The Vasagatan entrance to Stockholm Central

Stockholm Central/Stockholm C (Stockholm)

Stockholm Central is an enormous train station, where the different parts of the station used by the trains are some distance from each other.
Therefore our guide to using Stockholm Central station will help with navigating this space.

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An overall view of the main station terminal at Stockholm Central An overall view of the main station terminal at Stockholm Central
The Blue Line platforms in the T-Centralen Metro station The Blue Line platforms in the T-Centralen Metro station

An introduction:

The glorious main departure hall at Stockholm C The glorious main departure hall at Stockholm C

Stockholm Central is a station of contrasts.
Its main departure hall is one the most beautiful features, both inside and out, that can be found at any station.
However, the parts of the station which the trains depart from, are comparatively stark.

Particularly worth knowing is that Stockholm Central is in effect five railway stations in one, with specific parts of the station dedicated to;

  • the long distance trains to the north
  • the long distance trains to the south
  • the airport trains
  • the metro station
  • the new underground platforms used by the local 'City' trains.

The access to and from the trains is also on multiple levels, as are the station facilities.
So there are numerous short cuts built into the station, to speed up the journeys of its regular users
Therefore how you navigate the station will largely depend on how you enter it AND which train you will be taking.

Accessing Stockholm C:

The beautiful main Vasagatan entrance hall at Stockholm Central The beautiful main Vasagatan entrance hall at Stockholm Central
Looking down from the departure hall on to the passage that connects with the Metro station Looking down from the departure hall on to the passage that connects with the Metro station

The station has FOUR main entrances:

(1) From the Metro and City trains:

The main metro entrance/exit is at a lower level to the platforms/tracks/spår used by the mainline trains.
As you exit from the passage from the Metro station and the City trains you will enter the lower level concourse.

This concourse is also where the LEFT LUGGAGE office and some of the shops and food/drink outlets at Stockholm Central are located.

Ahead of you, from this lower level concourse, there is a passage way leading to platforms/tracks/spår 10-17; where the long distance trains heading south depart from.
If you already have a ticket, you can check the electronic departure screens to see if your train will be leaving from those tracks
If it is you can proceed directly to the spår (platform/track); you won’t have to ascend up on to the main concourse.

(2) The main entrance,:

The beautiful main entrance connects the main concourse with the street named Vasagatan.
The main TAXI RANK is here and there is also where SOME of the bus services that serve the station will arrive at/depart from.

(3) The Klarabergsviadukten entrance:

This the main road that is carried over the station on a bridge.
Some buses that serve the station have stops on this bridge - and if you take a taxi to Stockholm Central, it may drop you here.

Platforms/tracks/spår 10-17 have direct access by steps and lifts down from Klarabergsviadukten.
There are also steps and a lift down to the main concourse.

(4) The Arlanda Express entrance:

The Arlanda Express airport train has a dedicated taxi drop off point - so if you’ll be taking a taxi to the station in order to take the Arlanda Express, tell the driver that you’ll be taking this train.

Departing by train:

The part of the station used by the Arlanda Express The part of the station used by the Arlanda Express
Platform (spar) 11 viewed from platform 10 Platform (spar) 11 viewed from platform 10
Platforms (spar) 3 -8 are under a concrete roof Platforms (spar) 3 -8 are under a concrete roof
Spar 10 on the right is used by the Snabbtag trains to Gothenburg Spar 10 on the right is used by the Snabbtag trains to Gothenburg

At Stockholm Central station the express trains depart from four distinct parts of the station, depending of their destination.

(1) Express Trains To The North:

The Snabbtåg and IC trains to destinations to the north of Stockholm mainly depart from platforms/tracks/spår 3-8.
These are directly connected to the main concourse, so have step free access.

If you enter Stockholm Central by its main entrance on Vasagatan then platforms/spar 3-8 are at the far right end of the main concourse, behind the main waiting area.

If you enter Stockholm Central from the Metro station, you will need to ascend up to the main concourse to access platforms/tracks/spar3 – 8.

If you use the Klarabergsviadukten entrance, uses the escalators and lifts to descend from there to the main concourse.

