Our experience with public transportation in Sweden // Introduction.
Travelling by public transportation in Sweden is viable. There are a multitude of options (intercity trains, commuter trains, buses, trams, and metros) to get from point A to B. The website resrobot.se is a handy tool in providing information on public transportation. It shows the route with layovers and a map. This makes it easy to keep track of where to get off. The only downside of this website is that it doesn’t display any prices.
If it’s difficult to keep track of the stops, you can still keep an eye on the information board in front of the bus, it displays which stop is coming up next. Identical to the buses in the Netherlands, you press a red stop button to indicate that you would like to exit at the next stop. The information board will display the word stannar.
Public transportation in Sweden is comparable to that of the Netherlands. However, there are a few differences:
• Sweden is divided into several districts. These districts each have their own map. We visited Uppsala and Stockholm. In Uppsala you travel with Uppsala Lokaltrafik and in Stockholm with Stockholm Lokaltrafik.
• For each zone you pay a set price for 75 minutes. Layovers are possible till the last minute.
• You only have to check in, checking out is not necessary.
Public transportation in Sweden // From Arlanda Airport to Uppsala.
At Arlanda Airport we bought a paper UL-ticket for 24 hours at UL’s information booth. Here we received information about the system for the first time. Tickets can be bought at a station and Pressbyrån. With this ticket we were allowed to take the bus and the commuter train (pendeltåg).
Uppsala Lokaltrafik consists out of five zones (1 till 5). Arlanda airport is located in zone five. Uppsala central station is located in zone one. View zones in Uppsala.
Prices of public transportation in Uppsala are on the Uppsala Lokaltrafik website.
At the airport we took bus 807 to Uppsala central station. This journey took half an hour.
Taking the train is likely to be faster. However, to get access to the station at the airport, you would have to pay an ‘access fee’ of 120 SEK (€ 12,60). You do not pay this fee when taking the bus. The 24-hour ticket for five zones costs 170 SEK (€ 17,80). The bus had a compartment to stow suitcases. We got on at terminal 2 (the last terminal), therefore all seats were already taken. Most passengers were travelling with luggage (which makes sense, the bus stops at airport terminals). Standing in the bus was still possible.
Public transportation in Sweden // Travelling in Uppsala.
In Uppsala we only used the bus as a mode of transportation. There are green and yellow buses. The yellow buses are intercity buses and the green ones are transit buses. We stayed at Kroksta Gård. A half an hour with bus 844 (Uppsala – Östervåla). When taking the bus we tried to avoid rush hour. The first time we sat all the way in front of the bus. This wasn’t a good idea because we couldn’t read the information board, located in front of the bus, that displays the stops. Fortunately, the bus driver was helpful enough to stop at the bus stop where we had to exit.
Public transportation in Sweden // From Uppsala to Stockholm.
We bought a paper UL/SL tickets for 24 hours to get from Uppsala to Stockholm. With this ticket we were able to travel in five zones of the Uppsala district and 3 zones in Stockholm using the pendeltåg, bus, tram and metro. The 24-hours ticket costs 270 SEK (€ 28,30). At Uppsala central station we took the pendeltåg to Solna.
Public transportation in Sweden // Traveling in Stockholm.
Public transportation in Stockholm is different compared to Uppsala. A journey in Stockholm is valid for 75 minutes just like in Uppsala. After checking in you can transfer to a different mode of transportation within that timeframe. The train and metro stations have turnstiles where you can scan your ticket upon entrance. When leaving the station you don’t have to scan your ticket. The turnstiles will automatically open. In Stockholm you can’t buy tickets on the bus. These can be bought at Pressbyrån and other tobacco shops with an SL sticker or flag.
To buy an SL 24-hours ticket (120 SEK) or an SL 72-hours ticket (120 SEK) you need an SL Access card. These can be bought for 20 SEK (€ 2,10). You can also add credit to this card so you will end up paying per journey (75 minutes). The card expires in five years. It’s unclear whether the added credit will remain on the card during this time.
More information on Stockholm Lokaltrafik
Public transportation in Sweden // From Stockholm to Arlanda Airport.
To get from Solna to Arlanda airport, we first traveled to Karolina Sjukhuset, here we took the Flygbussarna. We bought a digital ticket with a QR code online on flygbussarna.se the night before. The website supported different payment methods such as credit cards or Paypal. The ticket costs 99 SEK (€ 10,40) per person. It’s possible to buy a ticket from the bus driver (119 SEK). The bus was comfortable. The stops (and terminals) were clearly displayed in the bus.
Public transportation in Sweden // Lockers at a train station
On the third day we wanted to travel from Uppsala to Solna (near Stockholm). We decided to stay in Uppsala for a few hours because the check-in time at the hotel in Solna was at 3 PM. At Uppsala central station we were able to store our two suitcases/bags into one big locker. This costs 60 SEK (€ 6,30) for 4 hours.
Pricing (and exchange rates) in the post are based on rates from January 2017.