My wife and I are planning a 12 day trip to Scandinavia. I am debating whether to fly from Oslo to Stockhom and Stockholm to Copenhagen or take the trains. The 5-5.5 hr train rides put it right on the edge of the fly vs train dilemma in Europe. Any thoughts?
We flew as it was cheaper when we booked our trip.
We are traveling to Copenhagen (arrival) , Stockholm and Oslo (departing) for 17 day trip next month and chose the trains as our mode of travel.
We booked them all from US, and where appropriate we got the senior discount that made really cost effective and the trains were more convenient as our lodgings were near the city centers. I agree the trains vs flying was close but trains won out!
We are taking the HS train Copenhagen to Stockholm, train from Stockholm to Oslo and then booked a Norway in Nutshell ourselves, trains from Oslo to Flam with a 3 day side trip via boat to Balestrand and train at Voss back to Oslo.
Again, we had plenty of time on this trip to relax in the cities and wanted to use the train system wherever feasible.
We took the train from Stockholm to Oslo on May 19. We paid $43 dollars for 2 tickets ( I think it was 199 SK each). We arrived at the train station at 5:10 AM (one T-banna stop from where we stayed) and departed at 5:40. We arrived in Oslo at 10:30 and walked the few blocks to our hotel. We were sightseeing by 11:30. When I checked the flights, $52 per person was the cheapest I could get. We would have needed to take a $13 per person 45 minutes bus to the airport (even more $$$ if you take the express train) We also would have needed to take transport into Oslo but I don't have the details as I was busy booking train tickets. The train was so easy and saved us $$$$. When you factor in transportation to and from airports, I think it was faster. Of course, some of the fares may be different depending on when you travel.
Suki, I am really curious about your claim that you found flying to be cheaper. How much did you pay for your flight? How much would it have been to take the train? Did you actually go to http://www.sj.se to check prices on train tickets, or did you use the map on this website that claims it costs $100 to go from Oslo to Stockholm and $125 to go from Stockholm to Copenhagen? As stated above, advance-purchase fares are much, much lower than that. Even if the cheapest ($20) fares are sold out, there's a good chance you can snag something in the $30-50 range, which is still cheaper than flying, especially when you factor in the cost of getting to and from the airport.
I just wanted to stress that flying is hard work anymore. First you have to make sure you get on a bus that gets you to the airport in plenty of time. (keep in mind the Stockholm bus departs from the train station, so you have to go there anyway), You arrive at the airport 2 hours early, you go through security, and sit around and wait for your plane to board. Then you have to get off and have to find your bus to get downtown. Taking the train was soooo easy. Both stations were right in the heart of the city, you arrive in time to catch your train, and you have so much room where you seat (compared to a plane). While our train was the fastest of the day, I still think it takes as long to fly as it does to take the train. (At least between Stockholm and Oslo.) Both of these airports are a considerable distance from the city.
Edit: We did buy the train tickets well in advance of our trip.