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Airplane vs. Train From Stocktolm, Sweden to Oslo, Norway

We are a group of 6 adults, and we are trying to decide which mode of transportation to take from Stockholm to Oslo. Does anyone have any advice or insight as to which you would recommend? The train takes roughly 5 1/2 hours, and the plane takes roughly 1 hour. However, the plane involves getting to the airport and arriving at least an hour early. I'm wondering if this is a scenic train ride and worth taking the train for this reason.

Posted by
6670 posts

The flight time might be an hour, but you have to show up at the airport in advance. One hour before the flight sounds very optimistic, I'd recommend at least 1,5 hours. Then you need to travel to and from the airports, which also take time, neither of the airports are very close to the city. So when you're looking at total travel time door to door, you won't save much (if any) time by flying.

Then there is also the cost. Booking in advance means you can get a train ticket for less than 400 kr. Flying will cost at least 550 kr, more if you want to bring luggage. Getting to and from the airports are also not free. There are express trains to and from both airports that are pretty quick, but also not cheap. And if you add them, flying will cost 3-4 times as much as the train. There are cheaper options available as well, but they are slower.

In addition, the train is a much more comfortable option. While SAS actually have pretty nice seats in their planes, they are still plane seats. The train seats are lightyears ahead in comfort. The train also has large windows, an onboard bistro, free wifi, no middle seats etc. And offers 5 hours of time you can spend as you like, reading, watching a movie, planning your time in Oslo etc. Flying means a lot of standing in line and waiting.

All in all, it's an easy choice in my opinion. The train has some scenic parts, but that is just a bonus.

Posted by
5688 posts

I agree with Badger.

As a general rule, I choose the train over a flight if the train is under 6 hours. Even the shortest flight will take at least 4 hours when you factor in getting to/from airports, arriving early at the airport to go through security, and the flight. The train is much less of a hassle. There is more room to move around and it is less likely to be delayed. You get on and off in the city center. You don’t have to worry about whether there will be space in the overhead bin or whether you are carrying too much liquid.

While this is anecdotal, on my last trip I chose a flight over a 7 hour train ride. My flight was delayed 3 hours and my door-to-door travel time would have been shorter if I had just taken the train to begin with.

I have this same question. I love rail travel and prefer it to airplanes everywhere except for the US where I have had horrible situations with 10 hour delays and being left stranded for 3 days in Chicago on Amtrak. I am not finding positive reviews of the train from Stockholm to Oslo anywhere. Most reviews note last minute cancelled trains with no customer service representatives to help with rebooking or lots of delays. They also say it is uncomfortably hot in the summer due to no AC on the trains. Is this true or just the disgruntled/unlucky few who had these experiences? It's making me really hesitate in buying train tickets.

Posted by
6670 posts

I am not finding positive reviews of the train from Stockholm to Oslo
anywhere. Most reviews note last minute cancelled trains with no
customer service representatives to help with rebooking or lots of
delays.

Where are you looking for reviews? I've never read reviews of train trips and definitly never considered writing one. Things can always to wrong and trains being cancelled can happen, but it is rare in the summer.

They also say it is uncomfortably hot in the summer due to no AC on
the trains.

SJ runs five daily trains between Oslo and Stockholm, three high speed trains and two intercities. The high speed trains have AC, the intercity trains might have AC but might also not have. So the intercity trains can get hot on sunny summer days.

Posted by
155 posts

SJ rely a lot of text messages for communication about traffic changes. Text messages will not always reach US phones so it is a goo idea to check for traffic changes yourself here https://www.sj.se/en/traffic-information

In Oslo there is no SJ staff except for the train crew itself, but in Stockholm there should be staff. They don't have any desk but show up at the platform or in the main hall depending, look for green high-vis vests.