Visit 10 Most Beautiful Train Stations In The World

From luxurious Antwerpen-Centraal to classic Gare du Nord, these world's most stunning train stations will offer you the most unique and awe-inspiring experience ever.
November 18, 2021 | 21:43

When you think of train stations, the first thought is that they are for daily transportation, busy crowds, and rush hours. But some of them stand out from the rest because of their stunning features, gorgeous architecture, luxurious looks that no one would think they are walking inside a station. Tourists flock to these places every year to have a chance to marvel at the detailed, careful designs and structures and have an awe-inspiring experience while catching the train. Next time you find yourself booking a worldly adventure, make sure to plan a stop at any one of these renowned stations.

1. Antwerpen-Centraal

Photo: aris.setya/Instagram
Photo: aris.setya/Instagram

The Antwerp Central Station, also known as Middenstatie (Middle station) or Spoorwegkathedraal (Railroad Cathedral), was first used in 1905. The structure is made up of a steel platform covering and a stone station building in an eclectic style. Recently, the station was completely renovated and in 2007 a tunnel underneath the station and a part of Antwerp was opened, reverting the station’s status as a terminus where are all trains have to turn back. In 2009, the American magazine Newsweek chose the Antwerp Central Station as the fourth most beautiful train station in the world.

The original terminal station building was constructed between 1895 and 1905 as a replacement for the first terminus of the Brussels-Mechelen-Antwerp railway. The stone-clad building was designed by Louis Delacenserie. The viaduct into the station is also a notable structure designed by local architect Jan Van Asperen. A plaque on the north wall bears the name Middenstatie, an expression now antiquated in Dutch.

The station is widely regarded as the finest example of railway architecture in Belgium, although the extraordinary eclecticism of the influences on Delacenserie's design had led to a difficulty in assigning it to a particular architectural style. In W. G. Sebald's novel Austerlitz an ability to appreciate the full range of the styles that might have influenced Delacenserie is used to illustrate the brilliance of the fictional architectural historian who is the novel's protagonist. Owing to the vast dome above the waiting room hall, the building became colloquially known as the "spoorwegkathedraal" ("railroad cathedral").

2. Liège-Guillemins

Photo: aris.setya/Instagram
Photo: aris.setya/Instagram

Liège-Guillemins railway station is the main station of the city of Liège, the third-largest city in Belgium. It is one of the most important hubs in the country and is one of the 4 Belgian stations on the high-speed rail network. The station is used by 15,000 people every day which makes it the eleventh busiest station in Belgium and the third in Wallonia.

In 1838, only three years after the first continental railway, a line linking Brussels and Ans, in the northern suburbs of Liège, was opened. The first railway station of Liège-Guillemins was inaugurated in May 1842, linking the valley to the upper Ans station. In 1843, the first international railway connection was born, linking Liège to Aachen and Cologne.

The station was modernized and improved in 1882 and in 1905 for the World's Fair in Liège. This Beaux-Arts station was replaced in 1958 by a "modern" International-style building that was used until June 2009, a few months before the opening of the new Calatrava-designed station. The second station was completely demolished to allow the completion of the remaining sections of the new station.

3. Grand Central

Photo: tmxcphoto
Photo: tmxcphoto

Grand Central Terminal is a commuter rail terminal located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Grand Central is the southern terminus of the Metro-North Railroad's Harlem, Hudson and New Haven Lines, serving the northern parts of the New York metropolitan area. It also contains a connection to the New York City Subway at Grand Central–42nd Street station. The terminal is the second-busiest train station in North America, after New York Penn Station.

The distinctive architecture and interior design of Grand Central Terminal's station house have earned it several landmark designations, including as a National Historic Landmark. Its Beaux-Arts design incorporates numerous works of art. Grand Central Terminal is one of the world's ten most visited tourist attractions, with 21.6 million visitors in 2018, excluding train and subway passengers. The terminal's Main Concourse is often used as a meeting place and is especially featured in films and television. Grand Central Terminal contains a variety of stores and food vendors, including upscale restaurants and bars, two food halls, and a grocery marketplace.

4. Metro Station Komsomolskaya

Photo: Flickr
Photo: Flickr

Komsomolskaya (Russian: Комсомо́льская) is a Moscow Metro station in the Krasnoselsky District, Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow. It is on the Koltsevaya line, between Prospekt Mira and Kurskaya stations.

The station is located under the busiest Moscow transport hub, Komsomolskaya Square, which serves Leningradsky, Yaroslavsky, and Kazansky railway terminals. Because of that, the station is one of the busiest in the whole system. It opened on 30 January 1952 as a part of the second stage of the line.

Stations on the first southern segment of the Koltsevaya line were dedicated to the victory over Nazi Germany, while those on the northern segment (Belorusskaya-Koltsevaya to Komsomolskaya) were dedicated to the theme of post-war labor. Komsomolskaya was designed by Alexey Shchusev as an illustration of a historical speech given by Joseph Stalin on November 7, 1941. In the speech, Stalin evoked the memories of Alexander Nevsky, Dmitry Donskoy, and other military leaders of the past, and all these historical figures eventually appeared on the mosaics of Komsomolskaya.

Komsomolskaya remained Shchusev's first and only metro station design. The station was initially planned as a traditional deep pylon type. Later, Shchusev replaced the heavy concrete pylons with narrow octagonal steel columns, riveted with marble tiles, creating a larger open space.

After Shchusev's death, the station was completed by Viktor Kokorin, A. Zabolotnaya, V. Varvarin, and O. Velikoretsky and Pavel Korin, the creator of the mosaics.

