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Itinerary suggestions between Copenhagen and Stockholm

Husband and I will be traveling the first two weeks in Sept., starting in Copenhagen. Planning for 3 days in Copenhagen and 4-5 days in Stockholm on the back end, each likely to include a day trip or two from either city. Looking for recommendations about where to go for the 5-6 days in between.
We'd like to primarily travel by train- although if a short car rental allows seeing somewhere really special, we'd include that.
We like poking around cute towns, historical corners of older cities, unique local sites. Not especially big on castles or churches but historical walks, maybe a local museum, etc. Bikes or a day hike would be great as options too.

Aware that going in Sept may impact what is open or accessible.
Go north toward Gothenburg then east? Go along the south? (Ystad sounds interesting)

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

Posted by
6529 posts

When in September? There can be a big difference in weather between early and late September.

But, Gothenburg is not a bad options. You can certainly spend some time there without being bored. Or travel up along the east coast and spend some time on Gotland. Visby is certainly a cute town and in September it won't be crowded. You can without a problem spend 5-6 days on Gotland but you can also break up the journey with a night or two in Kalmar. Or a night in Kalmar and a night in Karlskrona.

Posted by
26 posts

We're traveling the first two weeks of September. (and btw - how cold will it start to be then?)
Are all the options you've suggested reachable by train, or would we need a car for some of these locations?

Posted by
6529 posts

Yes, they are all reachable by train. Or, in case of Gotland, ferry. Although renting a car for a day in Visby is not a bad idea. It will allow you to see more of the island.

In general it should still be warm during the day in early september, 20° or so, but it can get chilly in the evenings with single digit temperatures.

Posted by
387 posts

And just to clarify Badger's post - those are temperatures in Celsius, not Fahrenheit :)

Posted by
26 posts

Thanks Hopper - I know it gets cold, but 20F would have been a bit much for us in Sept!

Posted by
6529 posts

It should also be mentioned that it can be hard to predict the weather in September. It depends a lot on how long the summer warmth remains. And it can also be rainy if you're unlucky.

Posted by
787 posts

Bring a lightweight rain coat just in case, maybe a scarf but I don't recall ever needing anything else besides a long-sleeved T even while biking. One thing that does happen across Sweden in September is some hours are reduced at attractions like manor houses, so check opening hours for your time period. The more famous places may well be open all week through October and almost everything is open on the weekends.

  • And since you mentioned biking.... I LOVED biking in Copenhagen! It's a treat, great signage and almost everyone actually follows the rules. Unfortunately, the last time I biked in Stockholm a few years ago, there were those small electric scooters driven without regard for others on bike paths & it was not enjoyable.

We like poking around cute towns, historical corners of older cities, unique local sites. Not especially big on castles or churches but historical walks

In which case, Gotland & Visby would be an absolute treat. We stayed at the Best Western in Visby & rented a car for May 1st holiday weekend & it felt like there were very few tourists around. The town is very walkable, beautifully preserved medieval wall around it, plenty of cathedral ruins.... you get the idea.

If you’re planning on day-tripping or overnight outside of Stockholm, I’m biased but Uppsala is a fantastic university town. (Think Palo Alto but with an 600+ year old university & cathedral). I've had a number of visitors who ended up staying in Uppsala & taking the train into the more expensive Stockholm rather than the other way around. https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/sweden/uppsala-where-to-stay

I wrote up my favorite spot in Stockholm for spending a day here. https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/sweden/4-days-in-stockholm-a-day-trip-worth-it.

Posted by
6529 posts

If you’re planning on day-tripping or overnight outside of Stockholm,
I’m biased but Uppsala is a fantastic university town. (Think Palo
Alto but with an 600+ year old university & cathedral).

Uppsala is certainly fantastic. Although the university is not quite 600 years old yet, but not far from it.

Or to compare it to history North americans might be familiar with, the university was founded 15 years before Columbus sailed west to find a shorter route to India.