With its seven lines, 100 stations, and nearly 66 miles of track length, Stockholm’s metro (in Swedish: Tunnelbana) is, without a doubt, convenient. The rails and tunnels stretch all the way to the suburbs, ensuring you fast and easy travels regardless of which part of Stockholm you live in.
More Than Just Convenience
Stockholm’s Tunnelbana has been called the world’s longest art gallery – and for good reason. Many underground stations look as if they are carved out spaces within caves. Often painted in spectacular colors, featuring (changing) art installations and quirky designs, the Tunnelbana is not just a way of transportation, but an attraction of its own.
A bit hesitant about where to go and check out the art? Stockholms Lokaltrafik regularly organizes guided art tours or konståkningar, which you can join for free. All you need is your SL travel card. However, DIS already cruised around the Tunnelbana and selected five stations that are absolute must-sees:
The end station of both blue lines, Kungsträdgården (meaning: King’s Garden or Royal Garden) is one of the most spectacular stations. Only one stop from the central station T-Centralen, it is convenient to pass by this gem. You will need to pass a bridge to reach the platform. If you look at either side of this bridge, you will see relics on display. These are real artifacts that have been found when Stockholm’s city center was redeveloped in the 1950s and 1960s. Just beyond the bridge, a king-like statute salutes you. Don’t forget to look up to the ceiling, which is completely covered in bombastic color explosions contrasted with checkerboard motives.
Christmas in a metro station! If there is one station that just feels cozy, comfortable, and warm like Christmas, it must be Solna Centrum. This station is located on the blue line to Akalla, and its walls and ceiling are painted in bright red and friendly green hues. The green represents some sort of landscape with hills, pine trees, and waterfalls. At several places on the platform, miniature houses are on display. These are worked out in the greatest detail and are definitely worth looking out for – especially when waiting for your next train!
On the red line towards Mörby Centrum, you will find the stop Stadion. As the station’s name already gives away, it is located close to the Olympic Stadium where Stockholm hosted the sporting event in 1912 — and, not to mention, right next to DIS Stockholm!
The station Stadion is very reminiscent of the sky. It is painted entirely in blue, and exactly in the middle of the track length where you can change between the two platforms, a huge rainbow covers the ceiling! The discontinuous shape of the rainbow provides for a truly amazing sight, even when seen from the metro passing by the station.
Just one stop before one of the blue lines reaches its final destination Hjulsta, you will find the station Tensta. Admittedly, this one is a bit far off from Stockholm’s city center, but once you see it, you will understand why it is worth a visit. Small bird statues are sitting pretty much everywhere on the cliffs carved out on the station’s walls.
The escalators to the platform are flanked by tulips and other flowers, establishing this station’s flowery and spring vibe. The station’s highlight is a depicted sun, rising above the word solidarity (in Swedish, this is spelled as solidaritet; sol meaning sun).
Last but not least, the heart of Stockholm’s Tunnelbana is something you should not – and probably cannot – miss. T-centralen connects all blue, red and green metro lines, as well as all commuter, long distance, and airport trains. On the top level, you will find the big waiting hall with its characteristic oval-shaped ceiling. On the walls, old paintings can be spotted. One level down, you can access all trains as well as certain shops. Levels below that host the different metro lines and, from July onwards, a new platform for commuter trains. Here you should watch out for the mosaic reliefs on the platform walls.
T-Centralen is by far the biggest station, so there is plenty to discover!
About the Author
Nick (age 22) studies environmental social science at Stockholm University. A Dutch native, he moved to Stockholm two years ago. Although once the very worst at finding artsy coffee places and affordable restaurants, he now has an eye for what’s going on in the city. Likes: hiking in nature and spontaneous meet-ups with friends. Still afraid of the dark Swedish winters.