Have you ever taken the underground (also called tube or subway or metro) to move across the city? If your replied “yes”, then you should know that sometimes waiting down there for the next train might be boring and sad: sometimes among loads of people, other times almost alone in a dark and meaningless space where happiness and joy might be just a dream.
But there are places around the world where all of this doesn’t happen at all. I’m talking about beautiful subway stations full of art, colours and inspiration. Let’s reveal today the top 10 most wonderful metro stations you can find on earth. A journey across the planet, underground, passing through some of the most famous capitals in the world.
1. UNIVERSITÀ (University) and TOLEDO METRO STATIONS: Naples, Italy.
Special attention was given to this locations to make the environment beautiful, comfortable and functional. The Università metro stop is part of the “Art Stations of the Naples Metro” and was designed by architects Karim Rashid. The aim was to symbolise digital and information and for the purpose its eclectic and full of colours.
The Toledo stop, instead, was designed by Spanish architect Óscar Tusquets and The Daily Telegraph named it one of the most impressive underground railway stations in Europe.
2. OLAIAS STATION: Lisbon, Portugal.
The architectural design is by Tomás Taveira and the installation art was created by Pedro Cabrita Reis, Graça Pereira Coutinho, Pedro Calapez and Rui Sanchez.
3. ARTS ET MÉTIERS STATION: Paris, France.
In English its name means “Arts and Trades” and it serves Line 3 and 11. The name was taken from the Musée des Arts et Métiers and if you wish to go and visit it, this station is your way. In 1994 the station was redesigned by Belgian comics artist François Schuiten in a “steampunk” style, remembering the science fiction works of Jules Verne.
4. WESTFRIEDHOF (Munich U-Bahn) STATION: Munich, Germany.
Operating on the U1 line, it’s opened since 1998 and three years later 11 large lamps were installed to colour the station in blue, red and yellow light. They measure 3.80 metres in diameter and they are the first thing you notice as you enter.
5. T-CENTRALEN METRO STATION: Stockholm, Sweden.
This is the heart of the Stockholm metro system and three lines meet here. It’s decorated with stunning sculptures, paintings, and even cave-like features, designed by several artists. With the whole Stockholm’s metro system, it’s considered one of the most unusual and beautiful in the world. You can have a look to some stations here.
6. MALOSTRANSKÁ STATION: Prague, Czech Republic.
If you want to reach the Prague castle, this station is one of your options. But if you are afraid of getting bored in the tunnel, don’t worry, because you are going to be impressed by its retro design and elegant gradients between gold and green. A nice photo gallery can be seen here.
7. SZENT GELLÉRT TÉR STATION: Budapest, Hungary.
Opened in March 2014, it’s been decorated with mosaics by artist Tamás Komoróczky.
8. ZOLOTI VOROTA METRO STATION: Kiev, Ukraine.
This is a majestic metro station with a hall covered with mosaic decorated arcs. The Zoloti Vorota features 80 distinct mosaic pieces and images depicting the history of Kievan Rus’. Another example of impressive metro station in Europe.
9. KOMSOMOLSKAYA METRO STATION: Moscow, Russia.
The building impresses the visitors with an immense octagonal dome topped by a cupola, and a spire crowned by a large star. Additional beauty is given by a full-height portico with stylised Corinthian columns and rich “torchères” and chandelier lights amid Baroque-style ornaments.
10. KAOHSIUNG – FORMOSA BOULEVARD STATION: Taiwan, China.
Located in Sinsing District, Kaohsiung, between the Red Line and the Orange Line, this metro station enchants travellers (and tourists) with its colourful “Dome of Light” – that looks like the inside of a spaceship (Ed.). This is the largest glass work in the world designed by Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata. Its dimensions are impressive: 4,500 glass panels for a total diameter of 30 metres and a covered area of 2,180 square metres.
11. BUND SIGHTSEEING TUNNEL: Shanghai, China.
This is not just a metro station, it’s also an attraction for all the tourists who are going to “The Bund” (or Waitan), a waterfront area in central Shanghai, and to “The Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower”.
Beyond the train, what leaves people astonished – and amazed – are the special multimedia effects that provide a memorable experience. The vision for anyone is mesmerizing thanks to the completely transparent train compartments that allow a 360 degrees view. And if it’s not enough for you to get thrilled, the trip is enriched with a six channel surround system with different sound effects based on the changing scenery. This 646.7 metres tunnel offers a good fun during a 3-5 minutes ride.
From Italy to China, if you have the chance to do the biggest travel in your life, take the occasion to visit each of these subway stations for a memorable experience and a journey around the world.
Have you already been in some of this metro stations? Feel free to share your pictures and experience by commenting below.