Subway stations are often sordid spots, the dark, dank portals into a city’s underbelly. If you are in Moscow, however, that couldn’t be further from the case.
The Russian city’s metro stations are architectural stunners, perhaps even the most beautiful in the world. The stations are so exquisite, they look like luxurious great halls rather than entrances into an underground transportation network.
Every single station is different. Colorful mosaics and stained-glass windows adorn the walls of some, while glowing chandeliers dangle from the ceilings of others. Each one is like its own mini gallery, waiting to entice the more than 2.4 billion passengers who use the subway system each year.
The stations’ glamorous architecture has a deeper purpose than just aesthetic pleasure. It serves as a sort of propaganda for the socialist system. Socialist symbols like the sickle and hammer pepper the designs within some of the stations. Statues and images of socialist figures abound. Originally, the metro stations also served as showcases of socialist realist art.
Know Before You Go
The above address and coordinates are for the Komsomolskaya station, but the beautiful metro stations are found all over Moscow. Some of the other most impressive are Kiyevskaya, Novoslobodskaya and Taganskaya stations. A metro ticket costs just $1 for a trip of any length. So if you don't leave the stations you can spend a whole day train hopping and being wowed by the amazing stations. Trains go every two to three minutes. It can be busy during weekends and peak travel times.