Stockholm to Oulu Road Trip
Stockholm to Oulu Road Trip
Every year two million travelers book a ticket and plan a trip to one of the most unique cities in the world. Made up of fourteen adventure ready islands divided by canals, Stockholm has intrigued international visitors for decades.
Yet, who says your trip should end there?
What if you chose to drive up the Swedish countryside instead, setting your final destination past the Swedish borders and into a new country?
Welcome to the Stockholm to Oulu road trip. The road trip that will lead you through the Swedish country side, show you the eastern coastline and give you the travel experience you’re dreaming of.
But first things first, let’s get you to Stockholm.
Flying into Stockholm
Most travelers choose to fly into the Nordic city. As a popular destination for visitors from around the world, the Stockholm Arlanda Airport has grown to accommodate its international guests.
It’s 40 kilometers away from the city center and welcomes airlines from all over the world. Airline companies from the United States of America, Eastern Europe, Thailand, the Middle East, European Nations, Africa, Asia Australia and more fly regularly into ARN.
Travelers coming from countries that don’t directly fly into Stockholm can find a connecting flight to the Swedish capital from another convenient major city. Travelers can fly on budget airlines like, WOW, and luxury airlines, such as Emirates, into Stockholm.
If you choose not to fly into Stockholm, trains, buses and ferries are available from neighboring countries.
90 days visa
Travelers from most countries outside of the European Union will receive a 90 day Schengan visa upon entry into Sweden. The visa covers all of the European countries within the Schengan region. Travelers are welcome to visit as many countries as they desire within those three months.
Once you arrive in Stockholm, the best way to get acquainted with the Swedish lifestyle is by exploring the city’s streets, dancing with the locals and hiking through the Swedish forests.
Must Have Experiences in Stockholm
Get a crash course in Swedish history and Stockholm’s historic landmarks:
Walking tours are available in the city and last about two hours. A guide will walk you through highlighted parts of the city, explaining their importance and relevance in Swedish history.
See the city at night from the water:
Stockholm is composed of fourteen islands connected by fifty-seven bridges. Boat tours are available throughout the day and at night time. Night tours are particularly popular events as they give visitors a chance to tour the city from a new perspective.
Take a wildlife tour through the countryside:
Swedish forests are home to elk, wild boars and other native animals. Sunset safari tours through the countryside give visitors a glimpse outside of the city walls and into the lives of the wild locals.
Dance through the night at Summerburst Music Festival:
The annual music festival hosts performers like Diplo, Martin Garrix and Benny Benassi. Due to increasing popularity, the festival has upgraded to a larger location and added a third stage for 2018. This year, Summerburst will be live from June 15th-June 16th.
Trek through the wilderness wearing snowshoes:
If you’re visiting Stockholm in the winter, strap on a pair of snowshoes and experience the stillness of a winter’s day in the Swedish forest. Come face to face with wildlife, frozen lakes and the reclusive side of the city. (will be edited)
Where To Stay In Stockholm
- Address: Skeppsbron 12
Centrally located in the heart of Old Town Stockholm, the waterfront hotel is walking distance to most of the city’s famous attractions. Breakfast is included for all guests as well as a restaurant and bar open every day. Parking is located in a parking garage for a set fee per day.
- Address: Tulegatan 8
Hotel Birger Jarl is in Stockholm’s city center, close to popular restaurants, bars and attractions in the city. Portions of the hotel’s profits go to help underprivileged people through donations to charities and partnerships with organizations. Guests can park in the parking garage for a set fee per day.
- Address: Flaggmansvagen 8
For travelers on a budget, the STF Youth Hostel Skeppsholmen is $30-$40 USD per night. The building was once used by the royal castle for firewood storage. It has now been converted to a highly rated youth hostel in the city center. Parking is available for guests.
Getting prepared for the road
Once your Stockholm bucket list activities are checked off, it’s time to cruise north, up the Scandinavian countryside. On the way to Oulu, Finland are a few noteworthy stops.
Crossing these must see landmarks and must do activities off of your Stockholm bucket list feels good. What feels better is knowing that even more adventure lies ahead.
It’s time to take to the open road and experience a new side of Sweden.
In total, the road trip from Stockholm to Oulu takes approximately thirteen hours. The trip can be done in a day, for travelers who don’t have time to spare.
For those with extra time, there are several pit stops along the way that will add to your adventure. Did you ever think you’d be able to ride a dog pulled sleigh or stay in a hotel made entirely of ice?
This may be the world’s only road trip, with an agenda this bucket list worthy.
