Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

25 massive metro systems that run the world

1/
I Wei Huang // Shutterstock

25 massive metro systems that run the world

The sprawling metro systems of the world enable residents and travelers alike to reach the furthest corners of a city. From Chicago's famed elevated "L" to Hong Kong's ultra-modern Massive Transit Railway, these transportation networks blend convenience and comprehensiveness with the permanence and cost of truly ambitious urban projects.  

To help guide your next global adventure, we've identified the 25 largest metro systems in the world by overall route length, using data published in news releases, government reports, and the metro-operating companies themselves. Our analysis focuses on heavy rail systems—dedicated, mass-transit rail systems designed to move residents through a city with speed—as opposed to light rails and commuter trains that typically serve the outer limits of a metro area. 

Together, these transportation networks account for over four billion miles of possible travel. For each metro system on our list, you'll find an image that encapsulates the sprawling city serviced, as well as a handy route map for your travels.

2/
Pixabay

#25. Berlin U-Bahn - Germany

Year opened: 1902

System length: 94.3 route miles

3/
Roger W // Flickr

#25. Berlin U-Bahn - Germany

Year opened: 1902

System length: 94.3 route miles

4/
Lancerman // Pixabay

#24. Tianjin Metro - China

Year opened: 1984

System length: 100.0 route miles

5/
Kuailong // Wikicommons

#24. Tianjin Metro - China

Year opened: 1984

System length: 100.0 route miles

6/
Allen McGregor // Wikicommons

#23. Chicago "L" - United States

Year opened: 1897

System length: 102.8 route miles

7/
BorgHunter // Wikciommons

#23. Chicago "L" - United States

Year opened: 1897

System length: 102.8 route miles

8/
Jack French // Wikicommons

#22. San Francisco BART - United States

Year opened: 1972

System length: 112.0 route miles

9/
Train2104 // Wikicommons

#22. San Francisco BART - United States

Year opened: 1972

System length: 112.0 route miles

10/
Estial // Wikicommons

#21. Hong Kong MTR - China

Year opened: 1999

System length: 123.0 route miles

11/
MTR

#21. Hong Kong MTR - China

Year opened: 1999

System length: 123.0 route miles

12/
Ingfbruno // Wikicommons

#20. Washington Metro - United States

Year opened: 1979

System length: 116.4 route miles

13/
Washington Metro

#20. Washington Metro - United States

Year opened: 1979

System length: 116.4 route miles

14/
Colegata // Wikicommons

#19. Chengdu Metro - China

Year opened: 1976

System length: 118.0 route miles

15/
Sd4002991 // Wikicommons

#19. Chengdu Metro - China

Year opened: 1976

System length: 118.0 route miles

16/
Negative Space // GoodFreePhotos

#18. Tokyo Metro - Japan

Year opened: 2010

System length: 121.0 route miles

17/
Tokyo Metro

#18. Tokyo Metro - Japan

Year opened: 1927

System length: 121.2 route miles

18/
Ninara // Flickr

#17. Tehran Metro - Iran

Year opened: 1927

System length: 121.2 route miles

19/
Tehran Metro

#17. Tehran Metro - Iran

Year opened: 2010

System length: 121.0 route miles

20/
Calvin Teo // Wikicommons

#16. Singapore Mass Rapid Transit - Singapore

Year opened: 1987

System length: 124.0 route miles

21/
Singapore MRT

#16. Singapore Mass Rapid Transit - Singapore

Year opened: 1987

System length: 124.0 route miles

22/
Ed Webster // Wikicommons

#15. Paris Métro - France

Year opened: 1900

System length: 133.0 route miles

23/
Paris Métro

#15. Paris Métro - France

Year opened: 1900

System length: 133.0 route miles

24/
Pixabay

#14. Mexico City Metro - Mexico

Year opened: 1969

System length: 140.7 route miles

25/
Mysid, Battroid // Wikicommons

#14. Mexico City Metro - Mexico

Year opened: 1969

System length: 140.7 route miles

26/
Hui // Wikicommons

#13. Wuhan Metro - China

Year opened: 2004

System length: 147.0 route miles

27/
Howchou // Wikicommons

#13. Wuhan Metro - China

Year opened: 2004

System length: 147.0 route miles

28/
Aze0098 // Wikicommons

#12. Delhi Metro - India

Year opened: 2002

System length: 156.6 route miles

29/
Delhi Metro

#12. Delhi Metro - India

Year opened: 2002

System length: 156.6 route miles

30/
ming chen // Wikicommons

#11. Chongqing Rail Transit - China

Year opened: 2005

System length: 164.0 route miles

31/
MR.xun // Wikicommons

#11. Chongqing Rail Transit - China

Year opened: 2005

System length: 164.0 route miles

32/
AndyLeaunHK // Pixabay

#10. Shenzhen Metro - China

Year opened: 2004

System length: 176.5 route miles

33/
DeBit // Wikicommons

#10. Shenzhen Metro - China

Year opened: 2004

System length: 176.5 route miles

34/
Benjamin Nunez Gonzalez // Wikicommons

#9. Madrid Metro - Spain

Year opened: 1919

System length: 182.7 route miles

35/
Jesusmarinetto // Wikicommons

#9. Madrid Metro - Spain

Year opened: 1919

System length: 182.7 route miles

36/
Kys951 // Wikicommons

#8. Seoul Metropolitan Subway - South Korea

Year opened: 1974

System length: 189.2 route miles

37/
IRTC1015 // Wikicommons

#8. Seoul Metropolitan Subway - South Korea

Year opened: 1974

System length: 189.2 route miles

38/
Shuichi Aizawa // Wikicommons

#7. Nanjing Metro - China

Year opened: 2005

System length: 216.0 route miles

39/
SSYoung // Wikicommons

#7. Nanjing Metro - China

Year opened: 2005

System length: 216.0 route miles

40/
Moscow Metro

#6. Moscow Metro - Russia

Year opened: 1935

System length: 223.4 route miles

41/
Sameboat // Wikicommons

#6. Moscow Metro - Russia

Year opened: 1935

System length: 223.4 route miles

42/
chensiyuan // Wikicommons

#5. Guangzhou Metro - China

Year opened: 1997

System length: 242.7 route miles

43/
H2NCH2COOH // Wikicommons

#5. Guangzhou Metro - China

Year opened: 1997

System length: 242.7 route miles

44/
Sracer357 // Wikicommons

#4. New York City Subway - United States

Year opened: 1904

System length: 246.0 route miles

45/
NYC Metro

#4. New York City Subway - United States

Year opened: 1904

System length: 246.0 route miles

46/
Daniel Chapman // Wikicommons

#3. London Underground - United Kingdom

Year opened: 1890

System length: 253.0 route miles

47/
Sameboat // Wikicommons

#3. London Underground - United Kingdom

Year opened: 1890

System length: 253.0 route miles

48/
Jakob Montrasio // Wikicommons

#2. Beijing Subway - China

Year opened: 1971

System length: 372.4 route miles

49/
Beijing Subway

#2. Beijing Subway - China

Year opened: 1971

System length: 372.4 route miles

50/
xuanzi86410527 // Pixabay

#1. Shanghai Metro - China

Year opened: 1993

System length: 413.0 route miles

51/
Shanghai Metro

#1. Shanghai Metro - China

Year opened: 1993

System length: 413.0 route miles

2018 All rights reserved.