Europe is home to some of the world’s most beautiful train stations, housed inside UNESCO-listed buildings and beneath modern glass rooftops. Most stations in Europe have staffed ticket offices and ticket machines which usually offer English-language instructions. It is best to purchase tickets online as far in advance as possible to have a greater choice of prices and travel times. European railways stations, particularly those in major cities, are often centrally located and are well served by public transport such as buses, trams, subway lines and taxi ranks situated nearby. Tourist offices and car rental companies tend to be in close proximity if not located within the station itself. Facilities vary, but larger stations can include restaurants, postal offices, tourist information offices, currency exchange services, ATMs, stores and luggage storage.
Trains in Europe form a major part of transportation with some of the biggest and busiest train stations in the world dotted around the European continent. Of the train stations in Europe, Paris Gare du Nord is the busiest, followed jointly by Hamburg and Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. Almost all the top 10 train stations in Europe all have more than 100 million passengers passing through their gates each year. A great deal of these major European Stations are major travel hubs for the whole of Europe.
|Station||Annual Passengers (Millions)||No. of Platforms|
|Paris Gare du Nord||190||36|
Designed by the famous Belgian architect Louis Delacenserie, Andwerp's Centraal station was completed in 1905. The terminals are constructed out of stone and support a vast dome above the station's waiting room. Antwerp Centraal is consistently voted one of the world's most beautiful train stations by various publications. In addition to intercity and local train lines, Thalys has provided high-speed train journeys from Antwerp Centraal to international destinations since 2007.
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Located in the 10th arrondissement, 'North Station' is one of Paris' six main train terminals used by France's national train company- SNCF. With more than 190 million travellers passing through its gates every year, Paris Gare du Nord is the busiest train station in Europe and the busiest in the world outside Japan. Paris Gare du Nord offers high-speed train service to Northern France and international destinations in the United Kingdom through Eurostar and the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium through Thalys. Additionally, Paris Gare du Nord provides links to several of Paris' metro lines allowing travellers to easily access the rest of the city.
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Budapest's Keleti railway station offers intercity and international train connections as well as access to the Budapest metro. Additionally, a line connecting Keleti station to Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport is being planned. Budapest Keleti is served by Railjet, EuroCity, EuroNight and Intercity train providers. Budapest Keleti features a unique combination of 19th-century eastern architecture and modern glass façade that compose one of Europe's most beautiful train stations.
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Madrid Atocha is the city's largest train station and offers international and intercity routes via Renfe national railway as well as subway transport within the city via the Madrid metro. The station's 13 platforms carry the large volume of passengers that pass through Madrid Atocha each day. Madrid Atocha's most notable architectural feature is the concourse's 4,000 m2 tropical garden, which is covered by a glass roof suspended between the station's brick buildings.
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Known as the 'Cathedral of Railways,' London's St. Pancras International combines regional, national and international train services. There are cross-city connections and trains to the Midlands and the North. Trains also run south to Gatwick Airport, Brighton and through the Channel Tunnel to continental Europe. Four sets of platforms, set out on two levels, carry the huge volume of passengers that pass through the station every day. St. Pancras is served by Eurostar, Southeastern, First Capital Connect and East Midland Trains. A unique feature of London St. Pancras is its bilingual signage written in both English and French.
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Amsterdam's Centraal train station is the Netherlands' most visited national heritage site as well as the second busiest train station in the country. Amsterdam Centraal provides service to regional, national and international destinations. As of December 2014, Amsterdam Centraal is served by 13 international train routes as well as 15 national train routes within the Netherlands. Additionally, the station's connection to the local Amsterdam Metro is expected to be completed by 2017.
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