A train station for a city all over the world acts as a landmark. There are certain stations that are often considered the major attractions of the city as well as the country. Although more people prefer planes to travel, the need for trains has not lessened. Their improvements from time to time make them still reliable. And another thing that makes them a more desirable and acceptable medium of travel is the low cost.
During the 19th century, when the popularity of trains was very high, many cities built beautiful and elegant stations in different architectural styles. The different forms of architecture used in these stations prove that every city wanted to make the stations beautiful and astonishing.
So, let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful works of architecture in the form of railway stations all around the world. These stations should be on the bucket list of everyone dreaming of traveling to each and every country of the world. Following are the Top 15 Most Beautiful Railway Stations in the World as of 2023.
1. World Trade Center Transportation Hub
The World Trade Center Transportation Hub is one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. The station was opened in 1971 in Manhattan, New York City, and in 2016, it was named “World Trade Center Transportation Hub”. The restoration of the station was highly anticipated because of the architect Santiago Calatrava. The main highlight of the newly restored station was the Oculus, a structure of glass and steel. In 2016, the Oculus station house was opened and it was built with an estimated cost of 4 billion dollars.
The station acts as a connector of various modes of transportation like subways, PATH trains, Battery Park City Ferry Terminal, etc. The main hall of the station is breathtaking as its floors are fitted with white marble. Moreover, there is a 355-foot retractable skylight. The Oculus is also known as the Westfield World Trade Center Mall. Read Also: Top 10 Tallest Buildings in the US.
2. Kuala Lumpur Railway Station
Kuala Lumpur Railway Station is such a beautiful example of the amalgamation of two different styles. Indo-Saracenic is the architectural style of the building and it was designed by famous British architect Arthur Benison Hubback. This station is located in Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The beautiful Kuala Lumpur Railway Station was built in 1886 and rebuilt to its current form in 1917. The structure of the station has minarets, dome-capped pavilions, and articulated archways and its beautiful design and cream color make it one of the most attractive rail stations in the world. The station has turned into a hub in recent times. However, its appeal to tourists is still the same.
3. Kanazawa Station
The Kanazawa Station is located in Ishikawa, Japan. The station was first opened in 1898, however, after upgradation of the station in 2005 is what made it so beautiful. When the station was first opened after its upgradation in 2005, there were mixed emotions as many did not like the glass and steel dome structure in the main structure and the drum-shaped wooden gate of it.
It is a blend of modern and traditional engineering that makes it beautiful and appealing at the same time. However, with time, the outlook changed as many tourists started to visit the station when they came to visit other historical structures of Ishikawa like the geisha district and the samurai quarters. This station is not only popular for traveling points of view but also for shopping, eating, and spending quality time as it contains several shops, restaurants, hotels, etc. Read Also: Facilities Required at Railway Stations.
4. Liège-Guillemins Railway Station
Liège-Guillemins railway station is not just a station but a symbol of modern architecture. Liège-Guillemins Railway Station is a stunning modern station that is the main station of Liege, Belgium. The old station was opened in 1882, and in 2009, it was rebuilt. The Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is the one who designed the station and glass, steel, and white concrete are the main components of the facade. The facade was designed to connect two parts of the station which was previously divided by a railroad track.
The architect’s preference for using white concrete gives the station a plastic look and the ribbed vaults flow in a seamless way. This creates a wave-like pattern that the passengers using the station like very much. There are five platforms in the station. Moreover, it is among one of the four stations connected to high-speed rail.
5. Milano Centrale
Milano Centrale is the second biggest railway station in Italy and the main station of Milan city of Italy. The station was opened in 1931, and the architect behind the design of the station was Ulisse Stacchini. The inspiration behind Milano Centrale was the Union Station of Washington DC.
However, when Mussolini came into power, he decided to extend the Beaux Art design and added elements from Art Nouveau and Art Deco. These additions to the station resulted in beautiful marble floors along with many beautiful sculptures. Moreover, the five-train shed of iron and glass canopies takes its beauty to the next level.
6. Hungerburg Station
Hungerburg Station is a modern-looking railway station in Hungerburg, Austria. The station is a funicular and it was first opened in 1906. In 2007, after 2 years of being closed for restoration, it was opened. Zara Hadid is the architect who became popular after she designed the Bergisel Ski-jump Tower, designed the Hungerburg Station. The design was for a 1.1 mile four station which was earlier used for trams. In each station, there are glass structures made in such a way that they feel like ice floes and snowdrifts. Read Also: Purpose of Providing Railway Station.
7. Sirkeci Railway Station
Sirkeci Railway Station is located in Istanbul which is considered by many as the gateway to Europe. This beautiful and mind-blowing station is a combination of the French Art Nouveau and the Ottoman. This combination of the two styles gave it a unique touch. First, the station was opened in 1872 and began rebuilding in 1890. It was one of the most modern railway stations in the world at that time. Sirkeci Railway Station had about 300 gas lanterns and the beautiful tile stove was imported from Austria. The station is located in Sirkeci, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey, and the things that increase the beauty are bricks across the facade and a tower clock.
8. Antwerpen-Centraal Station
Antwerpen-Centraal Station is not only a beautiful station from the outside but from inside, it’s just breathtaking. The station is located in Antwerp, Belgium, and was opened in 1905. The most beautiful part of the station is the waiting hall in which more than 20 types of marble and other stones are used to give it a lavish touch. Moreover, what makes it even more beautiful are the windows. The windows are arched through which the skylight fills the hall.
