I have been to some of the most beautiful metro stations in the world. Europe definitely has the best, followed by Asia. The US is a distant LAST!
Syntagma metro station, Athens, Greece
A transfer point between Athens Metro lines 1 and 2, Syntagma is not your average station. Considering the city’s illustrious history, it maybe won’t come as a surprise that the station is part museum. Located beneath the Syntagma Square, there are many antiquities on display at the station that were found during the construction. Aside from the ancient artifacts, there are also works from many contemporary Greek artists. The problem? It is a major transfer point, and everybody is running around like a Greek chicken with its head cut off!
Szent Gellért tér Station, Budapest, Hungary
Authorities don’t always need to spend a lot of money on lavish materials to make a metro station spectacular and this station in Budapest is proof. Minimal effort has resulted in maximum impact in the station’s halls where the wall tiles are used to create intricate mosaics. I was too busy looking for the beer hall!
Olaias, Lisbon, PortugalBuilt in honor of the 1998 World Expo, this station still features art installations by four Portuguese artists. Its combination of bright, bold and in-your-face colors and Brutalist architecture is really rather unusual. I don’t recall much about it.
Komsomolskaya, Moscow metro, Russia
Moscow’s metro system, opened in 1935, is a collection of incredibly ornate stations that look much more like regal palaces or cathedrals rather than commuter hubs. Most, like Komsomolskaya, were built during Stalin’s reign and are meant to represent the wealth and power of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party. This is probably the most beautiful metro station in the world!!! I must have spent half an hour here, even though the metro trains arrive every SIX minutes!
Museum station, Toronto, Canada
Servicing the Royal Ontario Museum is the Museum station – a modern yet understated station, decorated in the shades of gray and brown. That is until you look at the columns. Depicting artifacts you can find in the museum, you’ll see everything from First Nations house posts to ancient Egyptian deities. Toronto is a very underrated city!
Mayakovskaya, Moscow metro, Russia
Others, like this station in central Moscow, were simply designed to show off. Mayakovskaya is a great example of pre-Second World War Stalinist architecture and is a nod to the Russian Futurist movement and one of its central figures Vladimir Mayakovsky. At least Pooh-tin cannot take credit for building these fine stations.
I can’t help but be impressed by the Moscow Metro stations. That’s me in one of the main Moscow Metro stations in 2014. They make BART look like a ghetto!
BTW, Jonathan on “The Road Less Traveled” featured the Moscow Metro on his show this week!