The Swedish capital is actually an archipelago of fourteen islands, that has been settled since the 6th millennium BC. Although its location has appeared in Norse sagas, its current name was first mentioned in 1252. Nowadays, it’s the center to Sweden’s and Scandinavia’s cultural, political, and economic life.
Here’s what you need to know for planning a hassle-free trip to Stockholm:
Swedish krona = SEK = kr
Although Sweden is an EU country, it is not part of the Euro-zone. The exchange rate varies, but to make it simple, you can consider that SEK 10 is roughly equivalent to EUR 1. Many establishments do accept Euros, but unless you want to get ripped off with their exchange rates, get yourself some kronor.
ARRIVING in Stockholm
Realistically, on a short trip, you’ll arrive in Stockholm by plane or train. But you could certainly also reach it by bus, ferry, cruise or car.
Stockholm is served by four airports: Stockholm Arlanda (ARN), Bromma (BMA), Västerås (VST) and Skavsta (NYO).
When booking, as a rule of thumb, consider only ARN and BMA.
Arriving at Arlanda (ARN)
Located 43km from the city center, it’s the best option to reach the city is the Arlanda Express train, a direct connection between the airport and Stockholms Centralstation. It runs around the clock and departs every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes during the night, with a journey time of 18 minutes.
You can buy tickets from automatic vending machines, as well as online [here] or through the app [iOS/Android]. Tickets price vary:
- Adult (26+ years old): SEK 299 one-way, or SEK 579 return;
- Youth (8-25 years old): SEK 149 one-way, or SEK 298 return;
- Group tickets: SEK 379, SEK 479, and SEK 579, for groups of 2, 3, and 4 persons, respectively, traveling together on a one-way trip;
- Travel cards: SEK 2,690 and SEK 5,980, for 10 and 25 trips, respectively. These can be used by individuals or groups, so if you are in a group of adults, this might be a cost-effective option.
Alternatively, there’s also the commuter train. It departs every 30 minutes and takes approx. 40 minutes to Stockholms Centralstation too. You can buy tickets from automatic vending machines at metro and commuter railway stations, as well as online (see “Getting Around” below). Ticket prices vary:
- Adult (20-64 years old): SEK 157 each way;
- Discounted (under 20, 65+ years old): SEK 145 each way;
- Supplement only (over 18 years old): SEK 120 each way, if you already have an SL ticket of any sort (see “Getting Around” below).
Taxis are a third option, but potentially not prohibitive depending on how many people are traveling together. There’s a 675 SEK cap on the price within a marked zone. Otherwise, the fares can be agreed upon or based on the meter. Lastly, there are also buses available, but they take approx. 45 minutes and you would be subject to unpredictable traffic. Find more info here.
Arriving at Broma (BMA)
This is also a convenient choice, especially due to its close proximity to the center, only 10km away. There are coaches (operated by Flygbussarna) running every 20 minutes, with a journey time of approx. 20 minutes, costing:
- Adult (18+ years old, online/app): SEK 89 one-way, or SEK 178 return;
- Adult (full price): SEK 99 one-way, or SEK 179 return;
- Youth (8-17 years old, online/app): SEK 69 one-way, or SEK 138 return;
- Youth (full price): SEK 79 one-way, or SEK 139 return;
- Travel cards: SEK 800, for 10 trips, which can be used by individuals or groups.
Lastly, you have the taxis and the SL local bus (see “Getting Around” below).
Arriving at Västerås or Skavsta
These two should be last choices, due to faraway locations and lack of direct rail connections to the city center.
- Västerås (VST) is 102km from the center of Stockholm. You’d need a coach service (Flygbussarna, taking approx. 80 minutes) or local bus no. 3 (between the airport and Västerås Central Station) and then a train journey of almost 1 hour to the center of Stockholm, taking at least 1h20. See all options here.
- Skavsta (NYO) is the one used by low-cost airlines but 107km away. Options to reach the city include coach service (Flygbussarna, taking approx. 80 minutes) or local bus no. 515 (between the airport and Nyköping Central Station) and then a train journey of approx. 1h10 to the center of Stockholm, overall taking at least 1h30. See all options here.
Stockholm’s main rail station is called Stockholms Centralstation. It’s just a 1km walk or 1 T-bana (subway) stop away from Gamla Stan. It has several connections, sometimes a combination of rail + ferry, to domestic and international destinations.
Although it doesn’t really fit with the idea of fast travel from most departure points, it can be practical if your journey starts at select cities in neighboring countries. When you reach Stockholm by sea, you’ll arrive at one of its 3 passenger traffic ports:
Frihammen Port is the point of arrival to roughly half of the cruise liners stopping at Stockholm, as well as to ferries to/from St. Petersburg. You can reach Gamla Stan (Old Town) with:
- direct local bus no. 76, a 15min ride from Stockholm Frihamnen to Slottsbacken, right next to it;
- local ferry no. 80/80X for 10min + T13 from Ropsten (5 stops);
- local bus no. 1 for less than 10min + T13 from Gärdet (4 stops).
Stadsgården Port has extensive ferry traffic to Finland and also receives international cruise vessels in the summer. Due to its location, it’s feasible to walk to the center, but not really practical if you have luggage. Using public transport, however, it will take you approx. 20-25 minutes to reach Gamla Stan with:
- local bus no. 53, a 15min ride from Londonviadukten to Riddarhustorget (8 stops); or
- local bus no. 2, a 10min ride from Ersta Sjukhus to Slottsbacken (4 stops).
Värtahamnen Port serves the ferry passenger traffic between Stockholm and Finland, Estonia, and Latvia. You can reach Gamla Stan with the local bus no. 76, a 25min ride from Värtahamnens färjeterminal to Slottsbacken.
There are several bus international routes connecting Stockholm to Europe. The main coach station is Cityterminalen, directly connected to Stockholms Centralstation, with rail and T-bana (subway) connections. You can easily walk to Gamla Stan, or take the T17/18/19 (green) or T13/14 (red) for 1 stop only.
GETTING AROUND Stockholm
The public transport system is operated by Storstockholms Lokaltrafik and includes the subway (T-bana), regional rail (within the county), trams/light rails, buses, and local ferries.
Although Gamla Stan is very walkable, you will want to use the transport to cover other parts of the archipelago too. For short-term visitors, the best cost/benefit is the time-based tickets:
|SEK 155||SEK 310||SEK 405|
|Discount||SEK 105||SEK 210||SEK 270|
|Validity||for the chosen number of hours from the time of first use||from 00.00 on the first day of travel until 04.30 on the day after it expires|
|Available as||- single-use travelcards;|
- loaded into an SL Access card¹;
- on mobile, through the app²
|only with an SL Access card¹|
However, if this is too much for your needs, a single ticket (unlimited travel for 75min) for an adult costs SEK 50 if bought from the conductor; or SEK 37 with SL Access¹ credit, app², ticket machines or booths.
¹ SL Access card is a reloadable electronic smart card, into which you can load travelcards, single tickets, and pay-as-you-go credit (reskassa). It costs SEK 20 but it’s functional for around six years, so you can save for future trips and pass it along to friends and family.
² SL-Reseplanerare och Biljetter (Journey planner and tickets) app, available for iOS and Android.
Don’t forget to validate it each time you start a trip!SL_Stockholm_Rail Network Map
The map above does not include the local ferry lines, included in the travelcards. Find here the maps for lines 80, 82, and 89.
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