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10 Streetcar Rides You Have To Take Once a in Lifetime

By Noah Miller


Updated on

The streetcar, also known as a tram, trolley or tramcar is an important means of public transportation using electrical power, so they hold an advantage over other more wide spread public transport solutions.

The first vehicle like this was the horse drawn tram which appeared in the UK back in 1807, yet the actual streetcars were born with New York’s Fourth Avenue Line in 1832.

Back in the time, the streetcar’s main role was plain transportation, but with the evolution of technology and general public transport, nowadays streetcars have a more touristic function to them, as they operate as mobile restaurants, libraries, nurseries, offering unique experiences by themselves.

Let’s take a look at the Top 10 Streetcar Rides available in the world today:

10. Tram 96 in Melbourne, Australia

Tram 96 in Melbourne

With almost 40,000 passengers every day, Tram 96 is one of the busiest and most important routes in Melbourne, Australia, connecting the most crucial parts of the city.

The line was opened in 1887 and it functioned continuously except between the years 1940 and 1955 when the line was being extended and buses were preferred instead. While visiting Melbourne, tourists taking Tram 96 will be able to admire St. Kilda, which was once the favored suburb of the Melbourne’s elite.

Every year, Tram 96’s route is slightly altered by important events in the city such as the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix or the St. Kilda festival.

9. The Nr. 2 Tram in Budapest, Hungary

Nr. 2 Tram in Budapest

Budapest’s No. 2 Tram is a scenic route running right along the Danube River past picturesque city landmarks, among which Pest, the Buda Castle and the Parliament building are the most impressive.

Operating since 1866, the tram line network is Budapest’s second largest public transport element – besides its bus lines – and one of the largest in the world with a total route length of 156.85 km.

8. Tram 68 in Berlin, Germany

Tram 68 in Berlin

Berlin’s no. 68 streetcar, going from S Kopenick S-Bahn to the Alt-Schmockwitz village on the outskirts of the capital city, is considered one of the greatest tram routes in the world. The village of Alt-Schmockwitz offers a great touch of local flavor and with Tram 68 running up until late in the night, there’s no excuse not to visit the picturesque village.

While during the 1960’s, West Berlin’s tram system was shut down, leaving only two lines operational today in the western part, overall Berlin has one of the largest tram networks in the world right now, with over 30 lines in use.

7. The Nr. 2 Tram in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Nr. 2 Tram in Amsterdam

Out of Amsterdam’s sixteen total tram lines, the No. 2 line is the most appreciated one since it passes by some of the most important landmarks of the city, including the De Nieuwe Kerk, Begijnhof, Bloemenmarkt, the Royal Palace, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Vondelpark.

The public tram infrastructure in Amsterdam is well thought out, with each line having its own separate track to ensure better flow of traffic and trams running day in and day out from 6 AM to past midnight, with five to ten services per hour, so no much waiting in between.

6. The Nr. 28 Tram in Lisbon, Portugal

Nr. 28 Tram in Lisbon

In operation since 1873, the Lisbon streetcar network consists nowadays of only five lines. The number 28, operates from east to west through the districts of Baixa, Bairro Alto and Alfama, tying together Praca Martin Moniz with Chiado and Campo de Ourique.

The vintage cars of the No. 28 Tram in Lisbon will take you through narrow cobble stone streets past churches, markets and restaurants, leaving you in the Graca neighborhood from where you can easily reach Castelo de Sao Jorge for an astonishing panoramic view of the city.

5. The Hong Kong Trams

Hong Kong Trams

The Hong Kong Trams are the earliest forms of public transport implemented in the city and the only fully double decker trams in the world, giving a different tone to the character of the city.

The longest route takes 80 minutes and starts in Shau Kei Wan and will leave you at the Kennedy Town after a change at the Western Market.

4. Streetcar F in San Francisco, California

Streetcar F in San Francisco

San Francisco’s iconic F-line is something you don’t want to miss if you ever set foot in the city. Running from Castro to Fisherman’s Wharf, all the way through downtown, the F-line with its vintage streetcars is one amazing ride.

The trams are brought from all over the world, with antique ‘streamliners’ and exquisite designed European cars, making for a wonderful experience.

3. The St. Charles Streetcar in New Orleans, USA

St. Charles Streetcar in New Orleans

Partly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and brought back in service afterwards, the St. Charles Streetcar in New Orleans, United States is the heart of the city, with its cars running through the Central Business District, the Garden District, Uptown and the ever popular French Quarter.

Built back in 1835 and designated as Route 12, the St. Charles line is the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world. The busy route is used by local commuters and tourists alike and it runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

2. The George Benson Waterfront Streetcar in Seattle, USA

George Benson Waterfront Streetcar in Seattle

Now a thing of the past, the George Benson Waterfront Streetcar in Seattle, United States, was a tram line that ran from 1941 to 2005, when it was shut down to make room for the Olympic Sculpture Park of the Seattle Art Museum.

Several of its stations remained in place but due to the massive renovations that took place in the area, the streetcar will more than sure remain closed. The line had a length of 1.6 miles and used cars imported from Melbourne, designed from white ash woodwork and mahogany from Tasmania. When it was discontinued, something more modern took its place and that was the Metro bus Route 99 running on 1st Avenue.

1. The 501 Queen Streetcar in Toronto, Canada

501 Queen Streetcar in Toronto

Stretching on a total of 24.8 km, from Long Branch Loop, through Lake Shore Boulevard and onto Queen Street, the 501 Queen Streetcar route in Toronto, Canada, is one of the longest tram lines in North America.

It was founded in the middle of the 19th century and still runs today, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The route has two branches, one from Neville Park to Humber Loop through the Queensway and the other one going all the way to Long Branch.

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About Noah Miller

Noah is a professional journalist who has been specializing in the jewelry and watches industry since the early 2010s. He’s been contributing to Luxatic for more than eight years now, and he's also a contributor to well known publications like GQ, Esquire or Town & Country, and many watch and jewelry blogs. Learn more about Luxatic's Editorial Process.

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