(2) The Arlanda Express trains:

These trains depart from platforms/tracks/spår 1--2 which are to the right of platforms/tracks/spår 3-8 - so are located farthest from the main (Vasagatan) entrance.
As the Arlanda Express platforms are some distance from the main entrance/exit on Vasagatan, there is a separate entrance/exit to this part of the station, which is by the Arlanda Express taxi rank.

If you enter Stockholm Central from the Metro station, you will need to ascend up to the main concourse to access the Arlanda Express trains.
For a stress-free transfer, allow a minimum of 10 mins from stepping off a Metro train to being on the platform which The Arlanda Express will be departing from.

(3) The Snabbtåg trains to Goteborg:

These trains USUALLY depart from platform/track/spår 10.
It is immediately adjacent to the main concourse, so access to these trains is step free from there.

(4) The Snabbtåg trains to Malmo and Kopenhamn/Copenhagen and Oslo

USUALLY these trains nearly always depart from platforms/tracks/spår 11 and 12.
The best way to access these from the main concourse is to descend and use the underground passage; there are escalators down to this passage from the main concourse.
As you step off the escalators, the passage will be in front of you; the access platforms/tracks/spår 11-12 (and 13-19) is off to the right.

If you arrive at Stockholm Central by Metro, there is no need to ascend up to the main concourse to take these trains.
Keep walking ahead when using the main exit from the Metro and you will be in the passage way which houses the access to platforms/tracks/spår 11-12.
From this passage there are steps and an easy to miss elevator (Hiss) lift up to spår 11-12; there is no escalator access.

Taking trains from spår 10-12:

The departure indicator on spar (platform) 12 The departure indicator on spar (platform) 12

Four things that are good to know if you will be taking a train to the south from platforms/spår 10-12 - when the USUAL service is operating.

(1) Don’t expect the train to be at the platform much more than 5 minutes before it is due to depart.
Despite the trains to, Goteborg, Malmo, Kopenhamn/Copenhagen and Olso commencing their journeys at Stockholm Central, they are prepared for the journey to the north of the station.
They then arrive at the platform/track/spår around 5-10 mins before departure.

(2) So there is little point in heading to platforms/spår 11 and 12 more than 15 mins before your train is due to depart, particularly if the weather is chilly.
Protection from the elements on these platforms/spår is fairly minimal. so it can be an uncomfortable spot in which to wait for a train.

(3) Reservations are compulsory on the Snabbtag trains - and the coach and seat numbers will be on your ticket.

However, platforms/tracks/spår 10-12 aren’t zoned.
So there are no signs on the platform/track/spår to indicate where to wait, in order to have easy boarding to the coach/carriage that will house your reserved seat(s).

(4) Instead of zones there MAY be a guide on the platform who can tell you the approximate location to wait for your coach/carriage.
But when the train does arrive there can be a scramble for the doors, despite there being no need to rush, as everyone has a reserved seat.

Arriving by express trains:

When stepping off an express train at Stockholm Central train station, the route to your optimum exit will depend on which part of the station your train has arrived at, and where you are heading to.
Stockholm Central has multiple exits on different levels of the station.

...from the south:

The sign on track 17-18 pointing the way to the two main exits The sign on track 17-18 pointing the way to the two main exits

The Snabbtag trains from Goteborg, Malmo, Copenhagen and Oslo USUALLY arrive at platforms/spar 17-19.
When you step on to these platforms you will see signs pointing the way to both the Klarabergsviadukten and Vasagatan exits.

The main exit from station is on Vasagatan and you also also head in this direction if you want to connect to the Metro; the 'T' trains.
When heading in the direction of Vasagatan/the Metro you will initially have to descend into the passage way that runs beneath the tracks.
There are escalators, stairs and lifts down to this passage way on the platform/spar you have stepped on to.

The Metro station, ‘T-centralen’ is at the far end of the passage way.

The left-luggage and office are also accessed from this passage way - when you step into the atrium beneath the main station building, the lockers are over to the left.
The lockers only accept card payment, so there’s no need to make sure you have change.

Using the Klarabergsviadukten exit:

Before you arrive at the station by train - it can be worth working out if the Klarabergsviadukten exit will give you easier access to your final destination in the city.
Particularly if it’s within walking distance of Stockholm Centraal - If need be ask your hotel which exit from the station you should use.
This exit is located above the trains on a major road bridge which spans the station and some of the bus lines which serve Stockholm Central stop here.

