February 19, 2014

Stockholm Central Train Station

Main entrance from the street Vasagatan.
Chances are, when visiting Stockholm, that at some point during your trip you will visit the Stockholm Central Station or at least one of the adjacent complexes... either the City Terminal bus station or the T-Centralen subway station. All three, located in the downtown area, are connected via escalators/stairs and together are the hub for all transportation within the greater Stockholm region and beyond. Because of this, and the fact that they just completed a massive, multiple-year long renovation of the train station, I thought that it deserved a blog article!
Main hall - street level.
At the Central Train Station you have regular trains connecting Stockholm with the rest of Sweden as well as with Oslo and Copenhagen (on to the continent). The high speed trains, X2000 & X3000, connecting the city with Göteborg (3 hours) and Malmö (4½ hours) are especially popular. The trains, for the most part, are run by the company SJ (Statens Järnvägar). Tickets can be either purchased online or at the SJ ticket office at the station. This station is also where the Arlanda Express departs to (and arrives from) Arlanda airport. A bit more expensive than bus or commuter train, this is the quickest way to get to the airport... just 20 minutes, with trains departing every 15 minutes.
Street level, looking down on the entrance to the subway station T-Centralen.
(EDIT: they have recently moved the commuter trains to a new staion under the subway lines. Read more about that here) The Central Station is also the hub for the Stockholm commuter train network (pendeltåg). These trains connect the city with the suburbs and as far as the cities of Södertalje and Uppsala as well as the port of Nynäshamn. One recent line has extended to the Arlanda airport, which adds a new, less expensive way to get to the airport (click here for more info). The commuter trains are run by a different company than the regular trains... SL (Storstockholms Lokaltrafik), which also runs the city's busses, subways and street cars. An SL Travel Card gives you access to all these modes of transportation as well as some ferries.
Well marked signs in Swedish & English...
Underneath the train station is the main subway station: T-Centralen. This is the only station where all three subway lines (red, green and blue) cross. You can reach the Rival Hotel on the red line... just 3 stations away! The two stations are connected by escalators and stairs and can be quite hectic during rush hour.
Escalator leading up to the main bus station (City Terminalen)
Finally, the main bus station (City Terminalen) is located right next door to the train station... connected by an escalator (going up this time). This station isn't for the local busses, but for the more long distant busses. Here you can take busses throughout Sweden (popular with busses to the ski resorts of Åre and Sälen), but even to the different Stockholm airports (Arlanda, Bromma, Västerås and Skavsta). These airport busses, called flygbussarna, are quite inexpensive and, in the case of the smaller airports, the only real way to get to the airport with the exception of driving.
The only Starbucks in central Stockholm and... pricey!
The train station was originally built in 1871 and has just undergone an extensive renovation. Part of the renovation work was the addition of a slew of new shops, cafés and fast food restaurants... including a florist, pharmacy, hair dresser, exchange office, grocery store, book store, Starbucks and much more. There is also a tourist information desk, SJ & SL ticket offices and luggage lockers (in case you have an evening flight and need to store your luggage while exploring the city). Another great feature is that the station has free WiFi! Just search for "All Station Guests". So, as you can see, when travelling to, from or through Stockholm... you will, at some point, visit Stockholm Central Station.
Storage lockers for luggage!

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