STHLM Guide #1: Public Transport in Stockholm

Although this is one of the most basic things and anyone who reads it even one month after coming to Stockholm will feel this blog useless, but I found a lot of people asking me questions about the public transport in past few days. So I thought of putting all the information in one place.

Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL)

One of the best things about European countries and especially Sweden is that the public transport is sufficient to take you to any corner of the city. In fact, statistically 65% people in Stockholm use public transport to get to work, which is impressive.

Public Transportation in Stockholm consists of Bus, Metro (Tunnelbana), Commuter Rail (Pedeltåg), Light Rail (Roslagsbanan and Saltsjbbanan), Tram (Tvärbanan, Lidingöbanan, Nockebybanan, Spårväg City) and Archipelago Boat (Operated by Waxholmsbolaget).

The SL Access Card

SL Access card

If you’re staying longer than 2 days in Stockholm, SL Access card is a prime necessity, you can load it with single journey tickets as well as 24, 72-hours or 7-day tickets. The most economic options are monthly tickets, which cost 830 SEK normally, but for students, it’s 550 SEK per month. You can look for detailed prices on this blog.

With SL card you can travel into all the Buses, Metro, Trams, Commuter Train and Light rail. The ferry between Slussen and Djurgarden can also be accessed with the SL card.

Buying Tickets

SL card can be purchased at the store called Pressbyrån, which is there at every metro station as well as the airport and streets and malls of Stockholm. You can reload your SL card there as well.

You can also buy tickets and reload SL on these vending machines, these can be operated in English

You can also buy tickets and reload SL on these vending machines, these can be operated in English

NOTE: If you are paying for individual trips using the credit loaded on your SL card, you need to change the tariff type to Discounted using the SL vending machine otherwise you will have to pay full price for each trip which is expensive. It is a one time task and you can easily follow the instructions on the machine to do it.

For buying tickets and Planning your journey there are several apps as well, I have listed them in another blog about apps significant for Stockholm. READ IT HERE.

Register your SL Card

If you have a personnumber, then the first thing you should do is to register your SL card with SL – FOLLOW THIS LINK, this has a couple of advantages. The biggest advantage is, if you lose your SL card, all you have to do is to report about it on the Mitt SL portal and they will send you a new card at your home address with the same validity. It is also possible to reload your SL card online.

Accessing Public Transport

Metro and Pendeltåg: When traveling on the metro (Tunnelbana) and Commuter Rail (Pendeltåg), all you need to do is to scan your SL card on the automatic doors. You don’t need the card while you exit, simply walk out of the doors. If you have a single journey ticket or an SMS ticket, show that at the counter and they will let you in. If you have the student price ticket, make sure to carry the Mecenat/Studentkorted card with you else you’d have to pay a fine of 1200 SEK (Mecenat app is also fine).

Map of Stockholm Rail Network

 

Trams and Light rail: Trams and Light rail usually take you to the most beautiful parts of the city, in these, you can just get in and wait for the ticket checker to come and verify your ticket.

Buses: The front door is the only entrance door to be used for entry unlike some other cities where you can enter through any door, the Ticket scanners are at the entrance of buses and if you have a phone/SMS ticket, show it to the driver. When approaching your destination, press any of the stop buttons and then the display should show Stannar next to the stop name, which means it’s going to stop at that bus-stop.

There are three kinds of buses operated by SL. Inner-city blue bus lines, Suburban Blue bus lines and the red service bus lines. The red buses go into the inner parts of cities and are less frequent.

Getting to Airports

  • Taxi – Taxi prices in Stockholm are exorbitant, it costs around 500 SEK to get from city to the airport.
  • Arlanda Express – the fastest train between the city and the airport (20 minutes only) costs 280 SEK one way for an adult while the student ticket is 140 SEK one way.
  • Flygbussarna – the convenient airport coaches take around 40 minutes and costs 99 SEK one for an adult (internet price, cheaper than on the counter), this is the best way to reach any of the tree airports in Stockholm. From Kista, it takes just 20 minutes with Flygbussarna
  • Pendeltåg (Commuter Train) – this is the train that goes to outer part of Stockholm where the Tunnelbana (metro) cannot reach it. With your SL card and an extra 85 SEK, you can take number J38 Uppsala-Älvsjö for around 40 minutes. Keep in mind that the pendeltåg usually leaves once every 30 minutes.

Getting to Airport for FREE with SL Card!!

To go to Arlanda from Stockholm, take the Pendeltåg towards Märsta Station, from Märsta take the Bus 583, which takes you directly to Arlanda Airport.
To go from Arlanda to Stockholm, again take the Bus 583 to Märsta Station, then continue with Pendeltåg J36 towards Södertalje Centrum. It will take you to Stockholm Central station which is internally connected to T-Centralen (Metro Station) and the bus station.

Don’t want to use Public Transport?

City Bike

You can also use the Stockholm City Bike service to get around town. The bikes are found at various locations from April through October and you need a bike pass to use them – seasonal or a 3-day card, which is not very expensive. Read more about getting access to the bikes on the Stockholm City Bike website.

Driving licence

Foreign driving licenses are valid in Sweden, but not if the holder is under 18, which is the minimum age for driving in Sweden. For driving licenses from EU and EEA countries the same rules apply as for Swedish licenses. Non-EU/EEA driving licenses become invalid when the holder has been resident in Sweden for more than a year. Non-EU/EEA citizens may apply for exemption from the 12-month rule if their stay in Sweden is temporary (e.g. 1–4 years). Contact the Stockholm County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen) for more information, by phone 08-785 46 90 or go to their website:

Länsstyrelsen

More information about driving licenses is available on:

Körkortsportalen

Traveling Outside Stockholm

Long-distance coaches

Apart from trains and planes, you can easily get to other parts of Sweden by coach. This is an economic and reliable alternative. Several coach companies operate in Sweden, depending on where you want to go. The links below are some examples of companies that provide service to and from Stockholm.

Swebus

Bus4you (in Swedish only)

 I personally prefer to use Flixbus to go outside Sweden, it’s the cheapest way to get to South of Sweden or Denmark. (Tip, use Flixbus app if you wish to pay in SEK)

Long Distance Trains

SJ (formally SJ AB) is a government-owned passenger train operator in Sweden: Website

If you want to go to Gothenburg, then MTR Express is a cheaper option.


Now that you know about public transport, see the places where you can go in Stockholm

STHLM Guide #2 : Exploring Stockholm