I'm researching the best way to get around Stockholm with my family. We are:

  • 2 seniors
  • 2 adults
  • 5 kids ages 9 and under.

We arrived at the central train station last night and took the metro to get to our Airbnb. We bought individual tickets on the machines which was pretty time consuming for that many people. After we bought the single use paper tickets we couldn't figure out how to get through the barriers as there was nothing to scan on them. I was a little surprised at the cost of single use tickets after having used the trams and busses last week in Oslo.

  1. Is there a way to purchase multiple tickets at a time?
  2. Do single use tickets have the ability to open up the barriers at the metro?

I also tried the iOS mobile app but it won't accept my US Credit Card.

I read everything on the SL site at https://sl.se/en/fares--tickets/ and related pages.

We also researched the Stockholm pass. It's quite expensive compared to the Copenhagen pass that we purchased a few weeks ago as children and travel are not included. With young kids I'm not sure we could move quickly enough and visit enough attractions each day to make it worthwhile. It allows you to buy the Travel Card, which seems very convenient. But it looks like you can't purchase the Travel Card separately, so that's not an option unless we splurge for the full Stockholm pass.

Sorry for the rambling post; just trying to figure out if I missed anything. Given the above considerations, are single use tickets purchased at the machines in the metro our best option? Thank you!

  • 1
    The paper tickets are RFID tickets, simply tap them on the readers. Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 12:14
  • @MikaelDúiBolinder thanks. We tried but we must have been doing it wrong!
    – devth
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 12:47

1 Answer 1


I just got home using the subway and busses in Stockholm.

Ticket Types

All tickets are period tickets. The shortest period is for 75 minutes and starts when you first use the ticket. The longest period is one year and you need a plastic card for that type.

Period lengths:

  • 75 minutes
  • 24 hours (1 day)
  • 72 hours (3 days)
  • 1 week
  • 1 month
  • 3 months
  • 1 year

All tickets are available at both full and reduced price. (You'd need 2 full and at least 2 reduced see below regarding children)

If you get a blue plastic card you can load money onto it and then get 75 minutes tickets when you use it.


Childen under 7 don't need a ticket if travelling together with someone that has a ticket. Almost same for 7-11 years old children during weekend (Friday 12:00 to Sunday 24:00) but to go for free they need to travel with an adult/senior.

Ticket Formats

You can't get all tickets in all formats. However, all tickets can be loaded onto the blue plastic SL Access Cards which can be bought everywhere.

These are the ticket formats:

  • Mobile Tickets, using the official SL app. They are using optical barcodes. Only 75 minutes and 24 hours tickets available. You scan them on special scanners, but if there are no scanners you show them to a person.
  • Paper Tickets, can't be reloaded. They are using RFID.
  • SL Access Card, the blue card. Can have money on it and all tickets.

Group Travel

If you have the SL Access Card you can have multiple active tickets on the card. Simply tell the person at the gates, or the bus driver, that you are a group travelling on the same card and he will activate multiple tickets on the card. You will then have to use the manual gates the rest of the trip and always say that you have a "group ticket".

If you're staying a shorter period and you have juice in your phones, I'd suggest using the mobile tickets.

Using Tickets

All tickets are RFID (contactless) except for the Mobile Tickets.

Use them like pictured here:

New scanners at metro and train stations

Old RFID scanner in metro and train stations

RFID Ticket machine in a bus

Mobile Ticket Scanner in bus

RFID Ticket machine at tram station

  • 1
    @devth not sure why, but I think only MasterCard and Visa are accepted in the app. Maybe 3D Secure (2FA) is required after the new EU Payment Directives? I think you can still get "MasterCard Gift Cards" in Pressbyrån if you want, but I can't guarantee that they'll work either. Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 12:53
  • 1
    Ok thanks. I was trying with a Visa. Might try Pressbyrån.
    – devth
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 12:54
  • 2
    @devth maybe you should check with your bank if internet/foreign transactions are enabled? Your card could be temporarily blocked because of "strange activity" (being used in Sweden). Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 12:58
  • 2
    @devth I wonder if it's a chip-and-PIN issue with your Visa card. SL is literally the only merchant in Stockholm that asks for a PIN for my US-based credit card. It's no problem entering it at the POS, but might be an issue with the app. Most US cards are chip-and-signature, and that's how other Swedish vendors ring up credit card sales for me. Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 15:21
  • 2
    Also from the USA. I never tried to buy Metro tickets in Stockholm, but my experience with the Arlanda Express was that I couldn't buy tickets from the kiosk on the platform using a CC b/c it required a PIN -- but if I used my ATM card (which is also a Visa card) I could put in my banking PIN and it would work fine
    – Kevin Troy
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 23:35

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