Arctic Circle Sleeper Train, Sweden and Norway
The Arctic Circle Train follows a unique round-trip route with 13 stops in Sweden and Norway, allowing day and overnight passengers the chance to enjoy this scenic route where, depending on the season you can experience the Northern Lights or Midnight Sun. Not surprisingly, it is known as Sweden’s most scenic train route, rewarding its customers with spectacular views from its picture windows as well as access to some of the most beautiful destinations in this part of Northern Europe. Flexible passes allow customers to hop on and off trains along one of the most scenic routes in Sweden.
One of the most popular routes is the journey between Stockholm in Sweden to Narvik in the Arctic Circle in Norway, which is famous for its snow shoe walking and husky sleigh riding. This is done with an overnight journey from Stockholm to Kiruna then another journey on to Norvik. To reach Kiruna, there are 2 night trains daily from Stockholm and the travel time between Kiruna and Narvik is around 3 hours.
Prices from: 652 SEK
Departing from: Stockholm Central
Journey length: 1 night
Arctic Circle Sleeper Train route
To reach Kiruna by train travellers will need to book an overnight service on the Arctic Circle Train from Stockholm. This 15-hour journey starts at £40 per person for a couchette. Customers can also buy a ticket that allows 3 stops in one ticket with a the flexible 3 or 7-day Arctic Circle Pass (3-day card 295 SEK; 7-day card 595 SEK). This allows you to hop-on and hop-off as you like along Sweden’s most scenic train route.
The service on the Arctic Circle Train operates three times a day in both directions during the summer period. During the rest of the year it is operational twice a day. The train stops are: Kiruna; Abisko Östra; Abisko Turiststation; Björkliden; Låktatjåkka; Vassijaure; Katterjåkk; Riksgränsen; Bjørnfjell; Søsterbekk; Katteratt; Rombakk; Narvik. En route, you will find Abisko National Park, Björkliden ski resort and Riksgränsen mountain range, which you can explore by snowmobile, dog sled or helicopter. In mid-winter Abisko is the world’s best place to see the northern lights.
The Arctic Circle Sleeper Train
The overnight Arctic Circle Sleeper Train has an attractive red and silver livery. It is basically furnished but clean and warm and through the big picture windows you’ll be able to gaze at the wild arctic landscape in the morning before you reach Kiruna.
Cabins on the Arctic Circle Sleeper Train
The Arctic Circle Sleeper Train offers passengers three choices. Sleeping compartment 1 Class has two beds, a pillow, pillowcase, bottom sheet, duvet cover and duvet are included. Crucially, no one else can be booked in your compartment. The cabin has an en suite shower and WC. Breakfast is provided free for passengers travelling in this class. Sleeping Compartment 2 Class has three ready-made beds, each with a pillow, pillowcase, bottom sheet and duvet cover, In the day the middle bed is folded down to form a sofa together with the bottom bed.
You must choose between a ladies and gents compartment. There is a hand basin and shaving socket in the cabin; two WCs and a shower are located in the corridor. The final choice is a bunk in couchette 2 Class. Here you make your bed with the blanket, pillow and sheet provided. This cabin has six bunks. WCs and stowage areas are in the corridor. You choose between ladies, gents and mixed cabins. Parties of 4-6 people can book the entire cabin for themselves, so this is a great option for families.
Food and drink
There is a buffet car on board the train that provides basic items like sandwiches, crisps and chocolate as well as beer, wine and soft drinks. In the morning you can buy breakfast here too.
There is no formal dress code on board this train. You need to dress appropriately for the weather so bring lots of warm clothing with you together with comfortable walking boots.
This is a very popular international train journey so expect to meet lots of travellers from around the world as well as Swedish and Norwegian families and retirees.
Bedding in all cabin classes is provided, together with cartons of water. Those in first class get a free breakfast but you will need to eat your evening meal either you before you get on the train, bring something with you to eat or buy something from the buffet.
Pros and cons
Taking a journey on the Arctic Circle Sleeper Train is not the most cost-effective way of travelling to Kiruna but it’s a great rail adventure and once you’re there, spending time on the Arctic Circle Train is well worth the trip. For those who remember interrailing in the 80s and 90s, this train will bring back from great memories. It’s also a great adventure for families. The downside is that this is a no-frills train so don’t expect anything luxurious on this journey
Staying in Stockholm?
If you’ve never been to this vibrant city before, it’s worth checking spending a night or two here before or after your train journey. We like both these options – one luxe and one budget.
Castle House Inn – from £64 a night
Castle House Inn is located in Central Stockholm, near the metro station and on the waterfront. From here it’s easy to visit the Nobel Prize and Vasa Museums.
Sheraton Stockholm Hotel – from £175 a night
Splash the cash on an airy room with waterfront views at the five-star Sheraton Stockholm Hotel. Right in the centre of town, it’s the perfect place to visit all the city sights.