Taking a taxi:

If you have arrived at platforms/spar 17-19, the closest taxi ranks can be accessed by ascending up to the Klarabergsviadukten exit using the stairs or elevators.

In contrast, in order to acess the main taxi rank, you will need to:

  1. follow the signs to the Vasagatan exit
  2. descend into the pasage way beneath the station
  3. then ascend up to main concourse to access the main exit from the station, on the street named Vasgagatan.

...from the north:

These trains can arrive at different parts of the station.

If your train arrives at platforms/spar 11-19 - the routes for exiting the station will be the same as the trains that have arrived from the south.

Or if your train arrives at platforms/spar 3-8 the routes for exiting the station will be the same as those taken by travellers who have arrived on the Arlanda Express trains.
The taxi rank by the Arlanda Express exit will also be the closest, so if your train has arrived in this part of the station you don't need to have stepped off an Arlanda Express to take a taxi from here.

by the Arlanda Express:

Platforms/ spår 1 – 2 that the Arlanda Express trains arrive at (and depart from) are the furthest from the main concourse at Stockholm Central.

Not an issue if you will be taking a taxi as there is a taxi rank to the left of the exit from platforms/ spår 1 – 2
So if you want to take a taxi, there’s no need to enter the main station building.

However, if you want to connect to the metro then the ‘T-Centralen’ station is a 5 min walk away.
To access it you need to enter the main station terminal and cross to the opposite side, where you can descend to the lower level, the metro (T) station will then be over to the left.

You will also need to descend to this lower level if your connecting train is departing from platforms/ spår 11-16.

Accessing the main tourist sites:

To Gamla Stan:

The historic old town area, Gamla Stan, is a 10-12 min walk from Stockholm Central -  but it is also only one stop on the Stockholm Metro (T-Bana).
Take a Red Line train (direction Norsborg or Fruangen) from platform/ spar 2 in the T-Centralen station.

To The Museums on Djurgaden:

For Djurgården the island in central Stockholm which is the location of the Nordic Museum and The Abba Museum and The Vasa Musuem - the easiest public transport access is now provided by the city's tram line.

(1) Leave the station by the upper level exit on to Klarabergsviadukten -  the main road over the station.

(2) Once you're up on the bridge, turn to the right and head towards the city centre - within 5 - 8 mins walk you'll be at the tram stop.
You can't miss it as it's located in the middle of the street.

(3) For the Nordic and Vassa Museums leave the trams at the 'Nordiska Museet' stop.
For The Abba Museum remain on the tram one stop further until it arrives at the 'Liljevalchs/Gröna Lund' stop.

The Abba Museum is adjacent to the Grona Lund amusement park.

To The National Museums:

For the National Museum of Modern Art  (the Moderna Museet) and the Nationalmuseum.

Take bus line 65 (direction Skeppsholmen) from its stop opposite the main exit/entrance of Stockholm Central on Vasagatan.

Taking the Metro (T-trains):

The signs show the platform (track) numbers and not the line numbers The signs show the platform (track) numbers and not the line numbers

What can be confusing when transferring to the Metro (T) trains at Stockholm Central, is that on the Stockholm Metro map, the lines are identified by a combination of colours AND numbers; ‘Green Line 19’ etc.

But when you look at the departure indicator at ‘T-Centralen’ station, the Metro station that’s directly linked to Stockholm Central,  you will see the numbers 1 – 6.
However, these aren’t the numbers of the lines - they’re the platform/spår numbers, within the Metro station.

These platform/spår numbers 1 - 6 and not the line numbers, are also used on the signs which point the way to the trains.

Which lines depart from each plaform:

Platform/spår 1 = Green Line trains on Line 19 heading north towards Hasselby, Line 18 to Alvik and Line 17 to Akeshove - these are the Green Line trains towards the city centre.

Platform/spår 2 = Red Line trains on Line 13** heading south to Norsberg and Line 14 towards Fruangen.

These trains are heading south and go to Gamla Stan.
If you want to make the one station hop to Gamla stan, then target these trains from spar 2; they’re easier to access then the Green line trains which also call there.

