Trains have always held a special place in our hearts, not only as a means of transportation but also as symbols of adventure and romance. Train stations, in particular, are often architectural masterpieces that showcase the perfect blend of history, culture, and art. With each station boasting its unique charm, we've put together an ultimate guide to the world's 16 most beautiful and scenic train stations. So, sit back and get ready to embark on a journey through these stunning destinations, as we explore their fascinating histories and the best times to visit.
#1 Antwerp Central Station (Antwerp, Belgium)
Antwerp Central Station, often called the "Railway Cathedral," is a perfect blend of Gothic, Neo-Renaissance, and Art Nouveau architecture. Opened in 1905, this grand train station is adorned with a massive iron and glass dome. The station is still operational with trains running regularly.
Best time to visit Antwerp: April to October.
#2 São Bento Railway Station (Porto, Portugal)
São Bento Railway Station is renowned for its intricate, hand-painted blue and white azulejo tilework depicting Portugal's history. Opened in 1916, it is a living art gallery that leaves visitors in awe. The station is fully functional with trains running daily.
Best time to visit Porto: March to October.
#3 St. Pancras International (London, England)
St. Pancras International is an iconic, Victorian-era station boasting stunning Gothic Revival architecture. Opened in 1868, it has been a symbol of London's railway history and now serves as a gateway to Europe. The station has running trains, including high-speed Eurostar services.
Best time to visit London: March to May, September to November.
#4 Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (Mumbai, India)
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an architectural marvel combining Victorian Gothic Revival and traditional Indian styles. Opened in 1887, it is a symbol of India's colonial past and bustling present. The station remains one of India's busiest with numerous trains running daily.
Best time to visit Mumbai: October to March.
#5 Grand Central Terminal (New York City, USA)
Grand Central Terminal, a Beaux-Arts masterpiece, opened in 1913 and is an iconic symbol of NYC's grandiosity. With its celestial ceiling and opulent chandeliers, it's a must-see. The station is fully operational, serving both commuter and intercity trains.
Best time to visit NYC: April to June, September to November.
#6 Kanazawa Station (Kanazawa, Japan)
Kanazawa Station is a modern architectural wonder, seamlessly blending traditional Japanese aesthetics with contemporary design. Opened in 1898 and revamped in 2005, it features a striking wooden Tsuzumi Gate. The station is still operational with regular train services.
Best time to visit Kanazawa: March to May, October to November.
#7 Gare du Nord (Paris, France)
Gare du Nord, opened in 1864, is a masterpiece of French Beaux-Arts architecture with elegant sculptures and intricate detailing. As Europe's busiest station, it serves as a gateway to the City of Lights. The station is fully functional with trains, including high-speed Eurostar services.
Best time to visit Paris: April to June, October to early November.
#8 Sirkeci Station (Istanbul, Turkey)
Sirkeci Station, opened in 1890, was once the final stop on the famous Orient Express. Its ornate Orientalist and Art Nouveau architecture reflects Istanbul's rich history and diverse culture. The station is currently a transport museum, but nearby tracks still serve trains.
Best time to visit Istanbul: April to May, September to November.
#9 Helsinki Central Station (Helsinki, Finland)
Designed by renowned Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, Helsinki Central Station opened in 1919 and features Art Nouveau and National Romantic styles. Its distinctive clock tower and granite statues are must-sees. The station is fully operational with trains running regularly.
Best time to visit Helsinki: May to September.
#10 Atocha Station (Madrid, Spain)
Atocha Station is a unique blend of old and new, with its original 19th-century façade and modern, expansive greenhouse-style concourse. Opened in 1851, it serves as a vital hub for Spain's high-speed trains. The station is fully operational with trains running daily.
Best time to visit Madrid: March to May, October to November.
#11 Maputo Railway Station (Maputo, Mozambique)
Maputo Railway Station, a Beaux-Arts gem, opened in 1916 and is often considered one of Africa's most beautiful train stations. Its mint-green façade, wrought-iron latticework, and marble pillars are truly stunning. The station is still in use, with trains running regularly.
Best time to visit Maputo: April to October.
#12 Amsterdam Centraal (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Amsterdam Centraal, a Neo-Renaissance marvel, opened in 1889 and showcases the Dutch architectural prowess of P.J.H. Cuypers. With its red brick façade, ornate towers, and stunning clock, it's an iconic landmark. The station is fully operational, serving both domestic and international trains.
Best time to visit Amsterdam: April to May, September to November.
#13 Union Station (Los Angeles, USA)
Union Station, a Mission Revival and Art Deco masterpiece, opened in 1939 and remains an essential part of Los Angeles' history. Its iconic tiled waiting room and lush courtyards make it a must-visit. The station is fully operational with trains running daily.
Best time to visit Los Angels: March to May, September to November.
#14 Flinders Street Station(Melbourne, Australia)
Flinders Street Station, an iconic symbol of Melbourne, opened in 1854 and features a distinctive Victorian-era design. Its yellow façade, green copper dome, and famous clocks are instantly recognizable. The station remains a central hub for Melbourne's train network.
Best time to visit Melbourne: March to May, September to November.: March to May, September to November.
#15 Milano Centrale (Milan, Italy)
Milano Centrale, opened in 1931, is an architectural masterpiece that combines Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Liberty styles. Its majestic façade, adorned with sculptures and mosaics, makes it one of Italy's grandest stations. The station is fully operational, serving both domestic and international trains.