Getting Around Uppsala – By Lauren

Unless you wish to spend the whole semester in your student corridor, you will need to familiarize yourself with your transportation options in Uppsala. The city center is relatively walkable and easy to navigate but other places are less realistic to reach by foot.

Cycling is likely the most popular form of student transportation. An easy way to get an affordable bicycle is to buy one secondhand from another student. Be sure to think through the logistics of your bike transaction. My first week here, I had to walk a fixer-upper bike from Flogsta all the way back to Kantorsgatan! A set of lights for your bike is a must as is a working lock. Bicycle theft is not a huge phenomenon here, but if your bike is unlocked, it is fair game. Revelers have been even been known to throw bicycles in the river come Valborg! Uppsala is otherwise a cyclist-friendly city covered by an extensive network of bicycle paths. A map of these paths is included in your orientation materials.

Another option is to travel by bus on UL, Uppsala County’s public transit system. UL offers both green city buses and yellow regional (county-wide) buses. Bus travel offers less flexibility than cycling but is still a very safe and convenient option. Buses in Uppsala are clean, punctual, and wheelchair-accessible. Some are even powered by bio-fuel from food waste! The biggest drawback of the bus system is that buying tickets really adds up. Tickets are sold on the bus itself but are less expensive if purchased beforehand. This can be done at kiosks at larger bus stops or on the UL mobile app although the latter requires a Swedish phone number.  This app is a good resource even without a Swedish phone number because of its trip planning feature. If you envision yourself taking the bus frequently, the best option is to buy a UL card. These cards are sold at the central station. You can add money to a card or you can buy one that is valid for a set amount of time.

Personally, I own a bike but relied on the bus system during the winter months. I bought bus passes that were valid for thirty days at a time so I could judge how comfortable I felt with the roads as time went on. I hope to cycle more now that the paths are less icy! It will take some time to discover what form of transportation is best for you, but rest assured that even in the worst-case scenario Uppsala is a very safe and navigable city with ample lighting and signage.

/Lauren

4 Comments

  1. Abdul Hameed Khan

    11th April 2018 at 17:01

    Very good introduction

  2. Good insights in here

  3. The UL app does not require a Swedish phone number, but if I remember correctly, you had to replace the + in the country code with 00. At least I can use the app and buy tickets althoug I have a Finnish phone number.

  4. Get winter tires on your bike and you can bike all winter 🙂

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