It is often said that Stockholm's metro network is the longest art exhibition in the world, and the best way to experience it is to stop off at the 5 best metro stations for public art in Stockholm. The artworks often reflect the local area that each station serves and you'll find that a journey by metro is like travelling through all of Sweden's history from the 1950s to now.

    Because the artworks were produced over different periods, they are very different from station to station, although the underpinning idea is always to make art accessible to the general public. More than 150 artists have played a hand in enlivening just over 90 of Stockholm's 100 metro stations.

    1

    T-Centralen

    See interesting sculptures and paintings in different styles and materials

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    T-Centralen is a front-runner when it comes to metro art as it was the very first station to be dolled up and remains today a station with a wide range of varied art. Ever since the first artwork was installed here in 1957, more than 21 different artists have been involved with the station. Materials and styles vary, from decorated columns and tiled/ceramic installations on the walls through to colourful murals and cast-iron furnishings. The platform on the blue line is beautifully adorned with a blue ceiling mural by artist Per Olof Ultvedt while one of the vaults features depictions of the workers who originally constructed the station.

    Reaching T-Centralen is a piece of cake since it's the central node where all of the city's metro lines converge. The station is located in the district of Norrmalm and connected to Stockholm Central Station and commuter station Stockholm City.

    Location: T-Centralen, 111 20 Stockholm, Sweden

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    photo by Arild Vågen (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    2

    Kungsträdgården

    Check out an awesome garden landscape carved from the rock

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    The Kungsträdgården metro station is often touted as one of the most spectacular of the city's stations, and when you lay eyes on its subterranean garden you will soon understand why. The artist behind the station is Ulrik Samuelson, who drew inspiration from the station's overground namesake, the King's Garden (or Kungsträdgården). This is particularly visible in the station's marble floors and many sculptures, while a petrified elm trunk in concrete calls to mind the species of elms which stand above ground in the garden. Head towards the exit on Arsenalsgatan for a real feeling of being inside an archaeological excavation. Children will enjoy the small peepholes in the wall and even adult visitors are recommended to take a peak through them.

    The Kungsträdgården Metro Station is located in the district of Norrmalm in central Stockholm. Take the blue line from T-Centralen.

    Location: Kungsträdgården, 111 77 Stockholm, Sweden

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    3

    Rådhuset

    Discover a time gone by through subterranean art

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    Rådhuset is a classic metro station from the 1970s boasting entire and exciting environments rather than just isolated artworks. For the artist Sigvard Olsson, it was important for both the station's architecture and decor to be reminiscent of what the local area, Kungsholmen, was like in days gone by. You'll find a wall with baskets on it which symbolises Kungholmen's history as an important market area and there is a collection of root vegetables in one of the tunnels. The hay on the walls represents the farmers who used to come to Kungsholmen to sell feedstuff while the petrified stack of wood harks back to old times of crises. A huge chimney stack represents the industrial age.

    Rådhuset Metro Station is located on the island neighbourhood of Kungsholmen in central Stockholm. It is on the blue line between the stations of T-Centralen and Fridhemsplan.

    Location: Kungsholmsgatan 25, 112 27 Stockholm, Sweden

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    4

    Stadshagen

    Race against athletes before the train doors close

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    The walls by the platform at Stadshagen Metro Station are adorned with artworks in corrugated metal depicting figures and events from the world of Swedish sport. Artist Lasse Lindqvist created 6 different and exciting wall installations. Walking past the different artworks creates the illusion that the athletes are in motion, with different scenes springing to life all depending on what direction you are moving in. For example, when walking in one direction you'll see the Djurgården hockey team score against AIK, while if you turn in the other direction it's AIK who score instead. At another part of the station you can bear witness to an entire race run by Ingemar Stenmark, from start to finish. The very first picture depicts a football match between Sweden and Denmark.

    Stadshagen Metro Station is located in the neighbourhood of Stadshagen which is in Stockholm's inner city. The station is serviced by the blue line.

    Location: Stadshagen, 112 17 Stockholm, Sweden

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    photo by Caesar (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    5

    Solna Centrum

    Explore half a mile of political history in an imposing environment

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    Solna Centrum Metro Station is a memorial to topics which were highly relevant in the 1970s. Artists Karl-Olov Björk and Anders Åberg created a green spruce forest below a fiery red sky and filled it in with scenes depicting topics which were hotly discussed in the 1970s, such as environmental pollution, deforestation, rural policy and the latest craze to sweep the nation – jogging.

    Display cabinets depict happenings such as when residents gathered outside a business facing the threat of shutdown, a man who watches on as the natural landscape around his cabin is ravaged, and the neighbourhood of Old Hagalund with its delicate wooden homes before they were sadly demolished. The metro station is close to the Solna Centrum Shopping Centre in Solna Municipality and is serviced by the blue line.

    Location: Solna Centrum, 171 45 Solna, Sweden

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