Things I wish I knew about transport in Stockholm

Ah yes, one of the cardinal topics about life in Stockholm: how do I move around? Your options are numerous, depending on where you need to go. Here are some of the things I wish I knew before I moved here! I’ve tried to make this blog a comprehensive introduction to Stockholm’s transport: let me know how you like moving around!

A handful of tips about SL and tickets, getting places, accessibility, some important vocabulary, biking around, electric scooters in the city, and some important apps to have.

If you feel small and lost in this sometimes confusing city, read on. And if you don’t, you may still learn something new here 🙂 Photo by Denis Bayer on Unsplash

SL and its Tickets

SL responsible for handling the metro, tram, buses, and commuter train in Stockholm and the surrounding areas. Here’s a list of 10 things you should know about SL:

  1. You can’t buy tickets on board.
  2. A ticket can be used multiple times in its validity period.
  3. Stay in the SL zone: If you leave it, you have to buy a ticket for another zone. The SL app will show you what tickets you need to have when you search a particular journey and click on “buy ticket”

4. Register your SL card online: If you lose it you can go cancel it and they’ll send you a new card with the same amount that was on your previous one. Plus, you can load any ticket on it online.

5. Make sure to go in the right direction! Most public transport will have a sign that says the line number and the final destination. Make sure you have it right!

A red bus with the number 74 and destination Marlatorget speeding by on a street
Photo by Patrik Carlberg on Unsplash

6. Keep your student ID (like Mecenat) with you (either physical or on the app) in case the ticket checkers come along and want proof of you being a student.

While it may be blindingly obvious to you that this man is a student, the ticket checkers, however, still need official proof that he is one. My point is, keep your student ID with you. Photo by Inika Prasad, model: Johan H. Welander

7. You can find more info about the types of tickets and where to get them on the SL website

8. There are many types of tickets: for different time periods, and for different people like youngsters (below 20), students (with ID), adults (20-65), pensioners (65+)

9. Tickets for longer periods of time are more cost efficient if you use public transport a lot

10. Something I found out LAST WEEK: A school card+free time card combo are cheaper than regular student cards if you are under 20 years old!

Photo by Shane on Unsplash

How do I get to ________?

If you don’t know how to get somewhere, good starting points are T-Centralen Station and Odenplan Station. Almost everything connects to either of these stations, so it’s a good place to start. They’re quite large so I wish you the best in not getting lost!

Accessibility

There is an accessibility guarantee on some parts of the Stockholm transport system, and according to Visit Stockholm’s blog on public transport accessibility, “if you feel like the accessibility guarantee applies to your situation you can call SL’s customer support at +46 20 120 20 22 or send a text message to +46 70 256 46 81. You can also ask any of SL’s station personnel for help.”

If you plan on walking, there are pedestrian designated paths and beeping traffic lights at crosswalks.

The vocabulary

So many words to know! While several stations and signboards will have English translations, it’s a good idea to know the common vocabulary in use.

TunnelbanaMetro
BussBus
PendeltågCommuter train
SpårvagnTram
SlutstationLast station
SpårPlatform
BiljettTicket
GiltigValid
Ej i trafiknot in service
FullsattFull
Some important words to know

Pedal, pedal, pedal: biking around

It’s great for staying fit, saving money, and getting places quickly. Stockholm is quite easy to bike around in since there are often designated bike roads. Remember to get winter tires before it starts to snow if you want to bike in the winter and make sure to be have proper lights and reflective gear for the dark months. Oh, and having a good lock can’t be emphasized enough.

A bike in Gamla Stan, Photo by Kasya Shahovskaya on Unsplash

You can buy a bike brand new or second hand off Blocket, Facebook Marketplace, etc.

Scooter-ing around

The little scooters around town are for anyone to use: you can download the app, link your credit card, add some money into the wallet and ride them! They’re pretty convenient once you get the hang of riding them, although they can be more expensive than regular public transport.

Photo by Sergey Lapunin on Unsplash

There are lots of different companies, and most of them will require you to download an app. You can find lists of the different companies and their pricing online.

Download some apps:

SL: It’s super useful, and can tell you how to get places, if there are delays or blockages, and even lets you buy tickets! Plus, you get accessibility information on it.

Linjekartor: This app has the Stockholm public transport system map and is good to have handy for familiarity. However, it doesn’t have info about the buses .

Mecenat for whenever you’re asked for your student ID

The Scooter Apps: depending on where in Stockholm you are, different brands may be more or less common. Keep an eye out and download whichever seems convenient.

Finally

I’ve tried to make this blog as comprehensive as possible, so if I’ve missed something then let me know! I can always edit it in (with credit of course) or create a part 2. I hope this blog makes navigating this wonderful city a little bit easier.

If you’re a new around here, welcome to Stockholm!

Cheers,

Inika ❤

inika.prasad@stud.ki.se

The featured image is an edit by Inika Prasad of Stockholm image by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash and the Stockholm Transport Map by sl.se

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