Usually, I don’t think of subways as being cool – or safe, for that matter. However, I’m willing to admit that there might be some exceptions out there, and here they are on this list of 10 coolest subways in the world. Who knew, right? Why drive a car when you could ride these awesome tubes?
10. Pyongyang Metro
North Korea isn’t really described as being open-minded or cool, but these guys have dug down 360 feet, further into the ground than anyone else, and built this train back in 1965. The Pyongang Metro features ornate architecture, mural walls, and probably some dirty government secrets. It also doubles as a nuclear bunker, and that makes it even cooler – dying in style, that is.
9. Madrid Metro
Aside from the giant murals of outdoor scenes, travelers will also enjoy those incredible pillars that will probably get them lost. If things weren’t difficult enough, the Madrid Metro is huge; public events and even festivals are held there. One station even includes an archaeological museum.
8. Hong Kong, MTR
Driverless trains is what’s all about in Hong Kong; well, that and full 3G phone coverage while underground, free WiFi service, tv monitors, and a co-ed Jacuzzi. Jacuzzi! The trains here have dedicated wheelchair space, platform screen doors as well as floor tiles on the platforms to aid blind people in safely getting to their destination. Now that’s awesome!
7. Shanghai Metro
Shanghai is famous for a lot of things, but I had no idea its subways was worth the attention. The Maglev is the quickest subway train on the planet, as it runs along above its tracks and reduces friction. It can supposedly reach 300 mph, which means you can barely sit down between stations.Shanghai is also home to the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, which runs under the Huangpu River. Looking like something coming out of a 1970s TV screen, I’m sure you’ll love it there!
6. Buenos Aires, Subte
This subway system uses art to create this incredible underground museum in the Subte, in Buenos Aires. But this isn’t exactly high-tech, although recently WiFi was installed; the stained glass windows, wall paintings, and sculptures depicting Argentina’s history are simply marvelous. As proof, some of the stations have even been declared national landmarks.
5. Kaohsiung MRT
The Dome of Light at the Formosa Boulevard Station on Kaohsiung’s Mass Rapit Transit System in Taiwan is the world’s largest public art installation and probably one of the greatest creations based on human imagination. Constructed out of thousands of colored glass pieces by artist Narcissus Quagliata, the ceiling tells the story of human life. I’m guessing it’s a bit dangerous to e looking upwards while walking towards the subway, right?
4. New York Subway
There’s no better place to be enjoying a hot dog than New York. But aside from rats and such, the City Hall Station stop is bloody marvelous. It’s been closed since 1945, but it seems that if you stay on the 6 train after the last stop, the train will turn around at the City Hall Station loop, so try it; you never know.
3. Prague Metro
The Prague subway is a true example that geometry can be fun and beautiful. The resulting optical illusions are beautiful, but can get a bit confusing. However, I think this subway is worth them 30 minutes spent getting back on track, so to speak.
2. Dubai Metro
I didn’t actually think they’d have a subway in Dubai. It features an underwater look, with ceilings dripping with jelly fish, but that’s not all; this high-tech subway is modern and intriguing, while remaining practical. And that’s awesome.
1. London, The Tube
Last, but not least, the best of the best: the London Tube. It’s the oldest, the grandaddy of subway systems, but it’s quiet, has cushioned seats, and fits ever so snugly inside the tunnel. Moving along from the sexual innuendo, there’s something exciting about seeing a legend, right? But legends can be dangerous, so mind the gap.