What happens when it isn’t practical or safe to drive when you travel? Intricate train systems are the arteries of many destinations, and they offer a fast and cost-effective way to get from point A to point B. Railways around the world have evolved over the years, thanks to advances in engineering and technology. We can imagine how exciting it must have been when trains made their debut and revolutionized travel forever.

That said, not all train systems are the cream of the crop. While Japan’s trains are renowned for their cleanliness and speed, New York City Transit (MTA), is challenged by a quickly growing population, and the stations aren’t always so clean. But New York benefits from having 24- hour train service, which is convenient for those late nights.

In no particular order, here are 10 destinations with advanced train systems.

1. New York


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by MTA (@mta)

Entering the New York City train system is like stepping into a new world. Your journey is bound to be eventful for one reason or the other. Native New Yorkers know this all too well, and visitors are often shocked.

Snacktime, Showtime, broken elevators or escalators, weekend construction, yep, great fun.

When the trains are running normally, you can zip from station to station in minutes. There are 472 train stations in total, making the MTA the largest public transportation system in the US.

There are two major rules for in and out of the subway. Be mindful of personal space and don’t stare. If you can remember those, you should be fine.

2. Paris


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by RATP Group (@ratp)

According to Introducing Paris, “the Métro underground system, which goes back to 1900, has 16 interconnected lines and is also linked to the RER express train.”

The 300 stations are littered across the city, but don’t expect 24-hour service. Usually, it closes around 1 or 2 AM, depending on the day.

You can purchase single journey passes or monthly travel cards (Paris Visite or Passe Navigo).

If you get lost, there are maps in all of the stations.

3. London


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by TfL (@transportforlondon)

You’ll hear Mind the Gap! many times on the London Tube, which is prudent advice.

You can purchase a day pass that allows you access to specific zones or purchase an Oyster Card, which you can add money to as needed.

Tube stations like Victoria and Waterloo are also connected to the National Rail Service. Use this service to venture outside of London.

4. Madrid


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Metro de Madrid (@metro_madrid)

Metro de Madrid is the seventh longest in the world, with 13 lines and 301 stations.

If you purchase a Multi Card, similar to the Metrocard or Oyster Card, everyone in your group can use it.

This is a great, affordable alternative to hailing cabs or Uber. But here again, you’ll need to be mindful of the hour. The Metro closes at 2 AM and doesn’t reopen until 6 AM.

5. Singapore


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by SMRT (@smrtsingapore)

Looking to bounce around Singapore with minimal stress? Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is your best bet. It’s efficient and shockingly clean.

According to Visit Singapore, if you purchase a Singapore Tourist Pass (STP) “it allows you unlimited travel for one day, two days or three days, for 10, 16 and 20 Singapore dollars.”

According to CNN, “everything about Singapore’s metro oozes ‘future’ — from the driverless trains to the platform doors that facilitate access to them, through the lack of noise familiar from older metro systems to the remarkable cleanliness throughout.”

6. Chicago

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), specifically its train system, is known as “The L,” which is short for “elevated.”

The “L” route consists of eight lines, designated by color.  You can pay as you go, or purchase a variety of passes depending on how often you plan to travel.

While you’re in the Chi, don’t forget to check out some Black-owned businesses, some of which we’ve listed here.

7. Japan


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Usman (@usmanbarlas)

Japanese culture prioritizes respect and punctuality, and this applies to their train system as well.

The high-speed trains, Shinkansen, have been in operation since the 1960s. They run at 320 km per hour, and connect Tokyo with other major cities.

Rides are usually quiet and all the seats are forward-facing.

Save money by purchasing the Japan Rail Pass which is, according to Japan Guide, only available to foreign tourists.

8. San Francisco


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by SFBART (@sfbayarearapidtransit)

Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, “connects the San Francisco Peninsula with communities in the East and South Bay.”

Among the busiest stations are Embarcadero and Montgomery.

As of February of this year, BART trains run until midnight all week.

Looking to support Black businesses in The Bay Area? Check out some of them here.

9. China


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Evgeniy Koval (@evgeniykoval)

The most populated country in the world went from having no high-speed railways to being the envy of the train world. It has an already huge network of trains, and that is sure to grow as the years pass.

According to CNN, “China’s ambition is to make high-speed rail the mode of choice for domestic long-distance travel. The trains are a symbol of economic power, rapid modernization, and increasing prosperity.”

With a network so complex, it helps to know how to navigate it in advance.

10. Seoul


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Paul Moon (@paultmoon)

A writer for Business Insider took the trains in Seoul for a week and declared that it was much better than New York. She based that opinion on “value, cleanliness and reliability.”

Even if you don’t speak Korean, you’ll be able to find your way with relative ease.

You can pay for your ticket using the T-Money card or by cash. The cards can be purchased in many shops across the city.

Observe the etiquette, which includes waiting for passengers to exit the train before you board. Also, try to refrain from eating.