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The 10 most beautiful train stations in the world


From New York to Porto via London and Istanbul, our world tour of the most impressive stations. No need to take a train to travel: with our selection of the most beautiful stations in the world, a change of scenery is guaranteed on the platforms. From central London to the borders of New Zealand via Portugal, Turkey and India, these 10 stations are distinguished by their unique architecture and historical anecdotes. Read alsoWhere to go on a weekend by train? Our 50 destinations in Europe

No need to take a train to travel: with our selection of the most beautiful stations in the world, a change of scenery is guaranteed on the platforms.

From central London to the borders of New Zealand via Portugal, Turkey and India, these 10 stations are distinguished by their unique architecture and historical anecdotes.

Read alsoWhere to go on a weekend by train?

Our 50 destinations in Europe

1. St. Pancras Station in London, United Kingdom: the most Victorian

St. Pancras Station took 20 years to build.


Inaugurated in 1868, Saint-Pancras station has a neo-Gothic style typical of the Victorian era.

The brick facade is dominated by a clock worthy of Big Ben.

The main hall impresses with its scale: the structure, designed by engineer William Henry Barlow, was a real technical feat at the time.

Since 2007, St Pancras has taken over from Waterloo as the UK terminus for Eurostar trains.

  • The detail to see

On the floor of the main hall, impossible to miss the huge statue representing the reunion of a couple.

This romantic sculpture, 9 meters high, was created by Paul Day.

Read alsoTwo days in London, full of energy in the English capital

2. Antwerp-Central Station, Belgium: the most royal

The architect of Antwerp station, Louis de la Censerie, was inspired by the old Lucerne station and the Pantheon in Rome.

CEphoto - Uwe Aranas

Built from 1895 to 1905 at the request of King Leopold II, Antwerp-Central station has earned the nickname of "rail cathedral".

This monumental ensemble of stone, marble and glass is surmounted by a dome which reaches 75 meters in height.

This former terminus underwent major work from 1998 to 2007 to allow TGVs to continue to Brussels, Paris or Amsterdam, via a tunnel dug under the station.

The bright new spaces fit perfectly with the Art Nouveau style of the historic building.

  • The detail to see

A little everywhere in the station, you will spot the monogram of King Leopold II, two "L" back to back.

Read alsoTwo days in Antwerp, a Belgian getaway to the sea mists

3. Napoli Afragola station in Naples, Italy: the most futuristic

Napoli Afragola station is 12 km north of Naples, with Vesuvius in the background.

Fabrizio Pivari

Napoli Afragola station looks like it came out of an episode of Star Wars!

This explosive ensemble looks like a bridge that winds 450 meters long above the tracks of the high-speed line that connects Naples to Turin.

A railway madness imagined by the famous Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid in 2003, with the idea of ​​staging a lava flow from nearby Vesuvius.

The station finally opened in 2017, a year after his death.

  • The detail to see

The fully glazed roof of the Naples station offers a warm atmosphere, bathing the passageways in natural light.

Read alsoWhat to see, what to do in Naples: the essentials

4. Madrid-Atocha station, Spain: the most exotic

Madrid-Atocha station was rebuilt from 1888 to 1892 following a fire.

Jean-Pierre Dalbera

Opened in 1851, the largest station in Spain has been constantly modified.

In 1992, on the occasion of the reorganization of the station for the arrival of high-speed trains, the architect Rafael Moneo added a touch of exoticism by creating a tropical garden in the very heart of the historic hall.

This surprising jungle is home to more than 7,000 plants of 400 different species: palm trees, coconut trees, banana trees and even coffee trees.

You will even come across carnivorous plants!

  • The detail to see

150 meters long, the glazed canopy of the main hall of Madrid-Atocha station is supported by a massive iron structure.

A realization of the architect Alberto Palacio, a pupil of Gustave Eiffel.

Read alsoWhat to see, what to do in Madrid: the essentials

5. São Bento station in Porto, Portugal: the most colorful

São Bento station was inaugurated in October 1916. Ingolf

Seen from the outside, the small São Bento station looks like a Parisian station.

