Stepping into one of these stations is like being transported to another dimension.
Stockholm’s metro system is considered to be the world’s longest art exhibit at over sixty-eight miles long. In it, you can find hundreds of stations full of extraordinary art from the 1950s and beyond. Here are eight of the artsiest stations you need to check out during your next visit to Stockholm, Sweden.
1. Kungsträdgården Station
Kungsträdgården opened in 1977 and is the deepest station in the entire system. Its many colorful mosaics juxtapose the arched ceilings made of exposed rock, while the red, white, and green color scheme is a nod to the old French garden which existed in place of the Kungsträdgården Park – the station is named after. The station’s design also includes relics from old houses torn down during the redevelopment of central Stockholm, including: statues, columns, and water fountains.
2. Stadion Station
Stadion station’s rainbow design is a reflection of the city’s annual pride festival which occurs nearby. This was Stockholm’s first cave-like station, carved right out of the bedrock in 1973. The bright colors and clear sky were purposefully chosen to assuage the worry that locals would be uncomfortable in a metro station resembling a cave.
3. T-Centralen Station
The T-Centralen station opened in 1957 and was the very first station in the Stockholm Metro to include artwork. Its most notable feature is the blue vines on the walls, designed by local artist Per Olof Ultvedt. This is the busiest station in the Stockholm metro, and the crowds bustling to their trains mirror the busy workers painted on the walls throughout.
4. Universitetet Station
The Universitetet station is aptly named after Stockholm University, where it sits under. The station’s main highlight is the large tile panels showing the travels of Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist and father of modern taxonomy. There is also a section of tiles promoting the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which was made in Lisbon out of special azulejos tiles.
5. Thorildsplan Station
Fans of old school video games will go wild for Thorildsplan station. Local artist Lars Arrhenius used subway tiles to recreate popular 8-bit video game art within the station. Super Mario, Space Invaders, and Pacman can be found depicted on the walls. The familiar designs make it feel like you’re stepping right into the world of your favorite video games.
6. Hallonbergen Station
Inspired by the whimsicality of children’s art, local artists Elis Eriksson and Gosta Wallmark used drawings from their childhood and their own kids to design Hallonbergen station. Even its name, “Hallonbergen,” translates to “raspberry mountain,” referring to the magic of childhood imagination that the station represents.
7. Mörby Centrum Station
While the Mörby Centrum station might seem ordinary at first, its plainness is a mere optical illusion. If you look at the walls from the center of the boarding platform, you can watch the colors shift to become a pastel rainbow with pink colored clouds. According to the artists, this transformation of color and light is meant to signify the journey metro passengers take every day.
8. Rådhuset Station
This station located beneath the Stockholm courthouse resembles an underground grotto with red rock and grand columns. Make sure to observe closely when visiting Rådhuset Station, as there are spectacular details everywhere such as baskets from a medieval market and metal shoes on the ceiling.