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TOURISM

Getting around in Sweden

Sweden is a big place. The north of the country is home to Europe's least-densely populated regions and, they say, if you spun the country 180 degrees around its southern tip then it would reach down as far as Naples.

So the distance between things of interest rapidly increases as soon as you leave the main cities. But how you travel between destinations is not necessarily governed just by time.

Getting there in Sweden, wherever ‘there’ happens to be, can be half the pleasure, with stunning scenery the length and breadth of the country.

The country has a reputation for efficiency (notwithstanding the confusion of reputations with Switzerland) which is largely deserved and much information is presented in English as well as Swedish.

Here are a few links to get you started with your journey planning.

Railway

SJ is Sweden’s state-owned rail network. Their web site is packed with information and the booking services are also available in English.

<a href="http://www.sj.se/sj/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=10&l=en

“>SJ in English

One service not run by SJ is the Inland Railway, Inlandsbanan. It’s a meandering 1,300 km journey from Kristinehamn in the south to Gällivare in the north – or the other way around – through some of Sweden’s most stunning countryside.

Be prepared for some unscheduled stops for reindeer – or photos at the arctic circle boundary.

Inland Railway

Air

Sweden is well-served by internal air routes, and competition is helping to bring the prices down.

SAS

Skyways

FlyMe

Malmö Aviation

Road

If you’re planning to stay travel around the south of the country, then hiring a car can give you more flexibility than train or plane. But if you’re going much further north than Stockholm, the country seems to have been stretched and you may find you spend more time in the car than you’d like.

The usual international car hire companies are represented in the big towns:

Hertz

Avis

However, the country’s two largest petrol stations also offer car rentals and are sometimes cheaper and more flexible, although your choice of car may be limited and you’ll have to put up with being a wandering advertisement for their services. Their web sites are only in Swedish, but telephone bookings can be made in English:

OKQ8 – 020 850 850

Statoil – 0770-25 25 25

OPINION & ANALYSIS

OPINION: ID-checks between Sweden and Denmark should not be brought back

Sweden's government on Tuesday announced plans to bring back ID checks on Sweden's borders. Niels Paarup-Petersen, a Malmö MP, has launched a campaign to stop them.

OPINION: ID-checks between Sweden and Denmark should not be brought back

Bringing in ID-checks is illegal, ineffective, and devastating for the labour market in the Öresund region. That the government, despite all this, is pushing ahead with them anyway is almost impossible to understand. 

Once again, the government’s first response to a crisis is to bring back the ID-checks that tear our region in two.

Once again, they’re doing this without giving either the regional government or those operating the transport services a chance to give their input.

Once again, the idea is that Skåne and the Öresund Region should pay the price for solving Sweden’s challenges.

Once again, commuters will have to wait for half an hour at Kastrup. Once again the transport system in Skåne will be wrecked. 

READ ALSO: Sweden to bring back border controls to control Ukraine arrivals

It’s bloody awful, to be frank.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that it is illegal to put the responsibility on transport operators across a Schengen border. The Office of the Chancellor of Justice has come to the same conclusions.

Ukrainians have the right to enter the country, which means that they will not be stopped by the ID controls. If you want to have a better understanding of who is crossing the border, there are still ‘temporary’ border controls in place after six years.

Making the transport operator responsible for ID controls work when applied to ferries and flights, where there is only one place where you can get on or off. When you have continuous traffic, such as with trains or cars, it has a devastating effect on the traffic and on all of the people using them.  

ID checks are completely illegal, unnecessary, and irrational.

Region Skåne, the municipalities in Skåne, and all of my colleagues from Skåne in the national parliament must now all put their feet down. 

ID checks on the Öresund Bridge should not be brought back! 

Niels Paarup-Petersen is an MP representing Malmö for the Centre Party. He was born and grew up in Denmark and has worked for the Öresund Bridge Consortium.

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