Change of decor inside: the hall displays more than 20,000 azulejos depicting the great moments of medieval Portuguese history.

Alongside the capture of Ceuta and the battle of Arcos de Valdevez, more bucolic paintings evoke the rhythm of the seasons and work in the fields.

A masterpiece !

  • The detail to see

In the Salle des Pas Perdus, the large blue azulejos would almost eclipse the colorful frieze that recounts the evolution of means of transport in Portugal.

Read alsoWhat to see, what to do in Porto: our must-sees

6. Sirkeci Station in Istanbul, Turkey: Easternmost

Sirkeci Station is now just a stop on the Marmaray Line, a commuter train line connecting the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.

Luxury Train Club

If you liked Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, you'll love Istanbul's Sirkeci Station!

This station, built in 1890 at the foot of Topkapi Palace, was the eastern terminus of the Orient-Express line until 1977. The building was designed by the Berlin architect August Jachmund, in a style combining Art Nouveau and oriental ornaments.

To relive the golden age of the station, book your table at the Orient-Express restaurant, in the main hall.

A journey through time !

  • The detail to see

Outside the station, on the right side, admire the old 1874 locomotive from the Munich manufacturer Krauss & Co.

7. Grand Central Terminal in New York, USA: the most heavenly

Large American flags adorn the main concourse of Grand Central Station.

Alex Lopez/NYC & Company

Since the reconstruction of Penn Station in 1964, Grand Central Station is no longer New York's main station, being confined to commuter train traffic.

It is nonetheless the most popular tourist destination in New York.

The 1913 building boasts masterful Beaux-Arts style architecture, combining marble and granite.

The main hall attracts all eyes, with a ceiling stamped with constellations and more than 2500 stars.

A dreamlike creation by French artist Paul César Helleu.

  • The detail to see

An invaluable four-sided opal clock sits in the center of the main hall.

Read alsoTen of the most iconic hotels in New York

8. Maputo station, Mozambique: the most anachronistic

The facade of Maputo station is topped with a large copper dome.


Maputo Station tells the story of Mozambique's Portuguese colonial past.

The plans were drawn by architects Mario Veiga and Alfredo Augusto Lisboa de Lima, in the Beaux-Arts style.

And the building was inaugurated in 1910 by the Governor General at the time.

The station is still in service.

Since 2015, it has also housed the Museo dos CFM, a museum dedicated to the railways in Mozambique.

We discover in particular old steam locomotives.

  • The detail to see

The passageways on the first floor served as the setting for the film Blood Diamond, with Leonardo DiCaprio.

The station camps a hotel in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

9. Chhatrapati Shivaji station in Bombay, India: the most monumental

More than 3 million travelers use the platforms of Chhatrapati Shivaji Station every day.

Anoop Ravi

Bombay's main station has been, since 2004, the only station in the world listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The imposing building was inaugurated in 1887 under the name of Victoria Terminus.

A tribute to the British queen who was then celebrating her 50th anniversary of reign.

The plan designed by the architect Frederick W. Stevens constitutes an astonishing confrontation of styles and eras, between Victorian neo-Gothic building, Italian influences and Indian cultural heritage.

  • The detail to see

The building is surmounted by a stone dome and decorated with several turrets inspired by the palaces of the Maharajas.

Read alsoTravel to Jaipur, celestial mirror of India

10. Dunedin Railway Station in Dunedin, New Zealand: the finest

The terracotta shingles that cover the roof of Dunedin station come from... Marseille!

Diego Delso

In the very south of New Zealand, Dunedin station is a station at the end of the world.

This 1906 station is nicknamed “the gingerbread house” by the locals, because of its incongruous architecture inspired by the Flemish Renaissance and its facade combining black basalt and limestone.

Inside, the main hall is lavishly decorated, with a floor covered in 750,000 mosaics displaying a locomotive and the old New Zealand Railways logo.

  • The detail to see

In the main hall, a porcelain frieze from the English manufacturer Royal Doulton runs the full length of the balcony.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-07

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