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Sweden's safe roads
The Economist came up with the news yesterday what most people already know – that Sweden is generally safe, it’s capital is safe, and its roads are safe.
They put the stress on planning as the key factor. Besides, Sweden is considered a rich country and can afford doing what it considers right for its people’s well-being, but poor countries have to do what is necessary to insure mere survival.
For my part I think that the size matters, too – there are just about 9 million Swedes for a very large territory, therefore every single Swede is sort of a crown jewel. Belonging to a very big nation can make one sort of grain of sand in a vast unconcerned desert.
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Through subway - & sky...
Travelling by subway might not sound like the best way to receive a scenic view of a city, but Stockholm has been built upon islands, so there is a drastic change in ground level between inter-connected areas...
This means that the subway lines are underground around 47 stations, but in between, 53 stations are to be found above ground, necessitating the lines to run outside tunnels, or even suspended, high above the low ground...
Consequently, a trip by Stockholm's metro system, can be a scenic experience, & a good way to do some sightseeing, especially in wet weather...
The civil engineering involved in constructing Stockholms Tunnelbana is impressive, with many stations decorated with public art, hence the network has been described as the world's longest art gallery...
But what impressed me the most, was to see the engineering which allows some lines to be suspended high in the sky on tall concrete pillars...
The view from a carriage when passing over these narrow bridges, must be like flying, as if you look out the window, all to be seen is sky...
Just what would happen if there was a power cut while a train was on 1 of these bridges, I hate to think, as I do not like heights!
In fact, I once had frequent recurring dreams about railway lines, mostly running over precarious bridges, high in the sky - which I thought impossible to build, yet when I visited Sweden in 2004 - I was astonished to have to crane my neck, in order to look up to a metro viaduct, passing over a low area of the city...
Since this experience, my dreams about these high-flying railway lines, have ceased...
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FOR CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS
If your Cruise ship is leaving from Värtahamnen Port which is out of town a bit, and you want the cheapest way possible, then I suggest what we did.
We caught the Metro, which happened to be close to our Hilton Slussen Hotel, and then a Taxi to the Port.
Cost in 2011 for the Train......... 36sek
Taxi for 2 people and luggage..100sek
The station master will help you with what station to get off.
We were quoted 400 - 500sek by Taxi all the way.
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ARRIVING BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Arriving by Train or Bus from the airport to the centre of Stockholm is very easy.
Either by Bus or Train, both drop you off in the Old Town, very convenient Station's.
From here, it is easy to walk, or take a Taxi.
There is plenty of accommodation located in this area.
- Budget Travel
Stockholm by public transport
Stockholm is a rather compact city and many tourist attractions are within walking distance of each other. But should you get tired there's also an excellent public transport system (subway and buses) to get you from point A to B.
A single ticket costs 26 SEK in zone A (city centre) and is valid for 1 hour. There are several discount options as a 8-ticket-slip and 24-hr-tickets etc.
Tickets can be bought at machines or at news agents, but NOT on the bus.
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List of services available at Arlanda airport
I'll be compiling here a list of services available at Arlanda airport, as I see how frequent the questions come up in the forums. The information here is accurate as of the time of writing and can change at any given moment.
Lockers: there's a left luggage service on Terminal 5, pass the 7-11 shop and then go down the escalator before the doors to Sky City, on the left (on the 7-11 side). This is also where the Lost & Found is, and I once lost something that I had to go pick up there, so I can't say how much the lockers cost.
ATM machines/bank services: there's a few ATM machines on Terminals 2, 4 and 5 and in Sky City. Most are called "Bankomat" but I've seen at least one called "Kontanten". In Sky City there's an office of the Swedish banks Handelsbanken and SEB.
SL ticket selling points: I wrote a separate tip about it, but you can buy your SL tickets at the Pressbyrån agencies or at the Stockholm Tourist information service available on the arrival hall in Terminal 5. For more information, read here.