5. Gare du Nord

Photo:  Paris Insiders Guide
Photo: Paris Insiders Guide

Located in the heart of the 10th arrondissement and ten minutes' walk from Gare de l'Est, Gare du Nord is Europe's leading railway station and the world's 3rd largest in terms of traffic flows, welcoming over 220 million visitors a year. Trains depart from the north of France but also serve international destinations such as London via Eurostar, or Belgium and the Netherlands via Thalys. It was inaugurated on 14 June 1846 with the opening of the Paris-Amiens-Lille line. Today we admire its modern neoclassical style and its majestic façade decorated with twenty-three statues by famous sculptors.

It is made up of four main areas: the Eurostar Terminal - 6.6 million passengers - offering shops for pleasure and gifts; the Quai Transversal is the lively heart of the station offering a varied Parisian and international catering service; levels -1 and - 2 - where hundreds of thousands of passengers pass through every day on the numerous metro and RER lines - offering a range of services adapted to everyday travelers, according to Paris info site.

6. Maputo Railway Station

Photo: wendelin_wanderer
Photo: wendelin_wanderer

Maputo Train Station is one of the city’s most impressive buildings. The building was built between 1908 and 1916 in Beaux-Artsstyl. In the center of the main facade of the station is a high arch, culminating in the largest of the three domes of the building. In 2009, US Newsweek magazine listed the station as “Train stations as big as the road” and called it probably the most beautiful terminus in Africa. In 2011, American magazine Travel + Leisure included it in the list of 14 most beautiful railway stations in the world. In addition to serving as an active train terminal, it includes a railway museum, a dining room and organizes music events.

The initial plans for Central Railway Station were inspired by the old central terminus in Johannesburg, South Africa, but intended the station to have a grander façade. The building is of the Neoclassical Beaux-Arts style. At the center of the station's grand facade is a tall arch, topped by the largest of the building's three domes. The copper-clad semispherical central dome brings the building's height to 51 m. The building's two symmetrical sides connect the main tower to the building's domed side towers through second-story verandas. Ornamental features including marble pillars and wrought iron latticework contribute to its aesthetic appearance.

7. Tokyo Station

Photo: washima12
Photo: washima12

Tokyo Station is a railway station in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. The original station is located in Chiyoda's Marunouchi business district near the Imperial Palace grounds. The newer Eastern extension is not far from the Ginza commercial district. Due to the large area covered by the station, it is divided into the Marunouchi (west) and Yaesu (east) sides in its directional signage.

Served by the high-speed rail lines of the Shinkansen network, Tokyo Station is the main inter-city rail terminal in Tokyo. It is the busiest station in Japan, with more than 4,000 trains arriving and departing daily, and the fifth-busiest in Eastern Japan in terms of passenger throughput; on average, more than 500,000 people use Tokyo Station every day. The station is also served by many regional commuter lines of Japan Railways, as well as the Tokyo Metro network.

8. Rotterdam Centraal Station

Photo: ArchDaily
Photo: ArchDaily

Rotterdam Centraal railway station is the main railway station of the city Rotterdam in South Holland, Netherlands. The station received an average of 110,000 passengers daily in 2007. The current station building, located at Station Square, was officially opened in March 2014.

Central Station has had a total makeover in recent years, making the station one of the most iconic architectural features in Rotterdam. The roof over the tracks is partly covered in solar panels, continuing uninterrupted into the angled roof over the station hall. Its point aims towards the city center. A number of historic elements from the former station building (1957) by Sybold van Ravesteyn have remained intact, such as the original clock in the front façade, the letters spelling out Centraal Station (now in LED lights) and the ‘speculaasjes’, two granite sculptures on platform 1.

The spacious hallway leading to the railway platforms is lined in 25 stores, including Dudok, Starbucks, Rituals, Burger King, and Sissy Boy, according to Rotterdam Info.

9. London King's Cross railway station

Photo: London
Photo: London

King's Cross Station is a major railway and Underground station in London. The train station is in central London, close to King's Cross and Bloomsbury.

King's Cross Railway Station is one of London's key transport hubs and can be found in the King's Cross area of London.

King's Cross station is next to King's Cross St Pancras Underground Station, which is on the Circle line, the Metropolitan Line, the Hammersmith & City Line, and the Victoria Line.

Trains at the railway station are operated by National Express East Coast and First Capital Connect. King's Cross Station is near St Pancras International Station for the Eurostar.

King's Cross station is near many tourist attractions including The British Library and Regent's Park. There are many London hotels near King's Cross Station. Use the map to explore the area around King's Cross Station, according to TripAdvisor.

10. Estación de Atocha

Photo:  Madrid Secreto
Photo: Madrid Secreto

Madrid Atocha is the largest railway station in Madrid. It is the primary station serving commuter trains (Cercanías), regional trains from the south and southeast, intercity trains from Navarre, Cádiz and Huelva (Andalusia) and La Rioja, and the AVE high speed trains from Girona, Tarragona and Barcelona (Catalonia), Huesca and Zaragoza (Aragon), Sevilla, Córdoba and Málaga (Andalusia), Valencia, Castellón and Alicante (Levante Region). These train services are run by the Spanish national rail company, Renfe. As of 2019, this station has daily services to Marseille in France.

The station is in the Atocha neighborhood of the district of Arganzuela. The original façade faces Plaza del Emperador Carlos V, a site at which a variety of streets converge, including the Calle de Atocha, Paseo del Prado, Paseo de la Infanta Isabel, Avenida de la Ciudad de Barcelona, Calle de Méndez Álvaro, Paseo de las Delicias, Paseo de Santa María de la Cabeza, and Ronda de Atocha.

Atocha station is a railway complex, formed by the Madrid Atocha Cercanías and Madrid Puerta de Atocha stations of the Spanish national railways and a station of the Madrid underground called Atocha-Renfe. Renfe is a state-owned company which operated freight and passenger trains since 1941.

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