July 6, 2017

Stockholm Subway Art

T-Centralen metro station
By Arild Vågen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Stockholm has a pretty fantastic public transportation system with subways, busses, trams, ferries and commuter trains all run by Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL). When visiting Stockholm, you will most likely use some form of public transportation, whether the commuter train to the airport, subway to cross town or the ferry to Djurgården. It is good to purchase a Travel Card (24 hour, 72 hour or 7 days) when visiting the city, allowing you unlimited use of the transportation system. At the Rival Hotel, we sell the 24 and 72 hour cards to our hotel guests. Otherwise you can purchase them (or refillable access cards) at Pressbryån kiosks or SL Centers.
Stadion metro station
By Arild Vågen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Stockholm subway system (tunnelbana or T-bana) first opened in 1950 making it relatively young when compared to other metros (London, Paris, NYC, etc.). Today it stretches for 110 kilometers, includes 100 stations and there are plans to extend the system at several points. A majority of the system is actually above ground, running underground mainly in the downtown area. There are three lines: blue, red and green.
Tekniska Högskolan metro station
By Arild Vågen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Stockholm's subway system has been called the world's longest art gallery as 90% of the stations contain some form of artwork (sculpture, painting, literature, etc.). Some stations are more "arty" than others. These stations are popular to visit and there are several ways to do this. The most comprehensive way is to join one of the free guided art walks provided by SL. They have these art walks year-round in Swedish, but have an English version in the summer months every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The walk starts at 3pm from the SL Center at the T-Centralen metro station, exit Sergels Torg. The tour is free, but you need to have a valid travel/access card.
Rådhuset metro station
By Arild Vågen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
You can, of course, do it on your own! As I mentioned, 90% of the stations have some form of art, but stations of special note are... Green line: Thorhildsplan, Skarpnäck and Bagarmossan. Red line: Tekniska Högskolan, Alby and Stadion. Blue line: Kungsträdgården, T-Centralen, Rådhuset, Sundbyberg Centrum and Solna. Expedia has a great interactive page which gives you some information on the art in several of the stations. The pictures in this article showcase some of the more spectacular design and mural work, but many of the stations have smaller, more detailed art work. So keep your eyes open when traveling on the metro.
Kungsträdgården Metro Station
By Arild Vågen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
If you don't have time to crisscross the city on the subways to look at different stations and just want to visit one station to get a feel, then I recommend visiting the Kungsrträdgården station. This is one of my personal favorites and very centrally located! One of the deepest stations (34 meters below ground), Kungsträdgården has some fun art including relics from some of the palaces near the station (especially the exit to Arsenalgatan). If you have a little more time, visit the next two stations along the blue line (T-Centralen and Rådhuset) for some more good art stations. Click here for further reading about the different stations.
Sundbyberg Centrum metro station
By Arild Vågen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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