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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Sweden > Stockholm

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Getting around Stockholm

Public transport

Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL) (tel: +46 8 600 1000; sl.se/en) runs Stockholm's well-integrated network of metros, commuter trains, buses and trams.

The metro (tunnelbana, or T-bana) is the core of the system (stations are marked with a blue 'T' on a white background) and is integrated with the commuter train service, although services on the latter are less frequent.

There are not many trams left in the city, although visitors might find the vintage Djurgårdslinjen (tram 7) a useful novelty, as it passes many city sights. The bus network is far more comprehensive, with a good inner-city service and some handy connections to attractions in the suburbs.

Most tickets are loaded onto the SL Access smartcard. You can load these with single tickets or travelcards valid for 24 or 72 hours.

Taxis

Taxis can be hailed on the street or ordered by telephone from Taxi Stockholm (tel: +46 8 150 000) or Taxi Kurir (tel: +46 771 86 00 00). Computer/radio taxis can also be ordered online and accept major credit cards as payment. Taxis have higher rates for evenings and weekends. Tips are usually included in the fare.

Driving

Scattered over 14 islands and governed by strict speed limits, Stockholm is not an ideal city for drivers – or at least those drivers unfamiliar with the layout. There is a congestion charge scheme in place and petrol prices are high. Visitors might be better advised to use the excellent public transport system instead. 

The main car park in the centre is the Galleriangaraget, at the Gallerian complex, Hamngatan 37, which has in excess of 1,200 car parking spaces. Q-Park (www.q-park.se) provides a website, complete with maps, which focuses on parking in Stockholm. Stockholm Parkering (tel: +46 8 772 9600; www.stockholmparkering.se) offers many parking facilities in the city.

A cheaper alternative if you're planning on arriving early in the morning (before 0900) is to leave your car at one of several park-and-ride car parks just outside the city limits and use public transport to reach the centre. These car parks are priced reasonably and there are more than 20 scattered around Stockholm, offering over 3,000 parking spaces.

Be aware that parking meters in Stockholm almost never take cash, and that foreign credit or debit cards may be rejected. There will usually be information on the meter on how to download an app to your smartphone for online payment.

Car hire

The minimum age for car hire is 18 years, provided that drivers have held a driving licence for one year. Some larger cars are restricted to those over 24 years. A national driving licence, passport and credit card are required for hiring a car in Stockholm. Fire and third-party liability is mandatory in Sweden and is included in all car hire deals.

Cars are available from Avis (tel: +46 10 494 8050; www.avis.com), Europcar (tel: +46 8 210 650; www.europcar.com) and Hertz (tel: +46 771 211 212; www.hertz.com).

Bicycle hire

There’s a good network of bike paths around Stockholm, and during summer in particular, it’s an appealing way of getting around. The city's bikeshare system is called City Bikes (tel: +46 77 444 2424; www.citybikes.se) and is available between the 1st of April and the 31st of October. A bike card is needed to use the service, and can be bought in either a three-day or season-long form.

In addition, Rent a Bike, Strandvägen 24 (tel: +46 8 660 7959) and Cykelstället, Scheelegatan 15 (tel: +46 8 651 0066;en.cykelstallet.se/index.html) both provide bicycle and scooter hire.

Gamla Stans Cykel, Stora Nygatan 44 (tel: +46 8 411 1670; www.gamlastanscykel.se) also offers bike hire in the Old Town.

A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

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This boutique hotel occupies a former cinema - hence the huge black and white photographs of Swedish film stars gracing the walls of the 99 bedrooms. The Rival is owned by Benny Andersson, of ABBA fame, who has turned it into one of the most rock 'n roll places to stay in Stockholm.

Clarion Hotel Sign

It's not small, but somehow the 558-room Clarion Hotel Sign feels as if it is – something that could be down to the individually designed rooms. The angular glass exterior, designed by acclaimed Swedish architect Gert Wingårdh, shouts modern which is followed up in the rooms. A bonus is the rooftop spa which has an excellent sauna.

Grand Hotel

The 310-room Grand Hotel has long been the most glamorous place to stay in the city and is justifiably one of the world's greatest hotels. Opening in 1874 its 21 luxurious suites are still popular with visiting celebrities and royalty - famous past guests include Theodore Roosevelt and Douglas Fairbanks.

Lydmar Hotel

Set in a listed building across from the Royal Palace, the Lydmar is a design-led boutique that combines homeliness with style and discreet service. Its 46 rooms are individually decorated, while the rest of the property boasts airy public spaces, gorgeous views of the sea and archipelago, and sharply dressed staff.

Queen's Hotel

With cheap stays hard to come by, this budget-friendly, family-run hotel on one of Stockholm's main shopping streets is a real gem. Newly updated, all rooms now come with free Wi-Fi and run from clean and cheerful singles to wildly spacious superior stays.

Elite Hotel Arcadia

This design hotel (part of a chain with five other properties in the city) has a central location in Östermalm, not far from Stockholm Stadium. The elegant 1950s property has been transformed into a sparkling, 4-star stay with Scandinavian minimalism throughout. With free Wi-Fi, a decent gym, a lovely restaurant and breakfast included, it's hard to better.