The World’s Top 10 Most Gorgeous Train Stations

The World’s Top 10 Most Gorgeous Train Stations

Since then, using trains has risen and fallen in popularity. There has been a recent uptick in interest in restoring and constructing historic train stations in tandem with the expansion of high-speed rail.

Train stations and terminals around the world are often the first thing visitors to a new city see, making them excellent places to learn about the local heritage, customs, and architecture. Millions of tourists flood these magnificent structures every year, and their stories are sure to inspire your next vacation. Find out which amazing rail trips you can take to visit these stations in person.

In 1896, the first train arrived at So Bento’s station. For the exterior, architect Marques da Silva was inspired by Parisian architecture, and artist Jorge Colaço spent 14 years creating a massive azulejo tile mural inside.

Even those in a hurry take a moment to admire the 20,000 hand-painted, tin-glazed blue and white tiles. This is a popular stop for trains traveling to and from Porto’s outskirts, as well as to and from Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon.

Located in the heart of the 10th Arrondissement, this station is among the busiest and most picturesque in all of Europe. 23 statues that symbolize Vienna, Amsterdam, and other locations that the Chemin de Fer du Nord company serves are sculpted into the façade. The interior is equally beautiful, especially in the evening when sunlight streams down from the cast-iron roof and glass panels onto the platforms below.

How to See It: When arriving from Charles de Gaulle airport or London via the Eurostar, Gare du Nord appears particularly beautiful. Look for this Neoclassical station in films like The Bourne Identity and Amélie if you are unable to travel abroad.

Santiago Calatrava, an architect, is well-known for his flowing white buildings, and this station in Liège, Belgium, is a good example of his style. Completed in 2009, the outdoor structure has towering white beams that span the tracks in a massive arch. This is the station’s third iteration; the first was constructed in 1842 in the Beaux Arts style, and the second in 1958 in the International style.

Santiago Calatrava’s glass, steel, and white concrete structure has won awards for modern architecture, and the light that fills the building makes a long commute much more bearable.

When constructing the Antwerp Centraal Station at the turn of the 20th century, King Leopold II spared no expense. The luxurious neo-Baroque station, which was finished in 1905, has over 20 different kinds of marble and stone. The iron and glass vaulted ceiling above the passengers tells the time with a handsome antique clock.

Originally constructed as the end of the Brussels-Mechelen-Antwerp railway line, the station is now used as a through-station for Thalys high-speed trains that connect Amsterdam to Paris and Lille via Belgium, as well as commuter and intercity trains.

The same person who designed the renowned Rijksmuseum in the city also created Amsterdam’s Centraal Station, which is why it looks familiar. Both structures were created in the distinctive Gothic/Renaissance Revival style of Pierre Cuypers.

In addition to celebrating Amsterdam’s industrial and commercial significance, twin turrets and stone reliefs evoke the style of a medieval cathedral. Centraal Station, the most visited National Heritage Site in the Netherlands, symbolizes the city’s transformation from an oceangoing port to an inland commercial hub.

After decades of construction, the imposing Milano Centrale station—which was initially designed to resemble Washington, D.C.’s Union Station—became a representation of the might and domination of Mussolini’s fascist regime.

The façade is decorated with winged creatures from mythology and Roman symbols, and 11,000 cubic meters of marble shine brightly everywhere you look. The arrival hall’s high arched ceilings and the tracks’ expansive canopy, which could cover ten football fields, are just two examples of the attention to detail in every aspect of the design.

Initial responses to the 2005 upgrade of Kanazawa’s 1898 station were conflicting. Many felt that the enormous drum-shaped wood gate and the ultramodern glass and steel dome were an inappropriate addition. However, tourists are still drawn to the station’s striking additions, and the attraction of the new buildings successfully competes with that of the historic town’s other attractions, which include a geisha district and former samurai quarters.

Although it was not widely welcomed when such expansive modern architecture was brought to this historic town, it has since gained its share of supporters.

Huge halls at St. Pancras International station welcome Eurostar passengers arriving in London from all over the UK, France, and Belgium. After 20 years of construction, the station was the world’s largest enclosed area when it was finished in 1868. Even after surviving the WWII Blitz, the red brick Gothic façade continues to stand as a testament to England’s magnificent Victorian architecture. It served as a crucial meeting place and escape route for Allied soldiers during the conflict.

The red-brick, unwavering Gothic facade of the imposing Victorian building. Inside, however, the station softens and one can find a seat at the longest champagne bar in Europe.

Maputo’s central rail station’s bronze dome creates a striking silhouette against the clear sky above it. The station, which Alfredo Augusto Lisboa de Lima, Mário Veiga, and Ferreira da Costa built and finished in 1916, is the epitome of Portuguese colonial architecture and overlooks Praça dos Trabalhadores, or Workers’ Square.

The understatedly elegant building has a display of vintage steam locomotives, wrought iron latticework, and an exterior painted mint green and white.

The vibrant tropical garden that grows in the station’s main concourse is its most striking feature. When it was constructed in 1851, it was the biggest and oldest train station in Madrid. However, a fire in 1992 prompted the construction of a more contemporary building next to the old one.

The original Atocha station structure is alive with shops, cafes, and even a nightclub, even though trains now depart from the new building.

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