Off the beaten path

Stand Out Stations

Bus stops are a welcomed sight to many travelers. While many are easily recognized by a simple stanchion with an icon, some go the extra mile to provide extra comforts. (And we’re not just referring to a simple bench). Though universally recognizable, bus stations are rarely beautiful. But there are a few stand out stations that we certainly wouldn’t mind waiting at for an extra few minutes. 

Nagasaki, Japan 

This Japanese island certainly hits the mark of their bus stops being recognizable but not in the typical manner. They looked to Cinderella’s pumpkin stagecoach to inspire an unconventional, yet utterly delightful depot to await the next pickup. Each fruity station represents one of the island’s agricultural products and creates a total collection of 16 depots which range from strawberries, to cantaloupes and even the controversial tomato (which yes, is technically a fruit). 

Not only do they make a perfect shelter to hide from the elements, but they also stand out as the picture perfect photo op for all fruit loving travelers. 

Nizwa, Oman

Located in what is known as Oman’s oldest city, this bus stop is surrounded by ancient castles, mosques and forts. As the former capital of the country, it seems fitting that the bus stations are built to match the complex architecture that surrounds it. 


Alba Iulia, Romania

This bus station, or autogară, was built in the 1970s but its pastel pink social modernist vibes still excite. Built to serve as a transport hub for residents in need of a ride in or around Romania. Located in the historic region of Transylvania, the city of Alba Iulia has a small population despite being a site of great significance in the making of Romania.

Unst, England

Welcome to the northernmost inhabited British Isle of Unst. The 650 residents here share their modest motherland with many “most northerly” UK titles – including the most northerly Church, the most northerly Lighthouse, and the most northerly … rock. But even more interesting is one of the (almost) most northerly bus stops – “Bobby’s Bus Shelter.”

In the mid-1990s, young namesake Bobby MacAulay and his buddies would make their way through the unforgiving Shetland weather to seek shelter as they waited for the bus to school. Over time, however, the bus stop that shielded them from the school day squalls was badly battered by the elements and ultimately the town council had it removed.

Distraught by the removal, he penned a letter to the local paper, who in-turn called the council, which took note of Bobby’s notice and soon built a brand new bus stop, aptly named “Bobby’s Bus Shelter”. Items began to mysteriously appear inside the shelter turning it not only into a bus station, but a community hang out equipped with  a wicker table, a sofa, and at one point there was even a hot snacks dispenser. 

Punta Arenas, Chile

Traveling the roughly three hour bus ride from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas in Southern Chile, you can count on the quaint & convenient bus stops along Route 9. When you reach your destination you’ll be rewarded with colorful roofs and cooler climates. Known for its painted metal corrugated rooftops that are part of this area’s architectural heritage, the “City of Red Roofs” also has a deep history rooted in sheep farming, and also happens to be home to the southernmost Hindu temple in the world.

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