Let me explain you how to travel by public transport when visiting Stockholm, travelcards and prices and how to get around by underground, commuter trains, trams, buses and boats as there have been some modifications that simplified the system but still can be tricky for tourists visiting Stockholm.
Let’s get into detail!
What’s New About Public Transport in Stockholm
Public transportation or mass transit as other prefer to call it is managed by the company Storstockholms Lokaltrafik o SL. There are no longer ABC zones into which Stockholm was divided and thus a single ticket covers the entire city of Stockholm and outskirts. You pay a fix price and are able to travel for 75 minutes. Now you are able to travel even to Gnesta, Bålsta or Sigtuna without paying an extra fee.
Some travel categories like “helt” (complete) or “reducerat” (reduced) which granted you access to lower prices have disappeared completely. Now you belong to one of these 4 categories: vuxen, pensionär, student, ungdom – adult, senior, student, youth (20 years or less!).
Children & Public Transport in Stockholm
If you are traveling with kids remember that they need not buy a valid transportation ticket if they are aged 6 years or less. There is no limit for the number of kids that can travel with an accompanying adult. During weekends, from Friday at 12 PM until Sunday at 12 AM every adult can be accompanied by up to 6 children aged 12 or less. This applies also to holidays and the previous day, midsommar and its previous day and from December 23rd at 12 PM until January 6th at 12 AM. So if you are planning to visit Stockholm during Christmas time or New Year your children under 12 need not pay for public transportation.
Public Transportation for Students
When staying in Stockholm as an Erasmus student – or any other kind of exchange program of studies for that matter – you will need a valid SL student card with its logotype on it and study at least 75% of your time so that you can get a 75% discount on public transportation. Unfortunately this discount for students is not available for the regular student traveler visiting Stockholm.
Tickets, Validity and Prices For Public Transport in Stockholm
In Stockholm you can buy single travel tickets for public transport or buy a travel card called SL-Access, top it up with the desired amount and travel until no more funds are available. This is called reskassa and its way cheaper even for the sporadic commuter. The SL-Access card costs 20 SEK (~$3).
Notice that this card is NOT the tourist visitor card Stockholm Pass which grants you access to museums, sights, attractions and boat trips. The SL-Access complements the Stockholm Pass offering a cheaper way to travel on public transportation in Stockholm. You can buy the SL-Access travel card along the Stockholm Pass or independently.
Single ticket prices for transportation in Stockholm are as follow:
- Single ticket bought on board (when possible): 62 SEK (~ $7) adults; 41 SEK (~ 4.60) other categories
- Single ticket bought through the mobile app, ticket vending machine or SL employee: 44 SEK (~ $4.95) adults; 30 SEK (~ $3.35) other categories
- Single ticket bought with the credit from your previously topped up SL-Access travel card: 31 SEK (~ $3.35) adults; 21 SEK (~ $3) other categories.
As a tourist in Stockholm you will enjoy the sortiment of period tickets – travelcards – which will entitle you to travel for for 24 or 72 hours and 7, 30, 90 or 365 days. After a few years without any rise on their prices this year has seen a minimal increase.
The price for travelcards used on public transportation in Stockholm are as follow:
- 24-hour travelcard: 125 SEK (~ $13.85) adults and 85 SEK (~ $9.20) others
- 72-hour travelcard: 250 SEK (~ $27.65) adults and 165 SEK (~ $18.40) others. Notice that you get a day for free as the price matches two 24-hour travelcard but you are allowed to travel during 72 hours. If you are planning to buy a 24-hour or 72-hour period ticket you need not buy an SL-Access card because both period tickets exist in a paper version.
- 7-day travelcard: 325 SEK (~ $36.25) adults and 220 SEK (~ $24.20) others
- 30-day travelcard: 860 SEK (~ $95.55) adults and 570 SEK (~ $63.30) others
- 90-day travelcard: 2500 SEK (~ $280) adults and 1650 SEK (~ $184.20) others
- 365-day travelcard: 9010 SEK (~ $1005) adults and 6040 SEK (~ $672.35) others
* Prices updated on January 2018. Exchange rate may differ.
