Top 10 Streetcar Rides
If you find yourself on the streets of a foreign city and you want to see it through the eyes of a local, a streetcar ride is the perfect solution. Here’s a list with some of the world’s most important streetcar routes:
1. The 501 Queen Streetcar in Toronto, Canada
Toronto’s 501 route is a wonderful choice if you want to enjoy a rather long trip across the city from east to west. The route was first founded in the middle of the 19th century as a horse-drawn line, but it was later electrified and taken over by the TTC. Its vehicles will take you from Lakeshore Boulevard all the way to the Beach district. Service is provided 24 hours a day.
2. The George Benson Waterfront Streetcar in Seattle, USA
The Waterfront Streetcar was a 1.6-mile long streetcar line run by Metro Transit in Seattle, Washington. Its Melbourne-imported vehicles boasted classic designs with white ash woodwork and Tasmanian mahogany, but unfortunately, the entire route has been suspended in 2005 because of a construction project. The service was replaced by the Metro bus Route 99, which was revised to run north on 1st Avenue.
3. The St. Charles Streetcar in New Orleans, USA
New Orleans’ St. Charles Streetcar is a very important route that sustained quite a lot of damage during Hurricane Katrina. The line is now back in service and it will take you to the renowned French Quarter, Uptown, to the Garden District and to the Central Business District. Its official name is in fact Route 12.
4. Streetcar F in San Francisco, California
San Francisco’s F Streetcar will take you downtown through the Castro to Fisherman’s Wharf. This line includes vintage vehicles brought in from all over the world. Some originate in Milan, Italy, flaunting superb designs and comfortable seating arrangements. Along the way, you will see historic and modern sights alike.
5. Hong Kong’s Trams in China
The Hong Kong Tramways represent one of the earliest forms of public transportation in Hong Kong. What makes this trams system special is that it represents the only exclusively double-decker operated tram system in the world. Its route runs on Hong Kong Island between Shau Kei Wan and Kennedy Town, and a full run lasts about 80 minutes.
6. The #28 Tram in Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon’s 28 Tram provides a cheap and easy way for you to visit various tourist attractions and Tagus River viewpoints. The route goes all the way across town from east to west, passing Saint George’s castle, the Gates to the Sun and the Feira da Ladra flea market. Watch out for pickpockets though.
7. The #2 Tram in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tramways represent the most popular form of public transportation in Amsterdam’s city center. As far as tourists are concerned, the #2 tramway goes past some of the most important attractions, such as the Van Gogh Museum, the flower market, the Royal Palace and the New Church.
8. Berlin’s Tram 68 in Germany
The Berlin tram network is one of the oldest and largest in the world, dating back to 1865. If you want to experience Berlin from a local perspective, the 68 tram will take you from S Köpenick S-Bahn to the Alt-Schmöckwitz village situated on the outskirts of the city. Furthermore, if you get carried away and lose track of time, you needn’t worry, since Berlin has a very good late-night public transport system.
9. The #2 Tram in Budapest, Hungary
The #2 tram in Budapest runs alongside the Danube River on the Pest side of the city, and it follows a rather scenic route, offering beautiful views of Buda Castle and of the Parliament building. This is one of the cheapest ways to enjoy sightseeing in Budapest.
10. Melbourne’s Tram 96 in Australia
Melbourne’s 96 tram route is one of the city’s busiest routes, carrying approximately 39,700 passengers a day. This tram links some of the most important parts of the city, including the St. Kilda Beach, the central business district and Fitzroy’s bohemian precinct. The route became operational on May 6, 1956.