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Should we take the train to Falun from Arlanda airport or from Stockholm?

We plan on spending some extra days in Sweden before the Rick Steves Scandinavia tour starts.
Questions
1. What are the pros/cons of taking the train from Arlanda airport to Falun versus taking the train from Stockholm to Falun? Is one easier?
2. Besides seeing Carl and Karin l Larsson's house, what other things are a must-see in Falun? The Dalarnas Museum looks interesting, including old dala houses. And, if we just went to those 2 destinations, can we take a train later that day to Stockholm or would you recommend sleeping overnight?
thanks in advance!

Posted by
2134 posts

The train from Stockholm to Falun stops at Arlanda Central. So boarding the train where you actually will be, rather than first going to Stockholm and then passing through Arlanda again is obviously more efficient.

That is how you should approach train travel. If you want to get form somewhere to somewhere, just put those places in the trip planner, and let it suggest you trains. Do not make a priori assumptions on what the route would be. Do not assume you always most pass through the capital to get anywhere...

And then returning to Stockholm later if you so wish is of course up to you. It is public transit. For you to avail yourself of at your own discretion...

Posted by
6670 posts
  1. I'm not sure I understand the question. You buy a ticket from where you plan to be. If you are in Stockholm, the pros of having a ticket from Stockholm is that the train leaves from where you are. The cons of having a ticket from Arlanda is that you have to travel to Arlanda to catch the train. And v.v.

  2. The mine, now on the Unesco world heritage list. And the museum is worth a visit, at least is was last time I was there. Falun in general is a beautiful town as well, with a few areas full of old traditional wooden buildings. One just north of the centre, and one west of it.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks for the replies.
To clarify, the reason I asked the question that way is that either we would a) arrive at the airport and go directly to Falun by train, or b) go to Stockholm, do some sight-seeing there for a few days and then head to Falun.

Thanks for the tip on the mines as well.

I think I read a few years ago that Falun mines copper used to make the red paint used in the red stugas!
I hope to see many of them - so lovely. In fact, I just found a link: https://www.routesnorth.com/sweden/things-to-do-in-sweden/falu-mine-where-swedens-cottages-get-their-colour/

Posted by
6670 posts

To clarify, the reason I asked the question that way is that either we
would a) arrive at the airport and go directly to Falun by train, or
b) go to Stockholm, do some sight-seeing there for a few days and then
head to Falun.

That is, in my opinion, a matter of personal preference. Going direct to Falun has its advantages as it saves you a bit of backtracking. And it doesn't split your time in Stockholm in two. It also depends on a lot of other things.

And if you have the time you can continue up to Mora if you want.

I think I read a few years ago that Falun mines copper used to make
the red paint used in the red stugas!

It still is.

Posted by
155 posts

Going direct has a lot advantages but a disadvantage is that you self connect at Arlanda. Trains might sell out so you waiting with buying until you arrive is risky. Buying in advance with small margin is risky since your flight might be delayed. Buying in advance to a later train will probably end up in a lot of waiting at the airport. Buying tickets for two (or more) departures is possible, either waste the one you don't use or buy refundable tickets and cancel the one you don't need before departure.

Posted by
6670 posts

"The train from Stockholm to Falun stops at Arlanda Central."
(WengenK) It depends on which train you take.

No it doesn't. Unless they are rerouted due to accident or maintenance, all trains between Stockholm and Falun stop at Arlanda.

Whether you book from Arlanda C or Stockholm Central, when you book,
pay attention to the connections. Sometimes the connection ("change")
will be a local bus. Be sure to check "travel details" after choosing
a time.

Or just book a train with no changes (if the schedule fits your plan).

My experience last fall was that my train out of Stockholm to Falun
was so late that I ended up booking a bus at the last minute. I would
have missed my connection in Gävle.

Unless you really had a time you needed to be in Falun, you could have just taken the next train from Gävle instead.

Posted by
155 posts

Flixbus don't go north of Uppsala. You can book other companies on Flixbus with a booking fee and fewer departures to choose from so of course much better to book directly with the company that actually runs the bus even if it requires some translation. https://www.mohlinsexpressbuss.se/ It doesn't go from Arlanda but if the train fails you from Stockholm it could be a last minute option.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks for the replies and all the great advice.

Could you please send me the link to book the train reservations? I tried googling and realize I need some help finding the right site! It will be 3 of us going and we are ok with waiting for the next train connection if we miss it. We might be dead tired though from a long flight from USA/west coast.Though, I would like to book a direct trains (from the airport to Falun, and from Falun to Stockholm) and hopefully it is obvious from the booking site.

