Traveling to Sweden
If you need some general useful information during/before your journey to Sweden, please check with the Swedish tourist office web page, available to you when you click here.
Travel visa to Sweden & immigration issues: Sweden is a member of the EU Schengen mobility framework. If you have citizenship or an unconstrained residence permit in a Schengen country, you can travel to Sweden for the duration of the summer school without further paperwork. In other cases, special rules might apply to your country. Please check with your local Swedish embassy’s web pages, and check the general information at the Swedish immigration authority’s web page.
Sweden currently practices exceptional border controls on train, ferry and car communication over the national border. You should carry a valid Schengen national ID card or passport upon entering the country (and consider voting on your next national and EU elections in case you dislike getting ID’d within Schengen space).
Persons who need an invitation or other documentation on their participation in the summer school for visa application purposes shall take contact with the organizers with a specification of what documentation they need.
Accessibility: The meeting locations and lunch facilities on campus are accessible to wheelchairs, equiped with elevators, and provide sanitary facilities.
Currency: The local currency is Swedish crowns (SEK). Currently, 1 EUR is worth slightly less than 10 SEK. In general, most places accept card payments with VISA and MASTERCARD and most European national bank cards. You can use cash machines at the bank offices to withdraw cash with your bank card. Cash currency exchange is possible with FOREX in Drottninggatan 27, 652 25, KARLSTAD.
Medical emergencies: Detailed information on emergency health services to visitors is available here. As an EU citizen, the Swedish health system will receive you like local citizens if you present a European Health Card from your own country. If you become ill, injured or have psychological difficulties you should contact the local health centre in Karlstad (“Vårdsentralen”). It is located on campus. You can also call 1177 for phone health care support, where advice can be provided 24 hours a day. In an emergency, call 112.
Karlstad university, local transport
Karlstad has a very efficient and convenient public transport system. Bus lines 1,2 and 3 go from the city center to the university. The bus stop for the summer school is called “Universitet” – do NOT sit on the bus until “Campus” unless you wish to see the student dorms! Line 1 is an express bus that directly travels from the Stora Torget bus stop in front of the pubs via Drottninggatan to the campus bus stop. In case you’re a fan of all-electric vehicles, you should use line 12 to get to the dinner event. Line 12 uses buses driven with electricity from a battery.
In addition, Karlstad has an excellent network of bike routes. It is frequently ranked on top of the Swedish bike-friendly town list. You might consider renting a bike for the week if you don’t mind biking 5 kilometers on asphalted bike roads.
Directions to the KAU campus can be found here.
A local campus map of KAU including building numbers is available here.
Getting to Karlstad
Karlstad is the regional capital of the Värmland province in western Sweden. Located approx. 140 kilometers from the border with Norway, the city is located in the Klärelven river delta into Scandinavia’s largest lake – lake Vänern. Visitors arrive efficiently by train from Stockholm, Gothenburg or Oslo. They arrive by plane with direct connections from Frankfurt (Germany) and Stockholm. Many opportunities for express buses exist, too. The recently started express train service Oslo-Stockholm running three times a day stops in Karlstad, where the Swedish railway does the best they can to keep the schedule they promise.
The Swedish railway tickets (for arrivals from Gothenburg, Stockholm or Oslo) and long-distance buses can be checked and booked here.
Travel to/from Karlstad Airport
KSD airport is s small airport approx. 20 kilometers out of town. It has no web page in English, and there are neither regular public transport links, nor is there a permanent taxi station. You need to call and order minibus or taxi service before you start your trip to Karlstad! There are two options for trips between KAD and the city center (you need to book 2 trips for incoing / outgoing):
- “Flygbuss”: The regular flights from/to Frankfurt and from/to Stockholm will be serviced by the local public bus company UPON REQUEST. You should have ordered transport within two hours before landing. Trip cost: 77 SEK one-way. Operator: Värmlandstrafik. Web booking: https://varmlandstrafik.elasticmobile.net/ Booking phone number: +46 0771–32 32 00
Your arriving bus stop for Flygbuss is “Centralstationen” (the railway station, close to the hotels in Karlstad). Travel time: approx. 1 hour from the airport. When leaving, you can order the bus from the university’s campus bus stop, with approx. 75 minutes trip time to the airport.
