THE STOCKHOLLM SUBWAY SYSTEM has been called the ‘world’s longest art exhibit’ with over 90 of the city’s 100 subway stations decorated with installations from over 150 artists. I did some research and learned that during the summer months there are free guided art walks of the subway system. I didn’t end up taking these, but they could be a great option for anyone who is interested in having a commentary on the art inside the stations. Instead, I listed 5 of the most interesting-looking stations, and planned a route that would take me to them all within the limits of one subway ticket (which costs 36 SEK – around USD$4.50 – and is valid for 75 minutes of subway travel).

Here’s my route for a self-guided tour of Stockholm’s collection of artistic subway stations.

1

T-Centralen (Central Station)

I started at T-Centralen and made my way towards the Blue line. The rocky walls here were painted in white and blue by artist Per Olof Ultvedt. The upper levels have silhouettes of workers, as a way of honoring the many men who constructed the station. The lower levels are painted in the same style but with calming leaf-like patterns, which are meant to lower the stress level of the station's 167,000 daily commuters.

2

T-Centralen (Central Station)

3

Kungsträdgårdsgatan station

From Central Station, hop on the Blue line and get off at Kungsträdgårdsgatan. This station is arguably the most impressive. The design represents an archeological dig and features actual artifacts from Makalös Palace, which once stood in this same location. It also has some geometric-style patterns on its floor and ceiling, installed by artist Ulrik Samuelson in 1977 and 1987.

4

Kungsträdgårdsgatan station

5

Rådhuset station

Kungsträdgårdsgatan is the end of the Blue line, so go back in the other direction and hop off at Rådhuset. This station was designed by Sigvard Olsson and was my favorite. The red rock juxtaposed with the modern escalators gave the whole place an otherworldly look. It felt like I was wandering through a futuristic cave. Take note when you're in the station that this is the fourth deepest in the metro system, at 20 meters below sea level.

6

Rådhuset station

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Rådhuset station

8

Fridhemsplan station

Continue on the Blue line in the same direction, and get off at Fridhemsplan. I only intended to use this as a station to change from the Blue line to the Green line, but the station also has some interesting art, similar in style to Kungsträdgårdsgatan and Rådhuset, but with a different color palette.

9

Thorildsplan station

From Fridhemsplan, change to the Green line and go one stop to Thorildsplan. This is the only outdoor station on my itinerary, and it also has the most recent artwork. In 2008, Lars Arrhenius added the pixelated tiles arranged to show characters and scenes in the style of video games such as Super Mario, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man. To get back to Central Station from here, get back on the Green line but head in the other direction.

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Thorildsplan station

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