Thursday, September 25, 2008

Moving to Sweden – Getting from the Airport to Stockholm City

Once again, it’s time for a new Moving to Sweden post. We’ve covered quite a bit:

Moving to Sweden – What to Bring
Moving to Sweden – The Swedish Language
Moving to Sweden – Finding a Place to Live
Moving to Sweden – The Metric System and You
Moving to Sweden – Getting a Cell Phone
Moving to Sweden – The Weather
Moving to Sweden – Swedish Citizenship Test

Moving to Sweden – Public Holidays
Moving to Sweden – Finding a Job
Moving to Sweden – Culture Shock: It's the Little Things
Moving to Sweden – Making Friends
Moving to Sweden – Cost of Living
Moving to Sweden – The Laundry Room
Moving to Sweden – Marijuana
Moving to Sweden – Most Common Jobs and Salaries

And the plan is to continue to cover quite a bit. So with that in mind, it was time to get back to basics. We’ve discussed packing, but neglected to discuss what to do immediately upon landing in Sweden. This one could actually double as a Visiting Sweden post also. Since to land at the airport does not necessarily you have taken the plunged and moved here. But I digress. Because now we need to get from Arlanda airport to Stockholm.

Chances are once you land in Sweden you’ve had just about enough. Enough travel, enough sitting, just enough. Luckily, getting through Swedish customs is ridiculously easy. Regardless of your passport really. You might have to wait in line for a little bit, but you’ll breeze through. And to be honest, it’s mostly just because there isn’t the same amount of traffic at Arlanda as you’ll find at Heathrow or O’Hare.

Then you’ll get your bags. I’m not going to help you with this. You’re on your own.

But once you have your bags you need to get into town. Because like many large airports, Arlanda sits a bit outside of Stockholm. North of town if you were really wondering. There are a few different options when trying to get into town. A bus. A train. A taxi. A car.

First option is the bus. Flygbussarna. It takes about 45 minutes to get into town using the bus. They will take you right to Central Station. The bus leaves about every 10, 15, or 30 minutes depending on the hour of the day. You won’t have to wait too long though is what it comes down to. As of right now a one-way adult ticket costs 119 SEK. Make sure to ask for any discounts you can think of. Student. Retired. Youth. Give it a shot. Even buying online will save you a bit of cash. Stockholm’s expensive and you might as well get in the habit of saving money where you can.

Stockholm public transportation now offers you options as well. Train options. Pendeltåg options. It's not bad and will take you about 38 minutes. About. You'll have to pay for a regular ticket to get yourself to Stockholm. But if you're planning on staying, the 30-day SL card is the way to go. Unfortunately, you'll also have to pay an 85 SEK station fee. That's the fee that goes straight to the railway. Apparently there was an agreement made back in the '90s when the station was built out at the airport. I don't ask questions. Either way, it's cheaper than a taxi.

Your next option is the train. Arlanda Express. Which I would suggest if you are under 26. Because if you are under 26 years old you get a cheaper one-way ticket. Otherwise, a normal adult one-way ticket costs 260 SEK. But make sure to again ask for discounts, they even have weekend discounts sometimes so always ask. They also like to have discounts for buying two tickets at a time. Don't know anyone? Ask the person behind you in line. It will save you both money. The trip on Arlanda Express takes about 20 minutes and puts you right into Central Station. As a general rule Arlanda Express leaves every 15 minutes, again though, depending on the hour it leaves more frequently or less frequently. Check the timetable.

Taxis are next. Which I don’t suggest at all. They have fixed rates between the city and the airport but I’m just not a fan. It’s usually about 450 SEK. The bigger the taxi the higher the fixed rate. The last time I used a taxi I was in a bit of a flight induced stupor and just snagged the closest taxi. I was by myself. And found myself in a big van. By myself. So I had to pay about 850 SEK to get into town. By myself. Good times. I can’t really guarantee any sort of time table here with taxis. Depending on traffic and the sanity of your driver you might make it in half an hour. Or it might take an hour and a half.

Uber is another option. I've never used it. It exists here and will cost you about 520 SEK from Arlanda to Stockholm City. So it's not cheap.

Finally, there is a regular car. And by regular I mean not a taxi. You can rent, which I have never done so have absolutely no experience, or you can just hope that you have a friend or family member who has a car and is willing to pick you up. When renting, there are plenty of rental agencies around the airport and signs inside directing you to them. It’s like any other airport when it comes down to it.

In the end though, despite the various options, I would suggest the Arlanda Express. It’s quick, it’s easy, and if you get a discount it’s relatively cheap.

Welcome to Sweden.

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  1. Did you see this?

  2. Arlanda...a really small airport considered it's the only one in Stockholm, the capital of Scandinavian, as they say.

    Plus, take care of the luggage while you're in the airport or in the central station, strangers may come up and do some tricks.(:

  3. I just returned from Stockholm a few weeks ago and wish I found your site before i left. Very informative.

    However I found the best option for airport transportation to be the hotel shuttle van:

    150 SEK and it drops you directly in front of your hotel and you can also arrange to be picked up directly from your hotel lobby. Not as fast as Arlanda Express but a godsend when you have a lot of heavy bags like I did and don't want to lug stuff around trains. Walking through Central station with my extremely heavy bags trying to get to the Arlanda Express was a nightmare.

  4. @wow - thats crazy.

    @ljus - it is a bit of a small airport considering. but its a small country when it comes down toit. and good call ont he luggage advice.

    @t. aka - also a good call. totally forgot about that option. mostly because I dont know that Ive ever actually stayed in a hotel in Sweden. but you're absolutely right. definitely chck out what your hotel has to offer.

  5. The beauty of it is, though, you don't actually have to stay at a hotel to use it. You can just see if a hotel on the list is near where you live and just take the van to that hotel as if you were staying there, then just walk to wherever you're going. It's not a service offered by the hotel, it's a private independent company, you negotiate directly with them, not with the hotel.

  6. Sorry about this.
    I have been leaving some comments to your old posts. I only found this blog yesterday. I would like to say just one thing about the environmental problem with garbage disposal. The thing is that food now a days contain a lot of stuff (growth hormones, insect poison etc.)that will be transported to the fresh water reserves heading from your taps out to sea.

    I don´t want to bore you with details. And I know this comment really belongs to a post almost a year old, so sorry about that. Great reding your stuff, I´ll be back!

  7. @t - that is glorious. and something I never would have thought of. well done.

    @jonas - no worries at all. feel free to comment on whatever you like. I tend to even respond to the old stuff.

  8. Hi, just FYI, there is also the option to take the city bus and pendeltåg (Stockholm's commuter train) from the airport. It takes a bit longer (just under an hour), but if you have a public transportation pass, it's free. Take bus 583 to Märsta, then pendeltåg toward Södertälje. The bus is timed to the train, so there is no waiting at the train station.

  9. also good advice. a couple of my friends have done this. they had no problems doing it. but because of the extra time it takes it wasn't something that was done on a regular basis.

    of course the public trasnportation card isn't free, but if you live in stockholm and already have a card then it is well worth a look. If you don't however, I believe it is three zones from märsta to stockholm so if you buy just the regular tickets it would cost you 60 SEK. Of course then there are plenty of other options if you plan ahead or plan on staying for a while and need a card.

    good call on that option though.