I like trains. I like the Baltics. I like ferries and Efterklang too, but let’s not complicate matters. You can [almost] circumnavigate the Baltic Sea by train. Here’s how:
- Day 1: starting at my little brother’s place in Göteborg, take the sleeper at 18:25, arriving into Luleå in the north of Sweden at 11:30 the next day. Cost: 873kr.
- Day 2: take the bus [boo!] across the border into Finland, leaving at 12:45 and arriving to Tornio at 15:15. Cost: free! Then a sleeper to Helsinki, leaving at 20:31 and arriving at 10:00. Cost: €105.
- Day 3: travel to Moscow on the Tolstoi, leaving at 17:23, arriving into Moscow Leningradski at 08:24. This is €158, but you’ll also need to get a Russian visa well in advance (£116). Spend the night in Moscow.
- Day 5: take the Trans-European Express to Berlin (18000₽), leaving Moscow Byelorruski at 07:44, arriving 06:53. This one runs through Belarus, so you’ll need another visa (£50).
- Day 6: The Berlin Night Express is a unique train that travels aboard a ferry to cross the Baltic. 799kr. Leaves Berlin at 22:30, arrives into Malmö at 12:55. It’s a short hop back to Göteborg, leaving at 13:08, arriving 16:20 on day 7. 343kr.
Total time: just under six days. Total cost: just over £900, based on two sharing etc etc, plus a Moscow hotel. To get back where you started. Brilliant.