22 May 2024
Travel the City: the YLC guide to public transport
Essentials Getting Around Tourist Information

Travel the City: the YLC guide to public transport

Whether you want to travel by train, bus or even boat – Stockholm’s public transport covers most of the city and its environs. However, for those feeling lost in the jungle of options – or just curious as to what the city offers –  check out the YLC guide to Stockholm’s public transport system!

The first thing to note is that Stockholm transport is operated by  Stockholms Lokaltrafik or SL as it is commonly referred to. The website is pretty informative, but note that when looking for train and bus times/routes on the site, all info is given in Swedish.


Local Trains:

Those who want to go by train when moving around in the capital have a few different options. For a good overview of all railway traffic in the city and its environs, click here.

However, they can easily be divided into four: Light rail, Tram, Metro and Commuter trains.

Light rail (Lokalbana – L)

  • Roslagsbanan Stockholms Östra (Zone A) ->Kärsta, Österkär, Näsbypark (Zone B)
  • Tvärbanan Alvik -> Nockeby, Sickla Udde (Zone A)
  • Saltsjöbanan – Slussen (Zone A) -> Saltsjöbaden, Solsidan (Zone B)
  • Lidingöbanan – Ropsten -> Gåshaga, Lidingö (Zone A) – Currently under renovation and replaced by buses

Tram/Streetcar  – (Spårväg -S)

Sergels torg -Waldermarsudde (Zone A) 

Metro/Subway  – (Tunnelbanan – T) 

Red, green, blue lines

Commuter train  – (Pendeltåg – J)



Where to find them:

Where do they go from/to:

Zones A, B, C:

Stockholm county is divided into three transport zones. Although the whole of Stockholm city, the Metro system and several of the nearby suburbs are all in zone A, it isn’t that easy to work out where one zone starts and another ends. For a map over the Stockholm county zones, click here. Ticket prices can vary based on what zones that will be crossed.

Good to note before starting out:

The city centre metro station is called  “T-Centralen” but the railway station (for commuter trains)  is called “Stockholm Central”. The stations are connected by an underground tunnel and you can easily walk between the two, but they are different destinations.


Where to buy:

  • Ticket machines (at subway, some bus stations)
  • SL Centres (eg. Central Station)
  • Ticket agents (eg. Pressbyrån, some 7-11 stores and the occasional supermarket)
  • SMS – this requires pre-registering here and then you must text  076-720 10 10 with your journey details as advised here.
  • Note that tickets for the bus cannot be purchased on the bus itself!


  • 1 trip (price depends on zones) 
  • Short time periods: 24 or 72 hours 
  • Long time periods:1 week, 1 month, 3 months, summer (May-August), or annual
  • Visitor tickets (English): travel cards and zone tickets for short visits to Sthlm
  • Discounts: Reduced prices for students (over 20 yrs., min. 75% studies, has a student card) and seniors (over 65 yrs.), and special deals for beneficiaries
  • Kids : An adult with a child in a pram travels on Stockholm buses for free – but not on the metro or other rail. Children < 7 years do not need an SL ticket. There are special discounts on weekends for kids 7-11yrs.
  • SMS ticketsto use these one must register with SL, terms and conditions can be read here (Swedish):
  • Travelling to Bålsta,Gnesta, Uppsala: requires additional ticket, as these destinations lie outside Stockholm county 

Additional info on choosing the right tickets (in Swedish) can be found here.


Stockholm is a city on water and therefore it is worth noting that often it is possible to choose to go by boat. With an SL ticket or Stockholm card, there are several boatrides one can take at no extra cost:

For timetables – look for boat times on SL as you would for a normal train ride or see the boat websites.

NOTE: These are free of charge when you have a period ticket (eg. 1, 3, 7, 30, 90 day tickets), NOT valid for single-trip tickets!


If you plan on leaving Stockholm via public transit, chance are you’ll be on the railway. Swedish rail is operated by Statens Järnvägar (SJ). To purchase tickets online click on the link. These can also be bought in the SJ ticket machines at the stations, on your cell phone, or by calling SJ customer services. There are several types of tickets available; 1st & 2nd class tickets, last-minute tickets as well as  Arctic Circle passes.

Most stations will have lockers where luggage can be stored. SJ services also include booking hotels and rental cars.

Train trips:

Airport train – the Arlanda Express:

  • 20 minute train ride  to Arlanda airport (no stops)
  • Leaves every ½ hour from both locations (starting 5 mins. past the hour)
  • Tickets can be bought: at Central Station at tracks 1 & 2, at Arlanda Airport, online, on board the train (with 50kr surcharge), at Pressbyrån, at your travel agency
  • See website for timetables, fares, and discounts


Other YLC top tips for using SL services:

SL Parking (Infartsparking):

  • FREE (w/ exceptions)
  • Check under the different municipalities in the list for # of available parking spaces


  • Guided tour of the artwork found in subway stations (Red, green, & blue lines)
  • No extra cost – just need a valid SL ticket
  • 1.5 hour guided tour (see the website for times and meeting places – Swedish)


Many choose to take their bike in and around town – not to mention using those that can be borrowed during the spring/summer season – but there are some pretty strict rules for bringing them onto public transport:

  • Bicycles are NOT permitted on buses, subways, and light rail
  • Specific rules on pendeltåg (commuter trains). For a full list of rules (in Swedish) click here.


Ikea Bus:

  • The Ikea bus is free of charge
  • Leaves Vasagatan 18 (outside Stockholm Central Station) every hour 10:00-19:00
  • Leaves Ikea every half hour starting at 10:30; last bus leaves Kungens Kurva at 19:30
  • Stops along the way back are: Hornstull, Fridhemsplan and Kungsholms-torg
  • Does NOT operate on weekends


Research: Carmel Heiland

Photo: Melker Dahlstrand/Imagebank Sweden


  • Sang Teo 4 Aug 2013

    Please advise how to ride the public transit from Gamla Stan (Slottsbacken Stop?) to the City Hall, and from City Hall to the Frihamnen Cruise port? What are the approx. riding time? Thank you.

  • František Ruzha 24 Apr 2014

    as to price of ticket concerning Stockholm inner city-travel: Is the price for pensioner same for Swede and for foreigner?

    • Solveig Rundquist 29 Apr 2014

      Hi there,
      Sure is! Nationality of course plays absolutely no role in ticket prices. 🙂

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