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Each day in Stockholm, 700,000 trips are made using public transportation. Considering only about 800,000 people live within Stockholm city limits, that number is pretty impressive. With the efficient and user-friendly SL, Stockholm’s public transportation company, it makes sense that so many Stockholmers take to the metro, buses, and more.
Stockholm is a very walk-able city, but if you’re less interested in wandering around than getting around efficiently (or if you just want to get out of the cold on your way to your next destination), public transportation is really the way to go. Subways, buses, trains, and even boats and street cars are covered by the SL umbrella, and every single one of them is clean and on time.
SL offers a smorgasbord (pun absolutely intended) of ticket options. Luckily, the SL website gives a great rundown of everything that is available. Some of the options are perfect for a short trip to Stockholm.
Standard and prepaid tickets
SL offers standard one-trip tickets. These are not worth your money if you plan on using public transportation more than once or twice, but they are worth explaining. Stockholm is broken up into three different zones according to SL. Zone A will cost you two tickets, Zone B will cost you three, and Zone C will cost you four.
Really, if you’re just staying in the city all you need to worry about is Zone A and the two ticket price. These tickets are only valid for an hour after you use them. If you plan on using public transportation more than four times during your stay in Stockholm, consider a pre-paid strip of tickets or a day pass.
The prepaid strip of tickets is 16 single tickets for the price of 180 SEK. This gives you eight trips within the city and ends up being about half the price of the standard one-trip tickets. You’ll get a stamp which, unfortunately, is only good for an hour after stamping. But remember, you’ve got seven more trips before you need to think about paying for transportation again.
There are also day passes. The 24-hour pass costs 100 SEK, the 72- hour pass is 200 SEK, and the seven-day card is 260 SEK. Day passes are valid at any time and can be used as many times as you wish. Depending on your length of stay, day passes are a great way to save money and still get everywhere you want to go.
The Stockholm Card
Finally, there is Stockholmskortet, The Stockholm Card. The Stockholm Card ranges from 375 SEK for 24 hours to 595 SEK for 72 hours. It allows you free entrance to over 70 museums in Stockholm and gives you free access to public transportation.
Buy your ticket before boarding the bus
Note that you cannot buy tickets on the bus. Bus drivers stopped carrying money a couple of years ago in hopes of speeding up service and keeping everyone safer. There are plenty of places where you can buy tickets though, including SL service centers, most subway and train stations, Pressbyrån (a Swedish convenience store), and, if you happen to have a Swedish cell phone provider, with your cell phone.