For members


How to travel dirt-cheap by train and bus in Sweden in summer 2023

If you want to tour Sweden's countryside this summer, one of the cheapest and greenest ways to do it is by taking advantage of one of the special summer tickets sold by regional travel companies.

How to travel dirt-cheap by train and bus in Sweden in summer 2023
Travelling by train can be one of the best ways to see the Swedish countryside. Photo: Tina Axelsson/

For adults, the best deals are those offered in Skåne, Blekinge and Halland in southern Sweden. Holders of these regions’ summer tickets can travel unlimited on public transport from the start of June until mid-August, for around 820 kronor, 769 kronor and 655 kronor respectively. 

Västra Götaland, Uppsala, and Kalmar also offer summer cards for adults, but they are fairly stingy in comparison. 

Stockholm, and the nearby regions of Sörmland and Västmanland, also offer summer tickets, but only for those under the age of 19. 

Here’s the low down on what’s on offer: 


SL, Stockholm’s regional traffic operator, is this year sending out letters containing a special code to anyone born between 2005 and 2011, which they can use to get the free sommarlovsbiljetten, or “summer holiday ticket”, on the SL app on their phone or on their existing SL card. 

This gives free travel on SL’s trains, buses and underground throughout the school summer holidays. 

The letters will be sent out to young people’s addresses by the end of May and will be valid between June 5th and August 27th. 

If you are born between 2005 and 2011 and have not received a letter by June 5th, contact SL’s customer service team. 

If you are over 16 and have BankID you can register the ticket yourself, and if you are under 18, you need to get someone responsible for you to use their BankID to register the app. 

If your parent or guardian does not have BankID, you can get the code registered at SL’s customer service department on Sergels Torg or Stockholm Central Station. 

Brothers and sisters of those with cards can travel with them, so long as they are under the age of seven. The cards are not valid on ferries out to the Stockholm archipelago run by Waxholmsbolaget. 

Sadly, SL has no special summer offers for those born before 2005. 


Västtrafik, which operates trains, buses and boats in Västra Götaland, the region around Gothenburg, offers a one-month summer card, which gives holders access to all train, bus and ferry traffic in the region and also in Kungsbacka municipality (which is in Halland, despite being a suburb of Gothenburg). 

You can buy the ticket between June 15th and July 31st on the Västtrafik To Go app and it costs 815 kronor for adults and 610 kronor for a youth ticket. 

Västtrafik says that the ticket gives access to “three zones for the price of one”. 


Skåne has arguably the best deal in Sweden, perhaps influenced by the generous summer tickets available across the Öresund in Denmark

This year’s ticket is valid from June 15th to August 15th, costs 820 kronor, and can be used on trains and buses operated by Skånetrafiken (but not by SJ) all over the region. 

The ticket will go on sale from June 1st, and can be bought on the Skånetrafiken app, on its website, at a ticket machine at a station, or at one of the company’s travel centres. You can either have a paper ticket, have it loaded onto a Skånekort travel card, or have it on the Skånetrafiken app on your phone. 

Three people can travel on one summer ticket, but only one of them can be over 20. 

The tickets can also be lent out using the app, by simply filling in the telephone number of the person you are lending it to (they need to have the app too). You can lend out your summer card 31 times to a maximum of five people. 

What has changed this year is that you can also buy a combined summer card covering both Skåne and Blekinge, giving you unlimited travel across a much larger swathe of southern Sweden. 

This ticket costs 1,219 kronor and can only be bought on the Skånetrafiken or Blekingetrafiken apps. 

A family enjoying a holiday on Hallö in the Karlshamn Archipelago. Photo: Alexander Hall/Imagebank Sweden


Next door Blekinge offers a similar sommarbiljett deal to the one in Skåne. For 739 kronor, you can travel on all Blekingetrafiken trains, buses, and ferries from June 13th to August 14th. 

Like Skåne’s card, you can buy the ticket on the Blekingetrafiken app, on their website, at a ticket machine, or at a travel centre. 

The fun thing about Blekinge’s card is that it gives you free travel on the boats that go out to the wonderful Karlskrona, Ronneby, Karlshamn and Solvesborg archipelagos. 

As mentioned above, you can now buy a combined ticket to Blekinge and Skåne. 


Halland, also perhaps influenced by Skåne, offers a summer ticket for 715 kronor, which can be bought from June 15th, and is valid from June 15th up until August 15th. Youths get a 40 percent discount, and students a 25 percent discount. 

Like Skåne’s card, the tickets can also be lent out to others using the app. The ticket can also be bought as a plastic card, or loaded onto an existing plastic travel card. 

The tickets are valid on the Öresundståg, Västtågen, and Krösatågen trains within Halland. 

Hallandstrafiken is not offering a combined ticket with Skåne. 

Kalmar has a great castle but a pricey summer ticket. Photo. Emmy Jonsson/imagebank Sweden


Region Kalmar, to the north of Blekinge, also offers a sommarbiljett, with the price sharply reduced this year to 950 kronor for an adult or youth (down from the uncompetitive 1,680 kronor offered last year. 

Kalmar’s ticket allows you to travel on all Kalmar Länstrafik’s buses and trains, and also on the Dessi cycle ferry over from Kalmar to the island of Öland. The ticket is also valid on ferries in the Kalmar archipelago. 


