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Public Transport in Melbourne - How to travel in Melbourne Trams

Updated on September 12, 2011
Current and previous trams of Melbourne
Current and previous trams of Melbourne | Source

The iconic trams of Melbourne have been a part of this beautiful city since 1880s and an essential part of the public transport in Melbourne. The trams are an essential part of the Melbourne CBD. They also travel deep into the heart of Melbourne suburbs and are a great way to travel in Melbourne. These tips will arm you with knowledge that you will not find on brochures, magazines or websites. Know these insider tips and learn how to travel efficiently and safely on the trams of Melbourne.

1) Sit close to the tram driver's window if you are traveling late at night. Trams are quite long and you’d rather not be stuck with drunks at the backside of the tram. Sitting near the driver is your safest bet while you travel in the tram at night.

2) Plan a ‘day-out’ in Melbourne just by travelling in trams. Certain tram routes offer great tourist experiences. Pick a route and hop on board to enjoy the sights and sounds of this bustling city. Here are a couple of popular Tram routes

  • Tram #96 (towards St Kilda) – Travels by the Crown Casino, Fitzroy Street St Kilda, Luna Park and St Kilda beach.
  • Tram #86 (towards Bundoora) – Travels from Docklands, Etihad Stadium, iconic Bourke Street, Parliament of Victoria, Melbourne Museum, shopping delight Smith Street, quaint and artsy suburb of Northcote through to Bundoora and its parklands.

The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Melbourne
The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Melbourne

3) Have dinner on The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. Enjoy the old world charm by travelling in these vintage trams of Melbourne. These restaurant-trams offer various meal options and will take you on a romantic journey, through popular routes via Melbourne CBD and surrounding suburbs. Sip on your exotic Australian red wine while you take in the beauty of Victorian architecture in Melbourne.

4) The trams in Melbourne will be accessible to you even if you have a baby and a stroller/pram. Believe me, you will never have to ask someone to help you load the stroller on the tram. Commuters will get up and assist people with special needs like you. And I suggest that you do the same! If you ever see a lady struggling to push her pram up before the doors close, be the first one to help her.

5) Always buy tickets. Buying a ticket may sound ridiculous when you’re hopping on to a tram in Melbourne CBD to travel just a few blocks. Don’t think you can get away because being caught without a ticket by those casually dressed ticketing officers can be quite embarrassing.

6) Keep your eye out for great shopping. If you are wondering why I am talking about shopping right now, it’s because the trams in Melbourne travel through some of the best ‘shopping districts’ of the city. So keep an eye out for great looking shops and simply hop down if you spot something that interests you. Once you have checked the place out, simply hop on to the next tram! Here are a few tram routes that will satisfy your shopping bug.

Tram #5 (towards Malvern) – Besides going past the big malls of Bourke Street, this tram will also take you to Chapel Street and Toorak Road which are renowned for their fine boutique shops.

Tram #86 (towards Bundoora) – Enjoy quaint little boutique shops on Gertrude Street and then move on to the mega shopping area of Smiths Street in Collingwood.

Tram 96 at St Kilda, Melbourne
Tram 96 at St Kilda, Melbourne

7) Certain seats in the tram are specially marked for people with special needs. Watch out for these seats and if you are occupying one, make them available when you see someone with special needs looking for a place to sit.

8) If you are standing while travelling on a tram in Melbourne, hold on tight! This might sound like boring motherly advice, but you can thank me later for this top Melbourne travel tip. Especially in Melbourne CBD, the trams stop at every major intersection. Watch out for those nasty breaks and fast getaways. The handle bars and loops are given there for a reason, ladies and gentlemen.

9) Wave out to a tram if you are waiting at a tram stop at night. Tram drivers in Melbourne are used to people waving them down at night, due to poor visibility during these hours. You don’t want the tram to whiz by without picking you up, do you?

10) Tram drivers in Melbourne are usually very friendly and helpful. If you feel lost, go up to their cabin and ask as many questions as you want. They will even announce arrival at a particular stop or street for you, if you tell them in advance!

Tram on Bourke Street with the Parliament of Victoria in the background.
Tram on Bourke Street with the Parliament of Victoria in the background.

A picture of the Melbourne CBD is incomplete without a tram in it. Trams have been a part of Melbourne’s history and if you plan to visit this beautiful city, a tram ride should be on your things-to-do list. Enjoy!

More travel tips about public transport in Melbourne

How to travel in Melbourne Trains - Get insider travel tips about traveling in Melbourne trains. Travel like a local and jump on to a train in Melbourne.

For exciting travel tips on Melbourne, check out my other hubs at Princesswithapen on HubPages.


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