Train travel isn’t as popular as it once was — still, it’s one of the only forms of travel that allows you the opportunity to take in some of the world’s best architecture. If you are looking to travel the world, make sure you book a ticket to stop in at these breathtaking train stations.
Estação da Luz, São PauloThe Estação da Luz was originally built in Glasow, disassembled, and then rebuilt in São Paulo. The station was built as the main hub for the São Paulo railway, which was an important passage for commerce. Estação da Luz went neglected for many years after its completion at the end of the 19th century, but was restored during the 1990s.
Estación de Atocha, Madrid
What stands out most at the Estación de Atocha is the lush tropical garden growing in the main concourse. Although a more modern terminal was built next door, passengers are still allowed to pass through the original Atocha station. The Atocha station actually features a nightclub inside, so check it out if you have a long wait for your train!
Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, MalaysiaAt Kuala Lumpur, East meets West in regards to the architectural styles. These styles are evident since the station was designed under British colonial rule and completed in 1910. Kuala Lumpur was once the city’s main railway station, but today only serves commuter trains.
Antwerp Centraal Station, Belgium
Finished in 1905, Antwerp Central Station features more than 20 types of marble and stone throughout. An antique clock is still used to track arrivals and departures. The station now operates as a through-station, connecting Amsterdam to Paris.
Estação de São Bento, PortugalSitting on the site of the former convent of S. Bento de Avé-Maria, Estação de São Bento features beautiful blue and white murals of Portugal’s history. Jorge Colaço spent 14 years completing the mural, using 20,000 tin-glazed ceramic tiles to depict the scenes.
Haydarpa?a Terminal, IstanbulThe castle-like Haydarpa?a Terminal sits on the banks of the Bosphorus. German architects and Italian stonemasons completed the building in 1909, leaving a very European look on the station.
St. Pancras International, LondonLondon’s St. Pancras International took 20 years to build. After completion in 1868, it was the world’s largest enclosed space. During WWII, the station was an important escape route for Allied soldiers.
CMF Railway Station, Mozambique
Passing through the CMF Railway station in Maputo is like a blast from the past. The station still features old wooden benches, ticket counters, and even antique steam locomotives. The station was built under Portuguese colonial rule, which clearly shows in the architecture.
Gare De Lyon, ParisGare de Lyon features stunning architecture, from its large clock tower to the stone façade. Located inside the station is “Le Train Blue,” an extravagant restaurant that has served the likes of Salvador Dalí and Coco Chanel. The majority of the trains leaving the Gare de Lyon are destined for the French Riviera.
Milano Centrale, MilanThe extravagant Milano Centrale station was modeled after the Union Station in Washington, D.C., but eventually became more complex under the rule of Mussolini. Several architectural styles were used to for the beautiful station, with Art Deco shining brightest.
Gare Du Nord, ParisGare Du Nord is Europe’s busiest railway station, with over 190 million people going through every year. If you are a fan of “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Ultimatum,” you might recognize this station from the films.
Amsterdam Centraal Station, AmsterdamThree artificial islands were created for Amsterdam Central Station to be built. The station blocks the view of the waterfront, signifying the end of the city’s seafaring past. Completed in 1889, Centraal Station was the main transit hub in Amsterdam.
Union Station, Washington, D.C.Daniel H. Turnham, architect of the World’s Fair in Chicago, modeled Union Station after the “Baths of Caracalla” and the “Arch of Rome.” The architecture of the station actually set the tone for how Washington’s major monuments were constructed.
Dunedin Railway Station, New ZealandThe architect of the Dunedin Railway, George Troup, actually was knighted by the king for his work on this station. Pink granite accents and stained glass windows help round out the beautiful décor. The station also is home to New Zealand’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Grand Central Terminal, New York
The enormous Grand Central Station is the largest station in the world. So large in fact, there is even tennis courts upstairs! Grand Central Station seems like it’s entirely covered in gold, which is pretty accurate considering its antique gold-barred windows and chandeliers.