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A Guide to Stockholm Subway Art: a Self-Guided Tour

Looking to plan your own Stockholm subway art tour? Read this guide to find out all the best stops and all the tips you need to know!

When thinking about Stockholm, ABBA, fika, H&M, and Swedish meatballs may be some of the first things to come to mind. You likely won’t think of the city’s metro stations to be one of its top attractions. But make no mistake – these aren’t your average subway stations.

Did you know that at over 100 km long, Stockholm’s subway system (also known as “tunnelbana”) is said to be the longest art exhibition in the world? 

Over 90 of the 100 stations in the city’s subway system have been adorned with paintings, carvings, mosaics, sculptures, and more. Taking a tour of Stockholm’s subway art is a must-do on any Stockholm itinerary.

I’d always been intrigued by Stockholm’s subway art, so I was super excited to check it out for myself – and it definitely did not disappoint. The stations I stopped at had some truly unique, spectacular works. There’s a rainbow station, one that looks like lava, another that is themed after an archaeological dig. And those are only just a few of the gems you’ll find.

I highly recommend putting together your own Stockholm subway art tour to see these incredible stations. Obviously, you won’t have time to visit all 90 stations, but I highly recommend at least stopping at a few of them as they are truly unique!

If you’re looking to plan your own tour, I’ve got you covered! Keep on reading for my guide for the top stations to find the best Stockholm metro art, along with tips and helpful info.

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About Stockholm’s Subway Art

Stockholm’s subway system, which is called Tunnelbana or T-Bana for short (which translates to “tunnel railway”), was completed in 1952. However, all its stations were bare when they first opened. 

The idea of decorating the stations in the city’s metro system was born out of an idea that art should be accessible to the masses, and not just Stockholm’s elite. The city also wanted to make the subway to become more popular with its citizens. In order to make it more appealing, they held a contest for artists to spruce up its stations.

Today, the vast majority of the stations in Stockholm’s metro system feature some form of art. While many of the stations only have a sculpture or painting on display, there are also quite a few that are extravagant, full-scale installations that are truly impressive.

These artworks have been created by 150 Swedish artists over the years. Many of the installations draw attention to various social and issues that were prevalent during the time the stations were being built. Some of them are also an homage to the neighborhood that they are located in.

Things to Know for Your Stockholm Subway Art Tour

How to purchase Stockholm metro tickets

Before you embark on your Stockholm metro art tour, you’ll first need to purchase a ticket.

There are several ticket options available, depending on how long you plan to ride the metro:

  • Single journey ticket (75 minutes): 42 SEK (~$4 USD)
  • 24 hours: 175 SEK (~$17)
  • 72 hours: 350 SEK (~$33)
  • 7 days: 455 SEK (~$43)

Tickets can be purchased from a ticket machine at a metro station, with the SE app on your smartphone, or by tapping your contactless credit card at a turnstile. 

I *highly* recommend purchasing a 24 hour (or 72 hour) ticket so that you don’t feel rushed on your tour. I found that this was the best option anyway, since I already needed to use the metro to get around the city.

How long does a Stockholm metro art tour take?

Allow at least 2 hours in order to visit all the stations listed in this guide. However, if you want to really explore the stations and take a lot of photos, allow extra time.

Another option is to split up your tour and visit a few at a time throughout your stay in Stockholm. Some of the notable stations are located near the top tourist attractions in Stockholm, so you’ll likely be visiting them anyway. This way, you can complete your itinerary as time allows.

Best time to plan your tour of Stockholm subway art

Whatever you do, avoid peak commuting times!

The best time to visit Stockholm’s subway stations is between 11-3 on a weekday. This is when the stations tend to be the least crowded, so you’ll be able to explore in relative peace and quiet.

You can also do your tour on the weekend or weekday evenings (the metro runs until 12:30 am).

Are there guided tours available?

While I found it very easy to navigate Stockholm’s subway system on my own and plan a DIY tour, there are also guided tours available. Doing a guided tour will allow you to explore with a local, and learn more about the art and the history behind the subway system.

Where to start your tour of Stockholm metro art

Honestly, you can start your tour anywhere! Just pick the closest metro station to you and go from there.

The T-Centralen station is also a good place to start, as all 3 of the metro lines go through there.

Stockholm Metro Station Map

Here’s a map of Stockholm’s subway system:

I found that Stockholm’s subway system was super easy to use! There are three color-coded lines (red, green, and blue). There’s a computerized sign on each platform, and clear announcements (none of that garbled nonsense that you hear on the subway in other cities).