Realistically, do we need to spend 2 nights in Falun? Could we spend the night in Falun, go see the Dala museum and Carl Larsson's house and then take the train directly to Stockholm? (Maybe it's not a good idea to be walking around the train station at night with luggage.) We also want to squeeze a trip to Sandhamn (Sandon Island - sleeping there, one night) before the Rick Steves tour starts up, so that's why we are thinking about time limits. I need to book that excursion as well and hope it isn't already booked up.

Finally, is there any reason I need to bring any kronas or American dollars? From what I read, Sweden is more advanced than us as far as being a cashless society. Do street vendors actually take credit cards?
thanks in advance

Posted by
8 posts
  1. Is this the correct site? SJ? I found it linked off of the Carl Larsson's Sundborn visit website. https://www.sj.se/en/search-journey/search/Arlanda%20Central/Falun%20Central/2024-07-22

It says that they are switching to a new booking system on June 4. The selections for starting point are different depending if I pick a date before or after June 4. We are traveling after June 4.

I assume I have to select "Arlanda Terminal <#>" depending on where our international flight (not booked yet) arrives? When hen I select a date after June4, when I start typing in Arlanda in the starting point, several options are shown in a drop down list box such as Arlanda Terminal 4, Arlanda Terminal 5, etc. I also see Arlanda Central, but assume I have to select an airport terminal?

I don't see an "Arlanda C", which was posted elsewhere on this site.

  1. I assume the ending terminal is : Falun Central?

  2. Does "Arlanda C" means "Arlanda Central" or are they 2 different things?
    I will try to watch some You Tube videos on how to take the train.

  3. Do you think we should make reservations ahead of time to take the train from Arlanda airport to Falun? Does it really fill up during the summer? Or is that to make sure you get the seat type you like (e.g. first class, second class, etc.).

Thanks in advance

Posted by
6670 posts

You buy the train tickets at www.sj.se and nowhere else. Whether you need to spend two nights in Falun is up to you. It's not a bad idea in my opinion, but as always you have to compromise when making travel plans. And I would not worry about walking around the station at night with luggage, neither in Stockholm nor in Falun. As long as trains are arriving and departing there will be people walking the area with more or less luggage.

If you start at the airport you want to buy a ticket from Arlanda Central/Arlanda C. They are the same station. "C" is just a way to abbreviate Central station. And the central station, located between Terminals 4 & 5 is the only place at the airport where long distance trains stop. You will also see Arlanda N(orth) and Arlanda S(outh), they are only used by the train to Stockholm. And you might also see "Arlanda Terminal X", which probably are bus stops.

Buying train tickets in advance is in general a good idea, it will save you a bit of money. But when arriving on a flight it's always a matter of how much margin you want for flight delays etc.

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you very much for the great advice! A few more questions since I don't want to screw this up (we are taking the tour so that somebody who knows Scandinavia takes care of the logistics but unfortunately the tour doesn't include a trip to Carl and Karin Larsson's cottage and it is on my bucket list of things I want to do before I kick the bucket).
Regarding:

You will also see Arlanda N(orth) and Arlanda S(outh), they are only used by the train to Stockholm.
What is the difference between N(orth) and S(outh)? Is that North Stockholm versus South Stockholm?

Also, when we travel back from Falun to Stockholm, we either want to stay Hotel Wellington (Storgatan 611451 Stockholm , Sweden, which is where the tour starts - googling says it is in the Östermalm neighborhood) or we want to stay in the Sodermalm neighborhood (which looked really cool in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie). Google maps says that if we are going to Ostermalm, we should get off at Stockholm Central Station. Google maps says to go to Stockholm Central Station, then take what the T-Centralen (subway) to Mariatorget (which googling tells me is a square and a park) and then walk to Soldermalm. Does that sound about right?

What is your opinion on staying at Sodermalm before the start of the tour? We are big-time coffee drinkers and want to check out coffee shops (hopefully light roast) and definitely FIKA! Before the tour starts, we also want to walk around the old city areas and also spend a night at one of the Islands.
Thanks again! I need to buy the Rick Steves tour book again - unfortunately covid hit the year we had planned to take the tour.

Posted by
6670 posts

What is the difference between N(orth) and S(outh)?

