36 train stations every railroad fan needs to see in his lifetime

The Gare Du Nord in Paris, France.

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The Gare Du Nord in Paris, France.
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Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images

  • If you find yourself travelling a lot, you should definitely explore some of the world’s most remarkable train stations.
  • Each station is a work of art, with a wide range of architecture and history to learn from.
  • Here are the 36 must-see train stations around the world.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

If you travel a lot, you’re probably going to be in a lot of train stations on the way to your destination. But train stations can be destinations themselves.

The best ones have expansive, stunning architecture, are easy to navigate, and are just plain efficient. Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station is a work of classical architecture worthy of the city’s history. Atocha Station in Madrid has a jungle amid the brick-and-concrete city. The walls of T-Centralen in Stockholm form a roving work of art.

Here are 36 railway stations to visit in your lifetime.


Formosa Boulevard Station in Taiwan needs to be checked out just for “The Dome of Light.” Designed by Narcissus Quagliata, it’s the largest glass work in the world and can be booked as a wedding venue.

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REUTERS/Pichi Chuang (TAIWAN)

New York City has some of the world’s most robust train infrastructure, and Grand Central Terminal is the crown of the system. It was the biggest train terminal in the world when it was first built, in 1913, and is still majestic today.

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One of the most gorgeous stations in the Middle East is Ramses Station, in Cairo. It has brilliant gold hues and this pyramid sculpture beneath a chandelier at the entrance.

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Osama Khalil/Wikimedia Commons

Madrid’s Atocha Station takes a break from the concrete, steel, and glass by putting a tropical garden at its center.

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Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Japan is known for its high-speed railway system. Of all the station’s in the country, Kanazawa Station might be the most impressive. It has an enormous torii-like gate at the entrance.

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663highland/Wikimedia Commons

The World Trade Center PATH station, in Downtown Manhattan, uses a completely different architectural style than Grand Central. It feels like you’re standing inside a dinosaur skeleton.

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Courtney Verrill

Central Park Station in Taiwan sits nearby Kaohsiung’s Central Park, but the inside looks like a green park itself.

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Peellden/Wikimedia Commons

The famous Liège-Guillemins station in Belgium is one of the country’s most elegant. It’s designed by Santiago Calatrava, the same architect who designed the World Trade Center Station.

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REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus dates back to India’s colonial era. It serves 3 million of Mumbai’s 12 million population every day.

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REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

The Toledo Station in Naples, Italy, has a crater that shimmers like the sea.


Paris’ Gare Du Nord is just enormous — it’s the busiest railway station in Europe, with 190 million passengers a year.

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Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images

These delicate blue-and-white panels cover the walls of Porto’s São Bento station. They depict scenes from Portugal’s history.

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Europe is known for its extensive railway infrastructure. Berlin’s central station, Hauptbahnhof, is like a glass palace connecting different parts of the continent.

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Jacob Shamsian/INSIDER

Gare de Lyon is Paris’ most beautiful station. Even if you don’t need to catch a train, visit the station anyway. Upstairs, there’s Le Train Bleu, a 100-year-old restaurant that’s one of France’s finest.

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Provided by Le Train Bleu

Portugal’s Gare do Oriente, in Lisbon, has a roof propped up by steel skeletons that look like leaves. It’s a must-see any time of day, but especially at night.

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Martín Gómez Tagle/Wikimedia Commons

Maputo Railway Station in Mozambique was built a hundred years ago. It’s painted a bright, creamy mint color.

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Dumplestilskin/Wikimedia Commons

Gorgeous blue-and-white paintings cover the rocky walls and ceilings of Stockholm’s T-Centralen.

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Arild Vågen/Wikimedia Commons

Antwerp’s Central Station is one of Europe’s most beautiful, lovingly detailed works of architecture.

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REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Komsomolskaya Station, in Moscow, has a strange history. With the chandeliers, it looks like a high-end dining hall. But the illustrations on the walls and ceilings are drawn from the historical figures in a speech Stalin gave in 1941.

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An interior view shows Komsomolskaya metro station on the Koltsevaya (Circle) line in Moscow, Russia, February 20, 2016.
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REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Finland’s Helsinki Station isn’t just the country’s central transport hub. It’s also a center of civic life, where the country’s citizens join together for rallies.

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REUTERS/Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva

Since it was built in the 1800s, the Istanbul Sirkeci Terminal has become a symbol of the Turkish city. It was home to the eastern terminal of the famous Orient Express.

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Martin Dürrschnabel/Wikimedia Commons

With its manicured garden, New Zealand’s Dunedin Railway Station looks like a palace.

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Antilived/Wikimedia Commons

London’s King Cross Station may be Europe’s most famous. It’s a fixture in British pop culture, like “The 39 Steps” and “Harry Potter.” It’s also beautiful.

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Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

St. Pancras is nearby. It’s a quintessential work of British Victorian architecture.

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Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Arnhem Centraal, in the Netherlands, opened to the public last year. It’s designed to look like a Klein Bottle, a Möbius strip-like container shape.

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JArnhem/Wikimedia Commons

Like much of the rest of Washington, DC’s iconic architecture, Union Station makes good use of neo-classical columns.

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REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The dome turrets capping the block-shaped Kuala Lumpur railway station in Malaysia make the building a hallmark of east-meets-west architecture.

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Wikimedia Commons

30th Street Station in Philadelphia is a grand building that feels like a civic monument.

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Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Amtrak

Luz Station, in Brazil, used to dominate São Paulo’s skyline. In addition to being a train station, it also houses the Museum of the Portuguese Language.

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cralize/Wikimedia Commons

The Southern Cross railway station, in Melbourne, Australia, has a wavy roof that shelters it from the elements.

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Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Also in Melbourne is the Flinders Street station, an icon of the city that brings the entire place together.

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Union Station in Denver recently added an enormous open-air hall that makes it distinct from every other train station in the country.


The Retiro Mitre is located in Buenos Aires. It’s part of an enormous transportation compound that includes a bus station as well.

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Tianjin West is a gorgeous station in Tianjin, China, that houses several high-speed railways.

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Olaias station in Lisbon, Portugal, needs to be seen just for its ceiling.

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Even though Japan’s railway system beats out the rest of the world’s, Tokyo Station doesn’t look like a futuristic spaceship. It’s a palatial redbrick building.

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REUTERS/Toru Hanai