- “Flygtaxi”: Order a taxi. Call +46 08-120 920 00, or use flygtaxi.se . Recommended rate is approx. 360 SEK per trip. You should order your taxi on arrival day ahead of traveling to avoid unavailability due to many spontaneous requests.
KSD airport has a customer service phone, in case you do have special needs or any specific questions about special luggage: +46 054 540 77 00
Travel within Karlstad with Karlstadsbuss
Local transport is done with buses. Unfortunately, the transport web page is not available in English. Please consider our recommendation for transport in this short guide for local transport and transport tickets!
Note: There is a bus schedule change from Monday, August 22nd, 2016. Bus schedules from 22-Aug-2016 are available here before the change date.
- You can buy tickets at vending machines placed in Drottningsgatan (around the corner from Hotel Drott), on Stora Torget (the central square), and at the university campus bus terminal.
- You can buy tickets from a human clerk at the news stands called “Pressbyrån”. One is next to the railway station, one is located on the northern side of Stora Torget square inbetween the bars and cafés, and one is located on campus, next to the campus bus stop.
- You can buy with VISA/Mastercard directly from the bus driver, however you will pay a penalty price of 35 SEK for direct purchase.
- There is a travel app for Karlstadsbuss, however you need to register, supply a credit card for billing, configure it to speak English – and you won’t automatically get receipts for your travel cost statement.
|Bus ticket rates in SEK||Single purchase at vending machine & newsstand (vending machines require Swedish coins or credit card)||Single purchase at bus (VISA/Mastercard)||Single ride using “Reskassa” smartcard purchased at Pressbyrån newsstand|
We recommend to visit the newsstand (Pressbyrån). Here, you should ask for the travel card (“Reskassa”). This is a RFID bus pass. You will have to pre-charge it with your travel budget. The card will cost 20 SEK in addition. Calculation example for a “regular” passenger:
20 SEK for obtaining the RFID card
5 days of summer school : 10 trips, 2 social events: 4 trips (though from the boat trip, you may decide to walk to the hotel, it is a short distance): 14 trips; minus 1 trip if you take the taxi/airport bus from campus on Friday: 13 trips.
Cost per trip for “regular”: 20 SEK. You will therefore ask the clerk at Pressbyrån for a “Reskassa” bus card charged with 260 SEK. You will pay, and get a receipt for 280 SEK for your whole week’s transport (14*20SEK + 20SEK card fee).
Things to do in Karlstad
Karlstad offers numerous summer activities. Boat trips on the Vänern lake, countless opportunities for canoeing, fishing, hiking and bike trips are offered. A former railway track along the Klärelven river has been turned into 220-km touristic bike route starting in Karlstad.
The PDF booklet” Karlstad Tourist Guide” for 2016 is available (you can refer to the 2015 issue as well here).
Since the English edition looks quite different, has no maps, and different content, we provide a reference to the Swedish 2016 edition including up-to-date content, maps and more photos.
If you need some information about shops and restaurants in Karlstad please click here.
The official Karlstad event calendar is available on-line.
Check the web pages of the Karlstad tourist office!
Cultural events in August:
- On Saturday, August 20th, 2016, Karlstad will host the annual Island Festival open air concert in the museum park. In case someone arrives a day earlier, festival passes are available here.
- Värmland’s opera house, Wermlandsopera, will run Les Miserables every evening from August 24th. Get your tickets here.
- Just south of the railway station, you will find a small botanical garden and park named Stadsträdgården. It is worthwile a walk in summer, in particular to take a look at the sclptures that get exhibited in the park. Those interested in botany will notice that the guide book to all plants in the garden is bilingual, as it lists them in both Swedish and Latin.