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First time in Sweden! please help with planning...

Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
46 posts
104 reviews
First time in Sweden! please help with planning...

Hi All,

We are 2 couples (everyone's around 34-35 years old) & we are visiting Sweden for 8 nights & 9 Days in mid September this year. We fly into Stockholm & are planning to spend 3 nights in the city as the 1st leg on our trip.

For the remaining 5 nights, we are a bit confused and would love to hear the expert view on how best to cover the major hubs (without rushing into it). A few options that we have shortlisted:

1) Kiruna / Abisko (3 nights) & Gothenberg (2 nights)

2) Visby (2 nights) & Gothenberg (3 nights)

3) Granna (2 nights) & Gothenberg (3 nights)

4) Kiruna / Abisko (3 nights) & Visby (2 nights) - While we are most kicked about this, not sure if this is possible but would love your POV on ways to make it happen

If you think these arent the right options, do suggest some more.



5 replies to this topic
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
449 posts
1. Re: First time in Sweden! please help with planning...

The destinations mentioned by you can be included in a 9 day visit if you can afford to fly

Abisko is not a major hub but rather a small sleepy village. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t worthy of a visit. You go there to experience the breath-taking nature rather than culture, museums and architecture. The two first week of September is usually the time for the “ruska” (autumn colours) which is quite beautiful. If you are going in mid-September chances are high that you still will get to experience it. As always anything that is reliant on the weather conditions is unpredictable. September is however a bit too early in the season to experience the northern lights, not impossible but you will need a lot of luck during that time of the year. Abisko in September is suitable for hiking in nature. You could perhaps also make a day trip with the train to the Norwegian city Narvik in order to take in the views from the train. I see Kiruna more as a city that you pass by on your way to Abisko rather than a destination on its own.

This is what ruska in Abisko looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3cojDoFHso

Gothenburg is Sweden’s second city after Stockholm and offers a lot of the same things that Stockholm offers. That doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t visit it as well, on the contrary Gothenburg is a very nice city to visit.

Visby is a picturesque old medieval town located on the beautiful island of Gotland. Rent a car and explore not only Visby but also the island of Gotland itself. One of the best places to visit in Sweden during the summer.

If I were you I would decide between those three destinations, depending on what you are interested in seeing and doing. Gränna is a quaint small wooden town located in a pretty location by lake Vättern, but in my opinion not quite the destination as the other three previously discussed. Gränna is more of a place where you want to spend a night on your road trip through Sweden.

If you decide to include Abisko in your itinerary, you would have to fly there at least one-way due to time constraints. You would fly to Kiruna and take the train or a bus from there. An itinerary could be, flying up to Kiruna directly from Stockholm once you land in Sweden. Another could be taking the sleeper train from Stockholm to Abisko, but then flying to Visby or Gothenburg, via Stockholm Arlanda, on your way back south. For example, if you were to travel from Abisko to Gothenburg Monday the 17/9 you would take the bus from Abisko to Kiruna at 11:10. The 13:40 flight from Kiruna to Gothenburg with interchange in Stockholm, with you arriving in Gothenburg at 17:40.

Visby is also a little tricky to visit, not because of the distance such as Abisko, but since it is located on an island. You fly there or take a ferry. It would probably be wise to fly at least one-way.

Train tickets can be bought from SJ: https://www.sj.se/en/home.html

For air travel SAS and Norwegian:



Visby ferry: https://www.destinationgotland.se/en

Train and bus time tables Abisko:



I do not know if you plan on visiting the neighbouring Nordic countries but I feel like I should also add that capitals such as Copenhagen, Oslo and Helsinki are also within easy reach of Stockholm should you find those more interesting destinations.

Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
333 posts
2. Re: First time in Sweden! please help with planning...

I would suggest a two night cruise to Helsinki or Tallinn. The ferry ride is fun and offers nice archipelago views. You save two hotel nights and spend 7-8 hours in the destination city. Check www.tallinksilja.se or www.vikingline.se

Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
46 posts
104 reviews
3. Re: First time in Sweden! please help with planning...

Hi aderam,

thanks for taking the time out & replying in detail, much appreciated. Your inputs have helped us a lot & based on your feedback we have finalized the following itinerary:

- 2 Nights in Stockholm

- 2 nights in Abisko (by Flight)

- Overnight Train to Stockholm & then Ferry to Visby

- 3 nights in Visby

- 2 nights in Copenhagen (flight from Visby)

Hope this is fine. Would love to hear from you on what all can be done in Visby & Abisko during our time there.

Thanks again.

Hi moominfan,

we might do Helsinki & Tallinn on one of our upcoming trips & will definitely keep the ferry ride in mind. Thank you too!


Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
449 posts
4. Re: First time in Sweden! please help with planning...

