10 of the World's Most Interesting Subway Stations

Toledo station, in Naples, Italy, is world-renowned for its unique appearance. Editorial credit: luckyraccoon / Shutterstock.com.
Toledo station, in Naples, Italy, is world-renowned for its unique appearance. Editorial credit: luckyraccoon / Shutterstock.com.

Amazing stations dedicated to public transportation can be found all over the world. A subway (or metro) station is considered interesting either by its efficiency or by its beautiful architectural designs and art work. These subways not only offer transport from one point to another but in some cases, also qualify as a tourist attraction. They improve the aesthetic value of the town or city in which they are built. In no particular order, here is a list of some of the most interesting subway stations across the globe.

10. Paris - Arts et Metiers

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Paris' Arts et Metiers was opened on October 19, 1904. It serves line 3 and line 11 of the Paris Metro. It was named after the museum, Musée des Arts et Métiers, which is served by the station. The lead designer, Francois Schuiten claims to have gotten his inspiration from the science fiction works of Jules Verne. The interior designs have copper finishing, portholes, and wheels which are suspended from the upper part of the tunnel. The seats and the bins too have a copper finishing. There is subdued lighting system that makes the subway station even more alluring.

9. Kiev - Zoloti Vorota

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Zoloti Vorota station serves the Kiev Metro Station in Ukraine. Although it may not be the most elaborately designed station on this list, there is an understated beauty to its aesthetic. Inspired by Kievan Rus’ Temple, the station was opened on December 31, 1989. There are mosaic works that are embedded on several points of the station. In 2011, the station's mosaics were listed as "newly discovered objects of cultural heritage" by the city's Department of Cultural Heritage.

8. Naples - Toledo

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The underground Toledo Metro Station is famous for its beautiful architecture and art. The station is located 50 meters deep underground. It won the 2013 LEAF awards as the "Public Building of the Year". The subway station is built along the main shopping street of Naples, an added advantage to its efficiency. It was designed by a Spanish firm, Oscar Tusquets Blanca. The themes used to design the stations are water and light themes. Apart from the intriguing design of the walls, there are a lot of artworks from different artists. In the corridors of the station, there are mosaic works of William Kentridge.

7. Saint Petersburg - Avtovo

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Avtovo underground subway station was opened on November 15, 1955. It is located near the town center of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is situated 12 meters below the ground and is notable for its ornate decorative features and crystal chandeliers, which hang from the ceiling. The intriguing marble finishing of the tunnel makes its appearance even more beautiful.

6. Stockholm - Stadion Station

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Stadion Metro station was opened in 1973. It is located at the site of the city’s former Olympic stadium which was hosted the 1922 Stockholm Games, on the red line of the Stockholm Metro. This impressive underground subway station is characterized by several unique features. The walls of the tunnel are very colorful. There are several themes used in different parts of the subway station to decorate it. The finishing is at some point is rugged, giving the subway station a cave-like look and an ancient feel.

5. Moscow- Prospekt Mira

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Prospekt Mira was opened on January 30, 1952 as part of the second stage of Moscow’s Metro Koltsevaya Line. It is surrounded by numerous attractive sites. Besides the sites, its architectural design is simply on another level. The pylons were designed by Vladimir Gelfreykh and Mikhail Minkus and are finished with flared white marble which are topped with ceramic bas-relief made of a frieze with floral patterns. The general finishing of the walls are dark red natural marble. The floor has black and gray chessboard pattern. There are several chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and artworks and sculptures stationed at different points in the subway station, which gives the impression of a palace more than a piece of public transportation infratstructure.

4. Kaohsiung - Formosa Boulevard Station

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Formosa Boulevard Station is located in Sinsing district of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Formosa Boulevard Station was refurbished in 2009 in preparation for the 2009 World Games. The underground station is designed to appear like an island, with two platforms on its sides. It is notable for housing the largest glass work in the world. Formosa Boulevard Station was designed by Italian artist Narcissus Qualigliata. The station is so beautiful that it is sometimes hired out for wedding ceremonies!

3. Lisbon - Olaias Station

Olaias station is a subway station on the Red line of the Lisbon Metro in Lisbon, Portugal. It was designed by Tomas Taveira while the artwork was done by Pedro Cabrita Reis, Graca Pereira Coutinho, Pedro Calapez, and Rui Sanchez. The underground metro station opened on May 19, 1998. The finishing of the station, especially on the sides, the ceiling, and the floor makes it one of the most attractive public transit stations in the world. The colorful tiles and brightly colored glass are fixed on the sides and floor, giving it an eye-popping finish.

2. Stockholm - T-Centralen

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T-Centralen subway station has rugged finishing which brings out that cave-like look for which Sweden's Stockholm Metro is so pretty. It is the meeting point of the 3 Stockholm Metro lines. T-Centralen is the most used subway station in Stockholm, and was opened in 1957. However, the blue vines and flower motifs decorations were installed in 1975 when the metro station was being renovated.

1. Moscow - Arbatskaya

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Arbastskaya is a subway station on the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line of the Moscow Metro. It was built to replace the station that was destroyed in 1941 by a WWII bomb attack. The station was built deep and large in order to not only serve as a subway station but also as a shelter and a hiding place in case of a nuclear attack. It is situated 41 meters deep in the ground. The Arbatskaya station was designed by Leonid Polyakov, Valentin Pelevin, and Yury Zenkevich. The main tunnel is elliptical, not the usual circular design. It has square pylons with a red marble finishing. The ceiling is decorated with ornamental brackets, floral reliefs and patterns, and beautiful chandeliers to provide lighting.


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