Olaias Metro Station – one of Europe’s most unique stations

The Olaias metro station is one of Europe’s most unique stations. The Lisbon subway is known to be one of the most beautiful metro systems in the world. The Olaias station Is the most colorful stop in the Lisbon subway system.

Colored plastic ceiling in the Olaias metro station in Lisbon, Portugal

Olaias station opened on May 19, 1998. In 2012 CNN listed Olaias as one of the most beautiful subway stations in Europe.

Interior of Olaias metro station, Lisbon

Located in northeast Lisbon far from the tourist districts, it is on the red line (linha vermelha) of the Lisbon subway system.

The red line is the newest in the subway system (Metropolitano de Lisboa), and runs from the São Sebastião station to the Lisbon airport (Aeroporto).

Many passengers coming from the airport switch trains at Alameda station and get on the green line (linha verde) that goes into Lisbon’s historic riverfront in the Baixa neighborhood and connects to the train station and ferry terminal at Cais do Sodré.

Colorful tiled mosaics on the walls at Lisbon's Olaias metro station

You can ride the subway in Lisbon for 1.50€ per trip. You could pay in advance by purchasing a Viva Viagem transport card in one of the subway stations. You can put a declining balance on the card and then use it to ride ALL public transportation in Lisbon.

Another possible option is to purchase a Lisboa Card. The Lisboa Card also offers free use of ALL public transportation for a set time period, and also provides FREE and REDUCED admission to many of the city’s cultural and historic sites.

Steampunk style steel columns support the colorful plastic ceiling at Lisbon's Olaias metro station

Olaias station is located between Alameda and Bela Vista stations.

On the surface it is located on Avenida Engenheiro Arantes e Oliveira by the Hotel Ramada by Wyndam.

GPS coordinates: 38.73985276978386, -9.123930410746757

Massive steel columns line the subway platform at Lisbon's Olaias metroo station

The Olaias station is a kaleidoscope of color. The most notable feature might be the multi-colored collage of plastic and glass that composes the ceiling. There are also glass or plastic ship-like lights hanging from the ceiling.

The ceiling is supported by thick steampunk-style columns with oversized rivets. The columns stand on wide passenger platforms that are also patterns of colored tiles, as are all of the walls.

A view of the turnstiles at Lisbon's colorful Olaias metro station

The metro station was designed by architect Thomas Taveira.  Taveira also designed Aveiro Stadium in Aveiro Portugal, Leiria Stadium, and Lisbon’s Estádio José Avalade where Sporting Lisbon plays.

The subway station is accessible to those with mobility needs, as it is fitted with elevators and escalators.

Colorful art installation at Lisbon's Olaias metro station

The colorful art in the Olaias subway station was created by artists Pedro Calapez,  Pedro Cabrita Reis, Rui Sanchez, and Graça Pereira Coutinho.

Colorful tiled walls line the stairway access to Lisbon's Olaias metro station

While Olaias is one of the most beautiful subway stations in Lisbon, the subway stop is not in a very busy or touristy area of the city. Few tourists get off the red line at the station. As a result, not many visitors get to experience its beauty.

The surface above Lisbon's Olaias metro station

Another of the most interesting stops in the Lisbon underground system is the Oriente station designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. Unlike Olaias, many tourists do pass through this train and bus hub going to points north and south of Lisbon.

Santiago Calatrava's glass and steel roof structure at Lisbon's Gare do Oriente train station
Santiaga Calatrava’s Oriente Station

To learn more about Lisbon’s subway system, check out my Lisbon Metro: A helpful guide to the Lisbon subway . For the complete scoop on public transportation in Lisbon, see my article How to ride Lisbon’s trolleys, cable cars, elevators, and buses. You can even use public transportation to get to the nearby beaches. This is highly recommended! Read my How to use public transportation to get to Lisbon’s beaches

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