World's 10 best city tram rides

ST CHARLES STREETCAR, NEW ORLEANS, USA

Sashaying along St Charles Avenue through a tunnel of southern live oaks, this historic streetcar takes in antebellum mansions, two universities, lovely Audubon Park and some of the USA's prettiest civic architecture. Vintage streetcars built almost a century ago still operate on this 21-kilometre line, the world's longest in continual operation. From the French Quarter, cross Canal Street at Bourbon which becomes Carondolet Street, hop aboard and enjoy 45 minutes of eye candy. See neworleans.com

TRAM ROUTE 28, LISBON, PORTUGAL

This clanking, 1930s-era tram threads through the city between Campo de Ourique and Martim Moniz, through wide esplanades and narrow streets, taking in some of the city's cultural treasures as well as quiet neighbourhoods. Highlights include the Castle of St George, the historic Graca quarter, now restored to its former glory, the bohemian Bairro Alto and the indoor/outdoor Campo de Ourique market. Hop on and off at any of its 30-plus stops with a 24-hour ticket. See carris.pt

TRAM NUMBER 2, BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

Budapest's slender yellow and white trams bring an antique note to the city and line number 2 is a scenic marvel, following the curve of the Pest embankment alongside the Danube River, with views of the baroque Parliament building, Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge. Head north from the National Theatre, and sit on the river side. Hop off at Kossuth Lajos Square and take a look at the Shoes on the Danube Bank, a memorial to victims of the country's WWII fascist party. See introducingbudapest.com

RINGSTRASSE TRAMS, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Vienna's grand boulevard, the Ringstrasse throws a lasso around the city's wedding-cake palaces, museums and monumental buildings created when the Habsburg empire was at its height. While the tourist tram makes a complete circuit of the Ring, a much cheaper option is the city's regular trams. From Schwedenplatz take tram number 1 from platform B, travelling in an anticlockwise direction. When you get to the Opera House, change to tram number 2 to take you back to Schwedenplatz. See wien.info

T1 TRAM, ISTANBUL, TURKEY

The glorious antique trams have disappeared, but their sleekly modern successors are a foot saver in hilly Istanbul. From Kabatas, on the eastern side of the Golden Horn, the T1 tram winds through the boho-chic Karakoy district, over Galata Bridge and up the hill crowning Seraglio Point, gateway to the Topkapi Palace, Haghia Sofia, the Blue Mosque and the amazing Basilica Cistern. A few stops further along, alight at Beyazit to visit the Grand Bazaar. See iett.istanbul

"DING DING" TRAM, HONG KONG

Running east-west along the foreshore of bustling Hong Kong Island, the double-decker trams are slow, noisy and anything but smooth, but there's fascination every inch of the way. It's a journey for the senses with smells as well as sights and sounds, especially where the tram travels through the middle of Chun Yeung Street wet market. Central to Causeway Bay is the classic journey. Squeeze your way to the upper deck and sit beside the window. See hktramways.com

TRAM NUMBER 96, MELBOURNE

East Brunswick to St Kilda Beach packs in some of the city's favourite icons including the Melbourne Museum, Exhibition Buildings, Carlton Gardens, State Parliament, the Bourke Street Mall, Crown Casino and Carlton Gardens. Hop off at Fitzroy's Moor Street stop for some of Melbourne's sassiest street art then duck into Lune Croissanterie at 119 Rose Street for a sweet treat, take a stroll along St Kilda Pier and snap a selfie against the leering clown face of Luna Park. See yarratrams.com.au

TRAM NUMBER 3, ROME, ITALY

One of the longest of the capital's tram routes, tram No. 3 is a cheap introduction to some of the highlights of Rome. Travelling in a half loop, the tram stitches together the village-like atmosphere of Trastevere, Circus Maximus, the Colosseum, the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, Porta Maggiore and finally to Valle Giulia near the National Etruscan Museum, close to one of Europe's biggest urban parks surrounding Villa Borghese. See rome.net

TRAM NUMBER 2, AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

Running from the main railway station through Amsterdam's heart, tram No. 2 takes in the Van Gogh Museum, the splendid Rijksmuseum, the Royal Palace, the city's famous flower market and the canal belt. Another essential stop is Leidseplein Square, a centre for restaurants, cafes, nightlife and street performers. Buy a day ticket for €7.50 and hop on and off as you please. See iamsterdam.com

Advertisement

BLACKPOOL TRAMWAY, BRITAIN

Dating back to 1885, this tramline running along the Fylde Coast bordering the Irish Sea is one of the world's oldest, although trams on the 17-kilometre line were modernised in 2012. Today it draws millions each year, many of whom recall riding the tram while licking a bar of Blackpool Rock as one of the linchpins of their youth. During summer holidays and non-winter weekends, original heritage trams operate between Pleasure Beach and North Pier. See visitblackpool.com

Comments