35 Most Beautiful Train Stations in the World
There’s something special about traveling by train — whether it’s hopping on the subway to get where you need to go in a hurry or slowing down and opting for a railway ride in lieu of air travel. It’s romantic (and somewhat mysterious) to sit and watch the rolling hills and cities pass by from the comfort of your cabin.
And, as it turns out, many train stations themselves are often worth visiting — whether you’re buying a ticket to ride or not. Much like museums and churches, many train stations across the globe have a timeless nature, the ability to tell a story about the city’s past through design and architecture.
We rounded up the most beautiful train stations in the world that all types of commuters will be able to appreciate. From futuristic and cutting-edge transportation centers in Japan to centuries-old works of art in France and Belgium and even stations in the middle of the Swiss Alps, these stunning transportation hubs certainly make a case for traveling by train.
Union Station in Toronto, Ontario
Union Station in Toronto is considered to be Canada’s busiest transportation facility and, surprisingly, the second-busiest railway station in North America, only after New York Penn Station. Despite its bustling atmosphere, Union Station is quite the beautiful commuter hub.
Designed by renowned Montreal architecture firm Ross and Macdonald, the train station features an opulent Beaux-Art architectural style that the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada called a “national architectural significance as one of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts railway station design in Canada.”
World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York, New York
Located within the World Trade Center complex in the financial district of New York City, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub is a relatively new terminal station.
Built between 2014 and 2016, the futuristic all-white terminus has garnered global attention for its unique design, which was created and conceptualized by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
Gare du Nord in Paris, France
Gare du Nord in Paris is one of six major transportation hubs in the French capital. Dating all the way back to 1846, this striking train station connects Paris to Northern France and international destinations such as Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The storied terminal was designed by French architect Jacques Ignace Hittorff and has been featured in many films and TV shows over the years. That said, the station is set to undergo a major transformation before the 2024 Summer Olympics and, as such, will become the largest railway station in Europe.
Metro Station Komsomolskaya in Moscow, Russia
Considered to be one of the busiest metro stations in Moscow, Komsomolskaya offers a surprisingly serene and calming atmosphere, largely thanks to its muted yellow colorway and rich chandeliers that line the station hall.
Designed shortly after the Second World War, the theme of the design draws on the Historical Russian fight for freedom and independence.
Rådhuset Metro Station in Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm’s metro system has some of the most unique stations we’ve ever seen — but the Rådhuset station takes the cake in terms of virtually interesting and cutting-edge design.
Like other stations on the Stockholm metro, it was constructed using organic architecture and, as such, leaves the underground bedrock exposed and untreated — making the metro experience feel almost like a cave exploration.
Rotterdam Centraal Station in Rotterdam, Netherlands
While you may expect a city like Rotterdam to have a historic, centuries-old train station, as it turns out, Rotterdam didn’t actually have a functioning central train line until nearly a decade after the Second World War. And only recently did it really turn into a true transportation hub.
As such, the Rotterdam Centraal Station offers a much more modern structure that was officially reopened by King Willem-Alexander in 2014.
St Pancras International in London, England
Situated between the Regent's Canal and King’s Cross Railway Station, St Pancras International is easily one of the most beautiful transportation hubs in the world, thanks to its deep-red brick exterior and clock tower above.
The bustling train station is home to the Eurostar system and also has easy access to the Platform 9 ¾ landmark at King’s Cross (for all those Harry Potter fans out there).
Estación de Atocha in Madrid, Spain
The Estación de Atocha station in Madrid is certainly not your typical commuter hub.
Located in the heart of the city, the bustling station and surrounding concourse offers commuters a moment to breathe, thanks to its covered tropical garden that spans more than 43,056 square feet.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai, India
Located in Mumbai, India, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is designed to resemble a fusion of classic Indian and High Victorian Gothic styles of architecture.
From the pointed arches and turrets to the ornamental wooden carvings, tiles and elegant brass railings, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a stunning example of 19th century railway architecture that’s marveled to this day.
Grand Central Terminal in New York, New York
Of course, no list of beautiful train stations would be complete without the iconic Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan.
The sprawling station has become a character in and of itself in countless films and TV shows — from “Gossip Girl”to “Superman” — due to its timeless Reed & Stem-designed concourse that makes it quintessentially New York.
