The Stockholm Metro, located in the capital of Sweden, connects the city with its surrounding regions. Not only is it a vital transportation hub in Sweden, but it also serves as an underground art gallery, with various art pieces displayed in its stations. In this article, I will introduce you to the “world’s longest art gallery,” the Stockholm Metro.
Overview of the Stockholm Metro
The Stockholm Metro is the only subway system in Sweden, with a total length of 105.7 km. It stretches from the capital city of Stockholm to the suburbs. There are 100 stations in the Stockholm Metro, with 47 of them being underground. The metro has three lines, which are named after their colors: the Red Line (Tunnelbana 1), the Blue Line (Tunnelbana 2), and the Green Line (Tunnelbana 3).
The public transportation system in Stockholm began with the opening of the tram line in 1933. Later, in 1941, the construction plan for the Stockholm Metro was initiated, and the first subway line opened on October 1, 1950, as an extension of the existing tram line.
Art Pieces in the Stations
The Stockholm Metro was the first subway system in Sweden and the Nordic countries, and it is currently used by nearly 300 million people annually. Moreover, it serves as an art gallery, with numerous art pieces displayed in the stations, turning the stations into artistic spaces. Various art pieces, such as murals, sculptures, and installations, can be found in 90 of the stations.
Each station in the Stockholm Metro displays art pieces that follow specific themes, which is one of its unique features. The display of art in the subway began in the early 1950s, shortly after the metro’s opening. Artists started creating murals and other artworks to make art more accessible to the public. Today, the art pieces in the Stockholm Metro are renowned worldwide and are often referred to as the “world’s longest art gallery.”
How to Ride the Stockholm Metro
Here, I will introduce the method of riding the Stockholm Metro, which is slightly different from that of Japanese subways.
First, the public transportation system in Stockholm, including the metro, buses, and trams, is operated by a company called Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL). This is similar to Japan’s JR. Most of the public transportation managed by SL uses the same ticket and fare system, allowing passengers to transfer between the metro, buses, and trams using the same ticket. One payment covers all modes of transportation.
Stockholm Metro tickets are different from those in Japan. There are single-use tickets that are valid for 75 minutes from the time of purchase. These tickets can be used on the metro, buses, trams, and other modes of transportation for multiple transfers within the 75-minute window. The fare is a fixed amount, regardless of distance.
There are also Travel Cards available, which offer unlimited use of public transportation for a specified period, such as 24 hours, 72 hours, or 7 days. These cards are recommended for those who plan to use public transportation multiple times during their stay in Sweden. Choose the appropriate ticket based on your travel plans and itinerary.
The Stockholm Metro, which opened in 1950, is a public transportation system supporting the city of Stockholm. In addition to providing transportation for residents, the metro also features various art pieces, including murals, displayed in its stations.