Seafood Safari, Scenic Journeys & Idyllic Island Living: London to Gothenburg by Train
From London to Gothenburg by train, this 10-day trip immerses you in the wilds of West Sweden and the wild nightlife in Hamburg en route. Spend your time hiking on idyllic islands, foraging for food and harvesting blue mussels as you wind your way from Gothenburg to Tjorn and back.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Party in the nightlife capital of Europe - Hamburg
- Experience the remarkable train/ferry crossing from Germany to Denmark
- Explore the cute cobbled streets of Gothenburg
- Tour a 17th-century fortress on the idyllic island of Marstrand
- Hike across the charming car-free island of Dyron
- Take part in the 'World's Sweatiest Art Trail' on Tjorn island
- Help to harvest blue mussels and dine on them for lunch
- Forage for food and help to prepare a delicious seasonal lunch at Gunnebo House
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Day 1: London to Hamburg by Train
After you've taken your (carbon-offset) flight across to Europe, it's time to explore this vast and diverse continent by train. You'll be able to see and experience it from another perspective while minimising your environmental impact.
This exciting London to Gothenburg by train itinerary begins with an early morning Eurostar train from London St. Pancras station to Brussels, a journey that takes around two hours. Nab a seat by the window and pass the time watching the world go by as you wind your way across the tip of France and through Belgium to the capital.
You've got 20 minutes or so to change platforms, and then the second stage of your journey takes you from Brussels to Cologne on a speedy ICE (InterCity Express) high speed train, which takes under two hours. Then from Cologne, it's another relaxed connection and a final four-hour ICE train to the pretty port city of Hamburg where you will be staying for the night.
Day 2: Hamburg to Copenhagen and on to Gothenburg by Train
Today, after filling up on a hearty breakfast at your hotel, catch a morning train from Hamburg to Copenhagen Central Station, arriving into the Danish capital after a scenic five-hour journey.
Along the way, experience a memorable crossing which sees the train shunted onto a ferry for the 50-minute crossing from Puttgarden in Germany to Rodby in Denmark - one of the few places in Europe where trains still go onto ferries. During the crossing, get a bite to eat at the simple onboard restaurant then head out onto the deck to enjoy the views and breathe in the salty sea air. Meanwhile, your luggage will remain safely on the train.
From Copenhagen, it's a four-hour train to Sweden's second city Gothenburg, where you will be staying for the night in a charming and characterful hotel. After checking in this evening and freshening up, enjoy a leisurely evening meal in the city, where our Concierge can recommend and reserve a great local spot.
Day 3: Explore Gothenburg on Foot
After all the travelling over the past few days, take the time to stretch your legs this morning as you explore Gothenburg on foot.
This charming canal-lined city is wonderfully vibrant with its fun-loving student population and world-renowned food culture; there are no less than four Michelin-starred restaurants here. Wander around the cute cobbled streets of Haga - home to the 17th-century Skansen Kronan fortress - and duck into a bakery for a cinnamon bun and cup of coffee - a local ritual known as fika.
After your hit of caffeine, get a hit of culture at the wonderful Gothenburg Museum of Art and then pack your bags ready for your ferry to the seaside town of Marstrand. Departing in the early afternoon, the three-hour ferry ride includes a stop on the pretty archipelago island of Kallo-Knippla where you'll enjoy a guided walk before continuing on to Marstrand where you will be staying for the next two nights of your London to Gothenburg by train trip.
Day 4: Island Living in Marstrand
Formerly a playground for the Swedish royals, the idyllic island of Marstrand is now a place where discerning holidaymakers come to sail, relax and soak up the jet-set lifestyle.
After a leisurely island-style start to your day, set off to see the sights. Visit the 17th century Carlsten's Fortress where you can have a guided tour to learn about its history and afterwards, hop on a boat to the tiny neighbouring island of Hamneskar to see the ruby-red Pater Noster Lighthouse.
Back on Marstrand, wander along the pretty cobbled streets, admire the ornate wooden houses that dot the island and stop for a browse of the shops and delicious seafood dinner in one of the many charming local restaurants.
