Public Transport in Sweden

Urban and Intercity

Public Transport in Sweden

The public transport system in Sweden is well organised and easily accessible. Although some services can be expensive, it pays to book online in advance and to look into the possible discounts on offer, especially for ISIC (International Student Identification Card) holders.

Metro system in Stockholm

The metro system in Stockholm is called the Tunnelbana (T-Bana). There are seven lines which are divided into three colours (green, red and blue). The 100 stations which make up the Stockholm metro map are divided into three zones. You can buy single travel cards with a zone ticket which can be valid from 1-2 hours depending on the zone you are travelling in. There are also 24- or 72-hour travel cards which enable travel in any zones within the allotted time.

You can also purchase an SL Access card which can be used for the metro, rail and bus services in Stockholm. The card can be bought from a “pressbyran”(newsstand), inside commuter train stations, or they can be found at the Arlanda airport upon arrival for 20 SEK. The card can be re-used and topped up from the various metro and train stations. The card must be topped up before you want to travel by bus since you can not buy a ticket once onboard.

Railways in Sweden

The largest rail operator in Sweden is Swedish Railways  (SJ). They offer four different services: SJ high speed trains (SJ 2000/3000) which is the fastest but most expensive way to travel around Sweden. The SJ intercity trains are for medium to long distance journeys in Sweden. The SJ regional or commuter trains are for those who travel by rail on a regular basis in Stockholm or Gothenburg (Göteborg) county. They also operate the SJ night train which goes from Narvik to Malmo.

In Stockholm there are three commuter rail systems with eight lines. The regional and intercity rail services link Stockholm to a large number of nearby cities, such as: Uppsala, Gävle, Eskilstuna, Linköping and Västeras.

Regional bus services (Lanstrafiken)

Most cities in Sweden have their own local bus and train services which are often operated under the same ticket system, this system is called Lanstrafiken. Just as Stockholm has the Storstockholms Lokaltrafik  (SL), the operator for the bus and rail systems, Gothenburg has the Vasttrafik, and for Malmo and Skane there is the Skanetrafiken.

Long-distance bus services

It is often cheaper to travel by bus than by train. However, it is important to remember to buy your ticket before getting on the bus! There are certain discounts for student card holders, young people (16-25), and pensioners. The most well known express bus service is Swebus Express . This operator runs services across Sweden, and connects major cities with neighbouring countries. It is the most frequent service and the free WiFi, air conditioning and power sockets are a bonus. However, this comfort comes at a price, it is also makes it the most expensive bus operator.

Two other services which connect Stockholm to the south are Svenska Buss  and Nettbuss Express . An alternative service is Ybuss  which makes journeys to the north of the country, which is less accessible by train.


Taxis can be booked by phone, can be taken from a taxi rank or hailed in the street. Swedish taxis often run on fixed prices rather than using a meter, this is why you should check with your driver how much the journey will cost before you get into the vehicle. Taxis taken from Stockholm Arlanda airport to Stockholm centre are fixed at 520 SEK (around €57).

Air travel

Stockholm Arlanda airport is the main airport used for international travel. Domestic flights are expensive due to the competition from the rail and bus services. For airport transfers there is the Arlanda Express (airport rail link) which is about 240 SEK (€26) and takes 20 minutes. There is also Flygbussarna (airport bus service) for 110 SEK (€12) and takes 30/40 minutes.

Swedavia owns and operates the ten most important airports in Sweden, these include:

  • Åre Östersund Airport, minor international airport.
  • Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport, minor international airport.
  • Kiruna Airport, minor international airport
  • Luleå Airport, minor international airport.
  • Malmö Airport, minor international airport.
  • Ronneby Airport, domestic airport.
  • Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, major international airport.
  • Stockholm-Bromma Airport, minor international airport.
  • Umeå Airport, minor international airport.
  • Visby Airport, minor international airport.

Further reading

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