Museums and galleries aren’t the only places to see art in a city. There is art underground in many subway and metro systems around the world, and here are 15 works of art you can only find if you’re using public transportation.

[Editor’s note: Several of the images below are available for use through a Creative Commons license, but others are not. In those cases, the photographers granted Matador special permission to feature them here. Please review all copyright information for photos before reproducing them.]


Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Formosa Boulevard station with its huge Dome of Light by Narcissus Quagliata: "The dome is the world's largest public art installation made from individual pieces of colored glass....The dome tells the story of human life in four chronologically arranged themes: Water: The Womb of Life; Earth: Prosperity and Growth; Light: The Creative Spirit; and Fire: Destruction and Rebirth, with an overall message of love and tolerance." Photo: wisefly


Moscow, Russia

Russia's Izmaylovo Park station is one of many in the Moscow metro with a Soviet theme sculpture. Photo: YellowSubmarine 1926


Pyongyang, North Korea

A mosaic titled "The Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung Among Workers" in Puhung Station. Photo: adaptorplug


Montreal, Canada

The large stained glass piece in the Place-Des-Arts metro station tells the story of the history of music in Montreal. Photo: J Luoh


New York City

Art can be seen throughout New York City's subway stations. This one is at the Houston/Varick Street Station on the 1 Train. Photo: Adam Kuban


Stockholm, Sweden

"Over 90 of the 100 subway stations in Stockholm have been decorated with sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations, engravings and reliefs by over 150 artists." ("Art in the Subway") Here's Solna Centrum station. Photo: Jonathan Ryder Photography


Santiago, Chile

Parque Bustamante station is home to Chile's longest mural: 223 meters long and 673 square feet of paint, created by Alejandro "Mono" Gonzalez. Photo: Arrancacorazones


New York City

Over 100 individual miniature bronze sculptures make up Tom Otterness' Life Underground series, a 2001 public artwork series created for the 14th Street–Eighth Avenue New York City Subway station. The artist was inspired by political cartoonist Thomas Nast, and the project took 10 years. Photo: Micke Kazarnowicz


Lisbon, Portugal

"The Running Woman" at the Rossio metro station, green line. Photo: arcticpenguin


Moscow, Russia

In Revolution Square station: touching the nose of this dog is thought to bring good luck. That's why his nose is shiny; it's been touched and rubbed by so many people. Photo: rodc


Munich, Germany

Georg-Brauchle Ring station on the U-bahn: "The artist Franz Ackermann created...'The Great Journey' from 400 metal panels - two huge colour screen walls....Each of the rectangles weighs 135 kg, each wall carries almost 30 tons." Photo: shlomp-a-plompa



Up close of an abstract mosaic mural at Ghaut MRT Station at the eastern end of Orchard Road. Photo: beggs


Paris, France

Cluny La Sorbonne station is in the Latin Quarter. According to a sign in the station: "This ceiling bears the signatures of poets, writers, philosophers, artists, scientists, kings and French statesmen who for eight centuries have honored this district." Photo: L'Abominable Homme de Rires


Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ceramic tiles show some of Argentina's history. Photo: bridchilds


Tehran, Iran

Tiles in a metro station in Tehran from 2007. Photo: S.a.r.a