Day 5: Ferry to Kladesholmen
Your London to Gothenburg by train trip continues today with a ferry ride to the neighbouring island of Tjorn where you will be staying in the village of Kladesholmen in a unique floating hotel.
During the ferry crossing, you will stop at a number of islands including the tiny, car-free island of Dyron. Here, you can go for a hike along a scenic three-mile trail with views over Marstrand fjord and the Carlstens Fortress you visited yesterday. Learn about the island from the information boards dotted along the trail and stop for a refreshing dip in one of the swimming areas or in a more secluded spot on one of the sandy beaches.
Keep an eye out for the wild mouflon sheep that live on the island -around 50 of them in total - and visit the studio of Dyron's gold and silversmith, Tintin Hallding, who will usually be found here busily working on her beautiful jewellery and interior accessories.
Upon arrival into Kladesholmen, check into your hotel where you will be staying for the night. Cosy up in the sauna and, come evening, tuck into a tasty menu of traditional, regional specialities such as sill (herring).
Day 6: Explore Tjorn
Get your blood pumping today as you meet your guide this morning for a full day's tour of Tjorn island and its arty surroundings by kayak and bike.
Known as the 'World's Sweatiest Art Trail' the tour combines art, culture and nature as you cycle, run or walk along the winding paths between the Nordic Watercolour Museum - which has exhibited world-class art including works by Salvador Dali as well as Swedish favourites - and the picturesque Pilane Sculpture Park, dotted with grazing sheep and Iron Age stone circles.
After the tour, you will be transferred 45 minutes to your next hotel, a quaint and characterful property in the seaside town of Ljungskile where you will be staying for the next two nights of your London to Gothenburg by train trip.
Day 7: Musselbaren Seafood Safari
Take to the water today as you venture out into the fjord aboard the steel trawler MS Marta to harvest blue mussels, one of the world's most sustainable delicacies.
During the three-hour trip you will boat out to a vast offshore farm, learn about the life cycle of the blue mussel and have a go at harvesting them yourself. Back on dry land, enjoy a delicious lunch of fresh mussels cooked up for you by one of the chefs at Musselbaren in a giant mussel pan and served in the historic clock tower at Lyckorna.
Day 8: Edible Country Table Experience
Your London to Gothenburg by train trip continues today with a 45-minute transfer by car to Gunnebo House where you will get to forage for food and learn how to conjure up a tasty seasonal meal with a help of a local chef.
Encompassing a whopping 240 acres, Gunnebo House and Gardens is a protected nature reserve which works to preserve the traditions of landscape management in the area. Here, among the rolling hills and lush forests, you will experience the unique do-it-yourself dining and savour a delicious meal outside in nature.
After your edible table experience, you will be travelling by bus back to Gothenburg where you will be staying for the night.
Day 9: Gothenburg to Hamburg by train
It's time to begin the train journey home today. Pack your bags and depart from Gothenburg, taking the same route as on your outbound journey via Copenhagen and towards Hamburg.
After so many activity-filled days on your trip so far, savour the chance to relax and enjoy the views on the eight-and-a-half-hour journey which includes the same unique 50-minute ferry crossing, this time in reverse from Rodby in Denmark to Puttgarden in Germany.
Spend the night in Hamburg, arriving in time for dinner and a nightcap in one of the many buzzing bars dotted across the city.
Day 10: Train from Hamburg to London
The final leg of your train journey home takes you from Hamburg to London via Cologne and Brussels.
Departing from Hamburg this morning, travel for four-hours through Germany to Cologne, arriving in the early afternoon. From here, it's a two-hour journey to Brussels where you'll catch your Eurostar back to London St. Pancreas, a journey that takes around three hours, arriving in the evening.
It's a fair distance home, but the perfect opportunity for some enforced R&R as you alternate between dozing, daydreaming (or train dreaming, in this case), gazing at the passing views and scrolling through your holiday snaps.
Charlotte H is our expert for this itinerary and, as a seasoned traveller, has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.