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Sweden by motorhome or van: rentals, wilderness camping, itineraries

Sweden by motorhome

Imagine yourself behind the wheel of your home on wheels, with a new Swedish panorama in front of your eyes every day. Does it make you dream? That’s the promise of a motorhome adventure in Sweden, an experience that combines freedom, nature and unexpected discoveries.

Why choose such a journey? The answer is simple: exploring Sweden by van means choosing to live to the rhythm of its ancestral forests, shimmering lakes and towns steeped in history, while enjoying unrivalled flexibility.

We spent 7 weeks crossing the country in our vehicle. In this article, we give you all the tips you need to make the most of your camping holiday in Sweden. Follow us in this comprehensive guide to our top Swedish spots, itinerary ideasand tips!

Planning your motorhome trip to Sweden

To travel in Sweden in a converted vehicle (camper, van, truck…) you have 2 options: either rent a vehicle in Sweden, although rental costs are fairly high.

That’s why we think a better option is to rent a motorhome in France. We explain below how to reach Sweden from France. We’ll leave you with your calculators!

Rent a van or motorhome in Sweden

To find a vehicle in Sweden, you can compare prices on professional Swedish rental sites such as Skanditrip. We found the prices really high, which can certainly be explained by the fact that the cost of living is already more expensive than in France, and it’s worth noting that the Swedes love van and camping car life! To this, you need to add the plane tickets.

Rent a van or motorhome in France

Another option, which we think is more cost-effective, is to rent a vehicle in France and then travel to Sweden in it.

We advise you to rent your motorhome, van, van conversion … between individuals, using the platform Yescapa which connects tenants and owners. Vehicle prices are more attractive in France than in Sweden. It’s a French company, from Bordeaux, leader with more than 13’000 vehicles available, you will find your happiness!

For our part, we used this platform to test several motorhome models before choosing our own. We’ve always been happy with the different vehicles, and we’ve also had plenty of advice from the owners, who usually really take the time to explain how the vehicle works.

It’s very simple: you select your departure city, then your travel dates, then the platform suggests the available vehicles. Then, you can sort by price, number of beds, unlimited kilometers, foreign travel possible or not …. And the most important thing in our opinion, comments from other renters, reading the different feedbacks gives us a lot of information (reliability of the ad, accommodating renter, availability…) and reassures us! To travel abroad with your vehicle, check the following 2 boxes in the “travel preferences” section: Unlimited km and International travel.

Once you’ve found what you’re looking for in your vehicle, don’t forget to equip yourself to travel with peace of mind. We’ve put together a list of our must-have motorhome accessories, some of which may surprise you!

Formalities and regulations: what you need to know

Administrative: permits and insurance

If you’re planning a trip to Sweden, rest assured that administrative formalities are straightforward.

  • Vehicle insurance: If you’re bringing your own vehicle, check that your vehicle insurance covers you in these 2 countries. If you rent a vehicle, be sure to ask the owner for confirmation.
  • Permits : most European permits are accepted without problem. We were able to travel with our French license.

Driving in Sweden

Driving in Sweden is a real pleasure, as Swedes are respectful and considerate of other drivers. In fact, it’s one of the countries in the world with the fewest accidents. Matthew usually drives 90% of the time, but in Sweden we drove equally. The roads are well maintained. The speed limit is always respected: 50km/h in town, 70km/h on trunk roads, and 110km/h on freeways. Good news: the freeways are free.

Note that in the Swedish cities of Stockholm and Göteborg only, a tax applies for driving in the city center. To limit vehicle traffic in the city center. The cost varies according to peak traffic times, but is usually just a few euros. The amount to be paid is displayed on a digital screen along the route.

The Nordic countries have taken strict measures with regard to alcohol, and the permitted level is very low. We therefore advise you to keep consumption to a minimum for the driver.

The only drawback we found in Sweden was the high cost of fuel. We advise you to fill up your car before arriving in Sweden, as diesel is very expensive. It’s cheaper in Germany and Norway.

For LPG stations, the south of Sweden is well equipped, while the north is less so, so think ahead when you arrive in Swedish Lapland.

Where to sleep in a motorhome or van in Sweden?

To make your motorhome adventure as enjoyable as possible, here are a few practical tips to keep in mind.

Campsites and unauthorized parking

Sweden really is paradise for vanlife.

  • Paid camping: There are many well-equipped camping areas and campsites, perfect for spending the night. These pitches often offer services such as electricity, showers and sanitary facilities. With showers offering good flow rates, vanlifers will understand the importance of this phrase!
  • Wild camping, or bivouac, is permitted throughout the country, provided of course that certain rules are observed.

Sweden is famous for its“Allemansrätten” policy, which translates as the right of access to nature, allowing everyone to enjoy nature freely. However, this right comes with restrictions: nature, wildlife and the privacy of local residents must always be respected. This means avoiding parking too close to dwellings and always leaving the premises as you found them.

It is also forbidden to park in national parks or on private roads, where the owner determines the traffic regulations. Prohibitions are generally well indicated.

To give you an idea, during our 5 weeks in Sweden we only spent 6 nights camping in Göteborg and we dropped our camper van off at a campsite around Stockholm.

We spent 10 months in Southern Europe and 5 months in Scandinavia, which was our favorite country in Europe for the quality of its wilderness spots, generally in the middle of a forest, beside a lake with a fire pit. Some spots even come with sauna facilities. And all the bivouacs are quiet even in the middle of August. We were able to pick berries next to many spots. The only region that seems to be very popular with locals in summer is the Bohuslan coast (we were there in May and it was still quite busy).

For our spot searches, we used the famous Park4nightWith the paid option (around €2/month or €10/year), we can add filters to our search: “rating higher than 4/5”, “free CC stat. area”, “playground”, ideal for keeping our little monsters busy.

