The 20 most beautiful metro stations around the world

Not every metro station is as putrid as New York City's subway platforms.

Some public transportation stations are designed as stunning spaces, full of breathtaking murals and incredible light projections.

We've put together a collection of the most awe-striking metro stations around the globe, from the Formosa Boulevard Station of Kaohsiung, Taiwan to the chandelier-filled Komsomolskaya in Moscow, Russia.

Keep scrolling to check out the stations, which make commuters journeys anything but boring.

Most stunning metro stations around the world
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Most stunning metro stations around the world

Inside the Formosa Boulevard Station of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, is a 4,500-panel glass artwork by Narcissus Quangliata that is said to be the largest glasswork in the world. Thanks to the stunning kaleidoscope effects of the piece, the area has actually been proposed as a venue for weddings.

Source: CNN Travel

(Photo by Pai-Shih Lee via Getty Images)

Nature continues inside the Central Park Station — also in Kaohsiung, Taiwan — designed by British architect Richard Rogers. Grass and artificial flowers line the stairs and escalators, which lead down to the platforms.

(Photo via Getty Images)

A man arranges flower decorations at the Central Park subway station in Kaohsiung March 7, 2008. Kaohsiung, Taiwan's major port city, will open its first subway line next week, jumpstarting the service sector in an urban sprawl so congested that some would-be consumers refuse to cross town, officials said on Thursday. (REUTERS/Pichi Chuang)

The Toledo station in Naples, Italy, also stands as a stunning wonderland thanks to the artwork of Robert Wilson, called “Light Panels,” that illuminates the station corridor. With a depth of 164 feet, it’s one of the deepest stations in Naples.

Source: CNN Travel

(Photo via Getty Images)

Look up at the stunning ceiling of Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal, perhaps the most beautiful station in NYC. It holds the Guinness World Record for the largest railway station by number of platforms with a whopping total of 44 and a secret one that is said to be below the Waldorf Astoria.

See what it's like inside the secret tunnel >

Source: Guinness World Records

(Photo by Doug Armand via Getty Images)

The Komsomolskaya Station in Moscow, Russia, is a Neoclassical-inspired station designed by Dmitry Chechulin. Inside are chandeliers and ceilings that resemble those found in grand ballrooms and mosaics inspired by a famous wartime speech given by Stalin.

Source: CNN Travel

(Photo via Getty Images)

Get lost in the imaginary world of Jules Verne at the Arts Et Métiers Station in Paris, France, which was designed by comic artist François Schuiten and includes copper walls lined with submarine-style windows and giant gears that hang from the ceiling.

Source: Metro Paris

(Photo via Getty Images)

Dubai is known for its opulence, and its Khalid Bin Al Waleed Station is no exception. Massive chandeliers in the shapes of glowing jellyfish dangle from its ceilings to cast a blue glow over the station, which also holds images of traditional pearl divers.

Source: CNN Travel

(Photo by Alan Copson via Getty Images)

The Wesfriedhof Station in Munich, Germany, was designed by Ingo Mauer and includes 11 large concave lamps that fill the space with captivating lights.

Source: Huffington Post

(Photo by Cherrys Picks via Getty Images)

The Atocha Train Station in Madrid, Spain, is the city’s largest and includes steel and glass construction blended with tropical gardens throughout its concourse. While waiting for your train or subway, view the station’s display of sculptures.

Source: Rail Europe

(Photo by Glenn Van Der Knijff via Getty Images)

Over 90 of the subway stations in Stockholm, Sweden, have been decorated with sculptures, mosaics, paintings, and installations by artists. One of them is the Stadion station, which was decorated by artists Enno Hallek and Ake Pallarp and includes a vibrant rainbow painting that lines the arches.

Source: The GuardianStockhom Business Region

(Photo by David Williams via Getty Images)

Here's another cave-like station in Stockholm called Rådhuset, which is painted a deep red. Dramatically lit, the station features exposed bedrock.

Source: National Geographic

(Photo by Leonid Andronov via Getty Images)

Stockholm is also home to the Kungsträdgården metro station, which houses the relics of the old Stockholm Makalös palace and hosts an impressive industrial-looking design.

Source: Stockholm Business Region

(Photo by Christian Aslund via Getty Images)

Finally in Stockholm, there’s the T-Centralen station, which might not look like anything out of the ordinary from the outside, but once you step inside you’ll come across bright blue and white cave-like platforms that transform the space.

(Photo via Getty Images)

Thousands of tiles make up the walls of Budapest, Hungary's Sznet Gellert Square Station, designed by Spora Architects and artist Tamás Komoroczky. The intricate mosaic forms arches inside the station's hallowed halls.

(Photo by Varius (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons)

The Avtovo metro station in Saint Petersburg, Russia, is lined with chandeliers located at the center of the walking areas and on the station platforms, ornaments decorated with Laurel branches, marble columns, stately mosaics, and historical memorials.

Source: Travel + Leisure

(Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Park Pobedy Station in Moscow, Russia, is also stunning with its stained glass, floor-to-ceiling marble structures, cavernous ceilings, and some of the longest escalators in Europe, each stretching 413 feet.

Source: Thrillist

(Photo via Getty Images)

The Zoloti Vorota in Kiev, Ukraine, was created through a series of artists who filled the station with intricate mosaics along its columns and surfaces. It also hosts chandeliers with candle-shaped lighting to create an elegant space.

Source: Complex

(Photo by Neal Walker via Getty Images)

Albeit being a tourist attraction rather than a station, the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel in Shanghai, China, takes passengers though an underground ride underneath the Huangpu River and includes amazing audio-visual effects.

Source: Time Out Shanghai

(Photo via Getty Images)

The entrance of the Palais Royal at the Musee du Louvre in Paris, France, is adorned with the artwork of Jean-Michel Othoniel, which intertwines colored beads to form a beautiful design.

Source: CNN Travel

(Photo by Atlantide Phototravel via Getty Images)

The Mayakovskaya metro station in Moscow, Russia, is considered to be one of the most beautiful. The station is decorated with marble, stainless steel, and lamps hidden inside oval niches on the ceiling with small panels designed by artist Aleksandr Deyneka.

Source: Daily Mail, Moscow Russia's Insider Guide

(Photo by Chan Srithaweeporn via Getty Images)


Talia Avakian contributed to a previous version of this story.


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