UL, the travel company in Uppsala, offers a summer ticket valid from from June 1st until August 31st. The tickets cost 940 kronor for those between the ages of seven and 19, and 2,000 kronor for over-19s. They are valid on all buses in the region, on the Upptåget regional trains, and on SL commuter trains between Uppsala, Knivsta and Arlanda. Anyone over the age of 18, however, has to pay if they end their train journey at Arlanda C. 

You can buy the ticket on the UL app, on their website, at a ticket machine, or at a travel centre. 


Sörmlandstrafiken is offering a summer ticket to those between the ages of seven and 19, which for 560 kronor, allows free travel on buses only, all around the region. The ticket needs to be loaded onto the gröna resekort, or “green travel card”, which young people have for travel in the region. 

The tickets can be bought from May 25th, are valid from June 9th until August 22nd, and can be bought on the Sörmlandstrafiken website, from a bus driver, or at a Sörmlandstrafiken travel centre. 


VL, the regional travel company in Västmanland, offers a summer ticket for seven to 19-year-olds. Like the ticket from Sörmland, it is only valid for buses, and it costs 500 kronor. It is valid from June 1st to August 31st but can be purchased from May 24th. 


LT, Örebro’s regional travel company, doesn’t offer a special summer card, but is once again selling 30-day travel cards at half price for the period between June 7th and July 24th. This means that adults can use all the trains and buses in the region for 705 kroner. For youths it is 352 kronor, and for students 562 kronor. 

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For members


What to expect when travelling to Sweden in summer 2023

From weather forecasts to rail disruptions, here’s what to consider when planning a trip to Sweden this summer.

What to expect when travelling to Sweden in summer 2023


Sweden is the perfect country to visit in summer – long, warm days that never really turn into night, but not as suffocatingly hot as southern Europe this time of the year.

That might not be the case this year.

In 2018, Sweden sweltered under a series of heatwaves with wildfires ravaging the country, and several weather forecasts suggest we could get to see a repeat of that this summer.

Heatwaves caused by African anticyclones are expected to make their way towards Europe this year, creating particularly hot conditions throughout the summer months, and meteorologists are already warning that Sweden could get less rain than normal.

Keep up-to-date with weather alerts via Sweden’s meteorological office SMHI.

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If you’re planning a barbecue, you also want to make sure you’re aware of any fire bans. A standard fire ban means that you’re not allowed to light fires in the wild, but you may still light a fire at designated spots for grilling. In the summer of 2018, this was upgraded to a total fire ban – no fires permitted, at all – in large parts of Sweden.

You should also keep an eye on local hosepipe bans or appeals to save water. You can always use water for food, drink and personal hygiene, but perhaps you can help avert a water shortage by having shorter showers and not letting the tap run longer than needed.

Restaurant closures and empty cities

Swedes take long summer holidays, with most full-time workers legally entitled to four consecutive weeks off in June, July or August. If you’re planning a city break, be aware that a lot of shops and restaurants close for several weeks as Swedes leave the cities and head to their countryside summer houses. You will still find some places open, though.

Public holidays and other events

National Day on June 6th and Midsummer’s Eve on June 23rd (and Midsummer’s Day on June 24th) are public holidays so plan ahead to avoid getting caught out by closures.

If you’re travelling around those dates, you should know that a lot of other people will also be doing so, and if you’re driving, be prepared for busy roads around Midsummer.

If you’re in Sweden for Midsummer’s Eve, go to the local celebrations where you are to watch Swedes dance around the Maypole, pretending to be little frogs without ears.

Swedish high schools graduate around mid-June, so traffic may also be busier than normal around this time, with students dancing and singing on the back of trucks.

Travel disruptions

See above for information on particularly busy travel days.

If you’re travelling by train, be aware that several parts of the rail network are being upgraded this summer, so you should expect altered routes and replacement buses.

This is particularly true for the week starting June 12th, when no trains will be running on the 350-kilometre line between Norrköping and Hässleholm (if you’re travelling between Stockholm and Malmö, this will affect you). Trains will either be replaced by buses or take a different route, and your ticket should contain information on this.

You can also keep up-to-date via the Swedish Transport Administration’s website. Click here and scroll down to trafikläget i realtid (“the traffic situation in real time”) to get the latest whether you’re travelling by train (tåg), road (väg) or car ferry (vägfärja).

If you’re driving, read this to avoid parking fines. The speed limit in Sweden is usually 50 km/h in villages, towns and cities, 70 km/h in the countryside and 110 km/h on the motorways, but it does vary and there are nearly always signs stating the speed limit.

Covid rules?

There are no longer any Covid-based legal restrictions in Sweden, or national requirements for visitors to be vaccinated. You may of course wear a face mask if you want to, but it is unlikely that you’ll be seeing a lot of other people masking up.

If you’re sick and have symptoms that could be Covid, such as a cough or a fever, the Swedish Public Health Agency recommends that you stay home to avoid infecting others. You are generally not required to get tested if you think you have Covid.

You can generally still buy a Covid antigen test at Swedish pharmacies or supermarkets, but keep in mind that even if the result is negative, you’re encouraged to avoid close contact with others until you’re well, in order to avoid the risk of a false negative.