Getting to Abisko
Despite its remote location in the far northwest of Sweden, Abisko is usually a doddle to reach – even with public transport. Occasionally, however, heavy snow and wind conspire to make the journey a bit of a pain.
The first thing to note is that Abisko is a village of two halves. Abisko Östra, the main settlement, is more developed – here you’ll find hostels, a supermarket, a small bar and a shop that sells candy and cold-weather supplies. Around 2km northwest along the E10 is Abisko Turiststation, where there’s an excellent hostel. Both places have their own train station, but departures between the two are limited, so it pays to plan ahead.
As long as you’re comfortable with potentially icy conditions, driving is the best option for getting to and from Abisko. There are lots of tips on renting a car in this guide.
The stretch of the E10 from Kiruna to the Norwegian border is passable in all but the most extreme conditions, and having the flexibility to zip between Abisko’s two halves is ideal. Whichever direction you’re coming from, the drive to Abisko is spectacular, with views of the Torneträsk lake framed by tall, rugged mountains. Take it easy if the snow is coming down hard – you don’t want to get stuck out here.
The train line from Narvik (in Norway) stops at Abisko Turiststation and Abisko Östra on its way east to Kiruna. Services run twice a day throughout the year in both directions, crossing the border without much fanfare. If you’re taking the train from Kiruna to Abisko, reckon on a journey time of around 65 minutes. Tickets cost around 120 SEK each way and can be bought online at SJ.se.
If you want to take the train from Stockholm to Abisko, you’ll need to change trains at Kiruna for the final stretch of the journey.
In the winter, avalanches have been known to block the rail route in and out of Abisko, in which case replacement buses may be used (see below).
It’s not usually possible to take the bus from Kiruna to Abisko. However, if there is a problem with the trains, buses will be put on instead. To get live updates, check the SJ website or see the information screens at Kiruna’s train station (there’s also a screen inside the STF hostel at Abisko Turiststation).