs Sweden+Norway

I'm so depressed and angry at myself for being so miserable at organizing/planning trips...

looks like there are no more ways out of or into the UK without using the plane.

Edited: 03 September 2013, 17:32
10. Re: 5 days - All Sweden vs Sweden+Norway

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