These Crazy Subway Maps Will Leave You Incredibly Confused

Think it’s hard to understand your city’s transportation system? Well, you’ll be even more confused when you see these subway maps from mega cities around the world. Colorful, chaotic and labyrinthine, they often look as if someone dropped a plate of spaghetti on a piece of paper and can be just as hard to comprehend. Here are our picks for the craziest subway maps in the world! Did your city make the cut?

moscow subway

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Opening in 1935, the Moscow network quickly grew to one of the largest subway systems in Europe. It would have been opened earlier, but World War I happened. It’s currently the busiest system in the world that isn’t in Asia.


System length: 206 miles

Number of stations: 199

Yearly ridership: 2.45 billion

tokyo subway map

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The Tokyo subway system began in 1927 as the Tokyo Underground Railway and has been growing ever since. It’s actually made up of two separate rapid transit systems, the Toei Subway and the Tokyo Metro. Travelers say it is one of the most confusing maps to navigate.


System length: 121.2 miles

Number of stations: 179

Yearly ridership: 2.35 billion

seoul subway map

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The Seoul Metro system might be the most confusing of them all and has a whopping 18 rapid transit lines throughout the city. It’s also one of the most advanced systems in the world, and has full color LCD screens, NFC payments through smartphones and more. We’ll let you try to figure out where to go.


System length: 206 miles

Number of stations: 311

Yearly ridership: 2.62 billion

mexico city subway map

Courtesy of Sistema de Transporte Colectivo/ Wikimedia Commons

Mexico City

While it isn’t the biggest on our list, the subway system in Mexico City is still quite impressive and is busier than the Tube. It’s also one of the youngest of the bunch and was opened in 1969. It quickly surpassed older systems like Boston and Chicago to become the second largest subway system in North America.


System length: 140 miles

Number of stations: 195

Yearly ridership: 1.61 billion

ny subway map

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New York

The New York City Subway is one of the largest and oldest public transit systems on the planet and features 24 hour service every day of the year. The layout of Manhattan makes the system somewhat easier to follow than others, as many of the busiest lines run north to south.


System length: 233 miles

Number of stations: 422

Yearly ridership: 1.75 billion

london subway map

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The London Underground is the grand daddy of them all and is the oldest underground railway in the world, beginning all the way back in 1863. It’s since been surpassed in size by many systems around the world, but there’s something about the charm that makes people love it.


System length: 250 miles

Number of stations: 270

Yearly ridership: 1.3 billion


The massive Beijing Subway is the second longest subway system in the world but one of the youngest as well, having only opened in 1969. It took the Chinese awhile to catch up with the west, but they certainly didn’t take much time in building a gigantic subway system.


System length: 344 miles

Number of stations: 318

Yearly ridership: 3.41 billion

paris metro map

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Ahh Paris, the city of love…and a crazy subway system. The Paris subway is the second busiest in Europe and has a claim to fame of having 245 stations in just 34 square miles. The map can be hard to decipher as so many of the stops are close to each other.


System length: 133 miles

Number of stations: 303

Yearly ridership: 1.52 billion

madrid subway map

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Madrid cracks the top 10 as the 8th longest metro system in the world although its ridership isn’t that high. The map is still quite impressive and travelers often have a tough time trying to find their stop on a map that has over 300 stations.


System length: 183 miles

Number of stations: 301

Yearly ridership: 560 million

shanghai metro map

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Shanghai might be the current king of subway systems and is the largest in the world, has the second largest number of stations, and is the second busiest in the world. That’s incredibly impressive considering it only opened in 1993. Good luck trying to figure it out!


System length: 365 miles

Number of stations: 364

Yearly ridership: 2.83 billion

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