Now in: Sweden
Sustainability and conscious traveling
Eco Warrior
travel from sweden through europe to iran without flying

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 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?

Eco warrior from Sweden traveling full time Former jetsetter who quit flying for the environment Plant based nature and hiking lover


  • 23rd May 2018

    Monika Getsova

    Unless you had someone to visit in Greece,
    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€

    you could just do it Sofia- Istanbukl for 50 euros and 10 hours

  • 23rd May 2018

    Monika Getsova

    sorry, I saw you went sailing in LAvrio… wonderful!

  • 24th May 2018

    This sounds like such an interesting trip. I’m impressed by how cheap public transport is in Greece.

  • 30th May 2018


    Wow – interesting post! I guess it makes sense that it would be way cheap than flying, so I will keep this in mind if I ever find myself in that part of the world 🙂 Love your blog!
    -Jenna <3
    Follow me back? The Chic Cupcake

  • 1st June 2018

    i & my brother have 2 hostels in Yazd & in Mehriz(30km out of Yazd to kerman),Price for 1person : 70,000 Toman or 10€

  • 8th June 2018


    I proud of you because of your determination ????

  • 2nd July 2018

    Hello, i wanted to know that you earn money from this website or you do some thing freelance work? I really want to have a freelance work to travel just like the way you travel economically and earthwonderingly???

  • 5th July 2018


    Hi Evelina. sorry but you didn’t mention about visas that you need, and i wonder why you didn’t continue your trip to eastern countries through Iran? why did you stop your travel in Iran?

  • 29th July 2018


    Dear Madam, Thank you for showing the reality of my country to the people of the world. I hope you will always be happy and peaceful.

  • 21st September 2018



    I did this route (in reverse, coming from Bangladesh) in 2011. Traveled around in Iran, then on to Armenia and Georgia by hitchhiking and bus. Crossed the Black Sea by freighter ship to Bulgaria, cost was around 100$. From there I went to Slovenia through most ex-Yu republics and bought an Interrail card there, which got me home to Sweden. This took me about 2 months counting from the Iranian border.
    My modes of transport were hitchhiking, bus and train. Not sure about the carbon footprint, but I suspect the freighter ship was not the most environmental-friendly option. Hopefully it still was better than flying. One of the best trips I’ve ever taken. Safe, fun and generally amazing. Glad to see other people are doing it in 2018.

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