It’s one of the most-travelled routes in the country, linking the Swedish capital with the west coast’s biggest city. But the trip between Stockholm and Gothenburg isn’t exactly short – the total distance is a butt-numbing 400km. So: if you’re going to do this journey, allow yourself a bit of time.
There are loads of different options for making the trip, from taking a cheap bus ride to hopping on a domestic flight. Some of these methods are quicker than others, but they all make it possible to have breakfast by the Baltic Sea and eat dinner in the Gothenburg Archipelago (or vice versa).
Trying to visit Gothenburg on a day trip from Stockholm isn’t really the best idea; you’ll spend as much time travelling as you will enjoying the city. That said, people do make the journey for business trips, and if you’re really keen there’s nothing to stop you leaving Stockholm at the crack of dawn and returning back late at night.
Ready to set off? Here are the different options you can choose from – we’ve assumed you’re travelling from Stockholm to Gothenburg, but the instructions will also work if you’re heading in the opposite direction.
RECOMMENDED HOTELS IN GOTHENBURGMORE HOTELS
Is the Stockholm Pass worth buying?
Read this guide to see how much you could save during your trip!
Going by train
If you’re travelling from central Stockholm to central Gothenburg, the fastest overland option is the train. Non-stop services can complete the entire journey in less than three hours. Quick, eh?
All that speed can come at a price, though – tickets for the quickest services regularly go for more than 600 SEK, even in standard class. However, thanks to a recent change that allows private companies to run trains on the Stockholm–Gothenburg route, there are real bargains to be had. If you’re lucky, you can get yourself a one-way ticket for less than 200 SEK.
Our advice is to be flexible and book as early as possible – there’s more advice on bagging a good price here. It’s worth checking the ACP Rail website, which lists departure times in English and allows you to book online. On the Stockholm to Gothenburg route, Interrail and Eurail passes are only valid on SJ trains.
All trains leave from Stockholm’s main train station and arrive at Göteborgs Centralstation, right in the centre of Gothenburg. The high-speed, non-stop services have comfy seats and free wifi, as well as a bistro serving snacks, alcohol and soft drinks.
Note that on high-speed trains between Stockholm and Gothenburg, you will need a seat reservation. These are not always included in the ticket price, but if you book through ACP Rail a seat reservation will be added automatically.
Journey time: 3–5 hours
Approximate cost: 200–1200 SEK
Taking the bus
If your primary objective is to get to Gothenburg as cheaply as possible (and you’d rather avoid cycling or hitchhiking) then taking the bus is a very good choice. It’s not the fastest method but prices are low, especially considering how long the journey is.
There are two private companies running buses between Stockholm and Gothenburg. Our favourite, Nettbuss, has at least four departures per day and offers free onboard wifi and decent legroom. If you’re flexible with your dates and times, you should be able to get a one-way ticket for as little as 219 SEK.
The Nettbuss website loads in Swedish but you can easily translate it to English: just click the globe in the top right corner of the screen (NB if you’re on mobile, you’ll need to click ‘Till fullständig version’ to make the globe appear).
Rival firm Flixbus is very similar, offering several services a day in each direction. You can expect the journey with both companies to take around six hours and 30 minutes.
Flixbus and Nettbuss services all depart from City Terminalen, Stockholm’s main bus station – there’s info on how to find the bus station here. Arriving in Gothenburg, the buses stop at Nils Ericson Terminalen, right in the city centre.
Journey time: 6–7 hours
Approximate cost: 210–600 SEK
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES IN STOCKHOLMMORE TOURS
Flying from Stockholm to Gothenburg
There are direct flights between Stockholm and Gothenburg every day of the week. Flights run by Norwegian and SAS depart from Stockholm Arlanda, but there’s also a non-stop flight from Stockholm Bromma to Gothenburg (with the humorously named BRA).
Whichever option you go for, you’ll land at Gothenburg Landvetter. The actual flying time is around an hour and prices can be surprisingly low, with one-way tickets from around 200 SEK.
Just bear in mind that, even if you find a cheap fare, you’re going to have to get yourself to or from the airports in Gothenburg and Stockholm, which can take a while and cost quite a lot.
Driving the whole way
It’s a long old drive between Stockholm and Gothenburg. You should allow around six hours for the journey – more if the weather is bad or if you want to have a quick stop along the way.
The roads are toll-free and there’s some good scenery along the way, including plenty of lakes and forests. The quickest option is usually to travel via Norrköping, Linköping and Jönköping, but you can also go via Örebro and Mariestad, passing Lake Vänern on the way.
Journey time: around 6 hours
The canal between Stockholm and Gothenburg
Got a few days to spare? Like… four full days? If so, you can travel from Stockholm to Gothenburg in the style of a proper 1800s adventurer.
The scenic Göta Canal cuts right across southern Sweden and from May to August each year you can travel along it on a scenic four-day sightseeing cruise. Accommodation is included in the (very pricey) ticket cost.
Journey time: 4 days
Approximate cost: 12,000-13,000 SEK