If you are interested in traveling by train between Arlanda airport and Stockholm central station you can do it by paying an extra fee. If you already have a valid ticket or enough money in your travelcard to do a single journey you will only need to pay a 120 SEK (~$13.85) fee. Otherwise you can buy an airport valid single ticket for 150 SEK (~ $17.25) adults or 140 SEK (~ $16.10) other categories. Those under 18 need not pay an extra fee and can travel to Arlanda airport on a regular single ticket.
With single tickets you are allowed to travel for 75 minutes and with travelcards during the indicated validity period. 24-hour and 72-hour travelcards work in 24-hour periods, that is, upon activation at 2 PM on a given Monday it will be valid until Tuesday 2 PM or Thursday 2 PM respectively. 7-day travelcards count calendar days. Upon activation at 11:50 PM on a given Monday night it will be valid until 11:59 PM on a Sunday night. Is it so? Yes. It experienced it myself when trying to use the cheapest way to travel to Arlanda aiport and not being able to do it because my card had already expired.
What You Can Do in Stockholm With a Travel Ticket
With a valid ticket you can use the underground trains, buses, trams (basically line nr. 7 from Sergels torg square to the Island of Djurgården and Waldemarsudde Museum which is the only tram and great to visit museums in that area of Stockholm), commuter trains (up to Uppsala – paying a fee – Märsta, Gnesta, Södertälje or Nynäshamn) and boats between some stops on the central islands in Stockholm. These are the five boat lines included in your ticket:
- nr 80 Frihamnen to Nybroplan through Allmänna gränd on Djurgården beside Gröna Lund amusement park. This bus line is perfect if you are arriving in Stockholm on a cruise and during the port of call want to visit the museums in Djurgården. This is the red route from point 1 to point 3 in the next map.
- nr 82 from Slussen to Allmänna gränd on Djurgården with a stop-over on the island of Skeppsholmen. This bus line is also used very frequently to get to the museums in Djurgården from Södermalm or Gamla Stan. This is shown as a blue route from point 5 to point 2 through point 4 in the map.
- nr 84 from Nybroplan to Hammarbysjöstad – available from spring time only – useful to visit Stockholm’s most ecofriendly and sustainable neighborhood known as Hammarbysjöstad. My map features this route in fuchsia from point 3 to a place outside the map.
- nr 85 from Klara Mälarstrand in the surroundings of Stockholm Central Station and the City Hall bound for Kungholmstorg whose deck is located a little bit beyond Stockholm City Hall. Orange route from point nr 6 in the map to point nr 7, Söder Mälarstrand, and then Kungholmstorg.
- nr 89 connecting Ekerö, the island where Drottningholm palace is located (although ver far away from the boat stop), to the island of Lilla Essingen in central Stockholm. This boat line works on working days only. Not featured in the map as it is not used by tourists.
If you wish to visit Stockholm from the water you will find a lot of boat sightseeing tours and excursions in Stockholm & the archipelago included in the tourist visitor card Stockholm Pass. See my article on How to Buy Your Stockholm Pass With a Discount.
Where to Buy the SL-Access card
You can buy your SL-Access card at the counter on underground stations, SL-centers and kiosks (Pressbyrån, 7-eleven, etc) as well as at some hotels. If you are looking for a reseller near your accomodation in Stockholm, browse through the map located at Stockholm transportation official website, click on the map on the Symbols layer and choose Sales point to show all of them. In this screen capture I chose two Pressbyrån kiosks located near the central station and Cityterminalen where the airport transfer buses depart and arrive.
Identifying Stations and Stops
Underground stops are marked with a big T sign standing for the Swedish word tunnelbana, train stations with a big J for järnvägen, tram stops with an S for spårvagn and the commuter trains are usually know as pendeltåg. Moreover, bus stops show an H sign for hållplats and boat decks are marked with the Swedish word brygga.
Stockholm Public transport maps
You can find PDF maps for the entire transportation network in Stockholm on SL official website. For instance: map for commuter trains and underground, underground only, commuter trains only, tram, bus lines in the heart of Stockholm, or in the south of the city and from bus terminals to know the different departure locations.
Planning Your Trips
If you are interested in planning your trips in advance or during your stay you can use the planner on SL website. Providing the current location and the destination you will be given the best and the fastest way to travel between these two points.
This is my complete guide on how to use public transport in Stockholm. I hope I didn’t forget anything. If you have any questions, suggestions or want me to help you plan your stay write me a comment below.