We also complete our research by trying to locate parking lots far from civilization on Google maps and by asking other travelers (this is how we found the parking lot right next to the sauna spots) or friends on site.

Our final tips for sleeping in the wild: we advise you to opt for pitches far from the main points of interest, in the early or late season (May, June and September), and if you have the slightest doubt, ask the locals if it’s possible to park for a night!

Managing autonomy: water and electricity

We usually stopped at service areas, petrol stations or campsites. The first two options are generally free of charge. We just had trouble finding a place to do all the services in the immediate vicinity of Stockholm.

We’ve found all our spots on the Park4night app. Remember to read the latest reviews to make sure everything works before you arrive.

When it comes to shopping, Sweden offers numerous refreshment points and supermarkets are well distributed, even in the most remote areas.

Daytime parking in Sweden

Parking lots around towns and cities are usually paid for via apps like Easypark, which is very practical.

On the Bohuslän coast, in Smögen and Fjällbacka, certain restrictions apply to recreational vehicles between June and August, with paid parking and a night-time parking ban. You can find all the information you need on the Park4night application.

How do I get to Sweden from France?

By road

This is the option we chose, and it takes 2 days from central France to reach southern Sweden. We looked at various options, and here is the one we selected:

We crossed part of France, Luxembourg and then Germany to reach the port of Travemünde (north of Hamburg in Germany).

We then recommend that you compare ferry prices on the following website Direct Ferries to find the one that best suits your schedule. We travelled with TT Lines for 138€ for a motorhome and 3 passengers. Depending on the company, you will arrive either at the port of Malmö in Sweden or at Trelleborg (located a few kilometers south of Malmö). The ferry was new and even had a sauna. Finnlines offers an arrival in Malmö, for a similar fare. We took the company that suited us best in terms of crossing times.

Note that freeways in Germany are free of charge, and diesel is generally cheaper in Luxembourg. As you’ll be crossing several countries in a short space of time, remember to compare fuel prices.

By plane

You can reach Malmö or Göteborg airports by plane from France. Then rent a car in Sweden for your road trip. You can pick it up at Malmö or Göteborg airport and return it to Stockholm, for example.

Ideas for Road Trip itineraries

Once your motorhome is ready, it’s time to plan your route.

Sweden offers a multitude of scenic routes and things to do. To help you make your choice, we’ve put together an article with around 20 must-see and must-do places in Sweden, some of which are completely unusual. Our map will help you find your way around.

The southwest coast of Sweden, Skåne

This is our favorite itinerary in Sweden. We set off from the city of Malmö to reach the Bohuslan coast, following the entire south-western coast of Sweden. We visited the cities of Malmö, Lund and Göteborg, hiked in national parks and explored small fishing villages with colorful houses, including the popular villages of Smögen and Fjällbacka.

We’ve devoted an entire article to detailing our 15-day itinerary in southwest Sweden. With all our best free bivouacs, our itinerary, our tips for visits, our budget and also our good addresses.

From Stockholm to Swedish Lapland

Of course, if you’re coming to Sweden, we recommend that you include a visit to Stockholm. The capital, built on an archipelago of 14 islands, is a fascinating blend of history, culture and modern design. Take time to stroll through the old town (Gamla Stan) and discover its many museums.

Then head north to Swedish Lapland, a paradise for nature lovers with many national parks to explore. We loved driving and visiting this remote area. We were practically alone, even in the middle of August. We crossed immense forests and skirted numerous lakes, and you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of reindeer and the northern lights in winter in the night sky.

It was in a forest aroundAbisko that we came across our first Swedish reindeer!

Allow 4 to 5 weeks for this road trip, and many kilometers.

East coast to Stockholm

As a final option, with fewer kilometers to cover, you can also reach Stockholm by exploring Sweden’s southeast coast. It’s a region with many points of interest, from the megaliths of Ales to the picturesque islands and small coastal villages, not forgetting Kalmar Castle.

Allow 3 weeks to complete this road trip.

Our advice and budget for your road trip

  • Remember to stock up on groceries if you’re leaving from France, as we managed to go 2 weeks without shopping in Sweden. For example, jars of ratatouille for quiches or pasta dishes, jars of ready meals… And take your good fruit and vegetables with you, because in Sweden much of it is imported, even in summer.

    If you want to eat more cheaply in Sweden, we recommend you opt for the buffet options available at lunchtime in most restaurants, or eat at Max, the Swedish burger chain, which offers some twenty vegetarian options. We’re not big fans of fast food, but we still found the veggie burgers not too bad.
  • Identity papers: Sweden and Norway are in theEuropean Union, so you can enter with your valid identity card. We were only checked for the boat.
  • We encountered mosquitoes mainly in Lapland, around Abisko and Kiruna, but in the rest of Sweden we were not bothered.
  • Safety: Sweden and Norway are among the safest countries in Europe, and we’ve met locals who don’t lock their houses when they go on vacation! We always felt safe in the towns and on the bivouacs.
  • Budget : traveling by camper van, we spent around €75 per day for three people. Fuel is the main expense, accounting for around 50% of the budget. We advise you to fill up your car before arriving in Sweden, as diesel is very expensive. It’s cheaper in Germany and Norway.

We had a lot of fun writing this article about our motorhome trip to Sweden, which we absolutely loved. We hope this article will help you organize yours. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Don’t hesitate to leave us a note or 5 stars below, to let us know if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, below we’ll answer you with great pleasure. You can check out our Instagram stories from our trip to Sweden, to give you a taste of what’s in store!

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My name is Floriane, and I've been an adventurer and travel enthusiast since I was very young. More than anything, I love sharing our travel stories and tips with you. We love short getaways as well as long trips. This blog was born after our backpacking trip around the world. We also went on a family tour of Europe.
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