A few more tips…

  • Check the final destination: Be sure to double check the final destination of your train, so you can make sure you’re going in the right direction!
  • Download the Art Walk app: This free app offers guides to 5 of the most note-worthy stations in the system. It includes station maps so you can easily find all the notable art, as well as background info so you can know more about what you’re looking at.
  • Trains run pretty frequently: Trains come every 2-10 minutes during the day. You can hop off and take your time exploring and there will be another train that comes fairly quickly. At some stations, trains make a longer stop so you can hop back on the train you were just on.
  • Take the train to the end of the line, then make stops on your way back: They’ll likely be less crowded this way.
  • Some photo tips: The best way to capture photos of the stations is to bring a dSLR (I love my Sony a6400) and a tripod. Otherwise, you can use night mode on your phone.

Best Stockholm Metro Stations for Subway Art

Blue Line Stations


The T-Centralen, or Central Station, is the hub of Stockholm’s metro system – all of the lines in the subway system pass through here on multiple levels. This makes it an ideal starting point for your Stockholm subway art tour.

T-Centralen was the first of Stockholm’s subway stations to feature art. All three platforms have some form of art. The green and red line platforms feature geometric tile designs, which date back to 1957. I also loved the escalators at T-Centralen, which are lit up in rainbow colored neon lights. 

However, the real highlight here is the blue line station, which is located on the lowest level. This is one of the most recognizable stations in the system, but wasn’t completed until 1957, nearly 20 years after the green and red line stations were complete.

Here, you will find this blue and white floral motif, designed to give commuters a sense of calm and peace in this bustling station, the busiest in the system. There are white vine-y leaves painted on the blue walls, which are super whimsical and have a very Scandinavian feel.

The blue line station was designed by Per Olof Ultvedt, who honored the workers working on the station with painted silhouettes of them all over the walls and ceilings. 


The Kungstadgarden station is one stop away from T-Central and the terminus of the Blue Line going east. It is arguably the most impressive of all the stations that you will see on your Stockholm metro art tour. This was one of my personal favorite stations, because there was just so much detail and so much to look at!

There are two entrances to the station, each with a different theme and vibe. Be sure to take a look at both sides and take your time to fully explore what’s on display. Everything here tells the story of what went on above the station, and the history of the site.

Today, above the station you’ll find the Kungstradgarden park. This is also known as the King’s Garden, Stockholm’s oldest public park. The station is inspired by the florals and plants that are in the park. Designed by Ulrik Samuelson to be an underground garden, the station features a vibrant, abstract harlequin design painted on the ceiling. 

At the Arsenalsgatan exit of the station, there is a full-on archaeological dig featuring artifacts from the Makalos palace which stood on the ground above the station in the 17th and 18th stations – crazy! There are tons of details and artifacts on display here, so be sure to take time to look at them.


Radhuset is one stop away from T-Centralen in the opposite direction. Created by Sigvard Olsson, it is designed to look like a pink underground grotto. 

The Radhuset station is on the island of Kungsholmen (which houses several government buildings, including the courthouse that gave the station its name), which was founded by Franciscan monks in the 15th century. 

The station contains various imaginary archaeological findings from that era. There are various items that are mounted on the walls – try and look for them. The organic architecture, exposed bedrock, and dramatic lighting create a cave-like atmosphere.

The bedrock is painted in a shade of salmon pink, which gives it a distinctive look. It is a sharp contrast to what you’ll see at the Solna Centrum station. I suggest visiting the two stations one after another so you can really get a sense of the contrast.

Solna Centrum

Solna Centrum opened in 1975 as part of the first set of stations on the blue line.

Walking into Solna Centrum is like walking into the depths of a dark, blood-red cave – it almost feels like you’re descending into the depths of hell. The exposed bedrock ceiling is painted in a vivid, deep shade of red, and it almost feels like there’s lava coming down into the station. 

It really is striking! The red comes off more intense in person than it does in photos. 

On the walls is a 1km long mural depicting a spruce forest. The mural depicts scenes representing the four seasons, and the green adds a nice contrast to the intense red. The red is supposed to represent an evening sun setting behind the green trees. 

Designed by Anders Aberg and Karl-Olov Bjork during the Swedish Industrial Era, the mural also makes a political statement. The artwork here calls attention to issues such as rural depopulation and deforestation.