Stazione Milano Centrale in Milan, Italy
Tucked between myriad restaurants and high-end hotels, the Milano Centrale station is considered to be one of the busiest in all of Europe in terms of volume.
Dating back nearly a century, the bustling station blends an imposing variety of different architectural styles designed to showcase the power and prestige of then-Prime Minister Mussolini's fascist regime.
Sirkeçi Railway Station in Istanbul, Turkey
The historic Sirkeçi Railway Station in Istanbul looks more like a fine art museum than a commuter hub — which comes as no surprise, given its storied roots.
The station was built in 1890 by the Oriental Railway to play home to the world-famous Orient Express and has since become a symbol of the city and a hub for many more international and domestic railways.
São Bento Railway Station in Porto, Portugal
This 20th-century railway terminal in Portugal has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Monument of Portugal for its murals and multicolored panels that were erected to depict Portugal’s history across various regions of the country.
The station dates back as early as 1864 but has gone through many adjustments and renovations before being completed by Porto architect José Marques da Silva over the course of more than a decade.
Antwerpen-Centraal Station in Antwerp, Belgium
Traveling through Belgium by rail is a true treat for the eyes. From Brussels to Antwerp, the rural countryside and cityscapes are ever-changing and lush — but some of the train stations are even more impressive than the landscapes.
The Antwerpen-Centraal Station in Belgium’s fashion capital is particularly noteworthy thanks to its stone-clad design by local architect Jan Van Asperen.
Amsterdam Centraal Station in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Designed by Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers, the Amsterdam Centraal Station features a Gothic, Renaissance Revival architecture, complete with a stunning cast-iron platform roof that offers a palace-like aesthetic.
The architectural masterpiece was designed to showcase the country’s economic and colonial power at the time and is still considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in Amsterdam.
Union Station in Los Angeles, California
Considered to be the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States, Los Angeles’ Union Station is quite the landmark.
The main building opened in 1939 and featured Art Deco, Mission Revival and Streamline Moderne architectural styles designed by John and Donald Parkinson that make it noteworthy to this.
Gare de Lyon in Paris, France
There’s just something to be said about Parisian train stations — and the Gare de Lyon is certainly no exception.
Situated in the 12th arrondissement on the right bank of the city, this bustling train station features an eye-catching monumental design that was built in tandem with the 1900 World Exposition in Paris.
Kanazawa Station in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan
Known for its architecturally stunning Tsuzumi Gate at the east entrance, the Kanazawa Station in the Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan is one of the most striking train stations in Asia.
The transportation hub originally opened for business in 1898 and has since grown to see more than 20,000 commuters on a daily basis.
Maputo Railway Station in Maputo, Mozambique
The Maputo Railway Station is best known for linking South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe by way of the CFM Sul line — but the central station is also a particularly stunning visual.
Designed with the Neoclassical Beaux Arts style in mind, this aesthetically pleasing commuter hub was inspired by the old central terminus in Johannesburg, South Africa, but is considered to be much more grand thanks to its copper-clad central dome and wrought iron and marble details.
Washington Union Station in Washington, D.C.
While Washington Union Station is considered to be the second-busiest Amtrak station in the country, it also plays home to many restaurants and shops — and even housed a movie theater at one point.
Today, the station is best known for its Classical and Beaux-Arts style that is currently being preserved and restored under the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation.
Haydarpasa Train Station in Istanbul, Turkey
Considered to be the busiest train station in Turkey by volume until recent years, the Haydarpasa Train Station has currently suspended service due to construction between railway lines.
It was originally commissioned during the Ottoman era in 1872 and, as such, features a Neoclassical structure, complete with pseudo-castle elements by Italian and German stonemasons.
Dunedin Railway Station in Dunedin, New Zealand
Tucked into New Zealand's South Island, the Dunedin Railway Station is a marvel — especially for fairytale fiends.
Designed by George Troup, the structure earned the architect the nickname “Gingerbread George,” thanks to the distinct Flemish renaissance style — complete with terracotta shingles and dark basalt stonework — that resembles more of a gingerbread house than a Chateauesque structure.
Estação da Luz in São Paulo, Brazil
This commuter rail and intercity rail station in São Paulo is well-loved throughout the city not only for its stunning architectural style, but also because it houses the Museum of the Portuguese Language.