Now that you have experienced the city streets, mingled with the locals and became an expert at fika, you can officially cross Stockholm off of your bucket list.
Now all you need is the car for the Stockholm to Oulu road trip.
Renting A Car
Car rentals are available in the Stockholm city center. There are various options including Hertz, Sixt Biluthryning and Europcar Stockholm City. Rentals can be scheduled online via the company’s websites or in person.
Within the city
Within the city there are areas with a few rental places in close proximity. For travelers looking to get a car without booking online, they can go between Grondal and Hornstull to find Sunfleet Bilpool and Europcar Stockholm City.
There are also several options between Gamla Stan and Hagalund. These options include Hertz, AB Quick Car Rental and Sixt Biluthryning.
Rentals will range in price depending on the size of the vehicle and peak seasons. On average, a sedan rental should cost $40 or less per day.
- Per rental car regulation, drivers must be between 25 and 69 years old.
Where to pick your car?
If you choose to get your car upon arrival, you can pick up your car rental at the Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Visitors can choose from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt. The rental offices are located in the car rental area, aside from Sixt who is located in parking facility Alfa P3.
Buses are regularly scheduled through out the day to take visitors from the terminal to both car rental areas. To get to Avis, Budget, Europcar and Hertz take bus Beta. To get to Sixt, take bus Alfa. As an online option, ARN suggests using Auto Europe to rent a vehicle.
Get ready for the road
Having a car gives Stockholm’s visitors a chance to explore parts of the city and outskirts that tourists without transport have difficulty reaching. The ability to move on your own terms and to the places that most excite you are what makes road trips so popular.
Once you’ve seen the major landmarks of Stockholm, road trippers have the option to explore the vast Swedish landscape outside of the city. These Stockholm outskirts are filled with beautiful forests, lakes and wildlife.
Places To Visit Between Stockholm and Oulu
Your first stop is going to be four hours north of Stockholm in Sundsvall, Sweden. Sundsvall is a small Swedish town with one large landmark to offer, North Mountain.
Hike North Mountain:
Called the Norra Berget The mountain overlooks the city and gives a birds eye view to the Swedish landscape. Beginner’s are welcome to hike North Mountain as it’s not an overly strenuous hike. From the city center, the hike is 1.5 kilometers. Pack a lunch and enjoy the view overlooking the Swedish countryside.
Accommodation: Scandic Sundsvall Nord
- Address: Vardshusbacken 6
Located right off of the motorway, guests of Scandic Sundsvall Nord can enjoy the sauna, pool, and the hotel restaurant. The hotel also offers parking for all of its guests.
Two hours north of Sundsvall is the town of Ornskoldsvik. Located right off of the highway, Ornskoldsvik earned its right as our second stop on the Stockholm to Oulu road trip for one particular reason. Bring your sneakers, a brave heart and an excitement for adventure.
Hike the Slattdalsskrevan Gorge
If you are committed to adventure, the Slattdalsskrevan hike was designed for you. The hike consists of two major attractions, the gorge rock formation and the view from the top of the mountain. First time climbers should be aware that seeing the view from the top of the mountain is not for the faint of heart. The rocky up hill in the last hundred meters makes for a challenging but worthy climb.
Accomodation: Hotell Focus
- Address: Lasarettsgatan 9
Hotell Focus is in walking distance of the city center, giving guests a chance to explore more of Ornskoldsvik. The hotel has a swimming pool, spa and saunas. Breakfast is included for each guest as well as free parking in their heated garage.
Three hours from Ornskoldsvik is the quaint Swedish town of Skelleftea. The town is small but the opportunity here is once in a lifetime, making it one of the most epic stops on this road trip.
Ride a dog sled. Aside from being immersed in the forest, Skelleftea visitors prioritize one other activity-dog sledding. Travelers visiting in the winter can choose the memorable transportation option of being pulled by dog sled through the trails of the lush Swedish forest. If you aren’t visiting in winter months, you can hike or bike along the trails with the huskies.
Zipline at the Skelleftea Adventurepark. Strap in and fly over the Swedish forest. Open during the spring and summer months, the adventure park offers a variety of activities. Guests can enjoy a day zip lining and spend the night soaking in the hot tub and relaxing in the provided sauna.
Accommodation: Scandic Skelleftea
- Address: Kanalgatan 75
Close to the city center of Skelleftea, guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast, an indoor pool and free outdoor parking. Indoor parking is available for an extra fee.
Now that you’ve gotten a chance to get up close and personal with the Swedish huskies and to see the forest from above, it’s time to spend some time with the sea life. One hour away from Skelleftea is Pitea, a Swedish city with some very special inhabitants. The fourth stop on the Stockholm to Oulu road trip is going to take you off land and straight into the Swedish waters.
