The World’s 5 Most Beautiful Train Stations
Train travel is not only fast and efficient, but it also provides ample opportunity for one to admire some of the world’s greatest architecture. Though, now a less-used means of transport, train travel was once at the forefront of innovation, revolutionizing travel and prompting monarchs, architects, and city planners to build magnificent train stations to impress passengers.
Train travel has since fallen in and out of favor. Recently, the growth of high-speed rails has been accompanied by interest in restoring and building iconic train stations. In this article, we gathered the World’s 5 Most Beautiful Train Stations!
Occupying the site of the former convent of S. Bento de Avé-Maria, the Estação de São Bento is celebrated for its exquisite blue and white mural depicting scenes from Portugal’s history. It took artist Jorge Colaço 14 years to complete the masterpiece made of 20,000 tin-glazed ceramic tiles. The exterior isn’t bad either—architect Marques da Silva was inspired by Parisian architecture and included a mansard roof and stone façade in his design.
Built to replace an older station on the same site, Kuala Lumpur Railway Station was the city’s main railway hub up until Kuala Lumpur Sentral was opened in 2001. The striking building, completed in 1910, incorporates a variety of design elements from all over the East and West, sometimes referred to as Neo-Moorish/Mughal/Indio-Saracenic/Neo-Saracenic. The unique blend of styles was meshed together by architect Arthur Benison Hubback.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, like the Pyramids of Giza, Persepolis, and Corey Feldman. Seriously though, it’s pretty important. Originally constructed in the late 1870s, it took ten years to complete, and cost “£260,000 when it was finished in 1888”, which by today’s standards is probably around half a billion pounds (shout out to Louie Anderson!). Finally, the Terminus was prominently featured in Slumdog Millionaire.
This gothic masterpiece was completed in 1868 and restored a few years ago. The facade is the grandest of any British railway station, and behind lies a spectacular pointed-arched train shed of iron and glass: in its day, the widest clear-span structure in the world. Gaze up at the vast space before heading for cocktails at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.
This Beaux-Arts terminal, constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, is full of dazzling architectural details. The 42nd Street façade’s giant Tiffany clock, the main concourse iconic information booth with its four-faced clock, and the domed gold-and-cerulean-blue ceiling painted with astronomical signs and studded with fiber-optic stars are justly famous around the world.
Train stations weren’t just transportation hubs; they became symbols of entire empires, as rulers transported their architectural and engineering know-how. Though somewhat antiquated, trains keep choo-choo-choosing to remain relevant in our daily lives.
Pro Tip: If you’re planning to visit the World’s 5 Most Beautiful Train Stations, make sure to do your research first; also try looking to book your flights using online travel agencies as they tend to, on average, reduce airfare costs by about 43%, a few good ones being Flighthub.com, Travelocity.com, JustFly.com or Expedia.com.