Platform/spår 3 = Red line trains heading north on Line 13 to Ropsten and Line 14 to Morby Centrum.

Platform/spår 4 = Green line trains heading south to Skarpack (line 17), Farsta Strand (line 18) and Hagsatra (line 19).

Platform/spår 5 = Blue line trains towards Kungstradgarden

Platform/spår 6 = Blue line trains towards Hjulsta (line 10) and Akalla via Solna Centrum (line 11).

Accessing the trains:

The lobby to the blue line trains at the base of the incredible escalator The lobby to the blue line trains at the base of the incredible escalator
The blue line trains are painted an appropriate colour The blue line trains are painted an appropriate colour

Platforms/spår 3 and 4 are at a lower level beneath platforms/spår 1 and 2 and the access to platforms/spår 5 and 6 is below platforms/spår 3 and 4
So the access to these blue line platforms 5 - 6 from main entrance at T-Centralen is particularly awkward; if you have luggage etc then use the lifts – marked ‘Hiss’.

If you don’t use the lifts you need to descend down to spår 1 and 2, then down to spår 3 and 4 and then go down again to access a moving walkway that leads to spår 5 and 6.

Though it's worth making an effort if you want to see the Stockholm metro stations that are giant art installations - as they are mainly dotted along the Blue Line.
T-Centralnen is one of the most impressive, but other must see stations include Kungstradgarden, Radhuset, Huvudsta and Solna Centrum.

Metro tickets:

You can buy a single ride ticket from the machines, virtually all the stations are in the Central Zone, but the machines only accept cards and not cash.

The machines will issue a paper ticket, which won’t open the ticket gates; though there will be a manned ticket gate; so you will have to show your paper ticket to the staff who will then open the gate.

City Guides

It's likely that you'll have taken a fair long train journey in order to arrive in Stockholm, so here's some suggestions for making the most of the city.

20 Awesome Things To Do (Time Out)

25 Best Things To Do (The Crazy Tourist)

10 Non-Touristy Things To Do (Culture Trip)

Tips By Locals (Like A Local)

Hidden Stockholm (Cloud Atlas)

Top Things To Do (Lonely Planet)

Five Free Things To Do (The Telegraph)

Convenient Hotels/Hostels

If you have a generous budget then finding accommodation adjacent to Stockholm Central station shouldn’t be a problem, there are a number of highly rated 4* hotels in the neighbourhood.

However, if you’re happy staying somewhere with 3*s or less you’ll probably need to broaden your horizons.

Finding quality budget hotel rooms in Stockholm can be a needle in a haystack scenario, so finding somewhere at the right price, that also has direct access by train from/to Central station is quite the challenge – though there are some options below.

In comparison to the area around Stockholm Central station, there is a much wider choice of reasonably priced accommodation in the historic Gamla Stan area.

Though most of these places to stay will be around 12-15 mins on foot from Stockholm Central, so probably not far enough to justify a taxi, but quite the trek if you are dragging a heavy suitcase along city streets.

Hotels within 10 min walk of Stockholm Central station

Luxury:
Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel

Sheraton Stockholm

Scandic Grand Central

Freys Hotel

Nordic Light Hotel

Radisson Blue Royal Viking

Hotel Kungsgatan

Budget:
City Hostel

Generator Hostel

Money saving options with direct public transport links to/from Stockholm Central Station

Hostel Dalagatan (5 – 10 min walk from Odenplan Metro station, green line towards Hasselby)

Skanstulls Hostel (5 min walk from Skanstull Metro station, green line to Skarpnack, Farsta Strand or Hagsarta)

Motel L (10 min walk from Gullmarsplan Metro station, green line to Skarpnack, Farsta Strand or Hagsarta)

First Fridhemsplan Hotel (5 min walk from Fridhemsplan Metro station, blue line towards Akalla or Hjulsta)

Hotel With Deli (5 min walk from Hortoget Metro station, green line towards Hasselby)

Brommavik Hotel (10-12 min walk from Sundbyberg station)

Journeys

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Journeys from Stockholm Central/Stockholm C
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Stockholm to Malmö / Malmo by train
Stockholm to Narvik by train
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Journeys to Stockholm Central/Stockholm C
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Berlin to Stockholm by train
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