Sweden to Iran without flying
This is detailed guide on my journey from Gothenburg, Sweden to Tehran, Iran with the route, how long it took and how much it cost.
Planning – Looking at options
According to Rome2Rio, the fastest way to get from Gothenburg to Tehran would be with only 3 different buses with the route;
- Gothenburg-Bucharest (42,5 hr)
- Bucharest-Istanbul (14 hr)
- Istanbul-Tehran (40 hr)
Without even counting the waiting time between the buses, it could take 100 hours/4 days. The price would land on somewhere around 200€ one way.
I have no intention of rushing through Europe to get to Iran as soon as possible. This is the perfect opportunity for me to travel to some European cities I haven’t visited before and visit friends who live there.
I quickly realised that the best way to travel by trains and buses would be through making up my journey as I go. To book the tickets at the stations when I want to leave or maybe one day before departure.
All transportation time and price
Gothenburg-Copenhagen: Bus • 4 hr 15 min • 18€
Copenhagen-Cologne: Bus • 13 hr • 36€
Cologne-Frankfurt: Fast train • 1 hr • 75€
Frankfurt-Frankfurt Airport: Train • 10 min • 5€
Frankfurt Airport-Innsbruck: Car sharing/BlaBlaCar • 5 hr • 36€
Innsbruck-Münich: Train • 1,5 hr • 43€
Munich-Sofia: Bus • 20 hr • 106€
Sofia-Athens: Bus • 12 hr • 46€
Athens-Lavrion: Bus • 1 hr • 10€
Lavrion-Athens: Bus • 2 hr • 5€
Athens-Thessaloniki: Train • 6hr • 25€
Thessaloniki-Istanbul: Bus • 10 hr • 45€
Istanbul-Tehran: Bus • 40 hr • 35€
Total time of transportation(ex. time spend in cities): 116 hours
Totalt price: 485€
Time wise it was very similar as I didn’t do any massive detours. Money wise it was a lot more expensive and I could’ve done it cheaper, especially in the case of spending 75€ on a 1 hour train ride in Germany. I chose to do this because I was meeting a friend in Frankfurt and didn’t want to lose a day with her because of the money saving.
What I didn’t include in the calculation:
Transportation within the cities and the one week of sailing in the Greek Cyclades. The sailing was a separate trip itself and wasn’t a transportation to anywhere as we came back to the same harbour we left.
Airplane vs. Travel by land
Money: A one-way plane ticket would’ve been around 300€ and traveling by land could’ve cost me around 200€ but ended up being 485€
Environmental impact: 0.59 ton CO2 vs. 0.26 ton CO2*
*This calculation is just a rough calculation made at Carbonfootprint.com and this calculation does not include the devastating altitude effect airplanes have regardless if it uses fossil fuel or biofuel.
Time: From 7,5 hr (incl. stopover in Istanbul airport) vs 3,5 weeks or 113 hours on buses and trains
But how do you compare 1 day of getting from A to B with 3,5 weeks of seeing new places, meeting old and new friend and making memories for life?