Some useful links
The question on how to go where within Stockholm (and Sweden) pops up often so I thought I could gather some useful links:
- SJ: Sweden's train company #1. Useful for trips within Sweden and to Oslo and Copenhagen. Consult prices and timetables and book your trip online.
- SL: Stockholm's public transportation company. Here you can find information about the several public transportation cards, when the art guided tours (konståkning) are taking place and a very useful travel planner (reseplanerare, only on the Swedish version).
- Veolia: trains to Lappland and "up north" where SJ doesn't have traffic (or limited traffic).
- SAS: Sweden's biggest airline and with the most departures of domestic and international flights. Flies only from Arlanda airport.
- Skyways: another big domestic flight airline, flies from Arlanda and Bromma.
- Malmö Aviation: Flies from Bromma to Malmö and some other domestic destinations and a few international ones.
- Norwegian: low cost airline that fly from Arlanda to many international destinations.
If you want to see which airlines fly to or from any of Stockholm's airports, visit LFV and choose the desired airport.
- Strömma Kanalbolaget: offers day trips to some archipelago's islands.
- Waxholmsbolaget: also offers trips around the archipelago, including the line Slussen - Allmänna gränd - Djurgården and back.
- Tallinksilja: ferries to Finland, Estonia and Latvia.
- Viking Line: another big ferry carrier to Finland and Estonia. Viking is cheaper and more preferred for partying than Tallink.
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Airports in Stockholm - FYI
Stockholm has 2 airports: Arlanda and Bromma. Arlanda is the biggest airport in Stockholm and in Sweden. It has 2 international terminals, 1 domestic terminal and 1 terminal for small planes. Arlanda is also well connected if you want to hit the town by public means (read my separate tip about it).
Bromma is a smaller airport that handles some international and domestic routes. It's located closer to Stockholm's city center than Arlanda and is also well connected, although not like its brother (or sister?) Arlanda.
If you travel some low budget airlines you might land in Stockholm-Skavsta or Stockholm-Västerås but those airports are *not* located in Stockholm. Skavsta is located in Nyköping and it takes about an hour and a half by bus from Stockholm's Central Station. Västerås is, well, in Västerås and since I haven't used this airport I can't comment on how to get from it to Stockholm but I suppose they have some transfer service there or to SJ's train station.
Cityterminalen for buses.
From Cityterminalen go all the buses from Stockholm to all destinations in Sweden and also other countries. Then you also have the buses to all Skavsta Airport, Arlanda and Bromma Airport and also to the airport in Västerås. You have many bus companies from this place and I will not write all of them, because they change all the time. Inside Cityterminalen you have bus offices where you can buy the tickets, there are aslo many computers if you need to go out on the net or just waste your time while you wait for a bus. You can aslo find shops, bars wherethey sell food and aslo a coffee place where you can relax with a cappuccini. Or maybe a hot tea.
If you want access to most of the best that Stockholm has to offer, then the Stockholm Card is the card for you. Order your Stockholm Card ahead of time so you can plan your visit using the guidebook that comes with your order.
The Stockholm Card includes:
Free admission to 75 museums and sights
Free admission to Gröna Lund's and Skansen's Christmas Markets
Free public transportation - underground, buses and local trains
Free sightseeing by boat with Stockholm Sightseeing
Guidebook in English including maps
» Read more about the Stockholm Card
Children's cards may be purchased together with adult cards. Max. 3 children's cards per adult card (Children ages 7-17). Children's cards cannot be purchased separately.
Before placing your order, please fill in date of departure in the message box that you will find in the order form.
Stockholm Card 2008, adult 24 hrs 330,00 kr
Stockholm Card 2008, adult 48 hrs 460,00 kr
Stockholm Card 2008, adult 72 hrs 580,00 kr
Stockholm Card 2008, child 24 hrs 160,00 kr
Stockholm Card 2008, child 48 hrs 190,00 kr
Stockholm Card 2008, child 72 hrs 220,00 kr
Add to cart
* All prices are presented in SEK.