Credit: Visit Stockholm


The Tensta station is one of the brightest, most happy-looking stations in the system. This is because it’s meant to have a welcoming vibe.

The suburb of Tensta was built between 1966 and 1972 to accommodate the growing population of Stockholm. The suburb is home to a lot of immigrants, and the artwork here reflects that.

You’ll find vibrant murals created by artist Per Håkansson, which feature motifs of birds, florals,  and nature. It is meant to feel welcoming no matter where your roots are, and the words written around the station are a celebration of the different cultures of Tensta residents.

Red Line Stations


Stadion may have been my favorite of all the stations on my tour of Stockholm’s subway art, mainly because of the rainbow vibe – couldn’t help but be happy seeing it! I took soooo many photos here.

The Stadion station opened in 1973, and was one of the first cave stations in the city. These cave stations were controversial, as people associated them with the netherworld and other dark places. Therefore, the blue and rainbows serve as a reminder that there is a sky not far above.

Designed by Enno Hallek and Ake Pallarp, Stadion commemorates the 1912 Olympics which were held in Stockholm. The Olympic stadium is located nearby the station, and the colors of the rainbow represent the colors of the Olympic rings.

The rainbow colors are also a symbol of inclusion, as the station is located in the area where the Stockholm Pride festival takes place every year.

Morby Centrum

Morby Centrum isn’t as popular as the other stations, but I saw a photo of it on Design Sponge, fell in love with the paste-paneled walls, and knew I had to make a stop there. It’s located at the northern terminus of the line, but was well worth the trek.

Artists Karin Ek and Gösta Wessel used a shadow-painting technique that gives passengers an interesting perspective – when viewed from one side, the station looks pink, while it looks blue-grey from the other side. 

This was inspired by the unique characteristics of the rocks in the station, and symbolizes change for both the station as well as the people who pass through it. This is definitely worth checking out on your tour of Stockholm’s subway art.

Credit: Tekniska Högskolan Metro Station by Shadowgate (CC by 2.0)

Tekniska Högskolan

This station serves as the stop for the Royal Institute of Technology, so it’s no surprise that the art here is inspired by science and technology.

The award-winning station houses lots of interesting artwork, designed by Lennart Mörk. Most notable are the five glass polyhedra located on the platform. These each represent Plato’s five elements: fire, water, air, earth, and ether.

There’s plenty more to look at here, you’ll also find representations of Copernican heliocentrism, Polhem’s mechanical alphabet, Newton’s laws of motion, and da Vinci’s attempts at creating a flying machine.

Green Line Stations


Hortorget wasn’t originally a stop on my tour of Stockholm metro art, but I just happened to keep passing through this station because it was the closest to my hostel. 

It was originally the southern terminus of Stockholm’s second subway line when it opened in 1952. The station had no artwork when it first opened, like the rest of the oldest stations. Like all the stations that opened around this time, it’s got vintage teal-colored tiles and retro signage. This gave Hotorget the moniker of being the “bathroom station.”

I was fascinated by the winding neon white lights on the ceiling, which were added in 1998 by artist Gun Gordillo (they could also be kind of creepy if it was empty at night, I guess).

Credit: Visit Stockholm


The Odenplan station has a futuristic vibe, with zig-zag neon lights that make it look like the station was struck by lightning.

This installation was designed by artist David Svensson, and the zig-zag lines were inspired by his son’s heartbeat as shown on the CTG monitor during childbirth.

It’s part of Citybanan, a new track for Stockholm’s commuter trains, connecting T-Centralen with Odenplan. The station is one of the newest in the system, and was completed in 2017, with new platforms and new art by 14 artists.

Credit: Visit Stockholm


The Thorildsplan station is one of only three surface-level stations in downtown Stockholm. 

Thorildsplan opened in 1952, but its artwork was added in 2008. The station is known as the “video game station,” because it’s got art inspired by 8-bit artwork found in 1980s video games.

The art here was designed by Lars Arrhenius, who was given total creative freedom as long as the art was created from tile work. Arrhenius took inspiration from the surroundings of the station, saying that the street crossings, rondos, elevated sidewalks, elevators, and stairs of Thorildsplan reminded him of intricate video game levels.

You’ll find giant Pacman murals and scenes from Super Mario Brothers here, but also take a closer look at the vents – some of them have little Pacman shapes cut into them! Genius!

Have you ever been to Stockholm? What are some of your favorite stations to see Stockholm subway art?

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