Traveling around Europe can’t be memorable without getting to the right places, in the best means possible. Trains are not just famous, they are common to every European country you can step your feet on. Not only built for the sake of it but European railway stations are creatively and distinctively crafted in the name of art and passion. With the finest architecture and richest history combined, here are ten of travelers’ top picks for station destinations.
Antwerp Central Station (Belgium)
For a country of fine architecture and vast kinds of talents, Belgium shows it all through its 107 year-old train station. This station once became a venue for a flash mob to perform a version of Sound of Music’s Do Re Mi, advertising a new Belgian TV show in 2009. It displayed the Belgian greatness both in performing arts and architecture, and getting it a spot in US magazine Newsweek’s list of world’s greatest train stations. The Antwerp Central Station definitely deserves its spot in the top ten.
Gare du Nord (Paris France)
Located in the city of love, Gare du Nord, became Europes busiest railway station. For around 150 years now, the station designed by French architect Jaques Hittorff serves 190 million annual travelers. The station is also popularly mentioned and used from local French books to Hollywood movies including The Da Vinci Code, The Bourne Identity, Ocean’s Twelve and Mr Bean’s Holiday.
Atocha train station (Madrid Spain)
Springing out from 1889’s inaugural building, Madrid’s major transport hub was refashioned by architect Rafael Moneo, into his calming vision of palm trees, exotic plants and turtle ponds. Cafés and other establishments, accompanied by an extraordinary 4,000 square meter tropical garden replaced the original building and makes passengers enjoy their travel. In commemoration of the 2004 Madrid train bombings, in Atocha station also stands an 11 meter tall tower with messages of condolences to the victims of the said bombing.
Leipzig Central Station (Leipzig, Germany)
This train station is a large part of Germany because it has been serving the country for years. Leipzig Central Station survived the World War II. Europe’s largest railway station in the heart of Germany is a place of history and is worth a hop off your train. With its 24 platforms within 83,460 m² floor area and 293 metre-long façade, no wonder it can serve 100,000 daily, heavy passengers.
Rossio Railway Station (Lisbon, Portugal)
No one can blame anyone for frequently mistaking this station for a palace or theatre. With its romantic inspired façade designed by architect José Luís Monteiro, the 125 year old station is considered one of the greatest works of Portuguese engineering in the 19th century. located in Lisbon’s Rossio Square, Trains get to the station through a 2,600 metre-long tunnel, exhumed under the city.
Copenhagen Central Station (Denmark)
Opening in the time of his royalty, King Christian X, Copenhagen Central Station invited over 800 VIPs just to witness the magnificent event. The station served as a place for meeting lovers through all the decades. This romantically inspired station designed by architect Hendrich Wenck stand next to the city’s popular Tivoli Gardens and amusement park.
Central Station (Helsinki, Finland)
With the Kivimiehet (The Stone Men in Finnish), greeting you at the entrance, you know you are in Finland. This distinctive feature adds up to the station’s award winning design of local granite construction by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen. The station also includes a private waiting lounge for Finland’s President and official guests, increasing the high class ambience of the place. Moreover, the services are top of the line and the crew is very accommodating.
Liège -Guillemins TGV Station (Belgium)
Another Belgian pride is Spanish architects’ Santiago Calatrava’s Liège-Guillemins TGV Station. 13 years in the making, the station succeeded to exhibit the sleek futuristic design with the 32 meter high arch in glass and white concrete construction and concurrently serve 36,000 daily passengers riding to Brussels, Paris, Aachen, Cologne and Frankfurt. People can clearly see the 13 years of hard work and tourists say that this train station is a work of art.
Central Station, Amsterdam (Holland)
Though controversial at the time it first opened, Amsterdam’s Central station continued to server its daily 250,000 passengers catering 1500 trains everday. Cutting the Dutch capital from its own waterfront, the station stands on three manmade islands with over 8600 supporting wooden piles. Neo-gothic church architect PJH Cypurs designed this station, making it the country’s symbol of rejuvenation.
Zagreb Central Station (Croatia)
Built in just two years, this station spans a colossal 186.5 meters long making it Croatia’s largest station. Designed by Hungarian architect Ferenc Pfaff, the station serves rides to cities Vienna, Budapest, Zurich, Munich, Salzburg, Ljubljana, Sarajevo and Belgrade for over 120 years, now with its signature high speed tilting trains.
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