For most people who live in a large city, we don’t pay too much attention to the stops along our underground commute. Learning how to maneuver in a new city while spaces, however, can be an interesting experience depending where you are. Most stations serve the simple function of allowing access to the train system; connecting a large metropolitan centre like underground veins. Some stations are designed to reflect a mood, culture, nature, works of art & everything in between, to provide everyday a chance to break up the monotony of their commute, and occasional passengers a peek into the heart of the city. So take a few extra moments before switching trains, and read our rundown of some of the world’s coolest subway stations.
Where: Toronto, Canada
This downtown stop is reflective of the Royal Ontario Museum directly above it, and is fitted with art inspired by ancient civilizations. While lines of hieroglyphics adorn the walls; large, detailed structures reminiscent of ancient Egyptian, Mayan and Indigenous art and tombs serve as the load-bearing columns.
Toledo Metro Station
Where: Naples, Italy
As one of the city’s “art stations”, Toledo’s walls, cielings and other surfaces are covered with small blue and white tiles; creating a textured and interesting mosaic that feels like you’re a part of it instead of just looking at it.
Khalid Bin Al Waleed Station
Where: Dubai, UAE
Blurring the lines between being underground and underwater, this station reflects the city’s historic roots as well as their modern design. Depicting the four elements of nature (water, air, earth, fire), oversized jellyfish-shaped chandeliers hang between escalators while blue, wave shaped lighting cover the lower levels.
Where: St Petersburg, Russia
This extravagent station is one of many like it on this metro line. Opulent architecture, detailing and lighting create the luxurious space within this busy station.
Formosa Boulevard Station
Where: Kaohsiung, Taiwan
This busy station boasts a large art installation called The Dome Of Life, created from individual pieces of colourful stained glass. It depicts the cyclical nature of life and is the largest installation of its kind.
If you plan to rely on public transportation during your travels, make sure you choose a hotel that’s easily transit accessible and try to familiarize yourself with the system before you go. And with stations like these, don’t forget to explore a few before heading back above ground!