For affordable travel in Sweden, the main methods of transportation are bus and train. For travel to Gotland, you might also want to ride the ferry.
Train is a fairly affordable method of transportation in Sweden, however, be aware that trains are often delayed, especially during winter. For this reason, be aware that whenever you are traveling to catch a flight, bus is usually safer.
To buy train tickets, the homepage www.sj.se is the most convenient one. Note that when you buy tickets with SJ, you are considered to be “youth” as long as you are 25 years old or younger. When you buy train tickets, always buy youth tickets. Foreign students can not use the the student train tickets (student and youth tickets cost the same, but if the conductor notices that you have student tickets you could be charged with a fine.)
Also note that there is a ticket type called “Last minute”, these are only available 24 hours before departure and are usually cheaper than regular tickets. For example, a train ticket from Linköping Central to Stockholm Central costs around 240 Swedish crowns regularly if you buy it one week before departure but only around 150 Swedish crowns if you buy it as a “Last minute” ticket.
It is also important to know that you can get a refund if the trains are delayed. Depending on which company you ride with, the conditions may vary a bit, but for SJ you get up to a 50% refund if the trian is 30 minutes delayed or more, and up to 100% if it’s more than 1 hour late. See their homepage for more information.
For buying bus tickets, there are currently three notable companies:
- Swebus – www.swebus.se
- Flygbussarna/Airport coaches - http://www.flygbussarna.se/en
Note that depending on company, the definition of youth varies, and when you travel with bus you can ride with student tickets as long as you have an updated LiU-card.
Flygbussarna/Airport coaches is dedicated to transport from and to airports. Nettbus/Bus4you and Swebus have inter-city traffic, and generally speaking the Bus4you buses are the most comfortable (Nettbus is the same company but simpler buses, Swebus only has simple buses, note that many Swedish buses has free wi-fi).
Also note that you can go to Norrköping with the campus bus for free, but this requires an updated LiU-card! See Linköping University’s webpage for details and an up to date time table: timetable
One of the most beautiful cities to visit in the summer is Gotland. It’s an Island in southern Sweden that is only accesible by ferry. See http://www.destinationgotland.se/en/ for detailed information about the ferry. There is also an dedicated bus that goes from Stockholm to where the ferry departs.
Traveling to Airports
In Sweden, the most affordable tickets to and from airports are usually sold by Flygbussarna/Airport coaches, see http://www.flygbussarna.se/en for details. For example, a youth traveling from Linköping Central station to Skavsta airport costs 218 Swedish crowns round trip.
Outside of Sweden, there are lots of different airport buses. One that some students have used is Student Agency Bus, http://www.studentagencybus.com/. For finding a good bus company, please research it yourself.
As of recently, low cost airlines are getting more and more popular. You can find cheap airplane tickets almost anywhere, and especially within Europe. For example, a one way ticket to Poland in the winter can be as cheap as 90 Swedish crowns. The major low cost airlines operating in Scandinavia are:
- Norwegian (Arlanda, homepage)
- Air Berlin (Arlanda, homepage)
Please note that Skavsta is only 1,5 hours away from Linköping by bus, whereas Arlanda is roughly 3 hours away. It is also notably more expensive to travel to Arlanda, so Ryan Air is the most popular choice among the international students at Linköping University. When you book tickets at Ryan Airs homepage, you will be able to select a lot of services that charge extra money (insurance, extra luggage etc). If you simply do not select any of these services, the ticket price tend to be extremely low, and you can travel as usual.
Whenever you travel with Ryan Air it is very important that you make sure to
- Measure and make sure your cabin baggage is not bigger than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm
- Weigh you cabbage luggage and make sure that it is not heavier than 10 kg
If you do not follow these rules you will have to pay a €40 fee (Euro, not Swedish crowns!) to board the flight. Since most Ryan Air tickets costs around €20, this is extremely expensive.