Interestingly, despite being a nod to Brazil’s rich history, the train station was designed and produced by Walter Macfarlane & Co. Saracen Foundry Glasgow and was first assembled in Scotland before being shipped to Brazil.
Kazansky Railway Station in Moscow, Russia
The Kazansky Railway Station is one of just nine railway terminals in Moscow but arguably the most visually appealing.
While the main building resembles the Söyembikä Tower in Kazan, it was designed and produced by architect Alexey Shchusev and took nearly 30 years to complete.
Liège-Guillemins Railway Station in Liège, Belgium
While the first major commuter station in Liège was completed in 1838 to link the city with Brussels, it was fully demolished and replaced by a new, contemporary station in 2009.
The Liège-Guillemins Railway Station may not look like a typical historic European landmark, but the Santiago Calatrava-designed commuter hub is a marvel in its own right, thanks to the modern use of steel, glass and all-white concrete.
Helsinki Central Station in Helsinki, Finland
Widely recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful train stations, the Helsinki Central Station in Finland is nothing short of breathtaking.
The original station was constructed back in 1862 by Swedish architect Carl Albert Edelfelt but was redesigned as the Romanticist structure that stands today by Finnish-American architect Eliel Saarinen.
Pino Suárez Metro Station in Mexico City, Mexico
Located a few blocks from the Zocalo in the southern part of the city center, Pino Suárez Metro Station in Mexico City offers busy commuters a brief escape from the grind of the city, thanks to the breathtaking Ehecatl pyramid that was found during railway construction in 1967.
The National Institute of Archeology and History opted to preserve and maintain the pyramid right where it was found, allowing commuters to catch a glimpse of the historical landmark while they transfer between trains.
Napoli Afragola Railway Station in Naples, Italy
When picturing architecturally stunning train stations in Italy, cutting-edge, modern design doesn’t exactly come to mind — but that’s exactly what the Napoli Afragola Railway Station represents.
Constructed in 2017 by the revered Zaha Hadid Architects, this contemporary train station features winding glass panels that are supposed to evoke the look of a moving train — and it also happens to have as little environmental impact as possible.
Gare do Oriente in Lisbon, Portugal
Located in the civil parish of Parque das Nações, Portugal’s Estação do Oriente is quite the stunning commuter hub.
The station is tucked among reclaimed industrial and abandoned buildings and, while classic in design, also took inspiration from some of architect Santiago Calatrava's previously mentioned, contemporary designs.
Gare de Metz-Ville in Metz, France
Colloquially known as the Station Palace, the Gare de Metz-Ville in the Lorraine region of France is best known for its Neo-Romanesque facade by German architect Jürgen Kröger.
While it may be called a palace these days, the station was built to resemble the shape of a church, complete with a clock tower that rises more than 131 feet in height — not unlike a church steeple.
Alameda Railway Station in Santiago, Chile
Unofficially known as the Estación Central, this opulent railway station in Santiago is well worth the visit — commuter or not. Designed in 1897 by famed architect Gustave Eiffel — yes, that Eiffel — the Alameda Railway Station is a stunning combination of historic and modern.
In fact, it was actually declared a National Monument by the Chilean government, which protects it from being further modernized or demolished.
Huddersfield Railway Station in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England
The Huddersfield Railway Station in West Yorkshire is exactly what you’d expect when envisioning an architecturally striking European railway station.
Designed by English architect James Pigott Pritchett, the Neoclassical style is reflected in its opulent Greek-inspired portico entrance.
Central do Brasil (Loja Riocard Mais – Central Do Brasil) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This central train station in bustling Rio de Janeiro is noteworthy based on its unique vertical clock tower design.
While most train stations span in length, this commuter hub stands tall and serves as a landmark for both travelers and busy locals alike.
Flinders Street Railway Station in Melbourne, Australia
Located in the Central Business District in Melbourne, this busy Australian train station sees more than 28 million commuters per year.
Despite its bustling atmosphere, the historic station is housed in an eclectic Edwardian building that features a grand entrance with towers and clocks and a prominent domed room that has become a well-known landmark for the city.
Eigerwand Railway Station in Jungfrau, Switzerland
There’s something about the lack of a train station that makes it so beautiful — at least in the Swiss Alps.
This unofficial station is situated between the north wall of the Eiger in the municipality of Grindelwald and is designed for travelers and locals to be able to enjoy unobstructed views of the natural splendor of the mountains.