In all the destinations I visited last year, Stockholm was the one I’m least familiar with. I did know about fika, Abba and the Vasa ship. Overall, I only had vague notion of the city’s culture. My first objective today is to check out Stockholm subway stations.
Similar to its Scandinavian neighbours, Stockholm is a bustling city. Lively and trendy districts coexist with traditional, heritage sites.
As I only had less than a day to spend, it would not be enough. But hey, as long as there is time, every visit is worth it.
The first activity I did was to do a “subway surf”. You would consider the usual subway as bleak or uninteresting. A subway might not be your first destination to go to when you want to see art. In Stockholm, their subway or tunnelbana is an art gallery. They are filled with murals, sculptures and installations. I don’t think you’ll be bored while waiting for your train.
Here are some of my favourite stops during the day.
Stockholm Subway no.1 – T-Centralen
Decked in blue and white floral murals, artist Per Olof Ultvedt designed the motif to create a relaxing ambience for the commuters. T-Centralen is one of Stockholm’s busiest stations, with hundreds of thousands commuters daily.
Best of all, is the inclusion of the workers who are part of the station’s construction. The artist did this by painting their silhouettes in a mural
Stockholm Subway no. 2 – Kungsträdgården
Kungsträdgården resembles an underground garden due to its predominantly green tone. Translated as “King’s Garden”, the station certainly upholds its name. Together with its mosaics, red and white undertones, this station mirrors the grandeur of a Baroque garden.
The station is also known as the home of the cave-dwelling Lessertia dentichelis-spider.
Stockholm Subway no. 3 – Rådhuset
The station resembled an archaeological site with its structure similar to that of a cave.
Stockholm Subway no. 4- Tekniska Högskolan
This was my favorite station, probably because of its colour scheme. Tekniska Högskolan represents the scientific advances made throughout the years. The dodecahedron is a symbol for Plato’s five elements: fire, air water and earth.
Stockholm Subway no. 5- Solna Centrum
Solna Centrum is another example on how you can use art for social movement. Solna’s artwork depicts green forest set in a fiery, red background. This is said to represent the threat of Sweden’s industrial boom to the environment and rural community.
Stockholm Subway no. 6- Stadion
This colourful mural in Stadion is a homage to the 1912 Summer Olympic Games which was held in the neighboring stadium. The rainbow symbolizes the five Olympic rings.
Stockholm Subway no. 7- Thorildsplan
Because of the pixels, quirky Thorildspan is an immediate favourite. The theme of this station reflects art in digital age. It features fun, pixelated art similar to what we see in video games today.
My subway surf took me about an hour and a half, a chill way for me to spend the day. No pressure for someone who has less than 24 hours to explore. Check out Vasa and Magasin gallery in the next Stockholm post.