The itinerary seems a bit rushed considering the amount of travelling. All great destinations and whilst it can certainly be done in the amount of time allotted by you, the destinations, especially Stockholm and Copenhagen, do deserve a little more time in my opinion. If it were me I might consider picking three out of the four destinations.

Some comments on the itinerary as it stands:

- Connecting to the Visby ferry from the overnight train from Abisko sounds impractical and too time consuming. As you might be aware of, the Visby ferry does not depart from Stockholm. It departs from the city of Nynäshamn which is located 55 minutes south of Stockholm by commuter train or bus. Seeing as the overnight train arrives to Stockholm at 09:48 in the morning you will be unable to make it to the ferry departing 11:25/45. This leaves the 20:05/45, or on some days the 16:45, ferry departure. If it were me I would rather fly from Kiruna via Stockholm or perhaps take the overnight train to Stockholm Arlanda airport (it stops there on its way to/from Stockholm) and fly from there. In general, if you plan on taking the train at least in one direction, it would be wiser to take the train from Stockholm to Abisko. A benefit with this approach is that you aren’t dependent on your flight being on time in order for you to catch the only daily bus departure to Abisko.

Edit*: If you take a taxi from the Stockholm Central station you will make the midmorning ferry, at least if it is departing 11:45 on that day. Granted that your train is on time of course. Haninge & Nynäshamns Taxi has the cheapest fixed price on the route: http://www.haningenynastaxi.se/priser/

- On the topic of the bus to Abisko. If at all possible with your travel dates, it would be more convenient transportation wise if you could schedule an Abisko visit before the 23rd of September. This due to the fact that bus 91, which I linked a timetable to in my previous post, does not run after the 23rd of September as that is considered the low season. In the timetable “Kiruna Flygplats” stands for “Kiruna Airport”. The are also more train departures from/to Abisko before the 23rd of September

In Abisko I would recommend that you stay at the STF Abisko Mountain Station: https:/…

As for what to do, you could take the chair-lift up to the Aurora Sky Station, either during the day in order to take in the view of the surrounding landscape (up until the 23rd of September) or during the evening/early night in order to hopefully catch a glimpse of the northern lights (you of course don’t have to go up to the Sky Station on top of the mountain in order to see the northern lights). More information on that available here:



Hiking around the area is a given activity. There are many possible day hikes, and if you don’t feel safe hiking on your own in the mountain environment there are guided tours available. Check the STF Abisko Mountain Station website linked above for more information about guided tours. A great hike is the one to the valley Kärkevagge and the lake Trollsjön. Take the train from Abisko 27 km to Vassijaure. Hike to from there to Kärkevagge and continue to Trollsjön before hiking onwards to Låktatjåkka. Take the train back 24 km to Abisko from Låktatjåkka. This day hike can either be completed on your own or with a guided tour. It is only possible to do it on your own (unless you have access to a car) up until the 22nd of September though as the fitting trains don’t run after that due to it being considered the low season.

Talking about trains, another great activity is taking the train back and forth to the Norwegian city Narvik in order to take in the dramatic views along the way. Sit on the right side of the train on your way towards Narvik and on the left-hand side on your way back to Abisko. This can be done after the 23rd of September but the train timetable is better suited for this type of excursion before that as it would allow for more time in Narvik. You would then have time to take the cable car up to the upper mountain lift station on Narvikfjellet.

Cable car and mountain station: narvikfjellet.no/?id=1268253287&Article=19

The train ride should look something like this (minus the winter landscape): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3ZMgUnDrFU

In Visby the main activity is the city itself. Walk around and take in the medieval architecture. Högklint nature reserve is a nice place to visit just outside of Visby. If you have a driver’s licenses that would be valid in Sweden renting a car and exploring the island of Gotland is a great thing to do as well.

Phew, end of wall of text!

Edited: 12 July 2018, 02:38
Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
46 posts
104 reviews
5. Re: First time in Sweden! please help with planning...

Hi aderam,

Thanks again for such a detailed reply.

So we are doing this after your suggestion:

Day 1: Arrive in Stockholm & stay the night (lands at 12pm)

Day 2: Take a flight to Kiruna & drive to Abisko (Reach Abisko at 1pm)

Day 3: Stay in Abisko

Day 4: Take a flight back to Stockholm & stay the night (reach at 1pm)

Day 5: Stay in Stockholm

Day 6: Take Ferry to Visby

Day 7: Stay in Visby

Day 8: Stay in Visby

Day 9: Take flight to Copenhagen (Reach at 12pm)

Day 10: stay in Copenhagen

Day 11: flight back from Copenhagen

Have skipped the train & am doing flights now. You have helped me tremendously and its for people like you that tripadvisor is such a great forum. Thanks a ton!

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