(Photo: Jack Anstey on Unsplash)
Transportation is usually about one thing and one thing only-getting from point A to point B. That's why most people prefer to catch a nonstop flight to get where they're going as fast and safely as possible. Still, there's something nearly magical about traveling by train-especially when you can visit the most beautiful stations in the world.
The nostalgia for a more glamorous time that washes over you as you step onto a train can't be replicated in any other type of transportation. With some stations dating to the 19th century, architects constructed incredibly beautiful train stations that are still standing and functional today.
If you're looking for a new adventure, consider visiting these five stunning train stations around the world.
1. Jungfraujoch Station - Valais, Switzerland
Sitting approximately 11,000 feet above sea level, the Jungfraujoch Station is a railway station embedded in the mountains of the Bernese Alps. This gorgeous marvel of architecture didn't come easily. In fact, it took decades to determine how to make the vision come to life. Though the original plans were drawn up in 1893, it wasn't built until 1930.
For the most picture-perfect views in Switzerland and an exciting story, you can't miss this beautiful train station.
(Pro tip: For optimum visibility, check the live cam before visiting the mountain, as it can be difficult to predict the weather!)
2. El Chepe Train - Mexico
If you're looking for a train ride where you can kick back and relax, you need to know about the El Chepe train in Mexico. Known as one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world, the Chepe Express travels for more than nine hours across 220 miles. It departs from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, and goes as far as Creel, Chihuahua, a place known as a "Magical Town" for a reason.
You'll see a series of mind-blowing canyons, impressive bridges and tunnels, and expansive Mexican mountain landscapes on the way.
The railway is a feat of engineering that will not disappoint, and the traveling experience is what really makes this adventure shine. There are fine cuisine options and more luxurious accommodations aboard the El Chepe train.
3. Antwerp Centraal Station - Antwerp, Belgium
While Antwerp Centraal Station is truly an architectural and cultural marvel, one area within it stands out from the rest. The Antwerp Station's waiting hall is glorious and lavishly adorned with over 20 different types of stone and marble. It's far from ponderous, though, due to the soaring ceiling and natural light that pours through the skylights.
This station stands as a centralized hub for the inter-city connections of Antwerp. It's marked by many years of historical significance and aesthetically pleasing features. If you're looking for a classical, visually stunning train station to explore, this is the place.
4. St Pancras International - London, England
If Victorian architecture and engineering is more your style, then London's St Pancras International station is the place to visit. You can't deny its beauty. It opened in 1868, and at the time, it was the largest indoor space in the entire world. After surviving the Blitz's many bombing raids and the city planner's wrecking ball, it's safe to say that this train station is here to stay for a reason.
There are few landscapes more beautiful than the English countryside to witness by train, and this station is your perfect gateway to that experience.
5. Monterosso al Mare - Liguria, Italy
Competing for the title of most beautiful countryside to experience via the railway, we have the Liguria, Italy region. For excellent reason, the Cinque Terre train travel excursion is in the Hall of Fame. The adventure centers around the historic and stunning Monterosso al Mare station.
As the largest train station in Cinque Terre, Monterosso al Mare is in a breathtaking, picturesque location that everyone needs to see at least once in their lifetime.
Final Thoughts on Train Travel
If you've never experienced the excitement of exploring a new location through train travel, this is your sign to start. There's a different intimacy and glamor to the railway that sets it apart from everything else. Immersing yourself in beautiful train stations around the world is a bonus.
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