The upper platform of the station also has a beautiful magnificent vaulted iron and glass roof. In 1998, major reconstruction work began, and in 2007, the major portion of the construction work was completed. The restoration of the station is the reason behind the station getting its beauty back after many turrets and pediments were reconstructed. Although the construction of tunnels has been done below the structure of the station for passing of high-speed rail, it does not affect on the beautiful structure of the station.
9. Haydarpaşa Railway Station
Haydarpaşa Railway Station is a beautiful station located in Istanbul, Turkey. The station was opened in 1872, however, since a fire incident in 2010, it has been closed. The architectural style of the station building is German Neoclassical. The station is built on reclaimed land from the Bosphorus Strait; this is why it is surrounded by water on three sides which makes it even more beautiful.
In 1908, the station was reconstructed, and behind the design were two German architects Otto Ritter and Helmut Conu. The Haydarpaşa Railway Station has a ceiling or coffered barrel vault and the windows are very generous. Although the station has been closed since 2010, still people come to see the beautiful exterior of the station.
10. Southern Cross Station, Melbourne
Southern Cross Station is the main station of Melbourne. The station comprises an entire block. The structure of the station feels breathtaking, mainly the roof of the station is so beautiful and is supported by the Y-shaped columns. Before the restoration of the station in 2005, it was known as Spencer Street Station.
The Southern Cross Station is the main station of Melbourne, it was opened in 1859, and, it has undergone restoration a couple of times in 1960 and 2005. The current magnificent design of the station was designed by Grimshaw Architects. It contains 16 platforms and 22 tracks.
11. Union Station, Los Angeles
The Union Station of Los Angeles is the largest station in California state. The station was opened in 1939, it is also the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States. It serves about 3 million passengers every month.
The station is built in Art Deco and Moderne styles and it was designed by the architectural firm “John and Donald Parkinson”. The station is a very beautiful and magnificent structure and its interior is even more beautiful. In the waiting rooms of the Union Station, there are patio lines. The station was built by Robert E. McKee Inc. In 1980, this station was recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.
12. Metro Station Komsomolskaya
Metro Station Komsomolskaya is a metro station in the Russian capital of Moscow. The construction of the station was completed in 1952 and Russian President Joseph Stalin looked after its construction. The station is owned by Moskovsky Metropoliten. It was considered as a baroque which meant a palace for people.
On the platform, there are 68 octagonal-shaped pillars riveted with marvels rising from the granite floor to provide a large open space. The ceiling of the station is nicely designed with yellow color and to complement, it glittering mosaic panels of smalt and other precious stones are fitted. Moreover, there are murals that pay tribute to the Russian military triumph.
13. Gare du Nord
The magnificent Gare du Nord is one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world. The station was opened in 1864 and is located in Paris, the capital city of France. This beautiful railway station is considered one of the oldest but still among the busiest railway stations in the world.
On the facade of Gare du Nord, there are 23 statues of females adding more value to the station and each statue personifies a destination that is served by this station. Gare du Nord is not only the busiest rail station in France but also in Europe. It serves about 210 million passengers every year.
The interior of the station is as beautiful as the exterior and what makes it even more magnificent is the natural light. To get as much natural light as possible, the station has soaring windows and the roof of the train sheds are of glass and cast iron. This beautiful Engineering is an example of the art of Paris.
14. Rotterdam Centraal Station
The main station of the Rotterdam is the Rotterdam Central Station. The station is located in Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands. More than 120,000 passengers use this station daily to reach their destinations. The old station opened in 1957, but to accommodate more and more passengers and for the introduction of high-speed trains, a new terminal was needed. Therefore, a bunch of architectural firms were appointed to design a new one.
The new station was opened in March 2014, the main attraction of the station is the entrance which has a boomerang-like canopy. The interior of the station is warm and shiny with transparent roofs supported by beams and columns. However, the most interesting thing about the Rotterdam Central Station is that on the roof, about 130,000 solar cells are placed which makes it the largest rooftop solar project.
15. Washington Union Station
The Union Station of Washington is another most beautiful station in the united states. Washington Union Station was opened in 1907 and is the major transportation hub in Washington DC. The station was designed by the architectural firm “D. H. Burnham & Company” and was designed based on Classical and Beaux-Arts architectural styles. The station contains 18 platforms and 22 tracks.
Before the station was opened, there were two stations in Washington but the opening of the Union Station brought them together. The interior of the station is inspired by classical designs like the Roman Arch of Constantine. Moreover, the roof of the station has a beautiful coffered plaster ceiling. The white marble floor makes this station more attractive, you can’t imagine how beautiful it is without a visit.
- 1 1. World Trade Center Transportation Hub
- 2 2. Kuala Lumpur Railway Station
- 3 3. Kanazawa Station
- 4 4. Liège-Guillemins Railway Station
- 5 5. Milano Centrale
- 6 6. Hungerburg Station
- 7 7. Sirkeci Railway Station
- 8 8. Antwerpen-Centraal Station
- 9 9. Haydarpaşa Railway Station
- 10 10. Southern Cross Station, Melbourne
- 11 11. Union Station, Los Angeles
- 12 12. Metro Station Komsomolskaya
- 13 13. Gare du Nord
- 14 14. Rotterdam Centraal Station
- 15 15. Washington Union Station