They are different stations. There are three railway stations at Arlanda. Arlanda C, Arlanda N and Arlanda S. Long distance trains stop at Arlanda C while the express trains to central Stockholm use Arlanda N and Arlanda S.

Google maps says that if we are going to Ostermalm, we should get off
at Stockholm Central Station.

You don't have a choice on where to get off, the train from Falun stops at the Stockholm central station, it's the only stop in Stockholm.

Google maps says to go to Stockholm Central Station, then take what
the T-Centralen (subway) to Mariatorget (which googling tells me is a
square and a park) and then walk to Soldermalm. Does that sound about
right?

Do not use Google maps. It can give you some really bad advice. And that might be what happened here, because I've tried to make sense of the above statement without success. Södermalm is an island just south of Gamla stan. There are currently six metro stations and one railway station on the island currently. The best way to get to Södermalm depends very on where on the island you're staying.

What is your opinion on staying at Sodermalm before the start of the
tour?

Not a bad idea, it's a nice part of Stockholm. Has a lot more character than Östermalm in my opinion.

We are big-time coffee drinkers and want to check out coffee shops
(hopefully light roast) and definitely FIKA!

Light roast coffee might be hard to find, Swedes usually drink medium or dark roast coffee. Just avoid the café chains and visit the independent ones instead.

Posted by
155 posts

There are many examples where Google Maps gives better directions than SL, but Södermalm is a big island, once you have a specific adress you will get better directions regardless if you ask Google Maps, SL or here. Anywhere close to a metro (T-bana) station on the red or green line will give you good transport options. You can enable a public transport layer on Google Maps to get an overview.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks for the replies. I will google how to add the google map overlay but I still would like to have actual stop/time tables since I'm old-school. I am having trouble finding time tables for SJ. Could you please spell it out for me?
All I see is "Search Journey" https://www.sj.se/en
Also, links to the subway and bus would be great too.

Any suggestions of where to stay in Södermalm? And if you have any personal favorites of places to stay Stockholm (perhaps other neighborhoods) and want to share, that would be great. We like walking.

Also any favorite coffee shops (etc.) you would recommend in Stockholm, Oslo, Bergen, Copenhagen, Aero (anywhere the Rick Steve tours go)?

I am fine with dark roast, as long as it is good coffee (unlike a well-known American coffee chain that starts with S and burns their beans for consistency). I heard Norway has lighter roasts, but maybe that's only among some of the small roasters.

Also, if you have any favorite islands for an overnight stay and want to share, that would be great. I realize it is a personal choice. We like nature - walking around, quiet, trees, love the red little stugas (can't wait to see them!!), love little cabins/cottages. We picked Sandom/Sandhamn Island because of the beauty of the island in Sandhamn Murder mystery tv series but were joking we would have to be careful there because of all the murders that happen there! ;-) ;-) (in the tv series)
thank you

Posted by
6670 posts

SJ doesn't publish their schedules in a traditional time table form. But if you search for a journey from Arlanda to Falun and Falun to Stockholm you will see the options and times.

The local transportation in and around Stockholm is run by SL, www.sl.se

The central parts of Södermalm is probably the area around Mariatorget and Medborgarplatsen and inbetween. But Hornstull also has its charm. I would not worry that much about it since it's easy to walk around the island. But I would recommend that you avoid the area around Slussen, it's still a bit messy due to all the construction.

For cafés on Södermalm here are a few suggestions:

In Falun you can pay a visit to Falu Bröd & Patisserie, Åsgatan 28, or Konditori Focus, Myntgatan 10. Although if experiencing the fika culture is important, you should consider a stop in Uppsala.

There are tens of thousands of islands in the Stockholm archipelago. Sandön is not a bad choice. It's pretty far out so you will see a lot of the archipelago on your way there and back. It's also pretty lively in the summer with restaurants and shops. And not as many murders in the real world fortunately!

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you for the great advice. That's too bad there isn't a time table but it still is so much easier to have something online than before the web and I'll take what I can get.

Why is there a coffee scene in Uppsala? Because it is a university town? I read elsewhere on this site you recommended it.

I tried searching you tube, but I don't see anything about adding a railway overlay on google maps. Can anybody please send a link or explain how to do it?

Posted by
6670 posts

Uppsala is a very nice town, well worth a visit. Someone has written a good article about Uppsala on Wikivoyage: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Uppsala

And yes, the universities probably are a big factor in the fact that there is a more living café culture in Uppsala. Or maybe it's the local culture to avoid the chain cafés and go to the independent ones instead?