If you can fit both Stockholm and Copenhagen, two of Scandinavia’s most impressive cities, into your trip you should absolutely jump at the chance to do so. With that said, you’ll need to be savvy about how you do it.
While the two destinations may not look too far from one another on the map, there is actually over 650km of countryside between the Danish and Swedish capitals. But you shouldn’t let that deter you, as the awe-inspiring countryside makes for a picturesque journey from start to finish.
Despite the distance, you can make the journey in one day by car rental. As you’ll be driving, it’s easy to include plenty of stops for picture opportunities and refuelling (both you and the car) along the way.Car hire Stockholm
Sure, flying is much quicker than driving, but if you appreciate a great road trip, you’ll be glad you embarked on this one.
From Stockholm to Copenhagen, you’ll cover around 650 kilometres (404 miles) and it should take you around seven hours. The bulk of your route will take you south along the E4 before joining the E20 as you pass through Malmo before you eventually reach Copenhagen. You’ll pass through plenty of scenic countryside, before crossing the border to enter Denmark.
While there are plenty of places to stop off during your journey, there are three major cities and towns you’ll pass through, Norrköping, Jönköping and Malmö.
Roughly 2 hours into your trip along the E4 you’ll find Norrköping. Back in the 19th century, this industrial powerhouse was known as “Little Manchester”. Stop by and you’ll soon see why, as you discover the preserved 19th and 20th-century warehouse and textile factories that serve as homes, visitor attractions and university buildings today.
There are plenty of attractions to be discovered here, including the Arbetets Museum, the Abackarna walking route (if you feel like stretching your legs) and the impressive 17th-century Lövstad Castle.
Driving time from Stockholm: 1:59 hrs
Distance: 162.5 km
Hop back in your car rental for one hour and 50 minutes until you reach the town of Jönköping. When it comes to a tranquil place to stop off and recharge a little on your road trip, there’s no destination quite like it. Nestled within the shore of three impressive lakes, one of which, Vattern is the second largest in Sweden. This is a real picture-postcard road trip stop off.
While the town may seem a little sleepy and quiet on first impressions, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Attractions to check out in Jönköping include the Matchstick Museum, the 16th-century Habo Church and the heavenly gardens of Rosenlunds Rosarium.
Driving time from Norrköping: 1:51 hrs
Distance: 166.7 km
The biggest city you’ll pass through on your journey south is Malmö, the country’s third-largest city. Almost three hours on, it’s the perfect place for one last pit stop before you cross the border. This city is much like Stockholm with a contrast between old and new. The city is made up of historic buildings steeped in an enchanting history that goes hand in hand with an unapologetically modern flair that reflects Sweden’s progressive outlook.
Be sure to explore Gamla Staden, the Västra Hamnen and the impressive Öresund Bridge – Europe's longest combined road and rail bridge.
Driving time from Jönköping: 3:01 hrs
Distance: 291.6 km
Once you cross the border and reach the beautiful capital city of Copenhagen, you certainly won’t be short of things to do.
And if you want to continue the road trip and discover more of Europe on four wheels, there are plenty of day trips you can take from here. During the warmer summer months, a trip to Hornbaek’s beach is a great way to spend your day, or you could explore the wild coast of Odsherred and Hundested.
The beauty of taking this scenic road trip is that it will allow you to take in the picturesque sights of both Sweden and Denmark as you stop off in charming cities along the way. While it’s certainly not a short road trip, the route is relatively simple and makes for a really pleasant and comfortable journey.
By venturing from Stockholm to Copenhagen, you’ll be passing through some seriously impressive scenery as you journey between one capital city to the other. If you love the outdoors, the sleepy feel of Scandinavia and the idea of discovery, then a road trip from Stockholm to Copenhagen is most definitely for you.
Worried about finding your way? Add GPS to your car hre reservation, and you can relax and enjoy the journey.