Go on a seal safari. In Pitea is the Pitea archipelago, a group of islands popular amongst kayakers, divers and boating enthusiasts. Specifically, visitors can choose to go on a seal safari, taking kayaks into the Bay of Bothnia and getting up close and personal with the Swedish Sea locals.
Accommodation: Furunaeset Hotell & Konferens
- 2b Belonasvaengen
The scenic Furunaeset Hotell & Konferens is located on the Pite river. Guests can choose from thirty-five rooms and play croquet in the hotel’s lawn. The hotel is within walking distance of the city center. Guests can park their cars in the heated garage for free.
The final stop before Oulu may be the most memorable night’s sleep of your entire life. Two and a half hours from Pitea is Kemi, Finland. The town has one particularly large attraction, its castle. Unlike most European castles, the Snow Castle has one large difference. It’s made entirely of ice.
Arriving to Finland in the Stockholm to Oulu Road Trip
Visit the Snow Castle in Kemi, Finland. Open from January 1st to April 14th, the Snow Castle is entirely built of ice, the water of which was derived from the sea. Visitors can dine in the Snow Restaurant and stay a night at the Snow Hotel. The Snow Castle even has a chapel for hosting weddings.
Walk through the Kemi Church. Built in 1902, the Kemi church was designed to evoke a new-gothic theme. Painted pink, the detail on the outside walls and interior ceiling has astounded Kemi tourists since it was first built.
Accommodation: Snow Hotel
- Address: Lumilinnankatu 15
Made entirely of sea water ice, the Snow Hotel continues to give its guests one of the most memorable nights of their lives.
Accommodation: Hotel Palomestari
- Address: Valtakatu 12
Hotel Palomestaris in the Kemi city center, walking distance to the Kemi Church and the Snow Castle. Guests can enjoy a cold brew in their cozy beer restaurant. Parking is available for all guests.
After Kemi, there’s only one place to head next. The final destination of Oulu has been attracting tourists from around the world for many reasons.
Similar to Stockholm, Oulu is also a series of islands separated by canals. The city offers various activities for tourists to submerge themselves in the Finnish history and culture, as well as the only air guitar championship in the world.
Must Have Experiences in Oulu
Watch Air Guitar Champions From Around The World Compete For A Great Cause.
The Air Guitar World Championships were created with the mission of uniting people from around the world and creating an event that nobody could take too seriously.
The theme changes every year and 2018 is focused on drawing more attention to climate change. The event is part of a month long festival each August called the Oulu August Festival.
Partake in the Oulu August Festival.
Oulu visitors touring the city during August are in for an artistic treat. Aside from the Air Guitar World Championships, the Oulu August Festival hosts concerts (with actual instruments) during their month long multi arts festival.
Take a raft to the Kesan Sauna.
Located on the Oulu river is the Kesan Sauna, ran by volunteers and built to resemble a small cabin. For five euro, visitors can relax in the sauna as a wood fire boiler heats the cabin. Depending on the time of year, guests can cool off by jumping in the river afterwards.
Watch the sunset at Nallikari Beach.
Open year round, visitors can enjoy a walk on the sand overlooking the river. Nallikari Beach is also home to a resort offering a spa, hotel, restaurant and camping areas.
Where To Stay In Oulu
- Address: Holstinsalmentie 29
The Break Sokos Hotel Eden is on Nallikari Beach. Guests who are interested in enjoying the beach activities, like the Kesan Sauna, find this hotel to be in a great location. Buses run daily to bring visitors in the heart of Oulu city. This hotel has parking amenities.
- Address: Kasarmintie 13
Once a military hospital, the Lasaretti Hotel has been renovated into a waterfront hotel. Located on the river Oulujoki, the hotel sits inside Park Ainola. This hotel is particularly popular in the summer due to it’s proximity to the parks and rivers. Guests have the option to choose complimentary parking.
- Address: Vaelitie 1
For travelers on a budget the Best Western Hotel Samantta offers rooms for less than one hundred euros. The hotel in Haukipudas near Oulu, has seen past guests enjoy a quiet night relaxing from travels. Free parking is available for all guests.
Calling on adventurous road trippers
The temptation of eleven hundred kilometers, sled dogs, music festivals and the only air guitar championship in the world is calling all adventurous road trippers.
Discover the Scandinavian roads and the Finnish landscape while running on your own time by taking the Stockholm to Oulu road trip
And remember to say yes to every adventure that comes your way.