Stockholm Tourist Centre
Sverigehuset, Hamngatan 27, Entré Kungsträdgården
103 27 Stockholm
To and from Arlanda and Bromma
From Arlanda you have several ways to take you to Stockholm (and back):
* Arlanda Express: the fastest and rather expensive way to take you to Stockholm. It will take you there in 20 minutes and have 4 to 6 departures per hour and runs between 4:35am and midnight.
* Flygbussarna: the airport coaches. Not as quick as the Arlanda Express but they're good. They stop at several stations to pick up or leave passengers.
* SJ Train: they don't stop so often at the airport but will take you to Stockholm's Central Station in 20 minutes as well.
* Taxi: the most expensive way. If you take a taxi make sure they have the name and phone number visible on the vehicle and their price list on the back window.
Then you can always go to Stockholm through Märsta but that's not to be recommended unless you're staying there or in the vicinity. To do this, take bus 583 towards Märsta Station and there you take the commuter train to Stockholm. Be aware that you need to have a SL ticket before getting on the bus, but you can buy it at Pressbyrån in Sky City.
Arlanda has also bus stops for cities like Enköping and Uppsala.
You can buy the tickets for Flygbussarna, Arlanda Express and SJ on the internet. Check out the links below.
From Bromma (and back) you have Flygbussarna, taxis and the SL bus line 152 but I've never used Bromma Airport so I can't really comment.
To / From Arlanda
Coming to Stockholm might be a problem as well as piece of a cake. But luckily the Swedish transportation system works quite perfect, so keep that in mind. In the following couple of tips I'm gonna try to fill you in on the usual & the easiest ways to come to this city.
Flying to Stockholm is easy, but getting to the city from the airport might be a bit hard, depending on where you're flying to. Arlanda is both Stockholm's & Uppsala's airport, built right in the middle between those two. It's the biggest airport, has the most flights & the best connections. Flygbussarna will take you to cities around the airport, from Stockholm to Uppsala. A one-way bus ticket costs 89 SEK [owners of ISIC cards pay 59 SEK] & a return ticket costs 170 SEK. They drive pretty often, but check the times in advance, so that you're at the airport on time. The buses leave from Stockholm City terminal, located right next to Centralen.
Arlanda Express is a faster, but more expensive mean of transportation to & from Arlanda. A one-way ticket costs 190 SEK, but if you're under 25, you pay only 100 SEK & you can get the tickets on machines also. Considering the fact that the bus is only 11 SEK cheaper, I advise you to take the train [if you're eligible for the discounted ticket]. It pays off, especially because the train only takes 20 minutes to Stockholm Centralen & it doesn't stop. So just sit comfortably & enjoy the ride!
Taxis are unbelievably expensive, so a one-way ride to / from Arlanda can cost you up to 800 SEK! I wouldn't advise that unless you're in an unbelievable hurry. The train is cheap & comfortable enough...
This doesn't actually belong here, but I just have to post this! You know when you go to toilets & there's just no way that the freakin' hand dryer does any good...? Well, this one does - Skavsta airport has the best hand dryer in the World! I was amazed to see how fast it dried my hands [and I was bored since I had to wait for the flight]... I'm telling you people, go there only to dry your hands! ;)
Get there and around
All major European airlines fly into Stockholm, so even if you can't get a direct flight, there are many options that would feature only one change of flights. We had a good deal with Sabena, but that means flying from/via Brussels. If that's not an option for you, try the internet.
The subway takes you everywhere and it's a very beautiful one too, for that matter. The central subway station is T-Centralen just to the north of Gamla Stan and from there trains run in all directions, including deep into the suburbs.
Try making it a longer visit...
Try making it a longer visit starting in Copenhagen in Denmark. Take the train over the fantastic Oresund bridge to Malmo. Check out Malmo and then take the train north to Stockholm itself. Great way to spend time!
The underground/metro system is super. A little pricey but well worth it. Walking/cycling is for the more fit as there are plenty of hills and distances between tourist sights can be quite long
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Stockholm Travel Guide
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